Archive | November 2015

I Do, A.J. Pine

I Do, A.J. Pine

Review from Jeannie Zelos book reviews

Genre:  Romance, New Adult

Well this is part of a series, but each book is complete and can be read as a stand alone. Having said that I’d not read the earlier ones and I think I’d have got more from this if I had. There is brief backstory info given where needed but I just didn’t really get a sense of the people they were and what was important to them as individuals. Clearly they’ve had some issues but are a close group of friends.

Its told from multiple points of view ( seven!) – I like that, but it did mean a lot of jumping from person to person in quite a short novel ( 2330 kindle locations) so there’s no space for really getting into anything in real depth.

What appeals to me about the New Adult genre is the drama and emotion  books usually have but its all very surface based light and fluffy here…and I missed the angst, the sadness, the drama that makes the happy parts all the sweeter.

It’s a fun read though, with a HEA for everyone and some great characters. If you want short, light and fun this is perfect.

Stars: Three, a good read if you’ve followed the series and want a perfect ending for the couples.

ARC supplied by Netgalley and publishers

If you enjoyed my review I’d love it if you would please click “Like” and if you didn’t I’d love to know why, so I can make future reviews more helpful.

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Tell Me You Need Me, Joya Ryan

 

Tell Me You Need Me,  Joya Ryan 

Review from Jeannie Zelos book reviews

Genre:  Romance,

 I’ve loved some of Joya’s novels but this one just didn’t work for me. Having an ARC of this info re length wasn’t available and I didn’t know that it’s a novella at just under 2200 kindle locations. Sadly for me novella’s rarely work. If I know in advance I try to avoid them but this time I didn’t 😦 

Chloe came over as a bit brash and in-your-face to me. I’ve no issues about someone knowing what they want and going for it, but her reasons for avoiding romance seemed just weird, and I didn’t really understand them. Likewise her compulsion to make her mum’s cafe/restaurant a sucess as it was when mum ran it – why? Maybe if the book had been longer I’d have more background and understood her and her motives better. I felt the same about Gage – his intransigence about his job, his refusal to consider that maybe if he could persuade Chloe into a romance, a relationship – which was what he wanted, she’d want more than to be just waiting around for when he decided to return, and be happy when he was off for weeks at a time again was to me just plain selfish

When they are together there are some very erotically charged sex scenes, but to me that’s it, just lust, and I never felt more emotionally between them. Sex is fine in a story – in fact in a good romance I enjoy it, but here I felt it was All the story, that for me there was little else except some hot and sensual sex scenes, and I need a solid story backing them up to enjoy them. I actually skipped many of them, looking for more between Chloe and Gage, looking for some kind of connection, some indications of more. 

Its a short novel anyway, timewise as well as length, only covering a few weeks so I guess that’s again why I didn’t really have the chance to get to know them and what made them the characters they are. Sadly its a book that’s a pass for me, will still look out for more of Joya’s excellent stories but this one hasn’t hit the spot. 

Stars: Two, hot sex but not much else for me.  

 

ARC supplied by Netgalley and publishers

If you enjoyed my review I’d love it if you would please click “Like” and if you didn’t I’d love to know why, so I can make future reviews more helpful.

A Very Alpha Christmas: Over 25 Paranormal Holiday Tales of Werewolves, Dragons, Shifters, Vampires, Fae, Witches, Billionaires, Magics, Ghosts, Demons and More

 

As always a terrific value bundle from some very talented writers. Of course with it featuring a novella from one of my favourite series Allie’s War I am biased, but this set is a great way to meet new to you authors and find stories that haven’t yet been published.I’ve read books by some of these authors but others are new to me and I’m looking forward to seeing if they become favourites.

Sometimes these bundles contain previously published stories that you may have read but this time the stories are All New, and a great way to lose a few hours reading something different.

My review of the Allies War story
A Glint of Light ( Allie’s War Christmas Story) J C Andrijeski.

Review from Jeannie Zelos book reviews

Genre:   Sci-fi and Fantasy.

A novella length book featuring Cassandra and Balidor. Cass has never been a favourite character of mine. I know she had a horrific childhood, that she’s been through some awful traumas over recent years, but though she was Allie’s friend since childhood I always felt she was jealous of Allie, took every opportunity to undermine her confidence, and that she never really acted as a friend or appreciated all that Allie has done for her.
She’s now back with the group after having betrayed them to Shadow with disastrous consequences, and of course in seclusion, under Sight and physical restraints. Balidor seems to think there’s hope for her, that they can bring her back by delving into her psyche, seeking out her past and maybe finding and breaking Shadows hold. To me though Shadow just enhanced what she really felt, she was always jealous of Allie, always selfish, always out to put herself first. She uses people in my opinion and Shadow just built on what was there. Who knows though – maybe Balidor is right, he certainly has a connection with her. Its fascinating seeing how they react to each other and just who is playing who even though I don’t like Cass much. Of course all this is unsanctioned and against protocols set by Balidor himself!
Its a shortish read, interesting and with some trademark JCA sensuality. I just can’t see things the way Balidor does, but he’s got centuries on me and I guess must know best – or is he blinded by his emotions. They’re strong things in Seers. When he’s talking to Jon about why she should be given a chance he says how Revik also has done some horrific killings in his past under Shadow and yet he was brought back. Maybe he’s right and its just my feelings about her personally that shape the way I think. It’ll be interesting to see just how/if things resolve over next book.
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Stars: Four. Made me think over the emotional v the logical, and how it influences what we do.

ARC supplied by author

If you enjoyed my review I’d love it if you would please click “Like” and if you didn’t I’d love to know why, so I can make future reviews more helpful.

Dearborn, (Woodland Creek), Jenni Moen.

Dearborn, (Woodland Creek),  Jenni Moen.

Review from Jeannie Zelos book reviews

Genre:  Romance, Sci-fi and Fantasy

What a fabulous concept, 30 books by different authors centred around the same small village. I’ve looked and – hurrah – some are on Kindle Unlimited, so I’m planning ( when time allows!!) to read more from this collection.

I’d not read anything by Jenni Moen before but this sounded such an interesting plot I wanted to try this one. I did find it slow to start and in that way, the writing style and the way it unfolds it reminds me very much of Charlaine Harris Midnight Crossroads, though the only murders here are the Cluedo variety! Its a gentle story, full of tiny mysteries and hints about what’s coming, so that when things are revealed we’ve an idea what’s going to happen. And then I got surprised when it didn’t work out the way I’d thought 🙂 but that’s fine, I love the unpredictability of when that happens.

I loved Willow right from the start. She’s got a kind heart and that comes through, where even though she can feel other people’s emotion she still tried to think the best of them. I loved her plans for the house and when it was complete I could visualise those rooms – I’d love to stay there. Quinn too, a lovely man but so traumatised by his experiences he’s in a way scared and yet something draws him to Willow, they complement each other really well. Ryan her diner colleague was a great guy too and had some good lines. Its a very gentle story, no heart stopping romances and dramas, no edge of seat suspense, but a plot that gradually reveals more and more about the people in the village. I savoured the story, its not one to rush through or you miss the tiny elements that add so much to it.

I don’t think its one I’d reread though, but the description of the village and its heritage made me want to read more in the series.

Stars: Four, a tender, mellow story.

ARC supplied by Netgalley and publishers

If you enjoyed my review I’d love it if you would please click “Like” and if you didn’t I’d love to know why, so I can make future reviews more helpful.

 

Ice Moon, Lisa Kessler

Ice Moon,  Lisa Kessler

Review from Jeannie Zelos book reviews

Genre:  Romance, Sci-fi and Fantasy.

I’ve loved this series but did feel the last book felt a little slow, but for me this is back on track. Doc Jason’s twin Jared is the subject here, and when he meets Taryn Goldstone about a new contract, some decking at her house he realises she’s his Mate.

Taryn has issues though, as a Psychic with fire-starting talents she’s scared of hurting people so closes herself off. She adores her young son Charlie, but never touches him, never hugs him for fear of burning him. Her talent seems to be allied with strong emotion and she doesn’t have control, so avoids letting her emotions out. That’s why she gets nicknamed The Ice Queen.

As we get to know more of her and Charlie we can see she’s just in the right place, just where she needs to be, guided there by an unexpected source. The shocks and connections keep getting stronger, and I can see how the Pack is amassing people with the skills they’ll need if and when there’s a final head to head with Nero. As well as keeping her Pyro-kinesis a secret Taryn knows nothing of werewolves, so Jared has a hard task in front of him. He learns about her problems by accident and of course then he’s waiting for the right moment to tell her about himself. Its not only him he needs to tell her about too….Of course as always Nero are looking out for those with skills they can utilise, and they don’t ask politely but will use anything to force people to them. Jared needs to protect her and Charlie but how to protect someone when you can’t tell them everything yet, as they’ll think you need locking up. He has a plan to show her its all real but until then his family agree to keep it secret. What happens with those though? Yes, they always get released at just the wrong time!

There’s love and heated (!) emotions here, dangers once more from Nero, problems to overcome for not just Taryn but Jared too, and a wonderful boy, Charlie, to protect! Its a great read and one I really enjoyed, kept me gripped right through.

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Stars: Five, a great instalment to the series.

 

ARC supplied by Netgalley and publishers

If you enjoyed my review I’d love it if you would please click “Like” and if you didn’t I’d love to know why, so I can make future reviews more helpful.

Christian, Book 10 of The Vampires in America Series, D. B. Reynolds

Christian, Book 10 of The Vampires in America Series, D. B. Reynolds

Review from Jeannie Zelos book reviews

Genre:  Romance, Sci-fi and Fantasy

This is one of my favourite Vampire series. Each book is almost a stand alone in that its a complete story, but there are threads of the battle to come, the European vampires that want to take over America, that weave through all the books. Slowly the parameters are set, the lines are being drawn and Allies forming, masterminded by the clever and intriguing Raphael ( books one and two). This time we meet Christian, child of Mathilde. She was killed in the last book after using some devious means to try to get to Raphael, and Christian refused to support her.

Debbie’s vampires are tough, very Alpha, and hold their territories by power alone. Anthony holds the South after a battle there but isn’t strong enough to hold it himself, and has been supported by Raphael as a strategic move. It was actually Cynthia, Raphael’s human mate, that killed the former Lord but of course that can’t get out – they have some very strong and traditional laws, and a human killing a vampire lord wouldn’t be seen kindly. For that reason even though many suspect the truth its seen as Raphael that defeated him, but with his own territory to run he’s delegated Anthony. Now that support is being withdrawn, he’s helped with the set up and Anthony should have been able to manage, but he’s proved not to be up to it. He’s resigned, something unheard of, usually territories are gained by formal challenges or a battle to the death. Anthony is secretly working away underhandedly in the background though to keep himself in power in an area that suits him. He certainly doesn’t want Christian to be the next Lord, he’s far too strong to allow Anthony’s plans to come to fruition.

Then there’s Natalie. She’s been working for Anthony for the past two years, he has her family in a stranglehold and she’s had to fall in with him. So far he’s kept it all circumspect and allowed her to do her job without any interference in her personal life, but as things heat up and he’s preparing his next move he has plans for her too, regardless of what she wants.

Its another torrid, fast moving, sensual read with action and drama throughout, interspersed with some searingly hot vampire sex. Those guys certainly know how to show a lady a good time….As always there are things from previous books that creep in, scenes that were set much earlier and that’s why I’d recommend reading the previous books to fully enjoy this one, even though its complete in itself. As with past books I loved it and it will join my keepers file. I find with Debbie’s books each time I re-read I find little things I missed first time round, little references to past events and clues for future ones. Some series get a bit tired after this many book but this is as fresh still as the first few books and I’m happy for it to continue. I look forward to more – looks like Sophia, the only female vampire Lord, is set to feature largely in the next book. Although she’s the only one in America at the moment there are some strong female characters placed throughout the series, both vampire and human, no simpering milksops here. They all have to be tough to survive the events that surround them.

Stars: Five, another fantastic instalment.

ARC supplied by Netgalley and publishers

If you enjoyed my review I’d love it if you would please click “Like” and if you didn’t I’d love to know why, so I can make future reviews more helpful.

Recaptured by the Pack: A Bayou Wolves Prequel, Anne Marsh

Recaptured by the Pack: A Bayou Wolves Prequel,  Anne Marsh 

Review from Jeannie Zelos book reviews

Genre:  Romance,

This sounded right up my street, werewolves, adventure, a bit of danger, lots of spice and not just one but two sexy alpha males. It did have all that but somehow for me it just didn’t really work.
I felt kind of under-whelmed by the story, as if all the elements were there but didn’t reach the potential I thought the story had.  The biker gang battle was really just hinted at, a little action when Luc first comes on the scene and that’s really it. Then there’s Luc and Cruz. We didn’t really get to know much about either, what Luc had been doing over the past ten years, how they could both be Alphas and yet make the decision they did without some kind of arguments, friction, physical fights. They acted completely at odds with how Alpha werewolves are usually portrayed and I needed more reasons why. I’d have liked to have met their packs too, got a feel for how they would react. As Alphas their decisions affect the whole pack after all.  Still its a shortish read at just over 1900 kindle locations and I guess that’s why these issues don’t really get explored enough for me. I’m not really a fan of novellas and I hadn’t realised this was one, my error and I wouldn’t have chosen it if I’d known. If you enjoy novellas this could be a perfect 5* read for you but it’s a 3* from me.

Stars: two and a half, a lot of potential but didn’t really live up to it for me.

ARC supplied by Netgalley and publishers

 

Plan Overboard, Toronto Collection 14, Heather Wardell

Plan Overboard, Toronto Collection 14, Heather Wardell

Review from Jeannie Zelos book reviews

Genre:  Romance, Women’s fiction

I’ve enjoyed several of Heather’s novels now and one thing comes across throughout them all – the Characters. They are real, I feel as if I could touch them, understand them, sympathise with them when things go wrong and am so happy with them when everything works out well. I need that in a story to enjoy it, it needs to have people I can relate to in some way and Heather always delivers that, wrapped up in a story that is very true to life, well planned and always entertaining. That’s the purpose of a story for me – I want to be entertained, taken away from the day to day dross, and escape to another world.

There’s a gap in my reading here so I didn’t know any of the characters, but that didn’t affect my enjoyment – I was able to pick up the story easily. Corinne, poor Corinne has spent the last 20 years chasing a very exacting dream, a place in an orchestra that very rarely comes vacant. For her it has to be That orchestra, no other will do, so when she doesn’t get the coveted place she’s stunned. What now? What about all her plans? Failing to get in once the opening appeared hasn’t factored into her plans and she’s lost. Still, with that plan down she makes another, discards everyone and everything associated with Plan 1 and moves on to Plan 2. Poor Clay, her boyfriend is part of Plan 1 and he’s got to go….to me she seemed almost a control freak in her tightly regulated plans, but its what holds her together and without a plan she feels a failure. Well that’s how she seems to me.

So what’s Plan 2? A baby that’s what. Plans in place to ensure she can afford it she changes jobs, seeks out a clinic and is soon on the way to parenthood. What she didn’t factor in was meeting Austin on the cruise with her brother and friends. They get on incredibly well, feel so drawn to each other, but Austin makes it clear at the start that its for the cruise only, no contact after and indeed his family take pains to warn her he’s lovely, will make her feel so special, as if she’s the only one for him, but in the end he’s a playboy and always leaves. Events happen that show that is true while they’re out and about. Still, she only wants some fun, she’s no plans for a man in her life so it suits her. Can life be so controlled though? No, of course not and they both develop feelings they didn’t expect 😉 and have to find ways to deal with it. There’s a complication though – Corinne’s baby.

I loved both Corinne and Austin and it was clear early on that his feelings for her were unusual for him. His family were astounded at the things he did, buying her presents, giving up precious time usually spend on things he loves just to be with her. When it goes wrong it really goes wrong, and I so felt for them both. I did understand their feelings but to me they were too fixed in their ideas, the (new) Plan for Corinne, and for Austin his fears of not being able to be the man he wanted for her. At times I did get impatient with both, but of course its that drama that makes the book, that realism that made me want to shout at them.

Its a fun read, very emotional and even right to the end I was unsure how things would work out. How would Heather get them past their fears, the Plan, let Austin see he was more than he thought….and it made it so satisfying when things finally came together.

Stars: Four, a fun and realistic read

 

ARC supplied by Netgalley and publishers

If you enjoyed my review I’d love it if you would please click “Like” and if you didn’t I’d love to know why, so I can make future reviews more helpful.

 

His Contract, Rebecca Grace Allen

 

His Contract,  Rebecca Grace Allen

Review from Jeannie Zelos book reviews

Genre:  Romance,

This was a perfect read for me yesterday. I wanted some romance but with a solid story line, something to really pull at my emotions. This delivered all of that.

I loved Lilly, understood just how badly Damien had hurt her, not physically but emotionally. That can be just as bad and have ramifications that stay for life. Poor Lilly, she was devastated when he left her, just before her Bar exam. Since then she’s moved, lives nearer her brother and has a great group of friends that she works with. She’s still employed within the legal field, but hasn’t been able to make herself take the Bar exam. All her ambitions, her dreams, centred on that and when her confidence was so shaken its had a huge impact on her. No-one except her best friend knows what happened, and Lilly feels ashamed of her kink, of her submissive needs and has stayed away from that. Her friend doesn’t understand that world either and encourages Lilly to stay out of it.

Then she meets Jack, older man, widowed and who’s younger brother is best friends with her brother. They all go out as a group, and Jack can see from the way she reacts to something that Lilly is a Submissive, can see it in her demeanour. Somehow they begin to play, but with contracts that stipulate its play only, and to be kept private, and that suits them both. Lilly can see how attractive Jack is, and after her last disaster she wants to protect her heart. Jack doesn’t want a relationship, feels that would be disloyal to his wife and yet he needs to let his dominant side out. It suits them both for a while but emotions aren’t so easy to control as words on a piece of paper. The sex scenes between them were hot, sensual and it showed a different side to both of them, especially Jack, and it was clear to see that they both so enjoyed what they did. Its not heavy on whippings kind of BDSM but one where everything is explained as it happens so we can see just why Jack does things, just why Lilly reacts as she does and how different it was from what her previous Dom did.

Its a lovely read, watching how slowly things change, how they grow to be more to each other and of course the barriers that prevent them. Its not only that Jack is a widower, that he’s so much older, that Lilly has had a bad past relationship, but also that thing of Kink being regarded by so many as distasteful, weird, unnatural – sad isn’t it when no-one else is hurt, when both parties want and need what they’re doing. Still, that’s the world we live in, and for both of them their professions could be at risk if word gets out about their sexual tastes. Personally I want a lawyer who’s good at the job, what they do in time off I don’t care, so long as its consensual, but I understand how precarious a line it is that some people have to tread.

When it goes wrong – well, its really sad, but very understandable the way they both react. I do like this down part in a book, don’t want it all to be happy, and could see this coming, but when it happens it’s still gutting, harrowing and I felt for both of them. They’ve both some looking inwards to do, some decisions to make and I enjoyed being there with them and seeing what tipped the balance.

I liked the addition of the legal case they were dealing with, brought some reality into the story, joined the private and the workplace and made everything knit together as well as just being plain interesting!

Stars: Five, a great read

ARC supplied by Netgalley and publishers

Tryst: A Sexual Education Novel, S. L. Jennings

Tryst: A Sexual Education Novel,  S. L. Jennings 

Review from Jeannie Zelos book reviews

Genre:  Romance,

I loved the first book with  Ally and Justice and looked forward to this. It was a good story but for me there were major issues that stopped me loving it.

Heidi and Tucker. First off they’re so in love, she adores him and he her, and then we’re told he isn’t satisfying her sexually. She wants rough, he treats her like glass. Given he knows what happened to her its not that surprising though is it? And why has this suddenly come up now – they don’t seem to have had a problem so far…Anyway they meet Ransom, her crush and Free-pass guy. His agent wants her to take him on, and at first she thinks he’s arrogant and doesn’t like him. Still wants him sexually though, and suddenly they’re all in his room where they have a wild night with Tucker watching and directing.

From the blurb I thought there would be more of that but in fact it feels to me that the whole thing is overblown, with them really only having a handful of interactions, sometimes just heavy flirting and some touching…right up to the end. I got irritated with Heidi, she loves Tucker, doesn’t want to destroy her marriage, and yet knows he’s hurt and still won’t stop flirting and pushing towards Ransom. Then she’s thinking “poor Ransom”, troubled kid, ( he’s younger at just 24) everyone warns her she’s playing with fire, risking everything, she knows he’s got some severe issues but – oh dear she just can’t stay away….and so it goes on. Tucker gave me some shocks and that changed my view of him. The only one that I really felt for was Ransom, he was so in need of love, and he’d seized on Heidi. He really was taken advantage of. They were older, professionals and should have known they were being unfair to him. I just couldn’t see all the “in love “ bit after such a short time and a couple of lust filled interludes. That’s me, others will be happy to accept it as is though.

It was a hot and sexy read but my dislike of the way the story went and the characters acted means its just a good story and not a great one. I do want to read the next story though with Ransom and Lorinda from the first book.

 

Stars: Three, loved poor Ransom, irritated by Tucker and Heidi’s selfishness.

ARC supplied by Edelweiss and publishers

 

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