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Friday, October 9, 2015

ARC Review: I Need a Hero by Codi Gary

I’m slowly gaining a new appreciation for novellas. When they’re done right, they can be A LOT of fun!

Format: .mobi (A copy of this book was provided by the publisher via Edelweiss for the purpose of an honest review. )
Publisher: Avon Impulse
Release Date: October 22, 2015

Sergeant Oliver Martinez joined the military to serve his country—not plan parties. But after a run-in with his commanding officer, Oliver is suddenly responsible for the Alpha Dogs Training Program's upcoming charity event. Worse, he's got to work with the bossiest, sexiest woman he's ever met—who just happens to be the general's daughter.

When it comes to military men, Evelyn Reynolds is not interested. And with the opportunity to launch her new PR firm at the charity event, she doesn't have time for some sexy, arrogant jerk with a hero complex. Evelyn is determined to keep things professional—if only she can ignore how Oliver's muscles fill out a t-shirt and the infuriating way he makes her heart pound.

But when tempers flare and a scorching kiss turns into so much more, Oliver and Evelyn will have to decide if this attraction is forever…or just for now.

Pairing two strong willed characters like Oliver and Evelyn was bound to cause some serious tension but I wasn’t counting on it being so delicious!

Favorite Character Friday!

Favorite Character Friday is a weekly meme hosted by Adria's Romance Reviews that gives readers a chance to celebrate their favorite characters!

Why a weekly meme? Because really, with millions of books out there and more coming out every week, characters are like potato chips, you can't have just one.

How it works: Every week you pick one of your favorite characters and tell every one who it is, what book they're from and WHY they're one of your favorite characters. Be sure to include the blurb and book cover as well! Share the love and maybe someone will read that same book and see why that character is one of your favorites! Unlike the Book Boyfriend meme (which was a great meme), your Favorite Character Fridays choice can be male or female!

Be sure to link back to Adria's Romance Reviews and share the link via the linky widget below.

Favorite Character: Huck Galvin

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Review: The Prince and I by Karen Hawkins

I think this marks only my third book by Karen Hawkins. Isn’t that sad? Her books are part of my Mount Everest-like list of books I am saving to buy. Geez, that sounds pretty bad doesn’t it? I’m picturing a huge pile of books that I have to scale. Anyway, has anyone read the first book in this series?

Format: .mobi (A copy of this book was provided by the publisher via NetGalley for the purpose of an honest review. )
Publisher: Pocket Books
Release Date: August 25, 2015

Max Romanovin, Oxenburg’s warrior prince, is escorting his grandmother to a house party deep in the Highlands when he and his entourage are robbed at sword point by a group of ruffians led by a man the locals have dubbed “The Scottish Robin Hood.” The battle-savvy prince instantly realizes there’s something different about this thief, and it’s not just the Scottish accent—it’s the fact that “he” is really a “she.”

Lady Murian, a young widow out for revenge against the powerful earl who killed her husband and stole his birthright, is now living in the woods with her family’s banished retainers. To stay alive, she and her band of men rob rich nobles coming to visit the evil earl. But when she ambushes the Prince of Oxenburg’s golden coach, she gets far more than she expected. For when the prince uncovers her true identity, she’s afraid that hemight be the real thief…of her heart.

So, The Prince and I is basically a historical romance that starts when a group of thieves lead by “The Scottish Robin Hood” robs the coach of Oxenburg prince Max Romanovin. A bit of a scuffle ensues in which Max discovers that the leader of the merry band of thieves is a woman, not a man. Max then makes it his personal goal to find out more about her and the reason for her thievery.

Meanwhile, Lady Murian is out for revenge against the earl who killed her husband and stole his birthright, effectively leaving her homeless and penniless along with those loyal to her. To stay alive she and her band of men rob the rich nobles who are brave enough to visit the earl. When she and her group ambush the prince’s coach, she sets off a chain of events that could either restore what belongs to her people or get them all killed.

If the Lady Murian is modeled after Robin Hood, would that make Max the Maid Marion of the story? Ha, hardly. Max is a bold, dashing prince who would just as soon start a fight as end it, and Lady Murian is no damsel in distress, it was a match made in heaven! This is the second book in Karen Hawkins’ The Oxenburg Princes series (Yes, I missed the first one, boo to me) and it was fun!

I’m not gonna lie, The Prince and I was a long story and sometimes I felt that there were too many unnecessary scenes with Murian and her people repairing homes and such but the overall story had engaging characters, memorable scenes and a dash of humor here and there. Not to mention a romance between two head strong people who were used to calling the shots.

Max could have been an arrogant prince, in fact he bordered arrogance in the beginning but it quickly faded away to reveal a battle worn and somewhat depressed man. Who doesn’t love a soldier who is tired of blood and death but still has that deeply engrained need to protect the innocent? That was Max to a tee. Sometimes I forgot that he was a prince because his real persona is that of a soldier, a commander to be precise.

Murian is a feisty character but it’s clear she’s still a child in some ways. Instead of making me dislike her, I admired her. While other women her age were still finding their way into adulthood, she was already a widow, an outlaw and responsible for the wellbeing of a group of people. This woman had to grow up fast and take on roles that were most often associated with men and she was a natural born leader. The only thing about Murian that kind of irked me is that when she became involved with Max, she was more than happy to step back and let him take charge of everything. I could see that in some cases he had more experience since he was a soldier but these were her people, not his. She should have been more “hands on” and an equal to him when it came to discussing and executing plans.

Max and Murian’s romance is pretty slow to develop, the bigger issue in The Prince and I seemed to be keeping the people who were loyal to Murian alive and in overthrowing the earl that stole her home. I didn’t mind it so much because I was wrapped up in all the elements of the story. I wanted to know what happened to Murian’s husband, how it was that the earl took everything and why Max was on his way to visit the earl on the night he met Murian. It was clear Max didn’t like the earl yet his grandmother insisted they visit him at the estate.

Speaking of Max’s grandmother, I didn’t care for her at all. She was bossy, arrogant and rude. I couldn’t find a darn thing to like about this old woman! Most of the time grandmothers are meddling sure but they are, I don’t know, “grandmotherly.” This woman acted more like a petulant child used to having her every whim indulged by the people around her. Ugh, just thinking about her irritates me.

Overall though, The Prince and I is a dashing, exciting tale of romance, danger and mystery that shouldn’t be missed by romance fans. I had such fun reading about Murian’s deeds as a female bandit and watching her fall in love with someone who was worthy of her set my romantic heart a flutter.

Final Verdict: Time to hunt up the first book in the series.

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Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Review: Claimed by Elle Kennedy

Seriously, only Elle Kennedy could get me to dip into the Dystopian sub-genre of romance again.

Format: Bound Copy (A copy of this book was provided by the publisher for the purpose of an honest review. )
Publisher: Signet
Release Date: October 6, 2015

After a devastating war decimated most of the world, Hudson Lane has only known the oppressive life under her own father’s tyranny. She finally escapes, branding herself an outlaw and hunted by the Enforcers. Her best chance at survival is Connor Mackenzie, an aggressively sensual fugitive who opens her eyes to the wicked possibilities of a world without rules.

As the leader of a band of outlaw fighters, Connor can’t resist the beautiful stranger who asks for his protection. Despite his reservations, he agrees to introduce her to a whole new way of life. But when Connor discovers Hudson’s connection to the enemies of liberty, he wonders how far he can trust the woman who has abandoned all inhibitions to challenge every forbidden desire

Hudson Lane has only known what it’s like to be oppressed by others. Her father was a tyrant, her once kind brother may be headed down the same path and now because of her father, Hudson is left with no other choice to escape the compound she lives in and brand herself an outlaw. With Enforcers ruthlessly hunting her in order to bring her back, Hudson’s only chance to survive in a war torn world is Connor Mackenzie, a man just as dangerous as those hunting her.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Review: Playing with Fire by Kate Meader

I liked almost everything in this book, except the heroine's off job behavior and that made a BIG difference in how I felt about the book at the end.

Format: .mobi (A copy of this book was provided by the publisher via NetGalley for the purpose of an honest review. )
Publisher: Pocket Books
Release Date: September 29,2015

As the only female firefighter at Engine Co. 6, Alexandra Dempsey gets it from all sides: the male coworkers who think she can’t do the job, the wives and girlfriends who see her as a threat to their firefighter men, and her overprotective foster brothers who want to shelter their baby sister at all costs. So when she single-handedly saves the life of Eli Cooper, Chicago’s devastatingly handsome mayor, she assumes the respect she’s longed for will finally come her way. But it seems Mr. Mayor has other ideas…

Eli Cooper’s mayoral ratings are plummeting, his chances at reelection dead in the water. When a sexy, curvaceous firefighter gives him the kiss of life, she does more than bring him back to the land of the living—she also breathes vitality into his campaign. Riding the wave of their feel-good story might prop up Eli’s flagging political fortunes, but the sizzling attraction between them can go nowhere; he’s her boss, and there are rules that must be obeyed. But you know what they say about rules: they’re made to be broken…

Engine Co. 6’s sole female firefighter, Alexandra Dempsey has had to battle for every scrap of respect she can get her hands on and it still isn’t enough. Her co-workers think she can’t handle the pressure, their wives and girlfriends think she’s after their men and her foster brothers are so protective of her it’s suffocating. When she single handedly saves the life of Chicago’s mayor, Alex thinks she’s finally won the respect she desperately craves.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

What We Watched: The Week of 9-28-15

So how did your week of premieres go?

I hope you'll share with me YOUR thoughts on not just these shows but your own favorites too!

*** Just a warning though. Given that these are not reviews but commentaries on each show, expect SPOILERS.