Hunting Ground

Hunting Ground (Alpha & Omega #2) by Patricia Briggs
3 Omega stars “She was his and he hers.”

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“Women are the bloodthirsty sex. We get the reputation, but it is only because the women stand behind us, and say, ‘Kill it. Squish it.”

One month after they are mated and married, werewolves Anna and Charles must travel to Seattle to oversee a conference where the wolves discuss the issue of becoming open to the public. While they are there, hired vampire assassins begin attacking the Omega’s, human and wolf.

This one took me a while to get through. I’m normally a huge Patricia Briggs fan, but for some reason this series isn’t hitting it for me like the Mercy Thompson series did.

What I loved:

-Anna and Charles: I think the development of the relationship between these two characters is the only reason I will continue to read this series. Together and separately, Anna and Charles are some of the more interesting and unique characters I’ve read in a long time. But Briggs has a way of doing that.

“I would slay dragons for you. I suspect that finding an unoccupied bedroom will be easier.”

-The world-building: I am constantly wowed at the incredible job this author has done in creating this unique urban fantasy setting. Very few authors have done this for me. I want to go and visit! (Hopefully without becoming prey).

-The setting: It was Washington State, enough said. That place is awesome!

What didn’t work:

-The pacing: OMG the pacing was so off with this book! It would go really slow, and then really fast, but then mostly slow and I had a hard time getting through this book.

-The constant reminders of pack hierarchy: We get it already, when dominant werewolves are around each other shit is about to go down. Stop using 50 pages to reiterate something that happened, but you can’t tell at once because all of the wolves have to pull their dicks out and measure them. UGH.

So overall, I liked this book, but I didn’t love it.

“To make great art, you had to expose your soul, and some things should be left safely in the dark.”

Lastly (and Gilmore Girls fans will understand) when they introduced a foreign wolf called Michel Girard, I immediately saw this:
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Stay With Me

Stay With Me (Wait For You #3) by J. Lynn

5 Staying Stars!

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I love J. Lynn. I love Jennifer L. Armentrout. Doesn’t matter what name she’s writing under, I almost always love her books. Stay With Me is no exception.

Calla has a problem. She needs to finish her final year of college to obtain her nursing degree, and everything was going along fine. Until her mom cleaned out her college fund. And then took out over $100,000 worth of credit card debt in her name. Yikes!

Calla returns home to the town and bar she thought she’d never see again, and there she meets Jax. Jax is the sexy bartender working at her mother’s bar, Mona’s, and he’s interested in Calla. Way interested. Together, the two of them search for Calla’s mom who has gone missing, and along the way, find a connection in each other.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. I did a giant happy dance when I got home from work and the Amazon package was sitting there with this puppy inside.

I started reading immediately and didn’t put this one down for the next 24 hours or so. Why 24 hours? Well I have to work some time people! That and this book was surprisingly long. Almost 450 pages of awesomeness!

Calla is a heroine that I adore. Everything she’s been through has caused her to cut herself off from life and people, in an effort to protect herself. I found her to be so brave with all of the trials and tribulations she went up against in this book, and holy shit did she have more than a plateful in this book. It was almost disturbing how much the author liked to kick Calla when she was down. Enough already! We get it, shitty things happen to Calla. Back off JLA!

Jax…. oh Jax. ***giant sigh***.

This was a man to bring home to mom. (Well not Calla’s mom, but you know). He reminded me a bit of Kristen Ashley’s alpha males. He didn’t let anyone push him around, and more importantly he didn’t let anyone push Calla around and stood up for her time and time again. Yes, he messed up a little along the way, but those were understandable misunderstandings (does that even make sense?).

The first book will probably always be my favorite, so that’s still the best one in the series. But Stay With Me runs a close 2nd place, because I’m still recovering from the whiplash that was Be With Me.

My only complaint was sometimes JLA got a little too hip with her descriptions, if that’s possible. It no longer became cute to read things that didn’t even make sense. Like “Holy granola bar”. Um, what? Where the F*** did that come from? It’s cute a couple of times, but it happened quite a bit. Too much, but that’s just my opinion.

Can we have a Reece and Roxy story please?

The Witch with No Name

The Witch with No Name (The Hollows #13) by Kim Harrison

5 I can’t believe it’s over, stars!!

“I liked beginnings better than endings.”

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Well ladies and gents, this is the end of an era for me. I’ve always loved the urban fantasy genre and this is one of my all time favorite series, in the genre and out of it.

I initially read this series at the urging of a coworker of mine (the same dude who made me read The Maze Runner and other awesome books). After reading the first book Dead Witch Walking I wasn’t super impressed and I gave the book a 3/5 stars. I continued to read the series when my coworker promised they would get better. And HOLY SH** did they get better. It’s really true, this is one of those rare series of books where with every book I became more enthralled with the world it’s placed in.

In this final installment, Cormel places an ultimatum with Rachel. She must find a way to help vampires keep their souls when they die the first death, or else. This evolves into a power battle between the vampires, demons and elves which have dire consequences, and Rachel and her trusty group of friends and allies are stuck in the middle of it.

“Because for all the changes, some things were immutable truths: friendship transcends all barriers, understanding trumps fear, and great power can always be surmounted by determination.”

It took me a while to read this book because a huge part of me didn’t want it to be over. Over the past couple of years of reading these books Rachel, Ivy and Jenks feel like friends to me and I didn’t want to say goodbye.

And Trent, oh Trent. I want a cookie maker of my own! This man (elf) was absolutely perfect, and he and Rachel complement each other beautifully. Surprisingly, the scenes with Rachel and Trent were very emotional, but I felt it worked as they were fighting side by side in dire circumstances and fighting to stay together despite the insurmountable odds stacked against them. Trent is a best book boyfriend in my world.

“Love died in the shadows, and it shouldn’t cost so much to keep it in the sun. But as Trent would say, anything gotten cheap wouldn’t last, so do what you need to do to be happy and deal with the consequences. That if love was easy, everyone would find it.”

I have very few issues with how the book ended, but one big one would be Nina. I’m sorry but I saw absolutely no redeeming qualities in Nina and found it hard to believe that Ivy could stand being around her, let alone being in love with her. There was no connection! **SPOILER** I’d rather Kim Harrison kill Nina off than tie her soul to Ivy forever, but whatever. Not every ending can be perfect, huh?

That was quite possibly one of the best epilogues ever. I’m sad this series is over :((((((((

“Give up? Leave? echoed in my thoughts as his lips met mine, holding both a promise and a desire. Never, I answered myself as we parted and, hands still connected, turned to those who meant most to us and were welcomed in between the pixy dust and the blue butterflies. THE BEGINNING.”

Better When He’s Bad

Better When He’s Bad (Welcome to the Point #1) by Jay Crownover

4 bad boy stars

“You survived in his world by being the best of the worst.”

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Jay Crownover has done it again! Love this lady’s books! Short review this time:

Bax has just been released from prison after 5 years of being locked up. He wants to find his best friend Race to get some answers to questions about the night he was arrested, only Race is nowhere to be found. While looking for Race, Bax runs into Dovie, Race’s younger half sister. Together the two of them team up to find Race, and they end up finding an attraction with each other.

I thought this was a great engaging read and it had me hooked until the very end. What I loved most about it, is that both main characters weren’t perfect, but they did the best to survive in the world they lived in, good choices and bad.

The chemistry between Bax and Dovie was off the charts, and I wish I had a “bad” guy like this one in my life. My only complaint would be that while technically Bax was a bad guy, I sort of expected him to be worse from the book summary. He was actually a pretty cool dude most of the time, when he wasn’t being a dick.

And Titus better get his own damn book! Or I’m posting an angry gif about it!

“I don’t know how love works, Dovie. I don’t know how to be anything other than this, but I know the only thing that gives me hope is the idea of you and me. I know I’m not the ideal, not the dream guy, but no one will ever fight for you the way I will. I promise you that you will always have the best parts of me I have to give.”

Sweet Filthy Boy

Sweet Filthy Boy by Christina Lauren

4 filthy French stars

“Life is built of these little horrible moments and the giant expanses of awesome in between.”

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Sweet Filthy Boy starts off with a bang, in which Mia our heroine, takes a graduation trip to Vegas where she meets a sexy frenchman Ansel, and the two get married. Mia ends up following Ansel to France, where he returns to work and is hardly around. Mia finds herself mostly alone, in a foreign land, when she decides to make the most of her summer in Paris and with Ansel.

Mia spends most of her time looking at famous places like the Luxembourg Gardens:
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(^^^Holy crap I need to get my ass back to Paris, I missed this when I was there!)

And the Eiffel Tower:
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^^^Geez, Mia had it sooooooooo rough in France. NOT!!

Anyways, I gotta say I loved me some Ansel. He was far from perfect, but he tried . Ansel did his best to make things work out, and although he made some shitty decisions, his intentions were always for what he thought was best for his and Mia’s marriage.

“He’s the guy who’ll do a ridiculous robot dance to make you laugh, who’ll lick the tip of your nose, make a fool out of himself for a smile. I’m sure if I tried to wrestle him to the ground, he’d let me win. And enjoy every minute.”

The instalove thing didn’t bother me that much, because that’s what I come to expect from a guilty-pleasure read like this one. Also, I don’t really consider it instalove because the characters struggled throughout the entire book to connect with each other and tried to take the time to get to know each other.

“I want to love all of my life as much as I love this night.”

My main issue with this book? The role-playing. Ugh, nothing makes me cringe worse than role playing. Sorry guys, this is a personal preference and I made ick faces when it happened. I did my best to overlook it. I understand the point that the author was trying to make, where Mia had to pretend to be someone else to be comfortable with herself, but I could have done without. The only thing worse than role-playing would be if she called him “daddy” and praise Jesus she did not do that!

The pacing of the book was off. Near the middle of the book I started to get bored. And by bored I mean the entire middle of the book was about Mia and Ansel having sex, and to be honest, I started to lose interest. When a book is driven by sex scenes and not by the characters, that’s when I want to quit. It’s the biggest issue that I had with Beautiful Bastard; too much sex, not enough plot. Luckily, the beginning and end of this book was actually about the plot and driven by the characters, so it was a success in my book.

I do feel the big reveal should have happened a lot earlier on in the book because the ending felt very rushed and could have had more of a smooth transition. I’d also like to know if Mia and Ansel really can make it work, it was very unclear to me about that at the end, long term future I mean.

Overall, this exceeded my expectations because I hated Beautiful bastard, so bravo to the writing team that is Christina Lauren. Wonderful job ladies!

Magnolia

Magnolia by Kristi Cook

3.75 stars!

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Magnolia is about Jemma Cafferty, a teenage girl who lives in Mississippi. Her family has always been best friends with the Marsden’s next door, leading back to the War. You know, The Civil War. The two families are constantly pressuring Jemma and Ryder Marsden to get married and unite the families once and for all, the only problem being Jemma and Ryder can’t stand each other.

When Jemma’s parents go out of town for a family emergency, Jemma is left at home alone when a storm starts brewing. Both families insist that Ryder and Jemma remain together through the storm, and it’s then that Jemma and Ryder are able to hash out their differences and clear the air.

I thought this was a wonderful character driven novel. Yes it had the generic “I hate you but I love you” plot, but the author took this and expanded upon it. The book deals mostly with Jemma’s struggle to do what she wants with her life and not to live out her parents’ expectations, the same exact thing Ryder was dealing with at home.

Ryder was an amazing book boyfriend, he took care of Jemma throughout the storm, despite his own fears. He also pushed Jemma to fight for herself, and was one of the few people who understood what she was going through.

I loved the setting of this book as well, the imagery was amazing.
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Great teen read, I would be happy to read a contemporary book by this author in the future.

PS! Forgot to mention that I loved how this book acted as the opposite to a Romeo and Juliet storyline, very cute!

On the Fence

On the Fence by Kasie West

3 teen stars

“Sometimes we expect more than people are capable of giving at the moment.”

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On the Fence is about a girl named Charlie, who grew up motherless and as the only girl in a family with three boys. Charlie’s the true tomboy, only interested in sports, no interest at all in girly things. When she wracks up some fines in speeding tickets her dad makes an ultimatum, she has to get a job and pay for the tickets herself.

The only place Charlie ends up being able to get a job at is a clothing store. And the owner insists that Charlie wears the clothes in the store (as we would expect most clothing stores to). It’s here that Charlie learns about fashion, then makeup, and then ultimately it leads to some small town modeling.

Charlie finds herself being split into two people, tomboy Charlie, and girly Charlie, and she has a hard time finding a way to balance both. The new job also takes away time from her running schedule so she finds herself not being able to sleep at night. Insert Braden, her next door neighbor who is friends with her brother. Braden also has trouble sleeping at night, and the two find themselves talking about everything and anything, over the fence that separates their yards.

I thought this was a very cute YA novel. It’s more of a coming of age book than a romance. The plot centers around Charlie and her struggle with her identity as well as the death of her mother at a young age. I feel that this is a great book for teen girls ages 13-17, but not really for anyone older than that. What I’m saying friends, is that I don’t think adults will gain much from this book.

The romance fell a bit flat for me, Braden was kind of boring and not really there throughout most of the book. The connection between the two and the development of the romance between them felt very sudden. I could see them much better as friends than lovers.

Also, and my friend Lola pointed this out as well, the cover has the girl in a dress. Do the publishers ever read the book? Despite Charlie discovering her girly side, she refused to wear a dress. I’m just sayin’. (Yes the cover dress is cute, but it doesn’t fit the book).

“We can’t let boys define how we feel about ourselves. You have to know who you are before you should let any boy worth anything in.”

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One More Chance

One More Chance (Chance #2; Rosemary Beach #8) by Abbi Glines

3.5 second chance stars

“Love shouldn’t make our choices for us; it should just add importance to our choices.”

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Well that was a nice angsty break from reality!

In One More Chance , Harlow gives Grant was he’s been wishing for, the chance to get her back and prove he can be a man and keep her. There is only one giant problem… Harlow’s pregnant and if she has the baby, she won’t survive it due to a heart condition. Cue drama.

I read Ms. Glines books because they are fun, but her newest ones have felt, well, recycled to me. I am a much bigger fan of the earlier ones she wrote. For instance, all of the men could be interchangeable (except for Rush of course), and the female lead is almost always an innocent little goodie girl who enraptures the lead man with a look. And while this was fun 10+ books ago, I’m still waiting here for something a bit new from this author. Plus, the sex scenes felt really recycled.

I want to read about the broken girl. The bad girl. And that’s how I ended up on Team Nan .

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I know, I know! I shocked even myself! But that small POV from Nan had me more interested in what was happening than the rest of the book. And that was quite a bit of drama!

Again, 3.5 stars is a good rating, I liked it. These books are like crack for the brain. And I will continue on because they are my super guilty pleasure reads 😀

Of Neptune

Of Neptune (The Syrenna Legacy #3) by Anna Banks

3 Neptune stars

“Emma, I will love you with every breath in my body and beyond my own death. I swear to be your shield, your protector, your worshipper. There is nothing I will deny you. I am yours.”

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A great conclusion to a fun series!

To be honest, I was surprised when I heard there was going to be a third book in this series. Personally I thought book two had wrapped up the series fairly well. Boy was I mistaken. This book wrapped up any remaining plot holes from the first two books, and gave the readers the ending they’ve been wishing for.

After the death of Rachel in Of Triton, Galen has been having a rough time. He and Emma agree that some time away from everyone, just the two of them would be the best for a while. Before they both leave on their trip, Emma is given a cryptic suggestion from her grandfather for the two of them to head toward the mountains of Tennessee. There, they find a whole community of Syrena and humans living together in peace, including other half-breeds.

The discovery of the town of Neptune has Galen and Emma at odds with each other, Emma has finally found a place where there are others like her, and Galen sees a community breaking the law. Angst and drama ensues.

I really liked the beginning of this book, it started off very strong, but somewhere around the middle of the book it faded out for me and continued that way. I thought it was strange that pretty much right away Emma and Galen started fighting and not seeing eye to eye, because by the third book, these two should really be on the same page and not be indulging in angsty teen drama (even though I secretly loved it).

The ending was way too quick, it went from build up to –> everyone’s good and happy now in 2.5 seconds. So closure was not exactly perfect, but congrats to the author on an enjoyable teen series. I will be recommending this to teen patrons at work in the future.

I’ve mentioned this in previous reviews (on other sites) that I don’t really understand why the author switches her point of views between first and third person. Is there any real reason why Emma is first person and Galen is third? Because I found it to be unnecessary and distracting.

Honestly, this series is a guilty pleasure read for me, as it does a good job at dealing out angst.

And as I always say, 3 stars means I liked it/enjoyed it. I just didn’t love this/wouldn’t reread it.

Thin Love

Thin Love by Eden Butl

4.5 Wildcat stars

“This is always, Wildcat. You…you’re my always.”

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Soooooooo glad that Feifei recommended this to me! Thanks friend! I love angst in my romances. And boy did this book deliver. It gave angst AND drama which I normally don’t like but it worked well in this book.

Honestly, sometimes great angst is better than great steam in my book. So that makes me weird? Who cares.

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Thin Love is the story of Keira and Kona, the studious girl meets the slacker. But appearances aren’t all they seem to be. When Keira is paired up with Kona for a class project, she’s less than thrilled. Kona may be great looking, and he may play football, but he lacks what she needs in the partner department. Kona isn’t happy about the arrangement either, but as time goes by the two get to know each other better, and they find out they have more in common than they might have realized.

“I don’t want easy. I want the impossible. I want love so thick, I drown in it; it’s the only thing worth having.”

Of course, something comes between them and devastates both of their worlds. But can their love be thick enough to withstand the test of time?

“This time when you walk away, I won’t let you stay gone. This time, Wildcat, I’ll follow.”

I loved the story this book told, it was unconventional yet beautiful with all of its flaws. I liked the idea that two people could fight to stay together when personal dilemmas such as rage issues come into play. Plus, I also ADORE second chance love stories. I didn’t really know going into this one that it was a second chance, so I am super happy it provided me with my second chance angst.

“The past is a slippery vine of regret.”

Some of my thoughts on this book:

-Kona’s mom:
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Seriously. I can’t believe that an educated woman would be that narrow minded and racist. Every time that woman entered the scene I wanted to bitch slap her, even though this book had a huge amount of slapping already.

-I couldn’t help it, but every single time Keira called Kona “Bebe” I pictured this:
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^^^South Park fans will understand.

-OMG the slapping/smacking! This was one of the few things I really didn’t like about the book. I understood the rage issues but after a while every time someone got slapped I rolled my eyes a little bit. Yes it happened that often.
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-I’m not normally one to point out typos, but the misspelling of Keira’s name drove me nuts! Sometimes it was Keira, and at other times it was Kiera. Make a decision!!!

***I would highly recommend this book for fans of the Bad Things series by RK Lilley.

Reasonable Doubt

Reasonable Doubt (#1) by Whitney Gracia Williams

3.5 “Omg RD fans, don’t kill me for giving this a 3” stars

LET ME JUST REMIND EVERYONE THAT UNDER MY RATING CRITERIA, A 3 STAR REVIEW STILL MEANS I LIKED IT!!!

“One dinner. One night. No repeats.”

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No seriously, I really did enjoy this. So don’t attack me peeps!

Reasonable Doubt is the story of Aubrey and Andrew, who actually know each other as Alyssa and Thoreau. They met in an online lawyer chat room and became friends. For the last couple of months, they have confided in each other, given advice, and shared secrets. The only problem? Both of them are hiding things, and soon, some of those secrets will be revealed. There is also the added issue of Andrew not wanting a relationship. He sleeps with them, and then they’re gone. That’s it. Finito.

“Casual sex. Nothing more. Nothing Less.” That line wasn’t there for decoration, and it was in bold print for a reason.”

As I have said multiple times, I really did enjoy this book. But I cannot bring myself to give it 4 or 5 stars when it didn’t really develop its characters. That’s the problem with some novellas, they are so short that the reader only gets a glimpse of the story and the core of the characters, and that’s what happened in this case. I also only rate something 4-5 stars if it wowed me. This book entertained but failed to have the wow/amazing factor for a rating that high…

“Just because someone from your past hurt you doesn’t mean that every woman after her will.”

I will say that I am for sure reading all of the other installments, and I highly recommend this book to my friends who like erotica and romance.

I’m going to go and hide in a corner now…
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The Beautiful Ashes

The Beautiful Ashes (Broken Destiny #1) by Jeaniene Frost

4 action packed stars!

“You’re the light I can never have…and I’m the darkness you’ll never succumb to.”

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It’s no secret that I absolutely adore Jeaniene Frost, and with the conclusion of the Night Huntress series, I was pretty darn excited to see her publishing a new series.

Bring in The Beautiful Ashes , wildly different from her other books, it’s the story of Ivy, a young college girl searching for her sister. After being attacked at the hotel where her sister went missing, a hunky and mysterious guy named Adrian comes to her rescue… and then takes Ivy against her will.

“Beauty fades, but Evil Bitch is forever.”

Turns out that Ivy is a key player in the fight between good and evil, and in order to save her sister from an alternate demon realm, Ivy must help Adrian and an Archon named Zach find a hidden weapon that kills demons. Sounds complicated, no? Well get this, Adrian’s bloodline has a long history of betraying Ivy’s bloodline. With a mounting sexual tension between the two of them, who can Ivy trust to get her sister back?

“Even if you didn’t have that bloodline, I’d still believe in you Ivy.”

I thoroughly enjoyed this book, I think Ms. Frost did a great job showing her writing talents outside the Night Huntress realm.

“Whether by destiny or by choice, neither of us could completely walk away from the other.
Not yet.”

OH MY GOD the world-building!!! The demon realm totally creeped and skeezed me out. I literally was shuddering at some of the descriptions. This is what I imagined some of the less gross parts to look like:

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The chemistry between Ivy and Adrian was HOT. Those two exploded on the pages and I am super excited to where things may lead in the next installments.

“Adrian wasn’t just damaged goods, he was deranged goods, and coming from someone with a history of psychosis, that was saying something.”

The reason it’s not a 5 star book for me? I had a little trouble getting into the book. Part of it was it jumped in almost too quickly with the action and that was a bit disconcerting. The other part is not the author’s fault at all, but this book made me want to go back and reread Halfway to the Grave and I literally had to stop myself from pulling it off my bookshelf. Otherwise, I thought this was a fantastic book.

“Dreams were beautiful things to have, weren’t they?”