Posts tagged fan factor 3

Book Review: Texas Born by Diana Palmer

Book Review: Texas Born by Diana PalmerTexas Born by Diana Palmer
Published by Harlequin on September 16, 2014
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
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four-stars
Their love was born in Texas…

Gabriel Brandon had been her hero ever since she was a girl and he'd rescued her, an orphan, from sure ruin. And Michelle Godrey had loved him forever, the mysterious rancher with the dark eyes, her protector and guardian angel. Now she'd blossomed into a woman. But could Michelle ever cast aside the shadows that lingered between them? Could she show Gabriel that their Lone Star love was true?

I’ve been reading Diana Palmer since grade school, and even if her heroes aren’t exactly politically correct—okay, they have a distinct cavemannish flavor to their alpha stew—she continues to be a guilty pleasure of mine. When I picked up Texas Born, which is a fairly recent addition to her Long, Tall Texans series (true, it’s a couple of years old, but the first books were published in 1988!), I was expecting the usual formula. Which is not a negative point, mind you. When authors are this prolific, they tend to develop formulas over time, and sometimes this is what makes readers so loyal. READ MORE »

Book Review + New Release: The Undoing by Shelly Laurenston

I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.
Book Review + New Release: The Undoing by Shelly LaurenstonThe Undoing by Shelly Laurenston
Series: A Call of Crows #2
on March 29, 2016
Genres: Fantasy, Romance, Urban Fantasy
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five-stars
A risk worth taking…

No one would ever accuse Jace Berisha of having an easy life—considering her husband…you know…killed her. But that was then! Now she fights for mighty Viking gods with the spectacular and vicious Crows.

But things are turning very bad, very quickly because a vengeful, ancient goddess has come into the world with just one thing on her mind—ending it. And the only way they can hope to stop her is if the Crows join forces with their one-time enemies, the Protectors. A Viking Clan created to do nothing but kill every Crow they see.

Thankfully, Protector Ski Eriksen is a peace loving kind of guy. Because the woman he is desperately trying to get close to is the beautiful and not-very-chatty Jace. Battling Nordic clans? Unkillable goddesses? Jace’s mean-spirited dog? None of these things would ever get in the way of a true Viking!

I’ve been a casual Shelly Laurenston fan for a few years now—when I say “casual,” I mean not quite on the auto-purchase level, but the kind where if I see a new book by the author, I’m much more likely to buy it so long as I have the funds. But let me tell you, this new read has me bumping up my fan factor levels for her. The Undoing is book 2 in the author’s new urban fantasy series, A Call of Crows, which began with The Unleashing, a release I missed out on (though not for long!). Still, The Undoing works perfectly fine as a standalone, and I’ll just put it out there: it’s a whopping good read! READ MORE »

Book Review + Excerpt: The Rogue Not Taken by Sarah MacLean

Book Review + Excerpt: The Rogue Not Taken by Sarah MacLean

I received this book for free from Tasty Book Tours in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.
Book Review + Excerpt: The Rogue Not Taken by Sarah MacLeanThe Rogue Not Taken by Sarah MacLean
Series: Scandal & Scoundrel #1
Published by Avon on December 29, 2015
Genres: Historical, Romance
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five-stars
Lady Sophie’s Society Splash
When Sophie, the least interesting of the Talbot sisters, lands her philandering brother-in-law backside-first in a goldfish pond in front of all society, she becomes the target of very public aristocratic scorn. Her only choice is to flee London, vowing to start a new life far from the aristocracy. Unfortunately, the carriage in which she stows away isn’t saving her from ruin . . . it’s filled with it.

Rogue’s Reign of Ravishment!
Kingscote, “King,” the Marquess of Eversley, has never met a woman he couldn’t charm, resulting in a reputation far worse than the truth, a general sense that he’s more pretty face than proper gentleman, and an irate summons home to the Scottish border. When King discovers stowaway Sophie, however, the journey becomes anything but boring.

War? Or More?
He thinks she’s trying to trick him into marriage. She wouldn’t have him if he were the last man on earth. But carriages bring close quarters, dark secrets, and unbearable temptation, making opposites altogether too attractive . . .

Sarah MacLean is one of those authors I frequently recommend to those looking for modern Georgian/Regency romance. So when I saw that she would be starting a new series called Scandal & Scoundrel, of which The Rogue Not Taken is the first installation, I jumped at the chance to do a review for WRFF.

As it happens, this was something my co-blogger, Marian, wasn’t too happy about, as she is also a fan and had been hoping to do a review as well. I should feel bad about that, but I’m pretty glad I beat her to the punch because I loved, loved, loved The Rogue Not Taken!

In fact, I loved it so much, I now find it hard to figure out where to start talking about this novel. It is, of course, a character-driven novel, and the plot revolves around the two main characters’ personal journeys to love and enlightenment, framed by an actual journey northward from London to Cumbria, in the country. READ MORE »

Book Review + Excerpt: Steal Me by Lauren Layne

Book Review + Excerpt: Steal Me by Lauren Layne

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.
Book Review + Excerpt: Steal Me by Lauren LayneSteal Me by Lauren Layne
Series: New York's Finest #2
Published by Forever on November 24, 2015
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four-stars
IN HOT PURSUIT

Being a cop might be in Anthony Moretti's blood, but protecting and serving the city of New York has always been more than just the family business. If that means his love life stays locked up, well then that's just another sacrifice made in the line of duty. That is, until he sets eyes on the gorgeous new waitress at The Darby Diner and suddenly Anthony's morning coffee is leaving him a whole lot more hot and bothered than usual.

Though waitressing at The Darby isn't exactly Maggie Walker's dream job, it pays the bills and gives her time to work on her novel. Now if only she could stop fantasizing about gorgeous Anthony Moretti every time he sits down at her table, she'd really be in great shape. But when he needs her help identifying a criminal threatening The Darby—and Maggie recognizes her ex-husband—she fears her fresh start might be a pipe dream. Faster than a New York minute, Maggie and Anthony find themselves in one perilous pursuit that only gets hotter with each and every rule-breaking kiss.

I first met the Morettis in Frisk Me, the first book in Lauren Layne’s New York’s Finest series. Their family dynamics were interesting to say the least—five men in the police force (or in their dad’s case, used to be), one lawyer, one traditional mother, and one irreverent grandmother. All of them are strong, stubborn individuals who butt heads from time to time. Yet despite how they needle each other, they stand by each other and close ranks when it counts. In Frisk Me, they were all focused on helping Luc get past his partner’s death, in Steal Me, they’re rallying to get Anthony over his relationship phobia–an aversion that’s understandable given his traumatic experience with a clingy, overly dependent ex.

Maggie knows all about horrible exes, but unlike Anthony, she doesn’t have the unconditional love and care of family backing her up. Instead, she has a father who mooches off her under the guise of getting treatment for his alcoholism and an apathetic brother who’s a chip off the old block. It’s no wonder she gravitates toward the warm Morettis who are regulars at the diner she waitresses at. Her feelings for the eldest Moretti brother are anything but familial though. His intensity sets her on edge, leading to her pouring all kinds of things on the Captain, who in turn gets even more aggravated by her. From the get-go, there’s unmistakable tension between the two, one that’s heated up by their grudging attraction to each other. READ MORE »

Book Review + Excerpt: Dirty English by Ilsa Madden-Mills

Book Review + Excerpt: Dirty English by Ilsa Madden-Mills

I received this book for free from TRSoR Promotions in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.
Book Review + Excerpt: Dirty English by Ilsa Madden-MillsDirty English by Ilsa Madden-Mills
Published by Little Dove on October 12, 2015
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
AmazonAdd to Goodreads
four-half-stars
A scarred fighter.
A girl with rules.
One night of unbridled passion.


There are three things you need to know about Elizabeth Bennett: she’s smart as a whip, always in control, and lives by a set of carefully crafted rules. She’s learned the hard way that people you love the most always hurt you in the end.

But then she meets Declan Blay, the new neighbor at her apartment complex.

A tattooed British street fighter, he’s the campus bad boy she’s supposed to avoid, but when he saves her from a frat party gone bad, all her rules about sex and love fly out the window.

She gives him one night of unbridled passion, but he longs for more.

With only a cardboard-thin wall separating their bedrooms, he dreams of possessing the vulnerable girl next door forever.

One night. Two damaged hearts. The passion of a lifetime.
*A modern love story inspired by Pride and Prejudice*

The British are coming! And thankfully so. If there’s an NA book I recently read and didn’t expect to enjoy as much as I did, it’s this one. I knew I’d liked Ilsa Madden-Mills’ Briarcrest Academy series, but Dirty English reacquainted me with this lady’s engaging narration and hot character chemistry. The blurb didn’t quite fit the story as well as it should, but for me, the story delivered a lot more than the blurb promised. READ MORE »

New Release + Book Review: Falling for Danger by Chanel Cleeton

New Release + Book Review: Falling for Danger by Chanel Cleeton

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.
New Release + Book Review: Falling for Danger by Chanel CleetonFalling for Danger by Chanel Cleeton
Series: Capital Confessions #3
Published by InterMix on September 15, 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Romantic Suspense
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four-stars
The author of Flirting with Scandal presents her third book in a sexy contemporary romance series about three sisters in a powerful political family, the scandals that threaten to destroy them, and the passion that drives them…
 
Kate Reynolds has just graduated from college and is determined to make it on her own. Her job as a junior political analyst at the CIA is a dream come true and the perfect opportunity to find answers about the night that’s plagued her for four years—the night she lost her fiancé, Matt, on a Special Forces mission in Afghanistan. Kate’s consumed with uncovering the truth and avenging the man she loved and lost, even if it means risking her own life to prove that his death wasn’t an accident.

When she gets too close to discovering what happened that fateful night and danger arrives on her doorstep, Kate’s stunned by the man who comes to her rescue. Together, they begin to dig for the truth, fighting to stay alive as they’re dragged down into a world of secrets and lies. But when the threat hits close to home, Kate must choose between vengeance and a future with the man who’s ignited a fire inside her that she thought died long ago.

Since I read Playing with Trouble, Chanel Cleeton’s Capital Confessions series had me hooked, and I immediately went on to read Flirting with Scandal, which is actually the first book in the series. I enjoyed the concept of these three sisters who had an influential yet hateful dad and how scandals affect their personal growth and relationships. Jackie impressed me with her drive to succeed despite the circumstances of her birth. Blair won me over with her kindness. All that was left was Kate. She didn’t leave a good impression at the end of Trouble, but I was more than intrigued by what I knew of her backstory.

I expected Falling for Danger to surpass the levels of drama of the previous stories, and it definitely did. While Scandal dealt with affairs and sex tapes and Trouble, with taboo relationships and past addictions, Danger dealt with…well, danger. You’ve got Kate dauntlessly trying to expose her father’s wrongdoings, which would pretty much signify the end of his career. You’ve got death threats and actual deaths and not-quite deaths. How could that not be dramatic? With lives on the line, the stakes are so much higher.  READ MORE »

Book Review: By the Horns by Rachael Slate

I received this book for free from the author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.
Book Review: By the Horns by Rachael SlateBy the Horns by Rachael Slate
Series: Chinese Zodiac Romance #2
on July 28, 2015
Genres: Fantasy, Paranormal Romance, Romance, Urban Fantasy
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four-half-stars
Enter a secret guild of assassins…
As a member of the Lotus League, Natalie Quan is as lethal as she is invisible. Her newest mission brings her to Malaysia, and straight into the arms of the man she relinquished to her past. The only man who has ever seen through her outward façade to her soul. And the one who stands between her and her goal of hosting one of the twelve spirit animals of the Chinese Zodiac—the Snake. To keep the Snake and finally defeat the demon of her past, she’ll have to slip into one more disguise.

Some masks never hide the truth…
The last person Kassian Weld, Chosen of the Ox, expects to be named their newest member is Natalie. Years ago, she disappeared without a word. Now, she’s back with a sexy air of confidence, tempting him to end his pledge of celibacy. Despite her claims of being a capable assassin, no way in hell will Kassian allow Natalie to host the Snake—a volatile spirit. Yet, Natalie is as driven to succeed as Kassian is determined to ensure she fails.

The vows that brought them together threaten to tear them apart…
Natalie is bound to the Lotus League, Kassian is devoted to his oaths, and they are both sworn to their fates as Chosen. The forbidden spark of desire reigniting between them threatens to consume their destinies. But when Kassian unmasks Natalie’s darkest secret, they’ll risk every vow they’ve taken for one chance to seize passion together…by the horn

I’m going to start our my review and say that because I’ve got a pretty significant fan factor rating on this author and this series, I am probably not going to be as objective as I usually like to be. I’ve been a Rachael Slate fan since reading and reviewing her first novel (in life and in this series), Trancing the Tiger, in February. And since I learned book two was due out around this time of year, I’ve been waiting for By the Horns ever since, which was why I jumped at the chance to review it.

Although I was wishing against all odds for a Dragon story, I knew it wasn’t going to be that just from the title. Nevertheless, Kassian, Chosen of the Ox, had intrigued me as a character in the first novel because what I glimpsed of him gave off a what-you-see-is-what-you-get and good-old-boy vibe that didn’t quite run true, like it was a facade he was good at projecting. I was expecting Slate to take this apart in this novel, but surprisingly, that didn’t happen. Instead, I realized that first impressions can still ring true, even when they don’t represent the full story. In this case, the Kassian I’d glimpsed in Trancing the Tiger was the one he’d made himself to be. It’s part of what we see in By the Horns, but we also see who Kassian was before. And this made me like him all the more. READ MORE »

Book Review + Author Bucket List: Upside Down by Lia Riley

Book Review + Author Bucket List: Upside Down by Lia Riley

I received this book for free from NetGalley, the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.
Book Review + Author Bucket List: Upside Down by Lia RileyUpside Down by Lia Riley
Series: Off the Map #1
Published by Forever on May 12, 2015
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
AmazonBarnes & NobleiBooksAdd to Goodreads
four-stars
If you never get lost, you'll never be found…
Twenty-one-year-old Natalia Stolfi is saying good-bye to the past-and turning her life upside down with a trip to the land down under. For the next six months, she'll act like a carefree exchange student, not a girl sinking under the weight of painful memories. Everything is going according to plan until she meets a brooding surfer with hypnotic green eyes and the troubling ability to see straight through her act.

Bran Lockhart is having the worst year on record. After the girl of his dreams turned into a nightmare, he moved back home to Melbourne to piece his life together. Yet no amount of disappointment could blind him to the pretty California girl who gets past all his defenses. He's never wanted anyone the way he wants Talia. But when Bran gets a stark reminder of why he stopped believing in love, he and Talia must decide if what they have is once in a lifetime . . . or if they were meant to live a world apart.

Review

This May, we at Will Read for Feels are celebrating books related to traveling, so there couldn’t be a better time to feature the re-release of Lia Riley’s Upside Down. I actually read this prior to Carry Me Home, and as I mentioned in my review, I was drawn by the pretty cover, the premise of the story, and Jennifer L. Armentrout’s cover blurb.

Leaving is the only way to move forward.
If I never get lost, I’ll never be found.

The whole “traveling to another place to find/figure out/fix oneself” is in no way new, but as it goes with other tropes, I was excited to see how Lia would put her own touch to it. I happily discovered that Upside Down was special, particularly because of its unique characters. Talia suffered from guilt, low self-esteem, and most surprising, obsessive-compulsive disorder. The latter two issues resonated with me, and I found it interesting how Lia shared that she herself had OCD. That alone made Talia’s personality feel really genuine and relatable. READ MORE »

Book Review: Rematch by Rachael Slate

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

This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.
Book Review: Rematch by Rachael SlateRematch by Rachael Slate
Series: Chinese Zodiac Romance #1.5
on May 12, 2015
Genres: Fantasy, Paranormal Romance, Romance, Urban Fantasy
AmazonAdd to Goodreads
four-stars
Thirteen Zodiac animals entered the Great Race. Only twelve became Chosen

After failing the test to join the Lotus League, Wen Pierce will do anything to prove herself worthy. Even if it means being demoted to a maid in the house of one of the Eight Immortals—Li Tieguai. But this seductive yet surly immortal wants only one thing—her surrender to his rigid control. On his remote, magical island she’ll fade into the background of his tortured existence. Unless she can convince him she can steal anything…including the one thing he believes he’s lost forever.

A spirit outcast and denied…

Tricked by the Monkey King, Li Tieguai lives in shame and surrounds himself with other outcasts, like the spirit animal Cat. But when the vibrant and sultry Wen is assigned to his household and offers to thieve for him, she just might steal more than he planned.

On the edge of redemption, lies temptation…

Li isn’t the only one who can’t resist Wen. The spirit Cat offers Li the solution he’s longed for, but to atone for his past, he’ll have to endure a future…without Wen.

I’ve been a fan of Rachael Slate’s since I got my hands on a copy of Book 1 of her Chinese Zodiac Romance series, Trancing the Tiger. So I went into a slight tizzy when I learned that, while waiting for Book 2, By the Horns, the author would be releasing a novella entitled Rematch. This went live on May 12, and I was lucky enough to get my hands on an ARC for it. Because it was a short, sweet read, I blazed through it in less than two hours. Then, just for the hell of it, I read it a second time the next day.

If you’re expecting a continuation of Trancing the Tiger, you’ll be disappointed. But the good news is that this novella can work as a stand alone read set in the same world as the rest of the novels. And fans of TTT will be pleased by cameos from Sheng, Lucy, and the Matchmaker, so it’s all to the good.

rematch-teaser2

READ MORE »

Book Review + Excerpt: A Matter of Heart by Amy Fellner Dominy

Book Review + Excerpt: A Matter of Heart by Amy Fellner Dominy

I received this book for free from NetGalley, The Fantastic Flying Book Club in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review + Excerpt: A Matter of Heart by Amy Fellner DominyA Matter of Heart by Amy Fellner Dominy
Published by Delacorte Press on May 12, 2015
Genres: Contemporary YA, YA Romance, Young Adult
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Readers will happily sink into this emotionally grounded, contemporary young adult novel about the sudden end of one girl's Olympic swimming dreams and the struggles she endures before realizing there are many things that define who we are.

Sixteen-year-old Abby Lipman is on track to win the state swim championships and qualify for the Olympic trials when a fainting incident at a swim meet leads to the diagnosis of a deadly heart condition. Now Abby is forced to discover who she is without the one thing that's defined her entire life.

Review

You know how sometimes you read a book one time and think it’s pretty good, then you read it again and realize, “Hey, this is so much more than good. It’s awesome!” That’s how A Matter of Heart was for me.

“You’ve got it, Abby. The whole package. You’re talented, you work hard, and you have heart.”

This is the story of Abby, a high school swimmer who’s poised to qualify for the Olympics screening. She’s got everything made, from the supportive parents to the terrific best friend to the hot boyfriend who just happens to be her male counterpart when it comes to the pool. Then an unexpected incident prompts a visit to the doctor, and Abby and her parents find out that she’s got hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM), a fatal condition. And that boils down to one big thing—she can’t swim anymore. At least, not competitively.

I’m drowning. The doctor has told me I can’t swim, and now I’m drowning.

READ MORE »

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April Reviews

Book Review + Excerpt + Giveaway: The Debutante Is Mine by Vivienne LorretBook Review: Texas Born by Diana PalmerBook Review + New Release: Thrown Down by Tessa BaileyBook Review: Paper Princess by Erin WattBook Review + Excerpt + Giveaway: Six Degrees of Scandal by Caroline LindenBook Review + New Release: Take Me, Cowboy by Maisey Yates

Books Reviewed This Year

We have reviewed 45/150 books so far this year.

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