The Wolf’s Pursuit (London Fairy Tales #3) by Rachel Van Dyken

The wolfs pursuitBlurb: What happens when one is both Hunter and Wolf?
You know it’s going to be a bad day when you get shot at—twice. Hunter Wolfsbane, Duke of Haverstone, also known as “Wolf” is having exactly one of those days. Things take a turn for the worse when he’s notified that he’ll be acquiring a partner for his newest mission. The rub? He’s kissed her—twice. In his defense, she was already ruined, but it didn’t help matters that she was the sister-in-law to his best friend in the world.

And how does a woman protect her heart from one who has the power to destroy every-thing she holds dear?
Lady Gwendolyn has only one thing on her mind–Finding the Wolf and strangling him where he stands. Unfortunately, she needs him to complete one final mission for the Crown and to keep her family safe. It has absolutely nothing to do with her attraction to him, or his golden eyes, or his wicked smile, or the fact that he’s convinced to keep his heart encased in ice—that is, if he still possesses one.

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Favorite quote: 

It’s easier to believe you’re a failure. So much easier than trying to wrap your mind around the simple truth or perhaps the idea that you are so much more than you choose to be.

4 stars

Another great story in this series.  I’ve been waiting for this one cause I had a feeling it would be my favorite and I was right.  I do love the Little Red Riding Hood re-tellings.

I loved Red’s spunk.  She wasn’t afraid to challenge cultural norms in this era and used her sex to her advantage in her missions.  Her loyalty to her country is steadfast and strong. She just had such a great depth of character.

The wolf was exactly what you expect.  He liked her, obviously, but he resisted temptation and the chance at a happiness because of fear.  He was incredibly vulnerable emotionally but physically strong, a compelling contrast in a historical romance. His loyalty was worth more than anything to him, you will see what I mean when you read the book.

The third book in this series can be read as a stand alone.  They are parallel stories about sisters.

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98: The Witch’s Prophecy (Rise of the Battle-Bred #2) by V.L. Holt

98Blurb: In this clean YA paranormal romance, William and Jane learn the steps to their new friendship while forces around them are converging on Deer Fjord to create a battleground of historic proportions. William and his father are under suspicion of murder and Jane is recovering from a Lochspawn attack.

Woven throughout this urban adventure is Agnes’ life story, written in her own words. Agnes is one of the First Mothers, a child of the Middle Ages and a devoted Christian. Details about the creation of the Warrior race finally come to light in her heartrending history.

 

 

 

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4 stars

This book definitely raised questions that need to be answered in the third book. It’s been so long since I read the first one that I was a bit confused reading it. But I caught up pretty quickly.

Not a lot of action in this book, actually, almost no action.  This book gives us loads of flashbacks and backstory.  I gotta say the backstory was exceptionally interesting to me.  I loved the way it was told through Agnes journal.  She had a third eye when it came to people and could see right into their hearts.  She was guarded but not afraid, headstrong but not foolish.  By far my favorite character to date in this series.

Jane and Williams relationship seems to stagnate a bit in this book since they don’t really see much of each other, so the romance suffered in my eyes.

We do get to see more of the Z guys as I like to call them.  Whether or not they are the big bad isn’t really made clear to us, at least to me it wasn’t.  It was clear they had an alterior agenda but we didn’t really see them being straight up evil.  It’s all implied at this point.

I am anticipating the third installment in this series. I do need to say I think this book ended rather abruptly and with no real closure for me, but from what I remember, the first book was like that as well.

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True Love and Magic Tricks (Beds 0.5) by Becca Ann and Tessa Marie

22737979Blurb: Kaylee Sperling is a social butterfly with a million acquaintances, but no real close friends. The closest thing she has is her pet gerbil, Mr. Pippi, and 150 notes from a random classmate who won’t reveal who he is. But she’s crossing her fingers it’s the self-proclaimed magician and total hottie, Nate Hatfield.

Nate needs an assistant for the upcoming talent show. When he spots Kaylee folding herself in half during gym class stretches, he nervously asks for help with his magic act. But after a disappearing mishap, resulting in an accident with one of Kaylee’s only friends, Mr. Pippi, Nate must figure out how not only to keep his assistant, but someone who’s come to mean much more to him than his illusions.

 

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5 Stars

Where is his Fedora and her pigtails on the cover?  This vexes me.  Beyond that, I floved this book.

Kaylee was so cute and seemed so confident with her crush when he asked her to assist him.  Her ability to be approachable and friendly but not have any real close friends is something I think we can all relate too.

And Nate was adorkable in this book.  He seemed so clumsy except when he was doing magic.  Then he transformed into Mr. Confident.  It was awesome to read.  Their relationship seemed to go pretty quick and the feelings were deep and intense from the get go.  But it didn’t seem too much too soon, ya know?

Having read this after the the series, it was a nice look into the beginning of their relationship and how they came to be so close.  We get to see into Kaylee’s and Nates home life a bit more here.  These little things brang depth to the characters.  It was a quick, fun read and, of course, it won’t be my last from these authors.

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Lonesome Beds and Bumpy Roads (Beds #3) by Becca Ann and Tessa Marie

25404229Blurb: Lexie Boggs has dealt with enough drama for one teenage girl, and just when she thinks it’s about over, the father who abandoned her a decade ago shows up looking for redemption. At least… that’s what he says.

Ryan Parker thinks his future is set. He’s got a sweet job set up, graduation on the horizon, and a lifetime of dreams he’s planned with his girlfriend, Lexie—including a king-sized bed for their soon-to-be apartment. Only a slight snag tugs at the fantasy when Lexie starts putting aside all she’s worked hard on for her deadbeat dad and his “sickness.”

Suddenly school is the only time spent together, and as Ryan expresses his suspicions about why Daddy Boggs is really back, Lexie pulls away, hoping Ryan is wrong but fearing he’s right. And as graduation approaches, Ryan and Lexie struggle to keep the futures they thought they had firmly intact from crumbling all over their now lonely king-sized bed.

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5 stars!

This book kinda blew me away.  I expected them to have to deal with living together and their new lives as college students.  All the learning that occurs during that time.

But no, these authors had to go and throw my heart in a blender.  I mean, I thought for sure daddy was a douche canoe.  Lexie’s POV made me think, maybe, just maybe, he is really here for her and wants to make it right.  Usually I can peg a story line pretty quickly but this one I was unsure where it was headed.  Lexie really grew on me in this book.  She was trying to make the mature choices and thinking things through.  She was giving her dad a chance, which is more than I can say for Ryan.

Ryan was clear cut in this book. He knew how he felt about Lexie’s dad and was candid about his jealousy almost from the start I felt.  What I loved was that he owned it, he didn’t make excuses.  He tried to be the supporting boyfriend without being possessive and making her choose between them.  And he never gave up trying to make it work, most guys his age would have I think.

I also loved how her mom had her own demons in this book.  She’s been on the wagon for a while now and I was concerned dad showing up was gonna be a trigger.  The authors handled that temptation exquisitely IMO.  It was a great, in-depth scene.  Something so small that had such a huge impact really lets you know the authors have done their homework to keep the story line consistent.

This is a great series.

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Beach Side Beds and Sandy Paths (Beds #2) by Becca Ann and Tessa Marie

21939908Blurb: Written by Cassie Mae and Theresa Paolo under the pen names Becca Ann and Tessa Marie

Ryan Parker has loved his best friend for the past ten years, and after a weeklong ski trip, he finally got bumped out of the friend zone. Things seem perfect, until Ryan finds out his mom has a second family, and his half-brother, Brett shows up on his porch. When Ryan gets invited to spend his spring break with Lexie at a beach house, his grandparents suggest Brett go with to provide them with more bonding time.

Lexie Boggs fell in love with her best friend. After the best four months of her life, she’s ready to spice things up in her relationship. The beach side bed seems like the perfect place to seduce Ryan, except he seems off lately. His temper boils at the surface, and having Brett around isn’t helping.

When they all get crammed in the beach house, Lexie tries to mend the growing rift between the two brothers, while Ryan tries to forget his brother even exists.

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4 stars

This one took a nice turn from the last one.  I loved how the physical relationship evolved. The decision to take a relationship at that age to the next level has so many variables and the teenage brain generally is not mature enough to make those decisions IMO.

But Lexie and Ryan’s parental background comes with growing up early and they have had to deal with things a normal teenager usually doesn’t.  Their relationship gets physical very fast but it makes sense to me.  The authors made the decision an emotional one instead of a purely physical and I love how Ryan was able to see that he wasn’t ready yet and he would be doing it for the wrong reasons.  It was an eye opening moment for his character and I admired that he had the restraint he did.  Most teenagers are guided by their emotions and jump in without really thinking.

I also was happy that it was Lexie who was pushing for it.  Although, I kinda got mad at her because she was pushing for it without really listening to Ryan’s side.  If she was the guy in the relationship I would feel the same way.  But she redeemed herself in the end, thank goodness. I was on the verge of not liking her at all.

I think Ryan’s had more growth in this book than Lexie this time around.  He was dealing with a brother he never knew about and the expectations the grandparents have for him are a bit overwhelming understandably.  He had a hard time dealing with that and their new physical relationship.  His feelings were written beautifully in this book.  He really stood out for me in this one.

Bottom line: go read this book.

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King Sized Beds and Happy Trails (Beds #1) by Becca Ann and Tessa Marie

20782774Blurb: Written by authors Cassie Mae and Theresa Paolo under the pen names Becca Ann and Tessa Marie

Lexie Boggs needs out of her house… away from her alcoholic mother and far away from the “white trash” label that’s been smacked across her chest. She’s saved every penny from her multiple jobs so she can dart out of there as soon as she graduates. But there’s something else she wants so badly she’s willing to spend every dime she has. Her senior class trip and the chance to seduce the senior hottie, Sean Dixon.

Ryan Parker knows how much college means to his best friend, Lexie. He also knows Sean is a player on a search for how many girls he can get in his bed. So instead of letting Lexie drain out her piggy bank, he forks out the dough to get her on the senior ski trip. Not only because she’s his best friend, but because he’s face-planted in love with her.

When Ryan and Lexie get jammed in the same cabin, with one king-sized bed and a whole lot of history, Ryan fights to keep his feelings hidden, while Lexie discovers some of hers.

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4 stars

So this is my 10th…Er… 11th book by Cassie Mae AKA Becca Ann I think. It’s a sweet YA love story.  I had a few issues with it though. And I don’t know if its because I’ve read so many of her books that I am familiar with them now or if I just have a stick up my butt.

First off, Ryan was kind of a doormat for me in this book.  I get why he did it but it still irritated me.  Secondly, I found Lexie was a bit too self involved for me.  She didn’t really take anything Ryan had to say in to account.  He is supposed to be her best friend and she disregarded his input.

Other than that, the story was awesome. The setting was romantic and the clumsiness was hilarious.  I especially loved the supporting characters, Nate and Kaylee and her alcoholic mother was a nice touch.  I can totally relate to that. Their love story was solid and gave a deeper look into their lives that I enjoyed.

I found the climax to be a bit overdone but they ARE teenagers so a little over the top was to be expected.  But the make up scenes were THE BEST.  Super hot for a YA.

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Broken Promises by H.M. Ward

Blurb:
26833766When Celebrity Magazine declares rock star Trystan Scott the sexiest man alive, I’m not surprised. How can anyone claim otherwise about those blazing blue eyes, rock-hard abs, dark hair, and a totally lickable dimple?

Before the billionaire playboy rose to stardom, we were friends for a while and lovers for a night. Though that was nearly a decade ago, our connection burns brightly in my memory. We weren’t a one night stand, not to me.

I can admit it–I got played. To him, I was just another conquest. My beautiful best friend is long gone, and I’ve moved on. But when fate forces us to meet face to face, everything I felt for him comes rushing back.

Trystan is crashing and burning fast. The press flock like vultures, waiting for him to kill himself or worse. Either way, his mistakes earn them millions.

One night, one time, one word is all it takes to wash away a decade of reason and regret. One secret threatens to push him six feet under, and, when those beautiful eyes turn to me for help, how can I say no?

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My Review:
2.5 stars — I’m a fast reader normally.  But rereading this series (which I probably gave higher stars than they deserved, but maybe b/c I thought something good would happen at the end) and reading this book has proved to me that I’m only a fast reader when the story is compelling.  I read it because I needed to know how Trystan and Mari’s story ended up, but I was disappointed.  Majorly disappointed.  There wasn’t much of a Trystan and Mari love story at all.  Mari is with someone else.  For like 80% of the book.  So if you were hoping for all the grown up romance, you’re probably going to be disappointed in that aspect.

I’ve discovered that I don’t think Ms. Ward’s writing style is for me.  I don’t have the patience.  This is basically like a soap opera in book form.  And that’s just not for me.  No disrespect to people who like that, there are lots of readers who do!  I just don’t happen to be one of them, so I don’t think I’m going to invest in anymore books by this author.  We’re just not a match.

Things that didn’t work for me (spoiler free): The lack of romance.  Supposedly there is a connection between them, but I felt it more in the previous series.  So on that note, if you do want to read this book, I HIGHLY recommend you read the accompanying Secret Life of Trystan Scott novella serial series to get the most out of it, otherwise you’ll be feeling lacking.

Things that didn’t work for me that are SPOILERS, so don’t read this paragraph unless you’ve read the book or don’t plan on reading the book: 1) The paranormal aspect.  I mean, seriously?  They can feel each other’s feelings through touch?  No.  Either write a paranormal or write a contemporary…I like both, but don’t add a touch just because you can’t write the appropriate chemistry between them.  2) Seth.  I was mad when he died.  And for god’s sake, if you’re going to have that be a mistake, then put some effort into it and make it believable, don’t just throw it in at the end so it’s all one big happy ending.  3) I wasn’t super keen on all the Derrick being Trystan’s brother thing, but I mostly wasn’t happy with the half-brother turning out not to be an abusive jerk too when all signs pointed in that direction.  Very inconsistent with what we learn of his character earlier on.  4) Derrick throws her engagement ring at her, and she still says yes?  Um, what?  5) She watches Derrick abuse his mother, and doesn’t tell him off?  And she’s still going to marry him.  Great backbone.  You need him to hit his mother before it’s too far?  *sigh*  6) Where’s the resolution with her father?  He was an abusive asshole who seems to still be an abusive asshole, but then it’s all “I love you Daddy” at the end?  Great character and relationship development.  7) Trystan’s father kidnaps him, after almost killing him, and the mother really wouldn’t have called the cops?  And since he apparently never changed his name, she really couldn’t find him all that time?  What about when he became famous?

Basically the problem is lack of believability.  It was a lot of sensationalism and shock value thrown in a pot without background and rationalization.  Heck, even the blurb is a bit misleading.  Strangely I didn’t have as much problem with Trystan’s issue that had him get in the accident.  I saw a lot of other reviewers were bothered by it, but it would have been ok without everything else heaped on top of it.

I just don’t have the patience for this kind of story if you’re not going to give me a good dose of romance to keep me happy.  OK, I’m tired, and this is sounding ranty, so that’s it for me.  Just not my bag, baby….

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Revealed by H.M. Ward

Blurb:
51OQCF3BZ2L._SY346_Fame has a price and Trystan doesn’t want to pay it. Everything he worked so hard to hide is about to be revealed. Nothing he can do will stop it. Within a few short hours everyone will know about his father and the sordid details of his past. Brie is by his side, sputtering things that she shouldn’t know. Did Mari stab him in the back? After everything they’ve been through, he can’t believe it, but where is she?

There are four words Trystan’s father said that haunt him—four words that he ignored—never fall in love.

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My Review:
3 stars — OK, first things first: that blurb is really misleading.  I hate that.

Second, if I didn’t know there was another followup novel in the future, this ending would seriously piss me off.  I feel like I invested in this serial (that is really kind of expensive for what you get), and we didn’t really get much of a plot at all.  It kind of felt like a soap opera where it keeps going and going, but at the end you didn’t really get much.  There was no resolution with either parents.  You got a glimmer of their futures, but I didn’t really believe it was going to all work out nice, so it felt like it just kind of ended abruptly.  And thinking of it from the other perspective, KNOWING there is another book in the future (and seeing a glimpse of what it’s supposed to be about and that they are separated) I will admit to being confused with the happy (ish) ending.  So that was kind of disappointing too.

I guess I liked reading more Trystan and Mari together, and I enjoyed seeing the Seth and Katie bits, but all in all it was just kind of unsatisfying.  Oooooo, I also really loved the Tucker stuff.  I really hope Broken Promises delivers what was missing in this serial novella series.  It was cute, but it could have been a lot shorter and with more meat.

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Blood Solstice (Tale of Lunarmorte #3) by Samantha Young


10775474Blurb:
 In the final installment of The Tale of Lunarmorte, Caia is caught between the most powerful beings in her world, and they are all desperate to use her for their own means. While Caia struggles to find her purpose, tragedy strikes close to home, and time runs out.
Now she must decide if she will join the extremists she was trying to destroy… or bring them all down on her own terms…

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3 stars

I don’t like this cover either.  I don’t really get what it has to do with the story itself.  And honestly this story took a wild turn for me.    The ending was underwhelming to say the least.  I just couldn’t wrap my head around how easy it was for her to beat the big bad.  And we never find out what her ‘special’ power is.  That was a huge loose end that needed to be tied up IMO.

So let’s see, you would think after ALL the trials and tribulations Caia and Lucien go through, they would have a strong relationship.  But nooooo, surprise surprise, he still doesn’t trust her to be able to take care of herself and respect her decisions.  Not that Lucien is the only one who suffers from stupidity, Caia is an idiot about the whole situation.  Sorry to be mean about it but this series started out so good and just went downhill for me making me really angry and maybe a bit bitter as well.

Although I will say that once again, Jaeden and Ryder’s story saved this book from being a total loss for me.  I felt her pain, I felt his anger and hopelessness.  They had such a traumatic experience that I cried. I cried a lot at that one part.  You know which I mean Lenore, right?  Anyway,  if it wasn’t for the side characters in this story I may have DNF’d this book, which is sad because it’s the last book in the series.

I don’t really have much else to say about this story, as a whole it was good,  this last one just was a bit irritating for me.

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Shattered by H.M. Ward

Blurb:
51tseqQBbdL.jpgAfter Mari’s attempt to help Trystan goes horribly wrong they are both forced to deal with the consequences.

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My Review:
3.5 stars — Well that synopsis is horribly short.  After such a major cliffhanger, I didn’t realize that I never went on to find out what happened next (probably b/c this book wasn’t out yet), so this was my first read through!  I find that while I’m still really interested in Mari and Trystan, I’m not sure if this style of serial novella series is for me.  It feels like not enough happens in each book, and I don’t know if it’s just me, but these books definitely feel shorter than the 200 pages they claim to be.  It takes me less than 2 hours to read them.  So it doesn’t feel really satisfying.

I will say that I was kind of disappointed in the predictability of the story — totally saw what was going to happen with Brie.  Totally called Trystan briefly trying to push Mari away.  Sometimes I don’t mind a predictable storyline, but I might not be in the right frame of mind for it right now, kwim?  But I’m invested at this point, so I will finish this, I just doubt I will bother getting involved in any more of these kinds of series by this author.  It’s just not to my *personal* taste.

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