Rachel's books

I'm a registered nurse.  Reading gives me that escape I need.  I read primarily romance in all genres.

 

 

Thief of Shadows

Thief of Shadows - Elizabeth Hoyt

After reading Scandalous Desires, I really was looking forward to this one (and like S.D., the epilogue sets up book 5). I wasn't disappointed. Winter was everything anyone could want in one of the main characters. Isabel was a good character too, even if I took a little longer to warm up to her.
But back to Winter. He is an unconventional character in a historical romance. He's not of the nobility. He's the son of a beer brewer who runs an orphanage. He is poor. He is younger than Isabel. He is a virgin. I can't think of anything I didn't absolutely adore! Bottom line: he and Isabel are perfect together.
I enjoyed the secondary characters. I would have liked a bit more on the mystery of the "lassie snatchers," like was Roger in on it? And who murdered him? Maybe book 5 will tell that story?
Character guide and spoilers:

Isabel Beckinhall was married to a much older man when she was very young, he died leaving his mistress and son (Christoper) without. Isabel takes in Christoper. It turns out she's had many miscarriages and has been told she is barren.
Winter: single, runs the foundling home, teaches, virgin, ghost of St Giles (one of them).
Both Temperance (#1) and Hero (#2) find out they are pregnant.
Margaret (Griffin's sister) was in love with and pregnant by Roger Fraser-Burnsby. He's murdered in this book. Presumably by Ghost of St Giles. RF-B was friends with Viscount Adam d'Argue (might be an interesting character), Earl Kershaw, and Mr Seymour (killed by Winter in self-defense, was also responsible for abuse and enslavement of the poor girls).
St John is Lazarus's (Lord Caire of book 1) friend mourning death of wife, Clara. His book is next. He also happens to be the Ghost of St Giles. One of them.

(show spoiler)

Temporal Shift

Temporal Shift - Nina Croft

This picks right up where book 3 (Death Defying) left off with the Blood Hunter going into the black hole to escape their pursuers.  They find another world, an alternate/parallel universe. However, things aren't as they seem,

Saffira has spent her life being told she is the one who will save her people.  She is a "time-mancer."  She also happens to be the strongest "time-mancer" and can see the past/future.  She is very sheltered and naive.  I found her annoying.

Devlin (met him in previous book) is the leader of the rebellion.  He is hell bent on revenge for the murder of his brother.  I thought he was an asshole for most of the book and when he came around, it was too late for me.

I was disappointed in this one.  What was a good sci-fi romance got boggled down with the time travel element.  I would have liked more on the world they landed on.  Then, there's the "Old Ones."  I didn't like how they only "changed" the men.  Women need not apply.  Sexist much?

Not sure if I will read the next.  

Dead Heat

Dead Heat  - Patricia Briggs
This is one of my least favorite of the Alpha and Omega series so far (in the Mercy Thompson World/Universe). Anna's birthday is coming up, so Charles plans to get her a surprise. It turns out Charles is old friends with Joseph who just happens to own an Arabian horse farm. Off to Arizona they go- for pleasure and not a job. But, you know it's Charles, so of course something has to happen!
There is a powerful fae loose who is preying on children. Charles and Anna step-up to find the culprit along with Leslie (FBI agent from previous book) and 2 new Cantrip agents (who actually weren't all that bad). 
I get that Charles is 200+ years old. Yes, he has a history. But my issue with this book was, he DIDN'T TELL ANNA ANYTHING! This is what Charles said when he talked about Maggie: "We dated once upon a time," he told her somberly. "Though 'dating' is too formal a word for it. Flirting is better, but too lighthearted." Yeah, I got that they were in LOVE and she picked Joseph for Reasons. But he never forgot her and she him. Whatever dude. You. Had. A. Relationship. And didn't see fit to tell Anna about any of it. No heads up, nothing. 
As for other female characters, I did like Chelsea and Mackie. (Although Mackie is 5). For the most part I do like Anna and I think she's grown so much over the course of the series. What I didn't like (and this is coming from someone who doesn't have kids and NEVER wanted them, so I might not be the best judge here) what her persistence in getting Charles to say yes to kids. I was annoyed that his "no" wasn't treated as a no, but rather something she could change if she pressed hard enough.
So, while I still like this series, I think I'm falling out of love a little bit.
 
 

 

Love Lessons

Love Lessons - Heidi Cullinan
This was one of the better new adult books I've read. Both Kelly and Walter are likable, the secondary characters are as well. I thought the angst was on point with coming out (for Kelly). However, the angst was also my problem too. It was frustrating; the angst, uncertainty, and *knowing* what the other was thinking. Ack! Just talk already!
I liked the slow-burn. They got to know each other first. I thought they complimented each other perfectly!
One of the things that really irritated me (and considering Walter's family history) was Kelly threatening to hide his Epipen/eat almonds. Just no. I wanted to slap him for that.
 
 

 

Paradise 21

Paradise 21 - Aubrie Dionne

Well, I am a bit disappointed that for such a futuristic book (the crew of the New Dawn have been in space for about 300 years and have another 200 years to go) had way too many patriarchal assholes. Men are the ones in power with women (mostly) in a helpmate/breeding role. Ick. 
Aries was born on the ship and had her job and husband all picked out for her. Barliss was chosen for her and all he sees in her is what she can do for him and give him. She plans her escape and reaches a desert planet Sahara 354. 
I thought that was interesting and wish more time had been spent on the natives there. Barliss (of course) comes after her and destroys what he sees as in his way. I wanted him to have either some epiphany that he was as asshole OR have something (bad) happen to him. He gets rewarded instead. I'm not sure how I feel about the ending with Tiff and Loot.
While the falling in love was fast, there wasn't much romance in this one. Overall, while I liked it, I'm not sure if I will continue on with this series. Book 2 has an overall higher average then this one, so maybe 1 more?

Romanceopoly Update the 1st

Romanceopoly

 

Rolled a 2 (doubles) and opted to stay:  Library -> Before the Dawn 1/2

Rolled a 6:  Memory Lane -> Scandelous Desires 1/4

Rolled a 5:  LGBT Lane -> Love Lessons 1/8

Rolled a 4 (doubles) and opted to roll again- 11: Taxi -> Dead Heat 1/13

Rolled a 6: Alien Ave -> Temporal Shift -> 1/16

Rolled a 5:  Mayfair: -> Thief of Shadows

2019 Reading Assignment Challenge-Spring Semester; Update the 1st

Reading Assignment Challenge- 2019

5 months through May.  Sign up in May for Summer (June-Aug) 

AuthorLuv Intermediate Class: 2 books per month (10) same author- Elizabeth Hoyt

Jan

1.  Scandalous Desires - Elizabeth Hoyt  1/4

2.

Feb

3.

4.

Mar

5.

6.

Apr

7.

8.

May

9.

10.

 

Genre Advanced Class:  3 books per month (15) same genre- I'm going to mix it up and go with Sci-fi romance (fill in as I go) 

Jan

1. Paradise 21  1/5

2. Temporal Shift  1/16

3.

Feb

4.

5.

6.

Mar

7.

8.

9.

Apr

10.

11.

12.

May

13.

14.

15.

 

Mix-It-Up Advanced Class:  3 books per month (15) from set list 

Jan

1.  Dead Heat- Patricia Briggs  1/13

2.

3.

Feb

4.

5.

6.

Mar

7.

8.

9.

Apr

10.

11.

12.

May

13.

14.

15.

 

This is the list:

1.  A Magical Match- Juliet Blackwell

2.  Absolutely, Positively- Heather Webber

3.  A Witch's Handbook of Kisses and Curses- Molly Harper

4.  The Dangers of Dating a Rebound Vampire-Molly Harper

5.  Dead Heat- Patricia Briggs

6.  Night Broken- Patricia Briggs

7.  Darkness Rises- Dianne Duvall

8.  Night Unbound- D. Duvall

9.  Magic Shifts- Ilona Andrews

10. Magic Binds- I. Andrews

11. Shield of Winter- Nalini Singh

12. Shards of Hope- N. Singh

13. The Prophet- Amanda Stevens

14. The Visitor- A. Stevens

15. Sinner- A. Stevens

 

Scandalous Desires

Scandalous Desires - Elizabeth Hoyt

I was so looking forward to the book. I was wondering how such an unlikable character would change and become someone I could like. The Mickey at the beginning was an asshole and the Micheal at the end was in love & a different person. I thought the insight into his childhood explained much of the person he became. Silence was the perfect fit for him; she complimented him and he her. I really enjoyed his growth in regards to his daughter.
And Silence saves herself after being kidnapped.
I got glimpses into the Home to and the patronesses. This ended in a cliffhanger with the Ghost of St Giles revealed (I was right BTW!). I hope book 4 picks up right where this left off. Just enough was given, that I think Isabel has depth and will be a good match!

Character guide- will have spoilers

Mickey O'Connor AKA Micheal Rivers- other thief and has 2nd identity at Mr Rivers, shipbuilder.
Silence- the youngest of the Makepeace children, the formerly Mrs Hollingbrook
Harry- one of Mickey's men and most loyal
Bert- see above
Charlie Grady- The Vicar of Whitechapel; distiller of gin (and caused major issues with Griffin in book 2) and Mickey's rotten father. Found out Micheal's mother only recently died. Kidnapped Silence and was killed (stabbed) by Silence.
Patronesses of the Home: Hero (book 2), Amelia (Caire's mother), Margaret (Griffin's sister), Phoebe (Hero's sister), Isabel Beckinhall (married a much older man when she was very young, now widowed), Lady Penelope (she doesn't deserve a book based on what was on the page here- shallow), and Artemis Greaves (I'm curious). 

(show spoiler)

Before the Dawn

Before the Dawn - Cynthia Eden
Dawn is the only survivor of a serial killer called "The Iceman." Her boyfriend at the time was Tucker who was Jason's (the Iceman) brother. Tucker rescues Dawn, but understandably things happen and each goes their separate ways.
Fast forward 10 years and Dawn has rebuilt her life and is a successful PI. But someone is killing again and is mimicking The Iceman. Tucker retired from the military and is part of the FBI's new profiling unit. Take a wild guess who gets sent to New Orleans?
I thought this was good and suspense with a nice twist. I think Dawn was smart, capable and that was refreshing. There was closure at the very end as well.
 
 

 

Auld Lang Syne

Auld Lang Syne - Kerry Adrienne

This was short and sweet. A second chance romance; Charlotte and Jacob were friend with benefits in college. Jacob loved her and never told her. When Kevin came into the picture, Charlotte fell head over heals for him and they got married. 
The second chance happens a little over a year since Kevin's death (car accident). Charlotte has guilt over her relationship with Kevin- there were some revelation made about him and their marriage. Kevin was not a good person. I did sympathize with Charlotte, but would have liked her to be more assertive. 
Jacob finally owns his feelings. I did think the ending was a bit abrupt.

2019 Reading Assignment Challenge-Spring Semester

Reading Assignment Challenge- 2019

5 months through May.  Sign up in May for Summer (June-Aug) 

AuthorLuv Intermediate Class: 2 books per month (10) same author- Elizabeth Hoyt

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

6.

7.

8.

9.

10.

 

Genre Advanced Class:  3 books per month (15) same genre- I'm going to mix it up and go with Sci-fi romance (fill in as I go) 

2.

3.

4.

5.

6.

7.

8.

9.

10.

11.

12.

13.

14.

15.

 

Mix-It-Up Advanced Class:  3 books per month (15) from set list 

1.  A Magical Match- Juliet Blackwell

2.  Absolutely, Positively- Heather Webber

3.  A Witch's Handbook of Kisses and Curses- Molly Harper

4.  The Dangers of Dating a Rebound Vampire-Molly Harper

5.  Dead Heat- Patricia Briggs

6.  Night Broken- Patricia Briggs

7.  Darkness Rises- Dianne Duvall

8.  Night Unbound- D. Duvall

9.  Magic Shifts- Ilona Andrews

10. Magic Binds- I. Andrews

11. Shield of Winter- Nalini Singh

12. Shards of Hope- N. Singh

13. The Prophet- Amanda Stevens

14. The Visitor- A. Stevens

15. Sinner- A. Stevens

 

 

#Starstruck

#Starstruck - Sariah S. Wilson
It's been some time since I've picked up a NA that I liked. This sounded interesting. Would this be the one?! I've read the author before and liked it. Well, the track record continues......
Meet Zoe. She's in her last year of college, rooming with her BFF of 10 years, when she tweets a famous actor.....and gets a response. Well, that's cool! Chase happens to be that actor. Zoe and Lexi (her BFF) have been fans of his since they met 10 years ago. That starts a dialogue and meeting. 
Things happen. 
What I liked:
-At first I really hated (and also put the book down) how I felt her women's and gender studies class was portrayed negatively. "...in a room composed of rapid, men-hating freshman. Freshwomen. Who would probably make women's studies their major. Our section was small, and I often felt bad for the three guys in the class who never, ever spoke. They probably feared for their lives." Yes, as a feminist, I hate men. Whatever. But then, after the Thing That Happened with Zoe and Chase, the class really supported her. "they were all on my side, even the guys, and it made me feel understood and heard in a way that healed another piece of my heart."
-Chase. I thought he was pretty good. I liked how he handled the conversation about Zoe's decision to wait until marriage for sex. I thought he was respectful and supportive of her decision. 
What I hated:
-Zoe. Her lies. She lies to her BFF (her only real friend we are told more than once). Her mom/family. Over and over. Her insecurities.
-Lexi. Shallow.
And the ?:
Zoe and Chase's relationship. I kinda understand, but then I kinda don't understand what was so unique about Zoe that Chase overcome his fear/dislike of marriage.
Not for me, but someone might like this clean (new adult) romance. 

 
 

 

Notorious Pleasures

Notorious Pleasures - Elizabeth Hoyt

Lady Hero was introduced in book 1. She was an interesting character. Maybe a little judgmental, but kind. Griffin, the younger brother, but also the financial manager of his brother's funds. Hero is engaged to Griffin's older brother Thomas (the Marquis of Mandeville). 
Hero and Griffin's first meeting was...interesting....and I have to admit if it had happened after they had already met, I might not have kept reading and thrown the book across the room. But it did work, this being their introduction, and then finding out the identities. Hero is very proper and was engaged to a very proper man. I didn't like Thomas when first met on the page and he never became someone of character IMO. 

His treatment of Lavinia for one. Secondly he fucking hit Hero! 

(show spoiler)

Hero's brother, Maximus, was one I didn't have an opinion on, but after his actions regarding Thomas- after he knew what he did to Hero; I decided I didn't like him.
Griffin's character was interesting. It made for an interesting dynamic with how he made his family's fortune and his brother's actions against that "industry." The epidemic of cheap gin was an issue. His was a character maybe I shouldn't have liked, but I did. 
Hero and Griffin really worked for me. I really liked this book and found it hard to put down. I also got to read more about Silence (and she's next!), Winter, and the Home. 
I wonder if the Ladies Syndicate for the Benefit of the Home for Unfortunate Infants and Foundling Children will be a "player" in future books? Margaret might become a donor.
Character guide- will have spoilers

WI #1: 
Temperance and Lazarus's story. Temperance has 2 sisters, 3 brothers. Oldest is Verity, Concord (runs the brewery), Asa (no one knows what he does), Winter (runs the foundling home, teaches, possibly in the "Ghost of St Giles"), Silence (married to William- his ship is lost at sea in book 2. He had his cargo stolen (all of it) in book 1. Silence, thinking to help, going to Charming Mickey (the person who stole the goods) to get them back. It works, but Silence had to spend the night with him. Nothing happened, but she had to make it look like it did. No one, not her family, believes her that nothing happened).
St John is Lazarus's friend, his wife (I assume), Clara is sick
NP #2:
Griffin (Lord Reading) and Lady Hero Batten's story.
Hero's family: Brother Maximus Batten- Duke of Wakefield (active in parliament and HATES gin)
Phoebe- 17 and is slowly going blind. Was told she wouldn't be having a Season. Please say she gets a story! Parents were murdered in St Giles.
Griffin's: Thomas, Marquis of Mandeville in love with an older, un-titled woman (Lavinia) and is an asshole about it. Sisters Caro (married) and Margaret. Mother (I don't remember if she was given a Name or not- but she is loving and supportive).

(show spoiler)

Do You Believe in Santa?

Do You Believe in Santa? - Sierra Donovan
I was pleasantly surprised at how much I liked this one. Mandy saw Santa when she was a kid and it's a story she tells when asked. Mandy had a sweet innocence around her that I don't think would have worked on any other character. I thought Jake was a good fit for her and wasn't too judgmental.
I would have liked more at the end; I thought it was a bit too abrupt. It left me wanting just a little bit more. 
Also of note, for anyone looking for a sweet (and clean- there is no sex or even the presumption of sex- no sleep overs, separate rooms when visiting family) holiday romance, this might be a good fit. I know not everyone likes smex in their books. This has none. Kissing only.
 
 

 

Psychic's Beast

Psychic's Beast - Jax Cassidy
I'm a sucker for Beauty and the Beast retellings ('cause that's one of my favorite fairy tales). This one? Nothing special. You've got Lucifer Beastly (I mean Lux), Arabella (the doormat), Beastly Estates. I mean really? Instead of enjoyment, I had too many LOL and eye-roll moments. Waste of time, don't bother.
 
 

 

A Countess for Christmas

A Countess for Christmas (Regency Short Story) - Anthea Lawson
This was a short and sweet story that took place over Christmas. I didn't quite believe in Liam and Cecilia's romance; they didn't spend all that much time together. However, the characters were likable enough.
 
 

 

Currently reading

Appetites & Vices by Felicia Grossman

Professional Reader2016 NetGalley Challenge Reviews Published 80% Romanceopoly 2019 Participant