Rachel's books

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



Treasure Me

Treasure Me - Robyn DeHart
Vanessa dreams of being a scientist and is set to marry a follow scientist. One who will let her do her work and be a friend. Until she finds him with her sister. Graeme is a treasure hunter/explorer for Solomon's. He hunts antiquities and Solomon's protects them.
This had a good start and was on track to be the best book in this series. However, I thought Vanessa goals/dreams got lost. She helps Graeme on his quest to find the Stone of Destiny/Kingmaker. I liked how he accepted her and fell in love with her just as she was. But at the end I felt Vanessa pretty much gave up on her dream of being a scientist/paleontologist to just be Graeme's wife. Now, I'm not saying it's wrong to want to do that, but I felt it was a let down. I also thought the ending was a little rushed and thought The Raven's end was too easy.


Real Men Howl

Real Men Howl - Marina Maddix, Celia Kyle

Lucy's parents were murdered in front of her. She leaves her small town due to the memories and makes a life somewhere else. After she is falsely accused of theft, she returns to her small town where she has her parent's house. Mason is the alpha of the local werewolf pack. He is on the verge of going feral and needs to find his mate stat. (If you want to take a guess who that mate is- you would be right!).
I did like this more then I thought I would. I liked Lucy's selflessness in rescuing the little boy. I also liked that she wouldn't put up with shit from Mason. Overall, she's pretty kickass. I did like the closure she got: regarding her parents murder. I would have liked for the whole thing with her false accusation to have been resolved as well (she was jobless during the course of the book).
Who needs a job when you have a man to take care of you? Girl power! (eye roll).
Booklikes Halloween Bingo: Full Moon square

Ice Planet Barbarians

Ice Planet Barbarians: The Complete Series: A SciFi Alien Serial Romance - Ruby Dixon

Georgie is kidnapped by aliens as she is sleeping. She befriends a bunch of other women on the ship in the same situation as she. Then the ship crash lands on an ice planet, stranding them. Vektal is blue, has a tail, and has ridges over his body (and of course in the "right" places, haha). He and his brethren have taken in a parasite (for lack of a better word) to ensure their survival. Without it and the modifications it makes, one would die within about a week.
Interesting and I liked the writing. There is a rape scene, but it was short and was not gratuitous (IMO). Not crazy about the whole mating thing/unilateral decision making though. The language issue was easily solved. Probably won't read the rest.
Booklikes Halloween Bingo- using one of my Transfiguration Spells to change Serial/Spree Killer square to the Aliens square.

What Happens in Summer

What Happens in Summer - Caridad PiƱeiro

Part of Connie's story takes place at the same time as Maggie's (book 1). And yes, I was right.
Connie and Jon fell in love one summer while both were in college. Differences led to their breakup. This being romancelandia, neither quite forgot the other and the flame still burns. They re-connect years later. Jon is a successful inventor and Connie a successful lawyer.
While I did like this and was invested in the story, I felt for 2 adults (mid-late twenties) this was way too angsty. I lost track of my eye rolls. But, they both did get their shit together for a HEA. Finally.

Charmed and Dangerous

Charmed and Dangerous: An Appalachian Magic Novel (Appalachian Magic Series Book 1) - Debbie Herbert

Callie is a witch with an evil father. Her mom sends her away to live with other family. She comes back home months before her 20th birthday. She is supposed to come into "great" powers when she turns 20. James is an immortal who was "born" into his immortality in 1865 after he was killed. No explanation (his father and brothers died in the war, his mom also died before the war's end and they weren't reborn as immortals- so must not be genetic). He and Callie are drawn to each other (because of course they are).
This was way too insta-love for me. Callie told James she loved him in chapter 5. I did like the writing, but this was way too YA for me (IMO, it read very YA). Callie and friends are attending a local junior college before transferring to a larger university. I swear they were in high school- lockers, lunch hour with awful cafeteria food, announcements overhead on the PA, etc
I did like the last 1/3 or so; the pace picked up and the ending was decent. It was too little too late for me; not interested in reading Skye's book.
Booklikes Halloween Bingo: Spellbound

Believe It or Not

Believe It or Not - Tawna Fenske

Violet is an account who left home when she got the chance.  She moved from Portland, OR to Portland, ME.  Her mother is Moonbeam, psychic and into anything alternative.  She is back home to help her mom out after she falls and breaks a few bones.  Drew owns the bar next door.  His bar also happens to have (male) exotic dancing for a few night a week.

This was a fun story of opposites attract.  I liked Violet's knowledge of trivia and recognition of various songs Drew would play which would cause her to blurt out things during reading that were true.  I liked Drew's attraction to Violet, even though she was similar to his ex-wife (and what he didn't think he needed).

I did think the ending was a rushed and abrupt and an epilogue would have helped. 

Halloween Bingo:  Magical Realism square 

He's the One

He's the One - Cat Johnson, Kate Angell, Lucy Monroe, Linda Lael Miller

Taken all together a 2* is the most I can rate this book.  The 1st 4 in this were meh (and Shalvis's was disappointing- Ella was TSTL).  I'm not going to waste my time.  But the last story- Fish Out of Water (Cat Johnson) was the best.  This story was a strong 3.5* for me.  I enjoyed the swap- a cowgirl meets nerdy professor.  Carla was likable and I thought her insecurities were understandable.  I also liked Mark and thought he was a good fit.  My only issue was it was too short!

The Star King

The Star King - Susan Grant
I liked the writing and it keep me engaged and interested. However, I did have Issues with this one. It was disappointing that a sci-fi romance couldn't be better in the roles given to women. The world Rom (Romlijhian) B'kah inhibits limits women's participation. It's sons that matter, inherit, sit on councils, lead. The daughters? Well, their job is to become wives and mothers or a prostitute (excuse me- "pleasure server"). It doesn't (typically) bother me in a historical romance. But in a contemporary or sci-fi/futuristic? I expect more. I don't expect regression in women's rights or their rightful equal place in society. The Patriarchy was alive and well.
This had the tired tropes of:
1. An adult woman (in this case, a divorced woman in her 40s with 2 adult children) never having had good sex and lack of experience. *rolls eyes*
2. Jas has to be rescued not once, but twice. And each rescue furthers Rom's story and his "destiny."
This next book features Jas's son Ian and a B'kah royal (and a trope I *do* really like (usually)-mistaken identity) and I happen to have (freebie at one time); so I might read it. 
Ripped Bodice Bingo- Royalty square


Dragon Bound

Dragon Bound - Thea Harrison

This was a pleasant read. I did think the first half dragged before picking up. Pia was hilarious, smart, compassionate. Dragos was an alpha (but not an alpha-hole) and was likable. I enjoyed learning what type of Wyr Pia was. This also has a strong cast of supporting characters. (Some (all?) of whom get their own book.)
Ripped Bodice Bingo Dragons square

There's Something About Sweetie

There's Something about Sweetie - Sandhya Menon

Ashish got dumped and now he's in a funk.  So, he asks his parents to set him up with a girl they think he would be compatible with.  See, ever since the break-up, his game has been off and he needs it back since he's one of the star basketball players.  He wants his mojo back dammit!

Sweetie is a track star, a good student, and is not so bad at carrying a tune.  She also happens to be on the plus size.  Guys have not been interested in her.

I was pleasantly surprised at how much I liked this!  Yes it's on the angsty side.  And shockingly, I think most of that was from Ashish.  Sweetie was the bomb.  There wasn't anything I didn't like about her.  She really grew throughout the book; expressing her opinions and recognizing her worth.  Her relationship with her mom sucked.  Imagine constantly being criticized because of your weight.  Nothing else matters, but what the number on the scale is and what other people think.  There are things that happen as the book progresses, and by the end?  Her mom has a change in attitude.

I loved this quote:  "She was power.  She was grace.  She was beauty.  She was totally kicking his ass."

Ripped Bodice Bingo:  Prom square  

Two Times as Hot

Two Times As Hot - Cat Johnson

Emma and Logan meet at Emma's sister's wedding (Becca's story was book 1). Logan is BFs with the groom (Tucker). Sparks fly when Emma and Logan meet. They have a one night stand.
I did like this one, but not as much as the first book. Once I got started, I had a hard time putting this down. It even had one of my hated tropes

a surprise pregnancy

(show spoiler)

, and I found I didn't mind that much.
I enjoyed the interactions between the main characters and secondary, the dialogue, the relationships. I thought this had a solid start and middle, but the ending was rushed.
Tara and Jace are the next book and I think I will take a pass. (Tara is a spoiled, love sick idiot in this one and Jace is too flighty and unreliable).
Ripped Bodice Bingo: Cowboy

Bunny and the Bear

Bunny and the Bear - Eve Langlais

Hilarious. Miranda is part of the Furry United Coalition or FUC tasked with keeping shifters safe and their animal a secret from humans. She is tasked with keeping an eye on Chase, a bear. He happened to be on a list of shifters that were kidnapped and found dead later with signs of experimentation.
This was a good mix of hilarity, suspense, and of course romance. Miranda was dismissed because she's a bunny. Well, she has a secret about her animal half that was pretty good. This was fun and was what I needed.
For Ripped Bodice Bingo- next door neighbor.

Driving Her Crazy

Driving Her Crazy - Kira Archer
Cherice set the wrong time on her clock and is late to the airport for her flight to her sister's wedding. Making it more of a problem is her mom is a bitch and thinks Cher is a failure. Then her flight is cancelled due to the weather (it wouldn't have made a difference anyway since the doors were closed). It turns out Oz is in the same position. He has an interview in New York for his dream job. He gets the last rental car and since he is a nice guy, offers to share said car with Cher since they both are going to NYC.
I ended up giving this a 3 which is my average rating. There were several things that aggravated me (both Oz and Cher are judgmental as hell and make quick assumptions, Cher has NO backbone when it comes to her mom/family). But, at the end things worked out- if a little to quickly. I would have liked to read more about Cher taking ownership of her life and standing up to her mother. I did like the epilogue but would have liked to know how much time has passed (a year? 2 years?). 
Ripped Bodice Bingo: roadtrip


Night Unbound

Night Unbound (Immortal Guardians) - Dianne Duvall

This picks up where the previous left, Dennis and the mercenary group are defeated. It turns out someone picked up where they left off and are training vampires to fight. These vampires are strong and prove to be difficulty to defeat.
I liked the new mystery. I liked seeing Seth's vulnerabilities. I liked seeing the previous couples from the previous books and the banter back and forth; this is a close knit family. Ami and Marcus's child is born. I was pleasantly surprised at how much I like Lisette and Zack as a couple. There are still many mysteries about "the Others" and what Zack and Seth are. These answers hopefully will be forthcoming in future installments.
Ripped Bodice Bingo: Both leads over 50 (probably not what they had in mind, but it fits!)

Unmasked by the Marquess

Unmasked by the Marquess - Cat Sebastian

This is my first Cat Sebastian book and I've heard good things about this author. I really enjoyed this one. I had a hard time putting this down once I started. I enjoyed all the characters and didn't want to slap a one! I enjoyed the non-binary heroine and bisexual hero. I always like it when the author puts a note at the end and I found it very enlightening. Will be reading more by this author.


Ripped Bodice Bingo- Eloping square

Rebel Mechanics

Rebel Mechanics - Shanna Swendson

This is an alternative history with paranormal elements. So, the American Revolution never happened and the colonies are still under British rule. Those in power, the rich elite have magic. Those with magic don't mix with the non-magical (it dilutes the blood). The gap between the haves and have-nots is pretty wide.
Verity is the daughter of a college professor. She became a governess to a wealthy magical family after her mother died. The Rebel Mechanics (RM) are a group of magical-hating individuals who strive for independence and are revolutionaries and inventors.
I wanted to like this book more than I did. I did like Verity, she was a little too trusting, but was able to form her own opinions. I wasn't surprised when Verity revealed a hidden talent. I liked Henry and his charges Olive and Rollo (Flora not so much). Fun twist regarding Henry. (It's hinted and guessed at early on).
I didn't like the RM using children in their demonstration when they knew it would and could turn violent. They also came across as too judgmental (as a group). I won't be reading the rest.
For Ripped Bodice Bingo- YA historical

For Romance-opoly- Growing Pains Place

Currently reading

It Takes Two to Tumble: Seducing the Sedgwicks by Cat Sebastian
The Mueller Report by The Washington Post
The Visitor (Graveyard Queen) by Amanda Stevens

Professional Reader2016 NetGalley Challenge Reviews Published 80% Romanceopoly 2019 Participant