Rachel's books

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

 

 

A Magical Match

A Magical Match - Juliet Blackwell

This took me so long to get into. There is so much going on. I found myself picking this up and putting back down (rinse and repeat) until (finally) about halfway through when it picked up.
Lily is planning her wedding and a party, Sailor gets arrested for murder, there's a doppelganger out there, her magical abilities take a vacation, mom issues, dad issues, an evil cupcake lady, and her grandmother's coven coming to visit.
A plus: we get to meet Graciela and Lily's mom (I forget her name- did she have a name?)
I'm not sure I "get" Lily's relationship with Sailor. And surprise- they're getting married but haven't talked about where they are going to live, kids, etc. Seriously. Sailor as a character is so unknown- to both Lily and the reader (how fun! Not.). If Lily was going to end up with someone, my choice for her would have been Aiden (but there are Issues there too).

We learn that Lily has been to Germany to find her father. It turns out, Aiden was his student. Dearest father has been trying to summon demon(s). That act requires the 3 of them to combine their powers to defeat the demon. Aiden is left with scars (he uses a glamour to hide). Lily with amnesia of her trip. It also appears Lily has a 1/2 sibling.

(show spoiler)



Beyond Shame

Beyond Shame - Kit Rocha
Mixed feeling about this one. On one hand, I did like it, it kept me engrossed, but on the other hand there were many things that bothered and annoyed me.
So, Eden it this place that "has it all," depending on your definition of "all." The sectors are wild, lawless. If you live in a commune, you are an indentured servant making someone else money. Regardless of where one lives, sorry if you happen to be female! Eden= subservient homemaker there to make you husband's life better. The sectors= prostitute, stripper. The commune= baby marker.
Noelle happens to really like sex and drinking. She gets kicked out of Eden. Jasper, of the O'Kane gang, rescues her. Her dad happens to be a councilman. I got so tired (so tired!) of reading about how "bad" she was. Oh please. Jasper was okay. This was more Noelle's story. I didn't really know Jasper by the end of this. I did like the difference POVs; Lex, Dallas, Six, Bren, and Rachel are interesting characters. The sex scenes were hot. I thought some of the scenes were there purely for shock value. 
Surprisingly, I was interested in the world, but found the world building severely lacking (what did I expect in an erotica?). There is no explanation of the "Flare" that started(?) this whole mess. Fertility is also an issue- why? It's convenient in an erotica to not have to worry about contraception. Or STDs. For a sci-fi dystopian, this didn't turn over any new leaves. Men are still better because they are physically stronger. Which is everything. Women are still reliant on men for their well being. I might as well have been reading a historical. 
I did (for the most part) like the characters. But, for the reasons listed above, I'm not reading more of this. It'll just piss me off.
 
 

 

Chaos Station

Chaos Station - Jenn Burke, Kelly Jensen

War has been over for about 6 months. Felix (AKA Fix) is part owner of a ship that takes jobs. He is the mechanic and can fix anything. He was also a POW and declared dead. Zander (aka Zed) was "let go" by the military after the end of the war. He is at a crossroads and doesn't know what to do with his life; also in part d/t an experiment to make him a super soldier. Felix and Zander have known each other since they were kids, having gown up together and gone to academy together. Best friends, former lovers. Zander though Felix was dead.
This was a sweet 2nd chance story with good action and world building. The secondary characters are intriguing too- Qek, Nessa, and Elias. I would have liked more information on the Stin, that maybe forthcoming in a future installment. I'm betting the experimentation that Zed was exposed to will play into future books since they are only learning about the short term effects (and long term are completely unknown).

For the Love of Pete

For the Love of Pete - Julia Harper

This this fun, but not quite as good as Hot. In Hot, we met Dante Torelli. Dante is sent to flush out and find the FBI agent who is taking bribes on the side and leaking confidential information. Dante ends up being late to his assignment guarding Nikki, Ricky, and Pete, gets into an argument with Zoey over a parking spot, and witnesses Pete's kidnapping. Zoey, not to be left behind, gets in Dante's car and off they go to follow Neil. (Zoey's sister's (Nikki) boyfriend (Ricky) happens to be the one in protective custody. He is due to testify in court and bring down Tony the Rose, mob boss. Nikki and Ricky's daughter Petronella Spicy Hernandez (AKA Pete) is the one who is kidnapped).
This has several stories going on. Neil, the kidnapper, brings his own son to a job and ends up osing both Pete and Jr. Two Indian women, Partima and Savita-di, steal back their saffron from Neil. Only thing is, there are 2 babies in the car! Dante's been framed, shot at, is being followed, and has to figure out why the 2 Indian women would take Pete. See- lots going on!
I did like this, but felt too much was going on. I thought while this had humor and there were several funny moments, there were other times it fell flat for me. More than a 3, but definitely not a 4*.

Rock Addiction

Rock Addiction (Rock Kiss) (Volume 1) - Nalini Singh
Finally, a new adult book I really enjoyed. 
The minute Fox sees Molly he is drawn to her. Molly is interested too and decides to go for it. They each have pasts (and family) that suck, but they've overcome that part.
This was refreshing. It's a little angsty, but not too bad. They talk and communicate. Yeah, they might have sex first, but the communicating gets done. No misunderstanding in this one, just 2 people getting to know one another.
The things that I didn't care for: Molly was a virgin to Fox's vast sexual experience (but to the book's credit, this was dealt with quickly and not dwelt upon). I also thought Fox was too bossy, too alpha. Again, Molly was able (and did) stand up for herself.
 
 

 

Snakes and Ladder- update the first

1. Author is a woman:  Feel the Heat- Kate Meader 2/23   ***rolled an 8 

2. Genre: mystery

3. Set in the twentieth century

4. Published in 2019

5. Published in 2018

6. Title has a color word in it 

7. Author's last name begins with the letters A, B, C, or D.

8. Author's last name begins with the letters E, F, G, or H.

9. Author's last name begins with the letters H, I, J, or K: Hot- Julia Harper 2/24

10. Author's last name begins with the letters L, M, N or O

11. Author's last name begins with the letters P, Q, R, or S

12. Author's last name begins with the letters T, U, V, W, X, Y, or Z

13. Author is a man

14. Author is dead

15. Genre: romance

16. Genre: fantasy

17. Genre: horror

18. Set in a school

19. Set in the UK

20. Set in a country that is not your country of residence

21. Set in Europe

22. Set in Asia

23. Set in Australia/Oceania

24. Set in Africa

25. Snake - go back to 5

26. Part of a series that is more than 5 books long

27. Set during WWI or WWII

28. Written between 1900 and 1999

29. Someone travels by plane

30. Someone travels by train

31. Road trip

32. Genre: thriller

33. Set in North America

34. Snake - go back to 1

35. Has been adapted as a movie

36. Set in Central or South America

37. Has won an award

38. Newest release by a favorite author

39. A reread

40. Characters involved in the entertainment industry

41. Characters involved in politics

42. Characters involved in sports/sports industry

43. Characters involved in the law

44. Characters involved in cooking/baking

43. Characters involved in medicine

44. Characters involved in science/technology

45. A book that has been on your tbr for more than one year

46. A book that has been on your tbr for more than two years

47. Snake - go back to 19

48. A book you acquired in February, 2019.

49. Recommended by a friend

50. Has a domestic animal on the cover

51. Has a wild animal on the cover

52. Has a tree or flower on the cover

53. Has something that can be used as a weapon on the cover

54. Is more than 400 pages long

55. Is more than 500 pages long

56. Was published more than 100 years ago

57. Was published more than 50 years ago

58. Was published more than 25 years ago

59. Was published more than 10 years ago

60. Was published last year

61. Cover is more than 50% red

62. Cover is more than 50% green

63. Cover is more than 50% blue

64. Cover is more than 50% yellow

65. Snake - go back to 52

66. Part of a series that is more than 10 books long

67. Set in a city with a population of greater than 5 million people (link)

68. Something related to weddings on the cover

69. Something related to travel on the cover

70. Something related to fall/autumn on the cover

71. Involves the beach/ocean/lake 

72. Involves the mountains/forests 

73. Categorized as YA

74. Categorized as Middle Grade

75. Set in a fantasy world

76. Set in a world with magic

77. Has a "food" word in the title

78. Set in a small town (fictional or real)

79. Main character is a woman

80. Main character is a man

81. Ghost story

82. Genre: urban fantasy

83. Genre: cozy mystery

84. Genre: police procedural

85. Written by an author who has published more than 10 books

86. Author's debut book

87. Snake - go back to 57

88. Comic/graphic novel

89. Published between 2000 and 2017

90. A new-to-you author

91. Snake - go back to 61

92. Reread of a childhood favorite

93. Author's first/last initial same as yours (real or BL handle)

94. Non-fiction

95. Memoir

96. From your favorite genre

97. Title starts with any of the letters in SNAKE

98. Title starts with any of the letters in LADDERS

99. Snake - go back to 69

100. Let BL pick it for you: post 4 choices and read the one that gets the most votes!

Hot

Hot - Julia Harper

So was surprisingly fun!  Written under Julia Harper AKA Elizabeth Hoyt, this is a contemporary.  I've enjoyed her historicals and was curious how her contemporaries would stand up.

Turner is a librarian, part time back teller out to get the bank's owner.  So, when the bank gets robbed, she used the opportunity to steal the contents of the bank owner's (Calvin) safe deposit box.  She's waited 4 years.  Enter Special Agent John MacKinnon whose job is to hunt her down.

This was funny, and a bit unconventional.  The back robbers- Fish and Nald were idiots; their back and forth made me laugh.  Add in a hitman, a partner that doesn't like you, and an unexpected interest in the suspect = super fun!  

Feel the Heat

Feel the Heat - Kate Meader

Lili's love is photography, but her father disapproves.  She works as the manager for her family's restaurant.  Jack is a chef/TV personality who had a bad breakup and has a bit of a reputation.  Lili's older sister, Cara, is his producer.  He has a new show in the works.

While I liked both Jack and Lili, each had their own Issues that I found annoying after awhile.  There was too much back and forth; just get over yourselves already!  The reminded (geez, my feeble brain might forget!) too many times of Lili's generous curves and love of food.  Lili, while likable, was too much of a doormat for her father/family. 

The last couple of chapters were excellent, but it was too little too late for me.

Lili's sister Cara's book is next and I'm not going to read it.  Maybe if I had liked this more, but I simply didn't like Cara.  In this book, she comes across as shallow and self absorbed.  Not impressed and no desire what so ever to read her story.  

The Mammoth Book of Dieselpunk

The Mammoth Book of Dieselpunk - Sean Wallace

Dieselpunk: think steampunk, but set (mostly) in between WW1 and WW2 (and maybe more gritty/dark).

Like any anthologies some stories are better than others.  Here are the ones I liked:

Don Quixote:

I actually got this anthology for this story (Carrie Vaughn) since I liked her Kitty series.  This is completely (and I mean COMPLETELY) different.  It was pretty dark. 3*

Steel Dragons of a Luminous Sky:

Takes place during WW2.  This was dark, had treachery, and (spoiler alert) everyone.......dies.  It was both interesting.....and depressing.  3*

Tunnelvision:

Easily my favorite.  Lloyd, a miner, finds himself in an interesting situation.  I wouldn't have minded more! 4*

Darkness Rises

Darkness Rises - Dianne Duvall

Krysta has been hunting vampires for 6 years with the healing assistance of her brother. She can see auras which give her an edge. (Of note- vampires are orange, Immortals a mix of purple and white, and Seth is bright white; David still has a hint of purple in his). Krysta and her brother are also "gifted ones" who can be successfully turned and made immortal.
Etienne comes across her while hunting and is intrigued. I enjoyed the interactions between all of the characters; it is clear each loves/respects each other. The story-line from previous books continues here- trying to find a way to stop/slow down the vampires madness and the mercenaries are back. I am intrigued by Zach and look forward to his story (which is next with Lisette's!)

It turns out the mind-wipe was reversed. By someone. But who? Seth believes it is Zach and threatens him.

(show spoiler)



Into the Night

Into the Night - Cynthia Eden
Macey was the only survivor of "The Doctor." She was a doctor turned FBI agent to hunt killers. Bowen's girlfriend was the victim of a serial killer. He found, hunted that killer, and saved the next victim. He is now also part of the same FBI profiling task force. 
There is a serial killer hunting serial killers (with collateral damage). Macey and Bowen are tasked with hunting the killer down. I liked how everything was linked together and the conclusion; it wasn't a simple who-done-it. I did feel like the FBI *should* have caught on earlier then they did. Macey and Bowen are both likable and each have their issues. Said issues aren't quite overcome, but understand/accepted with communication.
 
 

 

Lord of Darkness

Lord of Darkness - Elizabeth Hoyt

After the previous book, I was worried about potentially this being not as good. I needn't have worried! This is Meg's (Margaret) and Godric's book. At the end of the previous book, Megs is pregnant. Her brother, Griffin, knows something about Godric and blackmails him into marrying Megs. This book opens up 2 years after their marriage.
Margaret, having lost the baby, wants a baby and to avenge Roger. I loved the book's opening with her trying to shoot Godric (unbeknownst to her). This was definitely a slow burn as they both got to slowly know the other one. I thought the guilt each felt for wanting to move on was realistic and was something each overcame. I liked that they talked about their pasts and feelings. I liked that Godric and his stepmom talked. (What an awesome stepmom!).
One thing I like are the appearances of previous (and future) characters. Artemis is in this one and her book is next (and I'm very curious; there's also her brother Apollo).

Previous book: Margaret (Griffin's sister) was in love with and pregnant by Roger Fraser-Burnsby. He's murdered. Presumably by Ghost of St Giles.
This book: Earl Kershaw-> murdered RF-B, and killed by Godric in self-defense, was also responsible for abuse and enslavement of the poor girls- Seymour (killed in from previous book was his partner (I assume).
And yes, Megs gets her baby.
Godric's 1/2 sisters- Sarah, Charlotte, Jane. His stepmom- if she had a name, I missed it/don't remember it.
Captain Trevillion lets Godric go. He suspected Godric was the GoSG.
I don't know if they will be characters in future books: Hippolyta Royle- an heiress that has taken London by storm. Robin Goodfellow- an actress at Harte's Folly.

Alf was one of the people hired by the "Lassie Snatcher's" before she broke rank and helped Godric.  She's disguised as a boy.

(show spoiler)

Seth

Seth: Futuristic Spy Romance (Cyborgs: More Than Machines) - Eve Langlais

It's been awhile since I've read Aramus's book, but if memory serves, some of this overlaps with that book. Seth was married (and still is) to Anastasia. They have a long history together (were recruits together and later were "chosen" for the "enhancement" program). What led to their breakup was a huge "misunderstanding," orchestrated by the military.
While this is about Anastasia and Seth, I thought some the the underlying story-lines were further explored and will come to fruition in the next 2 books in this series. (Who is the company? Who is really in charge? Where did the nanos come from? An alien life form?). Adam's book promises to pick up where this one left off.

A Witch's Handbook of Kisses and Curses

A Witch's Handbook of Kisses and Curses (Half Moon Hollow, #2) - Molly Harper
In this one, we meet Nola, a 1/2 Irish witch. I had a hard time imagining her accent (part Irish & Boston). She was not wholly embracing of her abilities and seemed to want to be more normal, but (happily) by the end she was more comfortable in her own skin. 
I loved that Jane, Andrea, Dick, and Gabriel were in this one. Enjoyed this one!
 
 

 

Tiger of Talmare

Tiger of Talmare - Nina Croft

I was pleasantly surprised.  Melissa was bound to a death sentence working the mines after she killed someone.  The ship she was on crashes and she, with 2 other women- Leila and Darla, steal another ship.  That ship happened to be (Captain) Zachary Knight's ship.  Zach happens to be a human-tiger hybrid.    

Fast forward 10 years and Zach's wanted to for murder and Mel's team is hired to kidnap him and bring him to someone else.  I liked the interactions between Mel, Darla, and Leila. While I learned Mel and Leila's stories, I wanted a bit more.  I was pleasantly surprised at what Mel was.  Darla I know nothing about (except she is the only human on The Revenge).  Everything was wrapped up nicely, I just would have liked a little more.  There were a few things left hanging/unexplained, I think this might have been the start of a series that didn't happen.

Shield of Winter

Shield of Winter (A Psy/Changeling Novel) - Nalini Singh

While this book is about Ivy and Vasic, it is also about the aftermath of Silence.  There are repercussions from Silence's fall and people are dying.  There was a big learning about regarding the empaths and what they can do.

I did enjoy reading about the Arrows and how they are choosing their jobs and what they do (and I'm excited for Aden's book).  This is a Psy-Psy pairing (as is the next book) and there are some Changeling bits in this one, but not much.  Overall this is much more serious in tone.  The sexy-times are fairly tame from previous books too.

I did take a little bit of time to get invested in this one, but once I did, it was hard to put down.  There is still a threat from Ming that (I assume) will be dealt with in a later book.  I did think the ending was a little rushed (with regard to Ivy's solution regarding the Infected).

Each empath can "link" with a certain # pending on their gradient, creating a "Honeycomb."

(show spoiler)

Currently reading

The Visitor (Graveyard Queen) by Amanda Stevens
Appetites & Vices by Felicia Grossman

Professional Reader2016 NetGalley Challenge Reviews Published 80% Romanceopoly 2019 Participant