Rachel's books

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



Sounds to Die By

Sounds To Die By (Sensory Ops Book 1) - Nikki Duncan

Ian is blind. Despite that disability, his hearing is extraordinary. He works for the NSA. Kieralyn is a FBI agent who is tired of not being taken seriously by her colleagues. She is working a series of kidnappings that she believes are connected. But her (male) colleagues disagree. So, she goes rogue and enlists Ian's help. Ian agrees because he hears and recognizes a code name on the recording Kieralyn brings him.
This has so much potential, but ended up being such a disappointment. I got tired of Kieralyn and her (for lack of a better word) rantings. If I liked her, I would have had more sympathy for her. She was quite stupid at times (not having backup, taking on a situation herself when she was outnumbered). She didn't act like a smart FBI agent. There were times I wondered how she got as far as she did.

This is the new cover.  Originally published in 2009 by Samhain.  And I've had this on Mt TBR since 2010ish.  I think.

High Tea & Flip-Flops

High Tea & Flip-Flops - Linda Cassidy Lewis

Chelsea lives on the first floor of an apt complex in a dead-end job that she is overqualified for. She has a fairly new upstairs neighbor, Jeremy that she is curious about, but knows nothing about him. He comes across as a bit stuffy. 
So, yeah, no. I would have liked this had I liked Chelsea. She's an idiot. Not a likable idiot either. She's constantly making bad choices, not growing up, jealous of her best friend, and is very immature. Here's an example. She's got a business degree, but forget to pay her cable bill. She's "tired of being broke." But thinks nothing of going to the mall to shop because SALE! Whine! She is clumsy (physically and in manners), forgetful, etc. It's funny, but only to a point. She doesn't grow or mature by the end of the book. Instead, there's a "misunderstanding." It's out of left field and blown so out of proportion. 
I didn't care that much for Jeremy either. He came across as very stuck up at first and I had a very hard time getting over that. I also just didn't see the romance between him and Chelsea.

Angel Betrayed

Angel Betrayed - Cynthia Eden

I remember being intrigued and curious about Sammael, AKA Sam, from the first book, Angel of Darkness. Like the first, neither character is very good or bad. Shades of gray this very much is. It seemed, at least for awhile, the one that was truly evil was consistently overlooked and allowed to go on and on. 
I liked the twists and turns. Both characters I liked and had depth. Seline was a personal favorite. She started out ignorant, having not known she was being lied to, disliking herself. She comes full circle and I liked her growth throughout the book. Sam, what can I say? He was likable as well and he meet his match with Seline. 
Az's book is next and I look forward to his as well.

Driving Mr. Dead

Driving Mr. Dead - Molly Harper

Miranda has had a lot of jobs. Then, something happens and the job is no more. Iris (from The Care and Feeding of Stray Vampires) hires her to be a vampire chauffeur. Her first job is driving to Washington and picking up Collin Sutherland and taking him to Half Moon Hollow. 
I laughed out loud so many times, I needed this! We get a brief appearance from Iris and Dick Cheney. I liked Miranda's growth and appreciated Collin's declaration of "like." Excellent and enjoyable.

More Than You Know

More Than You Know (The Harrisons) - Jennifer Gracen
Dane is opening a new hotel. To set his hotel apart, he is looking for a lounge singer to help attract guests. Julia has her regular day job and takes gigs on the side. When Dane hears Julia, he knows she would be perfect for his hotel.
Starting out, I hated Dane. He is obnoxious, elitist, entitled, and a snob. Julia was a little better. But, I didn't like her focusing so much on her past and that was effecting her present. I got irritated with the age difference (he's 36, she's 41) being brought up over and over. Not a big fucking deal! Also with Julia's bust size. Yes, I know they are large. Just stop it, please! Say it once and then move on.
I liked Dane's family, particularly Tess. I might check out her story. Julia has a few awesome friends that are supportive of her and call her on her shit. Luckily, both get their shit together. I didn't hate Dane at the end, he was okay. 

*after reading synopsis for Tess's story....probably not.


A Venetian Vampire

A Venetian Vampire - Michele Hauf

Dante and Kyler, unbeknownst to each other, set out to steal liberate a Faberge egg.  It turns out this egg is special.  It holds a spell that will have negative consequences for vampires.

Kyler steals liberates the egg.  Dante intends to steal liberate it from her.  When they meet, sparks flew and before you know it, someone else has stolen the egg from them!  I liked the push/pull, the chemistry of two characters that were incredibly attracted to each other, but each had unknown motives.  As the layers come off, trust starts to take place.  

But then there were two, yes two, kidnappings.  I also thought of Cat and Bones every time Dante called Kyler "Kitten."  They are most definitely not Cat and Bones.  

Dance With Me

Dance with Me: A Dance Off Novel - Alexis Daria

This is Natasha's story.  Natasha was Gina's best friend and rommate in the first book (Take the Lead).  After an unexpected disaster, Natasha finds herself homeless.  Her on and off lover for 3 years, Dimitri, offered her his spare bedroom.  

So, having enjoyed the first book, I wanted to read this one too.  A word of advice:  Just skip this one.  I had Issues.  Big, Major Issues.

Natasha makes it known that she doesn't want to be lovers while she is living with Dimitri.  Dimitri finds ways to constantly and consistently push her line.  What made this worse (for me), was Dimitri's position of power.  Not only is Natasha dependent on him for a roof over her head, he is also a judge on the dancing show she is on.  When Natasha is injured, he makes it so she is almost completely dependent on him.  Fuck No.

Then there is Natasha.  She is envious and jealous of Gina.  Get over it.  Please.  She didn't make the best decisions (being broke and then going out for dinner at an expensive restaurant with her friends for example).  She does mature a little by the end and I did find I didn't want to slap some sense into her as much.

So to summarize, Dimitri's behavior was something that *most* people would not put up with in real life.  So, it shouldn't get a pass in a book boyfriend.  It's not romantic, it's abusive.  But read the first book:  it's good!    


eARC courtesy of St Marin's Press (Swerve) and NetGalley.
Released Dec 12th 2017

Hell or High Water

Hell or High Water (The Deep Six) - Julie Ann Walker

First in a series, this focuses on a group of ex-military men. What makes this different is they are a marine salvage company. This is Leo and Olivia's story. 
I didn't like this as much as I thought I would. With so many characters and personalities, I was a little lost. Decent action. I would think having a beard would make it hard to get a seal on a scuba mask. But, since I've never done that, I really don't know. It just struck me as weird. Not invested enough to read next.

The Emerald Lily

The Emerald Lily (Vampire Blood Book 4) - Juliette Cross
In the first book (The Black Lily) we were introduced to Vilhelmina or Mina. Mina was the bride for Marius, but wasn't. In the last book (The Emerald Lily), we learned that Vilhelmina, (Mina) was in a bloodless sleep, a vampire form of torture. 
Luckily, I didn't have long to wait as Mina is rescued by Mikhail right at the beginning. I liked Mina's re-awakening, for lack of a better word. She grew from a sheltered, naive girl to a strong independent woman. I liked that she didn't like who she was and became someone she did like. I liked the moment when she claimed what was hers by right. And, yeah, she helped win the day. 
Mikhail is a good match for her. I liked that the rebellion, from book 1, continued to grow and this book concludes that rebellion. I am sad since I liked this series and wanted to learn more about Grant, Dane, Katya, and Riker (it would have been nice for them to get their HEAs too).

eARC courtesy of Entangled Publishing and NetGalley.
Publishes Jan 29th


Moonlight and Mechanicals

Moonlight & Mechanicals (Gaslight Chronicles, #4) - Cindy Spencer Pape

This is Wink and Liam's story. Wink has been in love with Liam since she first meet him. If memory serves, she was around 15. As she grew up and he got to know her, he fell in love with her too. Wink is a prodigy inventor. Liam works for Scotland Yard and also happens to be a werewolf. 
I really love Wink and was looking forward to her story. I love how unconventional she is. I love how her family loves and accepts her just as she is. I love the concept of family. There is the family you are born into. Then, there is the family of choice. 
Wink's brothers have a conversation with Liam about family that hits home for him. Liam was a decent character for Wink, even if I wanted to slap him a time or two. Overall, less "I want you, but I can't!" would have been nice. A little more on the mystery and the final outcome would have been welcome. It's over and done with too fast. But I did like it and feel this is the best so far. I have the next, Cards & Caravans, and will be reading it soon I hope.

Once in a LIfetime

Once in a Lifetime - Annie Greene

Ben's wife died 5 years ago. Ever since, he's taken jobs that put him far away from his hometown. Now he's back in town and staying. Aubrey, unhappy with the path her life has taken, accidentally stumbles into an AA meeting. One thing she takes away is the desire to make amends for her past mistakes.
I liked that Aubrey was a reformed "bad" girl. I do think the residents of Lucky Harbor were too quick to judge her, without getting to know who she was now. Ben, on the other hand, was well liked and couldn't do anything wrong. Overall, I liked this one. An excellent addition to the Lucky Harbor series! The "star" of the next book was introduced in this one. I can say I'm interested in Sam.

Man Candy (Real Love #3)

Man Candy: A Real Love Novel - Jessica Lemmon

eARC courtesy of Random House Publishing Group (Loveswept) and NetGalley
Street date in Jan 9th 2018

Dax is on a trip to get away, having recently lost his dad. He's got a remote cabin rented for camping. Becca works for her brother. Having been late one too many times, she got fired. Loudly, in front of Dax (and some other people). She noticed Dax and thought he was hot. Dax noticed Becca and thought she was hot.
What follows is their one-night stand, turned 2 week affair, turned coupledom. I liked the duel POV. Dax was decent. Becca, not-so-much. Becca was immature, annoying, and flighty. Sure, she improved by the end, but I didn't really buy into the romance because it took her the whole book to get there. I did like the appearances in the end by the first 2 "book couples" Vince/Jackie and Grace/Davis. 
My least favorite of the 3.

Bluestone Christmas

Bluestone Christmas: A Christmas Novella (Welcome to Bluestone Book 4) - Fredrick L. McKissack

A little sweet and a little boring.

Unwrapping Noel

Unwrapping Noel - Jennifer Theriot
Noel has been divorced from Dave for a year. They were married for 13 years before that. Dave's an asshole and was cheating on her. Then he was diagnosed with cancer, and being the nice person she is, Noel moved back in with him and helped him through his treatments. 
This was a good story of a doormat, who finds her self-worth again. And someone who loves her. Just. As. She. Is. Nice that Leon is Noel spelled backwards.


Finding True's Love

Finding True’s Love - Teri Riggs
Just didn't work for me. I didn't find this believable.


Worth the Shot

Worth The Shot: A Bannister Brothers Novella (A Bannister Brothers Book Book 2) - Jennie Marts

Definitely insta-love, but I enjoyed every second! Bane's on his way to St Louis. He is being traded to the NHL team there. He meets and connects with a woman on the flight. And she with him. Unbeknownst to both of them, her father is the team's coach. Enjoyable, good chemistry. Would have liked more at the end.

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