Rachel's books

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

 

 

Shadows Strike

Shadows Strike (Immortal Guardians) - Dianne Duvall

This is Ethan and Heather's story. Heather is a telepath and has been able to turn that into a career- as a FACS specialist (reading facial expressions and body language to determine if someone is lying. The other couples from previous books all make appearances. The underlying storyline with Gershon trying to start WW 3 is continued. New allies appear.

Jared (an other) and General Lane) Aidan (an older immortal- he can bear some sunlight) is the one who transformed Heather, so she is stronger than Ethan.

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I read this for Romance-opoly Fang Alley moon track

Rogue Wolf

Rogue Wolf - Elliot Cooper

Vince is a werewolf or fenrite. He happens to be in exile for loving someone in a different pack (I didn't get it was because he was gay, but it certainly could have been part of it). He is now part of a pirate crew and this is his chosen family.
This started off right into the action. It wasn't difficult to figure out what was going on, enough info was given. Both Vince and Trent are likable as are the secondary characters.

Decadent Moon: The Complete Series

Decadent Moon:  The Complete Series - Shona Husk

Lunar Exposure
Brax is a bounty hunter on the tail of an eco-terrorist. Haliday is a socialite with a secret- she is also a former slave turned bounty hunter. Her socialite career is a cover. There different types of aliens, but not a lot of depth is gone into the differences. Would have liked more info and world building. It was interesting and I liked the characters. The bad guy was caught. 3*
Lunar Reunion
Silva and Filid were both in the military and friends, but wanting to be more. Possibly. But fraternization were forbidden. Silva quit and became a commercial pilot (space ships) while Filid remained. Several years later, they reconnect and the spark is still there. Filid has tentacles on his head. Noted a lot of typos in this one. 3*
Lunar Dancer
Ima has worked as a courier for 2 years hoping to save enough to get her daughter back. Her daughter is in a home for illegal children (illegal being born to unwed mothers. It will shock you to learn that only the women are punished). Jorin is a dancer, but is a prince. As the 2nd born son, Jorin is set to be murdered by his brother, the new king. A new king shows his strength by murdering his family (who might try for the thrown). Both Ima and Jorin come up with a plan to get her daughter back and save his life. This was the favorite of the 3.
It would have been since to have more world building. The snapshots of the different aliens/cultures was interesting.

Storm's Heart

Storm's Heart - Thea Harrison

I liked Tricks in the first book. She was interesting. She had lived with Dragos group (demesne) for over 200 years after she fled her murdering uncle (who was killed in book 1). With the uncle now deceased, she is the heir to the dark fae throne. Tricks is now known as Niniane and there is someone who wants her dead. Enter Tiago (a thunderbird is his other form) a Wyr soldier to function as her bodyguard and hunt down the one(s) who want her gone.
I was a little disappointed. Tricks isn't the same character as in book 1. The interesting, sassy, self assured individual is gone. Instead she is winy. Oh poor me! I thought Tiago was a little too alpha (bossy and my way or the highway). I did enjoy the other characters and more about this world.
Pia and Dragos book 1. Dragos' sentinals- Graydon, Rune, Bayne, Constantine- all are gryphons. Aryal is a harpy. Carling is the vampire queen, sorceress. Grym is Drago's head of security and a gargoyle.
I read this for romance-opoly Fang Alley sun track

Dangerous Curves Ahead

Dangerous Curves Ahead - Sugar Jamison

Ellis is a Harvard educated lawyer. The only problem is, she hates what she is doing, so she quits. Her love is fashion and helping people find clothes that fit them and work with their body types. So, she opens her own store. It helps that she also does alterations having done so with her own clothing growing up. She had a crush on Mike years ago. Only problem is her sister dated him once upon a time.
Mike is a ladies man who is taking a break from that. After working as a NYC detective, he needs a change of scenery. So he begins work as a detective in his much smaller college town. One day, he bumps into Ellis and he knows he knows her, but can't remember where from.
I really liked the banter and interactions between the characters. Ellis's parents are interesting (Walter is on autism spectrum and her mother is a hippie). Colin (Mike's friend) Belinda, and Cherri (Ellis's) are super fun. Ellis's sister, Dina, is a first class bitch. Her ex, Jack is an asshole.
There are a few things that knocked this down to a 3. Ellis was constantly pushing Mike away. For the WHOLE book. Enough already! I actually didn't have any issues with Mike. But Ellis so so fixated on her weight. Enough already (yes, I know I said that already)! The epilogue was appreciated; however, Ellis did something I had a huge problem with. 

She stopped taking her birth control and did not tell Mike. 

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I read this for Romance-opoly BFF's House moon track

Undone by the Duke

Undone by the Duke - Michelle Willingham

The mistaken/unknown identity tropes is one of my favorites (most of the time). I was really enjoying this right to Jonathon's ultimatum (marry me or else!). After that, it was downhill for me. Not talking, making (wrong) assumptions, and misunderstandings. Jonathon not wanting to open up about the death of his parents, but expecting total honesty from Victoria.
Victoria was an interesting character (after she was lost in the highlands for a few days, she developed a fear (agoraphobia) and never left the house). It took a long time for her to grow some spine and stand up to Jonathon.
There's also an evil lord who is a neighbor, arson, and a secondary love story (well kind of- I thought there might be a little more there, but that story line got dumped) featuring Victoria's parents.

Siren's Tide

Siren's Tide - Philippa Ballantine

Noted a few editing errors.
Ianthe is a mermaid from another world living and working as a PI in DC. Her identity is also a secret. She runs into problems with a case she is working on.
This was an interesting short story. It lacked world building d/t it's length. There were some unanswered questions as well (surprise!). I did like Dolly Madison the ghost. She was fun.

A Time for Home

A Time For Home - Alexis Morgan

Nick is recovering from a war injury. He is also dealing with the death of his friend Spence and the return to a "normal" life. He goes to Spence's hometown to see his friend Callie and to see if Callie would like to give Mooch a home. Mooch is a dog that saved their life in Afghanistan. Callie was Spence's BFF and inherited his home on his death. Callie is dealing with the loss of her best friend and trying to figure out what she wants to do with her life. She was a contract employee and traveled all over never staying in once place for long. She's trying to decide if she wants to put down roots.
This felt realistic with Nick's PTSD and the struggles with adapting to a "normal" life. I also liked Callie and when Nick (or Lief) where being less than nice, she's call them out on it. This is more of a slow burn romance. What annoyed me was Nick thinking of Callie as "Spence's woman." Callie didn't have the same feelings. I also noticed how Mooch was called "dog" several times by Nick (and I think Callie at least once too). Was annoyed. Y'all named him Mooch, call him that. Or by a nickname (and "dog" didn't come across as a nickname). It wold have been nice for a little compassion/resolution for Austin. Not ignoring what he did, but he was also a victim.
I read this for Romance-opoly BFF's House sun track.

Caught Dead Handed

Caught Dead Handed - Carol J. Perry

Lee (Maralee) loved back to her hometown to interview for a news reporter for the local TV station. When she arrives for interview, she finds the position has already been filled. She stumbles over a body; who as it turns out was the psychic late night host of supernatural movies and took callers during commercials. The station's owner decides to hire Lee to fill Ariel's position.
I did like Lee and how self aware she was. She's been around the block (having loved and lost her NASCAR racing husband in an auto accident- she was the one driving). She also has abilities that have been suppressed/forgotten about, so she fits right in taking calls. I liked the romance with the detective and there is a good opening for book 2.

I have mixed feelings about the "baddie" (who really wasn't if you consider everything). The baddie was Janice, who was born William (Willie). She and her brother George were sexually abused by their mother. It's explained she had multiple personalities and Janice was created to protect Wille. It's mentioned she had sex re-assignment surgery. This is all told by George. None of it is told through Janice's POV.

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I read this for Romance-opoly Sleuth Street sun track

How to Host a Killer Party

How to Host a Killer Party - Penny Warner

Presley is a party planner (I mean event coordinator!) who also has ADHD. She was laid off at her prior job in the psych department at the U of San Fran. She has a habit of diagnosing people. Her mom, who now has dementia, was a successful party planner, so Presley hopes to take up the reins. She gets a chance hosting the mayor's surprise wedding....at Alcatraz. Things don't go as planned and there are 2 dead bodies and Presley is considered a suspect.
I did like this. I was interested and the who-done-it was good, as was the motivations behind it. But, Presley came off as a ditz. Did I mention she has ADHD & she taught psych? Sometimes when a character says something stupid/wrong/pick your poison, it makes them more relate-able. Not so much with Presley. The secondary characters were fun.
Will I read the next and rest in series? Nah. (And did you know Presley was a psych major..... and has ADHD? The reminders constantly got old. Fast.)
I read this for Romance-opoly Sleuth Street moon track

Once and Always

Once and Always - Elizabeth Hoyt writing as Julia Harper

This was a fun read. Maisa had a habit of speeding when she's driving through Coot Lake MN to visit her uncle. Sam is the one who always pulls her over. This worked because Sam and Maisa had a bit of a prior relationship before the book started. This doesn't rate higher because there were a few continuity errors, Maisa takes some time to warm up to (and she had a TSTL moment). The secondary characters were hilarious too.
I read this for Romance-opoly Lady Lane moon track square.

The Paris Key

The Paris Key - Juliet Blackwell

Genevieve is going through a divorce after her husband was caught cheating on her.  About the same time, her uncle dies leaving her his locksmith shop in Paris.  She uses this opportunity to return to Paris and maybe take over his business.  She has previously been to Paris to visit her uncle, aunt, and cousin shortly after her mother's death when she was 14.  

This mainly told in Genevieve's POV present tense.  There are also flashbacks to her mother's visit in 1983 and her visit in 1997.  Pasquale (her aunt) also has a chapter dedicated to her POV.  Overall this worked to tell the story; each chapter's POV is clearly marked.

I enjoyed reading about Paris and the neighborhoods with the close-knit community.  I liked reading a little history of WWII and the Algerian War.  I thought it was cool how JB tied the Basques into the story too (with the Embassy bombing).  (Boise, ID has a large Basque population). 

I would have liked more on locksmithing;  it was fascinating reading about the old locks.  I did have a hard time connecting with Genevieve and her mother Angela.  There is no romance in this one.  Angela's secret is easily guessed. 

Jim is not Genevieve's biological father.  A man named Xabier is.  He is tied to the Embassy bombing.  That's how Angela got the burn on her arm.  She tried to stop it.  Xabi was Basque whose brother was murdered.

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I read this for Romance-opoly Lady Lane sun track square

     

Abduction

Abduction (Killer Instinct) - Cynthia Eden

Jill was abducted when she was 13. Hayden, the town bad boy, was the one who rescued her. It turns out Hayden was colored by his father's action. His father was a horrible person (so the son must be too). After Jill's rescue, the town see him in a new light. They become best friends and then lovers. As teenagers do, they break up so Hayden can prove himself worthy of Jill and Jill can go to college and then the FBI.
Fast forward 10 years and Hayden is retired from the Seals, Jill is an FBI agent specializing in child abduction. After a case goes wrong, she comes back to her hometown. She plans on using the time to look into the cold case of the abduction/murder of a girl her age after her escape/rescue.
Both Hayden and Jill are likable, competent characters. They talk and reconnect. They worked well and I liked them together. There is a decent amount of suspense and mystery.
I read this for Romance-opoly Emergency Services Moon track

Sunset Bay Sanctuary

Sunset Bay Sanctuary (A Sunset Bay Novel) - Roxanne Willems Snopek

Haylee and Mac both have had tragic pasts. This book covered so much- there was death of a child and parents, teenage pregnancy, adoption, the adoptive parents are horrible trope, animals are healing. There was so much going on. There were so many characters too. I had a hard time connecting with both leads. I probably would have given this a 3*, but then something happened that I really didn't like.

sex with no mention of condom use. And yes, Haylee got pregnant! I thought this was a bit of a 180 for her character. She and Mac didn't discuss having kids, so yeah. (At least I don't remember a conversation)

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I read this for Romance-opoly Emergency Services Sun track square

The Lawrence Brown Affair

The Lawrence Browne Affair - Cat Sebastian
Georgie needs to get out of London stat. His brother, Jack, sets him up as a secretary to a supposedly "mad" earl. Lawrence (Lord Radner) is a scientist with social anxiety.
This was a wonderful slow burn romance. I liked the additional mystery of what was going on at the estate (but in hindsight, it really wasn't a mystery because it was Cornwall). I thought both characters were layered. While Georgie was a thief, he did so to keep a roof over his head and food in his belly. I did like the realization towards the end that he needed to change. Lawrence was non-judgmental and accepting of Georgie, flaws and all (and vice versa). I also thought Lawrence came full circle. He started out never having left his home and thinking he was mad to realizing he wasn't and deciding to live his life.
I also liked Simon, Lawrence's son in all ways that mattered.
Courtney and Julian (the next book) were introduced in this one. Courtney is Simon's uncle.
I read this for Romance-opoly Rainbow Row moon track
 
 

 

New Ink on Life

New Ink on Life - Jennie Davids

This is told in alternating 1st person. Cassie is a breast cancer survivor. She also draws and does tattoos and approaches MJ for an apprenticeship. MJ only agrees because they shared the same mentor. MJ's business is not doing well.
I wanted to like this, but really hated MJ. MJ was a bitch. And not in a good way. She is nasty to everyone. Cassie was meek and a bit of a doormate. But the time MJ was kinder and Cassie more spine, I really didn't care.
I read this for Romance-opoly Rainbow Row square Sun track.

Currently reading

Allegiance of Honor (Psy/Changelings) by Nalini Singh
The Laird by Grace Burrowes
Where the Wild Things Bite by Molly Harper

Professional Reader2016 NetGalley Challenge Reviews Published 80% Romanceopoly 2019 Participant