Rachel's books

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

 

 

On Fire

On Fire (Shadow Stalkers #4) - Sylvia Day
Darcy is a fire inspector in a small town investigating a series of arson incidents. Each is a place that Darcy is tied to in some way. After the third, she calls in for help. Jared, a Deputy Marshal arrives and is hot on the case. Insta-lust also flares up. 
This was decent. Very heavy on the sex, but it also had a plot. I liked Darcy's vocation, different for a change. She also saved herself towards the end, so mad props to that. Jared was also likable, and I liked that he had moments where he was distracted. 
I would have liked more on the mystery and Danielle. The suspense element could have been better. Everything was wrapped up, but *more* would have been wonderful. The "why" was lacking IMO. But, this did have halfway decent plot to all the sex that was happening on the page.
 
Slow start to this morning, this was the only book I finished for the readathon.  

 

Dewey's 24 Readathon Opening Meme

Dewey's

1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today?

Boise, Idaho in the Mountain Time Zone


2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to?

Um, just the one I'm working on right now (On Fire).  After that?  TBD.


3) Which snack are you most looking forward to?

chocolate


4) Tell us a little something about yourself!

Oh goddess, I'm really not that interesting!  I have 3 cats and they all sleep on my side on the bed.  On me.  Especially when it's cold outside.  In the summer, they are in bed with us, but not on me.  


5) If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today? If this is your first read-a-thon, what are you most looking forward to?

Reading!  Hopefully knocking down that TBR pile.  The downside is, I have a few things going on today.  So, I will say this now, I didn't read as much as I wanted.  

Arresting Desire

Arresting Desire - Shayla Black

Lucia: super smart academic who just turned 25. She also happens to be a virgin. Oh and she's part of a mob family. Yep, those last 2 sentences.
Jon: a 35 year old FBI agent. He was undercover 2 years ago and met Lucia. He's been HOT for Lucia ever since. Oh, and he's got SO much sexual experience. Of course he does.
This could have been good, but instead just annoyed me. I lost tract of how many times I rolled my eyes. I guess I'm still in my bitchy mood. Whatever. 

Taking the Heat

Taking the Heat (Shadow Stalkers #2) - Sylvia Day
Brian is a US Marshall tasked with protecting a witness while transporting her across the country to testify. Layla is that witness. It turns out they have a history together. First loves, they broke-up (but of course haven't forgotten each other). Complicating matters, Layla is the target of an assassination attempt. 
Didn't care to much for this one. I had a harder time getting into the story. Don't get me wrong, the sexytimes were HOT, but it was just weird under the circumstances (someone has tried to kill you while on the way to testify in court, but who cares! Let's have sex!). Because I wasn't that into the story, moments like this one took me out more (not to mention gave me a case of the giggles): "She's found his prostate." and "...as her pussy spasmed in greedy delight." And let's not forgot this one: "...her womb spasming with need."
I did like the end and how they compromised to solve their issues.
 
 

 

Soul Possession

Soul Possession - Maya Banks

Jessie is a waitress at the bar that Rick and Truitt go to. Rick and Truitt have both flirted with Jessie and do so each time they see her. Both want to take her home with them, so they proposition her together, and each time she declines. Then one night, she gets falsely accused of stealing and fired. On this night, she accepts their offer. Then, the morning after, she is accused of murder and then soon after kidnapped by a serial killer terrorizing the city.
Whew! There is so much packed in this novella! I did enjoy the ride, lots of hot sex. Good, likable characters. Jessie didn't need saving and I appreciated that. I do think Jessie let Rick and Truitt off a little too easily. I think more groveling was necessary after what they did (or in this case didn't do).

Break Out

Break Out - Nina Croft

Rico is a vampire, born/made in the 15th century. This takes place in 3048, Earth is no more (doesn't say why) and mankind has taken to space. That also means genetic engineering and the discovery of Meridian. Meridian is an expensive mineral that has the ability to make a person immortal. As the series continues, I'm assuming I will learn more about it. Skylar makes Rico and his crew an offer they can't refuse. Skylar has her own secrets.
This was fun. I enjoyed the interactions of the crew of the El Cazador: Tannis, Daisy, Janey, Trog, and Al. Decent action, romance, and banter. Reminded me a little of Firefly. Looking forward to the next. It looks like it picks right up after this one, but with Al and Jon.

The Sapphire Heist

The Sapphire Heist - Lauren Blakely

This is a continuation of book 1 (they really should have been 1 book IMO). Steph and Jake both have moments where they don't trust the other. I didn't think much of the moment Steph didn't, because, hey it made sense. Either way, they talked about it and moved on. Jake's moment, on the other hand, I didn't like and I thought Steph handled it well. 
Overall, this was decent, pacing is good and the "chase" is well played. The thief doesn't change throughout the book, even though there was a brief moment where I thought it could have been someone else. I do think this and The Sapphire Affair should have been 1 book. I think it would have worked better combining the 2.
Both of the books are available through Kindle Unlimited.

Unmentionable

Unmentionable: The Victorian Lady's Guide to Sex, Marriage, and Manners - Therese Oneill

*This!* There is not one thing I disliked about this book. It is entertaining and educational. I loved the writing style; it was very snarky. For an educational book this was super fun! I know the Victorian times were less then romantic: however, this crazy uterus still likes and enjoys historical romances and movies. But, in all seriousness, our female ancestors put up with so much shit for just being female. Mad props to all of them! 
I liked this so much, I went out and bought a copy for my grandma (for Christmas). Should be fun, she'll like reading all about the fashion, sexual expectations, hysteria, and masturbation. Maybe:-)

Crystal Cove

Crystal Cove  - Lisa Kleypas

Justine is a natural born witch. Unbeknownst to her, she was cursed as a baby. She will never find love. Jason is a mysterious billionaire in town to look at property to. He also happens to be after something else. So, of course, they are drawn to each other. 
I really enjoyed the previous books. They had a little of a magical element to them; Lucy with her glass making, Zoe with her cooking. Granted that last one (Dream Lake) was even more paranormal with the ghost and what happened at the end. The one, Crystal Cove, is full on paranormal romance (IMO). I didn't work for me. *Gasp* Another LK book I didn't care for!! (Looking at you, Midnight Angel).
"Never read page thirteen..." Justine was told this by her mother, because telling someone to *not* to something (and to also not explain why) will make sure they *don't* do it! AmIright? I thought Justine being a witch would have been more cool had she known more about it and an active practitioner. Instead, it just seemed something she did when she wanted/needed something instead. The whole thing with her going out on the kayak with signs of an impending storm was stupid. Hey the app said the weather was fine, so it must be true!
I also wasn't crazy about Jason. I thought he was creepy. Then, after admitting he has "feelings" for her, scheming to steal something from her. Oops, I mean "borrow."
Another thing that ruined this book: "the witch's bane." WTF? Oh hell no. 
And this too: one of the main characters didn't have a soul. Oh please.

The Immortal Live of Henrietta Lacks

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks - Rebecca Skloot

Henrietta Lacks was an amazing woman who was unknown. Because of her, life saving changes happened. And, yes, lots of money was made too. This highlighted issues with medical ethics and consent. I'm so glad this book exists. It tells an important story. I liked how it was laid out. Not dry, boring like it could have been. Sad that her daughter, Deborah, didn't live to see it's publication. 
On a personal note, in 2016, I had to have part of my liver removed because of a large tumor (not cancer). I did sign a consent form saying it was okay for the University of Washington hospital to do research on that tumor and tissue. I do think it's, in part, due to people like Henrietta, that I was able to give consent and not have them just take it and not know that they did.

Take the Lead

Take the Lead: A Dance Off Novel - Alexis Daria

I enjoy Dancing With the Stars, so when I saw this book, I had to read it. Gina is a professional dancer on "The Dance Off." She is paired with Stone. Stone is a reality star. He is known as the "quiet" one on his family's reality series. He has 3 sisters and 3 brothers and along with their parents live completely off-the-grid in Alaska. 
I enjoyed their interactions. I liked seeing Stone transform from very quiet, reserved to much less quiet and more outspoken in regards to his needs. The realization that he was unhappy and something needed to change. His needs have always come last, since he did whatever his family needed. I wanted him to stand up for himself. He does, in a way, but not in the way I would have wanted him too. Circumstances beyond his control helped much more than him having (getting) a backbone. 
I liked Gina's work ethic and her personality. She is driven and has goals. Her "daddy issues" played a huge role in some of her worries and decisions; she gave her absentee father way too much power I thought. Attention is paid to the "sexy" Latina stereotype and how Gina is very careful because of it. Gina happens to be Puerto Rican. I also thought this was poignant because of hurricane Maria and what is happening in Puerto Rico right now. 
I will admit to wondering who would be the one to compromise and how would a compromise would work. I thought their compromise worked well for them, it was on both sides, not just one. I did think the whole issue with Stone and his "off-the-grid" family's show was glossed over, forgotten, and resolved too quickly. It does make a point: how "real" is reality. I can say as someone who likes reality TV (Survivor! DWTS! The Bachelor/ette!) I do realize that they are scripted and edited. How much? That's up for debate. 
Good secondary characters (why did the vindictive bitch have to be a figure skater??!!). I was invested in the story.

eARC courtesy of St Martin's Press (Swerve Imprint) and NetGalley.
Published on Oct 3rd.

The Red Lily

The Red Lily - Juliette Cross

Yay! This is Sienna and Nikolai's story! A Little Red Riding Hood retelling- but this stands on it's own too. Sienna is the Lady of the Wood, often called the Red Witch of the Wood, in introduced in book 1. Every rebellion needs support in the form of troops. Nikolai and Sienna are tasked with finding that support. Both attracted to each other when they first met, find that interest is still there, and stronger than ever. This wasn't a slow burn romance, but fast. 
I thought this book had something of everything. There was intrigue, a capture and torture, revenge, love, magic. There were moments I cringed, and others where I cheered. More is found out of Morgrid's plan (the EVIL queen). Other characters are introduced; some are re-introduced (nice touch that!). I loved that at the end of the book, Sienna IS the Red Witch of the Wood.
One thing that I found confusing: For being immortal (or very close to), there is a high incidence of stillborn babies and women dying in childbirth. Just saying. 
The groundwork is laid for book 3- (The White Lily- pre-ordered!) which is Friedrich's story. He is an interesting character with an interesting background (his mother was Katerina, Morgrid's only daughter. It doesn't outright say it, but I suspect she murdered her husband and then herself.)

For me (for future reference):
The Hart wolves are: Duchess, her mate Luca, her brothers Hugo and Kai. 
Allora, Bron, Connell, Dane. Dane joins the Black Lily. 
Grindal and Morgrid are the evil king and queen. The queen was the first vampire. Not Grindal as is commonly assumed. Dominik is their oldest son, Marius their youngest. Katerina their only daughter. Katerina married the Duke of Winter Hill and had Friedrich. Now Friedrich is the Duke. 
Riker is Nikolai's cousin, severely injured in this book. 
Mina was Marius's betrothed who encouraged his interest in Arabella. Now she is in a "bloodless sleep."

One Summer Night

One Summer Night (At the Shore Book 1) - Caridad PiƱeiro

eARC courtesy of Sourcebooks Casablanca and NetGalley
Release date: Oct 3rd

 

There is a lot happening in this one. Maggie partially owns her family business with her dad (and other shareholders of course). The retail division is losing money, due in part, to her dad being rigid and not wanting to change anything. Maggie has mortgaged 2 of the family's properties to keep them afloat and she will lose her home (and vacation home at Sea Kiss) if she can't turn things around. 
Owen is part owner of his family's real estate empire. His father disinherited his brother Jonathon when he wouldn't do what he wanted. His father hates the Sinclairs and wants their retail properties. Owen walks a fine line trying to have both what he wants and his father's approval.
I enjoyed this one, in part, because of the family history. Maggie grew up next door to Owen and his brother in Sea Kiss. Things happen and they run into each other periodically as they grew up, attend college, and then in the city. I liked this for the slow burn romance at first, then it became so much more quickly. Maggie does grow a spine and talks to her dad about his refusal to make changes. I assume Maggie's friends, Connie and Emma get their HEAs in future books. (I'm hoping Connie's is first; I think some of her story was happening concurrently with Maggie's. I also suspect she is 

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Seducing the Hunter

Seducing the Hunter - Vivi Anna

Daeva was sent back to hell by someone she loved. 3 years later, Quinn is in need of her help. Quinn, is the keeper of a key that opens a box that could be hazardous to mankind. He has that key stolen and now needs to find the box it opens in order to protect it. Daeva is the only one to know the location of said box.
I wasn't crazy about Quinn in the previous box. I thought he was uptight and too quick to judge. Daeva, on the other hand, I did like and thought she could do much better. I don't think Quinn groveled or suffered enough in this one. Daeva did pretty much all the work. Quinn does eventually see things in a more gray light. I did like how he gradually realized he was wrong and how their relationship progressed as a result. I thought the ending a bit rushed. 
Overall, not bad.

For Halloween Bingo, will use this for the demons square.

 

Another Harlequin Nocturne book with an ISBN number that belongs to a completely different book (A House for Sharing by Isobel Chace;  published in July 1965).

ISBN at B&N is 9781460343869; listed page count is 304 (mine is 299).  

Kindle is correct with ASIN, but 2 different page counts on the Amazon page (none of which match what my book is)- 162 and 188.

Siren's Treasure

Siren's Treasure - Debbie Herbert

This is the second book in series and is Jet's story. Jet, feels like an outcast. Different from her sister Lily and her cousin Shelly, she is dark to their light. Jet was betrayed by her ex-boyfriend Perry. Perry is now out of prison and up to something. Landry is FBI and is investigating Perry. Jet is part of the investigation. The big question being, is Jet involved?
Somethings worked for me. Others didn't. In some ways, I liked this better then book 1 (Siren's Secret). In others, not.
The Awesome:
Jet is a fucking awesome! I liked her drive, compassion, athleticism, and even her insecurity. She uses her wish to find out her parentage (and it's not surprising). Landry was a decent character too. Lily and Shelly make appearances. 
The Not:
While I liked the paranormal in Landry's life, it was too much for the length of the story, IMO. Instead of April and the mermaid who saved him when he was a kid; pick one and focus on that one. Both were glossed over I thought. I thought the build-up to the end and the end just fizzled. Perry and Vargas could have been really good villains. 
I am known to overlook the lack of protection in a paranormal. (Contemporaries, in the other hand should have some type of discussion/mention). This one stuck out to me, because when they first got together, no mention was made. None. Then, at the end, it mentioned condom use and the fact that they hadn't used protection earlier. Oopsie! (And yes, you can assume something and you would be correct!). 
This also stuck out to me, and not in a good way. Lily, Shelly, and Adriana are all beautiful, blonde, light skinned, kind. The rest of the mermaids are described in similar ways. Except the Blue Clan. The Blues are described as dark and barbaric. Their skin is dark too (shades of blue). They are also the outcasts of the mer-world. Again, this is primarily from the beginning of the book when Jet is participating in the Mer world games (or something like it). No other page time was spent on it other then later on in the book in regards to Jet's parentage. 
I am still looking forward to Lily's story (even though I think she is my least favorite).
Also- the ISBN (9780373009336) from my book (that I'm holding in my hands) comes up for a COMPLETELY different book! Bride in Flight by Essie Summers published in 1965!

So, I used the Kindle edition.  That number is correct.  

Trouble With Gargoyles

Trouble with Gargoyles: an Urban Fantasy (Moonlight Dragon Book 3) - Tricia Owens

Opens with Anne and Mel facing off against each other eating hot, spicy chicken wings. Anne did this, in part, to get away from her shop which has a curse on it. Her pawn shop is already has its "normal" curse- she has walls that drip blood, a man whose face is being eaten by maggots appears in her bathroom mirror. This particular curse is worse, and quickly taken care of. Someone is stalking Anne and her friends (or are they?).
This installment has Anne's friends too. Both Anne's snarky narration and her friends humor make this a fun book. My favorite is Mel. She made me laugh. More revelations for Anne. She learns the truth about her parent's murder. She finds a journal that her uncle wrote for her that leads to both answers and questions. Vale comes clean about some things he should have shared long ago. Be interesting to see if Anne can continue to trick a certain entity. Looking forward to seeing that entity being taken down.

 

Halloween Bingo-American Horror Story

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