Rachel's books

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

 

 

After the Dark

After the Dark - Cynthia Eden

This was enjoyable. Great psychopath (and a copy cat). I liked that Samantha was smart and knew her strengths. She was also relate-able (I think most people have known someone that they thought they knew- and didn't really). She has a good backstory (I thought it was tragic, but unique & I think many would have done exactly what she did). I liked Blake, but there were moments where he was too protective; however, I thought Samantha was able override those moments. That being said, while I knew Samantha, didn't really learn about Blake and what makes him tick.

Deeply, Desperately

Deeply, Desperately  - Heather Webber

[spoiler]This didn't have the spark of book 1 for me.  I still enjoyed it, but it didn't hold me attention like the first book did.  Lucy decided to admit her feelings and fight for what she wanted (that was nice).  I do think the Curse only has power if one believes in it (and I'm interested if my theory proves to be correct).  The Handmaiden letters, Leo, and Sarah mysteries (threatening letters and 2 missing persons cases), were done well and resolved (nicely) by the end of the book.  Lucy finally shared her family's history with Em and Marisol.  Finally!  Lastly, I can't say I'm surprised:

Lucy finds out she has a half-brother- Cutter

(show spoiler)

 

 

All In

All In: A Sin City Collectors Novella - Amanda  Carlson
Ginger and Lucas are tracking Ginger's brother Lucas. Ginger and Damien's father hated what he was (an incubus) and passed on that hatred to his children, or so Ginger thought. She didn't like what she was and by the end had accepted what she was. I liked that when Ginger was accused of something she didn't do, she told control of the situation and built up an organization specializing in information. I didn't like that she was willing (over and over) to give her brother the benefit of the doubt.
Damien's father was killed by an incubus. He hated all incubi/succubi. Imagine his surprise when he met Ginger! I thought they were a good fit. Well paced.
 
 

 

The Wolf Siren

The Wolf Siren - Karen Whiddon

Lilly has been held captive and tortured for 15 years. Thought dead by her twin brother Lucas, she is rescued by him and The Pack (in The Lost Wolf's Destiny). Turns out there are some of the group that escaped and are free and are after Lilly. Kane, one of The Pack's Protector's, is assigned as her bodyguard.
I thought Lilly started out very meek, scared at her own shadow at first. I liked how she gradually got stronger and more self confident. I liked how she was able to save herself and didn't require rescuing. I was pleasantly surprised!
One thing that I thought was strange was how Kane was surprised more than once by the approach of someone. As a wolf shifter, I would have thought he had enhanced hearing and would have heard. 

Interlude with Tattoos

Interlude with Tattoos (A Charm of Magpies, #1.5)  - K.J. Charles

Read out of order, but I still enjoyed this one. Short and sweet.

Luck of the Dragon

Luck of the Dragon - Susannah Scott

A book about dragons? A heroine with a PhD in gemology who also happens to have a thieving past? Sounds interesting!
In reality? "Holy Mary, Joseph, and Peter!" (Lucy says this way too much). Eh. I was disappointed. I understand family loyalty. But. But, at some point there needs to be a line drawn. Lucy was a doormat when it came to her twin brother. He showed time and time again, he was all about himself. Never once did he show remorse or regret. 
I didn't have any issues with Alec. I thought he was too quick to forgive and trust. Yes, Lucy finally realized she was a doormat, but I thought it was a little too late.
I liked the idea of dragons hiding in plain sight. I like the idea of the male dragons losing their dragon form and becoming human if they don't find their mate. The women don't have that problem. It's a nice power change. I did like Alec's 2nd and 3rd (Leo and Darius) who get their stories in books 2 and 3. It would be nice for Lilly Belle to get her story, I thought she was interesting and stood out to me. I hope Joey's character is gone for good, but with the mark, who knows? I do know I won't read his story, selfish bastard.

Dead Man's Hand

Dead Man's Hand: A Sin City Collectors Novella - Kristen Painter

Seraphina is a muse. Ares is a wraith (son of a vampire and reaper). Ares is a Collector. He reaps souls that need killing. I thought this was well paced and there was quite a lot going on!

Jungle Freakn' Bride

Jungle Freakn' Bride - Eve Langlais
I jumped right into this one right after reading Human and Freakn'. From the events in that book and from the synopsis, I thought I would have issues with this one. And I was not wrong. Huge issues with this one. In fact, if this was the 1st book, I would have thought "fuck this series" andwouldn't have bothered to read any more. But, it's not and each book is about someone different (thankfully). 
The following quote says it all: "Outside the village, women didn't exist to serve their husbands. They worked and lived independently. They owned property. Voted. Had opinions. Choices. Raised in a male-orientated society, the adjustment in thinking proved jarring and Acat didn't always succeed in hiding his misogynistic views." That, that, and that is why this book sucked ass. This is a fun series, but skip book 5. Not. Missing. A. Thing. 
Then there was this: 
Carlie was turned into a jaguar without her consent. 
(show spoiler)
 
 

 

Human and Freakn'

Human and Freakn' - Eve Langlais

Ruth's sister is kidnapped and worried about her, unable to just sit at home and wait for news, she flies out to search for her. Kendrick and Joel, best friends, are part of the shifter search crew. Expectantly, they realize Ruth is both their mates. But she's human!
While at first Kendrick was a mean asshole to Ruth, he eventually explained why and made it up to her. I didn't like Ruth's fixation on her size, and the boys, for what it's worth, did notice it, but it wasn't an issue for them. This, of course, lead to a misunderstanding at the end that needed to be remedied.
This ends in a cliffhanger 

Stu gets arrested

(show spoiler)

 setting up book 6. Book 5 is Ruth's sister's story. I'm going right into Ruth's story (although I'm pretty sure I'm going to have issues with it).

Halloween Bingo- Shifter square

Halloween Bingo Update the Fourth

First Bingo!  On the diagonal.

2nd Bingo!  4 Corners and free space

3rd Bingo!   1st row

4th Bingo!   4th column

-and-

5th Bingo!   5th column

 

Called AND Read:

Relics and Curiosities:  Magic Breaks by Ilona Andrews 9/10

Cozy Mystery: Truly Madly by Heather Webber 9/16

New Release: I Am Justice by Diana Munoz Stewart 9/18

Diverse Voices: Black Lace by Beverly Jenkins 9/26

Southern Gothic: Dark Cries of Gray Oaks by Lee Karr 9/15

Modern Masters of Horror: Dead Spots by Rhiannon Frater 9/22

Ghost Stories:  The Kingdom by Amanda Stevens 9/29 

Murder Most Foul: Lowcountry Boil by Susan Boyer  10/1

Free Space:  Magic to the Bone by Devon Monk 10/4

Supernatural: Possessing the Witch by Elle James 10/3

13: She Hulk by Marta Acosta 10/7

Terrifying Women: A Girl in Disguise by Greer MacAllister 10/12

Creepy Carnivals: Wicked Weaves by Joyce and Jim Lavene 10/13

Genre: Suspense: Hell on Wheels by Julie Ann Walker 10/20

Terror in a Small Town: Buried Truth by Janine Gallant 10/21

Genre: Horror: Dreadful Skin by Cherie Priest 10/23

Spellbound:  Midnight's Master by Donna Grant 10/15

Country House Mystery: Ghost of a Chance by Katie MacAllister 10/27

 

Currently reading:

Shifters: Dead Heat by Patricia Briggs

 

Called and not read:

 

Cryptozoologist: Shield of Winter by Nalini Singh

Doomsday:  Married With Zombies by Jesse Peterson

Darkest London: Firelight by Kristin Callihan

Dead Lands: Once Bitten, Twice Burned by Cynthia Eden

Fear the Drowning Deep: Tsunami Blue by Gayle Ann Williams

 

List:

Baker Street Irregulars: The Hallowed Ones by Laura Bickle

 

Ghost of a Chance

Ghost of a Chance - Kate Marsh;Katie MacAlister

So, Karma is a half human house "cleaner" (she exorcises haunted homes) who agrees to "clean" one last home in exchange for a divorce. Spider (nice name huh?) won't contest it. There are imps, domovoi, poltergeists (or polter).
I admit to a little confusion at the start, with all the terms. Everything is gradually explained however. This was a nice mystery and I didn't see the ending coming (although I should have- there were clues that I didn't pay attention to). I enjoyed the characters and the interactions. They were snarky and fun. Pixie AKA Desdemona AKA Obsidian Angel AKA Morbent Vixen (and it continues) was an interesting character and I was glad there were answers in regards to her background. Spider (an asshole, and a plain rotten human being) got what he deserved and another character does too!
I did still have a few questions about the Akashic league and wergeld, but oh well. This was a fun read! This looks to be the only book, but could have worked as a series I think.

For Bingo:  Country House Mystery square

Dreadful Skin

Dreadful Skin - Cherie Priest
A gun carrying werewolf hunter who happens to be a nun (and has her own secret!)?! Sign me up!
In reality this was disappointing. I think the format didn't work. This is told in 3 parts. The 1st part is told in 1st person, but with several viewpoints. Each chapter is a different viewpoint- but no chapter headings nor was it obvious (sometimes) whose point of view it was. The 2nd part was 3rd person and this worked so much better! The 3rd and last part was back to 1st person. But the chapters had headings so I knew whose point of view it was. 
The frequent POV changes were just too distracting.
 
 Halloween Bingo:  Genre: Horror

 

Buried Truth

Buried Truth (A Siren Cove Novel) - Jannine Gallant
This was an average read for me, but after finishing it, I had too many issues with the events towards the end. See the spoiler. I can't give this more than a 1*.
So Leah dumped Ryan they were 18, heading off to college, because she felt they were 'too different." Ryan, hurt by this, always held himself back in relationships. Leah marries an asshole and divorced him when she realized he was an asshole. She regrets what she did to Ryan. He is the "one who got away" for lack of a better phrase. 
For their issues, I thought Leah and Ryan fell in love quickly before really talking about things. It was irritating at times when she'd dwell on the past repeatedly (move on please. I know you regret it, this is the umpteenth time it's been said. Just stop!). Likewise, Ryan as well. Dude, you were 18! And now you are both 30, you've lived, and (I assume) know exactly what you want!
The suspense I thought was lame. There was a secondary story-line of someone stealing from seniors (fake real estate). More time should have been devoted to this, or it should have been left out. It didn't add to the primary story-line. It was distracting. I thought the end was a bit rushed. I still don't know who put the film in the time capsule. (Not that it matters).
And really? 
Satan worshipers? A sacrifice on Samhaim? I didn't like the reference to a pentagram automatically meaning Satanism. While it is a symbol for that, the pentagram means many different things. Ditto in regards to Samhain. Plus, were Edgar and Sloan aware of the group? 
(show spoiler)

Halloween Bingo:  Terror in a Small Town

 

Hell On Wheels

Hell on Wheels - Julie Ann Walker

Well, I liked it, but didn't really like it...I have some nitpicks. So, Ali's got some people after her and she goes to her brother's best friend for help. She's known him (and been in love with him) for over a decade and vice versa.
This had a decent amount of suspense. The characters are likable. But, the romance was so-so. It's the "I'm in love with best friend's sibling" trope, but can't have them because it's my best friend's sibling/not good enough. Whatever. Last I checked both were adults and didn't need anyone's permission. I thought the back and forth (I want you, but can't have you! and Made a move/said something, but then a push back) was too much and lasted too long before they finally got together. I also thought the ending a bit rushed. 
Ali was a well written character. I felt I knew her. Nate not so much. I knew next to nothing about him and that was the same at the end. While I liked Ali, be warned. She has a weak stomach and threw up 4 times. The other thing? She doesn't cuss. It's crapola. HE double hockey sticks. Frank even apologies for cussing (yes, women have delicate ears and will go ape shit should they hear a curse word!). Insert eye-roll here.
I thought Becky and Frank (who also happen to be the couple featured in the next book) had a strong story-line in this book. I am definitely pro-Becky. I thought she was fantastic and kick ass. I loved that she was so unconventional. Frank? I'm calling him a misogynistic asshole! I thought Becky was tolerated, because they NEED her skills, but at the same time, was not really one of THEM. Her goal is to be one of THEM. She takes steps to make that happen, and Frank, tells her she will never be one of them. And if she leaves, he will sabotage her chances. Now, it doesn't say what his reasoning was (beyond "for her own good"), but I can't help but think it's because: 1. Becky is a woman. 2. He likes Becky. 3. He must therefore "protect" her. I'm curious if he redeems himself because I thought this book had good, strong female characters that didn't venture into TSTL territory and could hold their own.
Featured in this book: Frank (Boss), Rebecca (Becky), Ethan (Ozzie), Dan (Dan Man), Patti
Someone does die. Wonder if Dagan will join?
Mentioned: Billy (Becky's brother), Christian, Rock, Steady, Mac, Jamin

Halloween Bingo:  Suspense square.  

The Gathering Dusk

The Gathering Dusk - Cynthia Eden

Well done novella. Suspenseful. Induces Samantha, a FBI profiler. Cliff hanger ending. From reading synopsis of book 1, I am 100% certain who the killer is. Should be interesting.

Halloween Bingo Update the Third

First Bingo!  On the diagonal.

2nd Bingo!  4 Corners and free space.

 

Called AND Read:

Relics and Curiosities:  Magic Breaks by Ilona Andrews 9/10

Cozy Mystery: Truly Madly by Heather Webber 9/16

New Release: I Am Justice by Diana Munoz Stewart 9/18

Diverse Voices: Black Lace by Beverly Jenkins 9/26

Southern Gothic: Dark Cries of Gray Oaks by Lee Karr 9/15

Modern Masters of Horror: Dead Spots by Rhiannon Frater 9/22

Ghost Stories:  The Kingdom by Amanda Stevens 9/29 

Murder Most Foul: Lowcountry Boil by Susan Boyer  10/1

Free Space:  Magic to the Bone by Devon Monk 10/4

Supernatural: Possessing the Witch by Elle James 10/3

13: She Hulk by Marta Acosta 10/7

Terrifying Women: A Girl in Disguise by Greer MacAllister 10/12

Creepy Carnivals: Wicked Weaves by Joyce and Jim Lavene 10/13

 

Read, not called:

Spellbound:  Midnight's Master by Donna Grant (square not called) 10/15

Currently reading:

Darkest London: Firelight by Kristin Callihan

 

Called and not read:

Genre: Suspense: After the Dark by Cynthia Eden

Cryptozoologist: Shield of Winter by Nalini Singh

Shifters: Dead Heat by Patricia Briggs

Doomsday:  Married With Zombies by Jesse Peterson

Terror in a Small Town: Buried Truth by Janine Gallant

Genre: Horror: Dreadful Skin by Cherie Priest

 

List:

 

Baker Street Irregulars: The Hallowed Ones by Laura Bickle

Dead Lands: Once Bitten, Twice Burned by Cynthia Eden

Fear the Drowning Deep: Tsunami Blue by Gayle Ann Williams

Country House Mystery: Ghost of a Chance by Katie MacAllister

 

Currently reading

Hot Pursuit (A Hostile Operations Team Novel)(#1) by Lynn Raye Harris

Professional Reader2016 NetGalley Challenge Reviews Published 80%