Friday, March 18, 2016

Jacqueline's review of So I Married a Highlander by Kate McKinley

Reviewed by -- Jacqueline Driggers

Book Review of --
So I Married a Highlander (What Happens In Scotland Book 2) by Kate McKinley

Overall star rating --- 3 


About the book:
A Lady’s Rules of Etiquette When Eloping:

1. A lady should never leave a note behind explaining her intentions.
2. If by chance a note has been left behind, a lady must prepare to be hunted down and the ceremony thwarted.
3. In such a case, seeking consolation with a night of excessive drinking will be tempting, but ill advised.
4. And lastly, a lady must never, under any
circumstances, wake up manacled to a deliciously handsome Highlander.

Lady Evelyn Alexander has managed to break all four rules in the space of an evening—and the tall, virile Highlander she accidentally married is only the beginning. Her fiancĂ© has also mysteriously gone missing and the threat of scandal is hot on their heels…

Alec McAllister has no use for a wife, but when he wakes up entwined with the lovely and spirited Evelyn, he’s willing to reconsider. He’ll help her find her fiancĂ©, but when the passions ignite between them, it’s only a matter of time before the Highlander claims what’s his…

Book creation ratings:
* Max. total of 30 possible *
Overall total, out of 30 -- 22
-- Story & characters -- 5
-- Cover & title -- 8
-- Editing & formatting -- 9
* based on a 1-10 scale with:  1-4, poor; 5-7, good; 8-10, very good.*

The review --
The author of this book makes the same mistakes that many other authors make - putting today's morals and social habits into a historical romance. For one thing, I just can't imagine a proper english lady of that time, sister to a duke, eloping to Scotland to get married at a blacksmith shop. One blacksmith shop is busy, and at the other, the smith demands a kiss as payment to marry them. Only a man of low morals and character would do such. Moreover, a lady wouldn't have went off alone to find someplace to get married while her beau took care of the luggage and carriage and such.

When her marriage plans are foiled by friends of her and her brother, she and her friend end up in a common tavern at a table, drinking. Also not something a lady would have done. Then she ends up mysteriously married to the 2nd blacksmith, and the rest of the book is more a chronicle of lust than love or romance.

This reads more like erotica than historical romance. As historical romance, it fails completely. Also, the editing leaves something to be desired. I am being generous in giving it 3 stars.

Reader Recommendations
Genre -- erotic historical romance
Age recommendations -- 18 plus
Sex content rating -- a lot, much more than is usually found in historical romance
Violence rating -- mild

** The author's links **

Amazon

Amazon author page

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Sunday, March 13, 2016

Jacqueline's review of Back Blast by Mark Greaney

Reviewed by -- Jacqueline Driggers

Book Review of --
Back Blast, A Gray Man Novel by Mark Greaney

Overall star rating --- 3


About the book:
Court Gentry was the CIA’s best agent. Until the day the Agency turned against him and put out a kill on sight order. That’s when the enigmatic international assassin called the Gray Man was born—and Court has been working for himself ever since

Now, Court is back in Washington looking for answers. He’s determined to find out what happened all those years ago that made the Agency turn against him. On his list to interrogate are his former partners and the men who sent him on his last mission. What he doesn’t realize is that the questions that arose from that mission are still reverberating in the U.S. intelligence community, and he’s stumbled onto a secret that powerful people want kept under wraps. And now, they have Court in their crosshairs.

Court Gentry is used to having people on his trail, but this time, it’s on U.S. soil—the last place he wants to be. Now, he’ll have to find the answers to his fate while evading capture…and avoiding death

Book creation ratings:
* Max. total of 30 possible *
Overall total, out of 30 -- 22
-- Story & characters -- 5
-- Cover & title -- 7
-- Editing & formatting -- 10
* based on a 1-10 scale with:  1-4, poor; 5-7, good; 8-10, very good.*

The review --
When I took this book for review, I thought it was a spy/mystery novel. But, in actuality, it is a book about an assassin, come back home to get some answers on who had wronged him years ago. I tried to read this book, but I was put off by the immediate start of killings and the total disregard of life by the characters. I did skim through the rest of the book, to get an idea of what happened in the book and where it went. The book is filled with violence, and paints the CIA in a very bad light, as does most fiction now days.

If you like a story of a man who kills as easily as we wash our hands, then this would be your book. But if you are not a fan of great violence and killing in a book, you will not want to read this book. I personally would not recommend this book to anyone, as our society today has enough violence in it, without saturating a book with it.

I give it 3 stars because it is a well written and a well edited book, but it is a very violent book. Perhaps this book would be better suited to fans of this series, and those who have read the other books in this series. This book certainly does not have a happily ever after ending, and does not have a very conclusive one, but seems to string out towards more books of the same type.

Reader Recommendations
Genre -- violent assassin/murder
Age recommendations -- 25 plus
Sex content rating -- moderate
Violence rating -- extremely high, as this is an extremely violent book

** The author's links **

Amazon

Amazon author page

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Website

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Thursday, March 10, 2016

Kaylee's review of The Gadean Rulers by Isabel Vargas

Reviewed by -- Kaylee Lopez        

Book Review of --
The Gadean Rulers: Book 1 by Isabel Vargas        

Overall star rating --- 2-1/2        


About the book:
Donny is faced with a life threatening decision: to continue training to be a ruler of the world Gadea like he was raised to do, or to abandon everything he has ever known and secretly join a rebellious gang against Gadea’s rulers.

In the end, he chooses neither and decides to run away.

Left behind is the fear that a civil war will once again erupt in Gadea. To prevent history from repeating itself, the Gadean rulers decide to pass the Relocation Law, a law that separates the Scartretious gadeans from the rest of the world. But still, neither side is content with the law. And tension is beginning to rise elsewhere, within the rulers - personal tension revolving an abandoned princess, a neglected brother, a psychopathic official, and a disturbed Govor.

Thus, Donny leaves it all to escape the tension. Yet, other than his involvement with the gang, Donny holds another secret, one that caused him to run away, one that only his ruler father knows, one that if if anyone else were to find out, would end his life.

Book creation ratings -- Max. total of 30 possible --
Overall total, out of 30 -- 18        
-- Story & characters -- 5        
-- Cover & title -- 7        
-- Editing & formatting -- 4        
* based on a 1-10 scale with:  1-4, poor; 5-7, good; 8-10, very good.*

The review --
The author worked very hard in establishing a unique, futuristic world, with many colorful characters. The story itself was very interesting, as well as the unique concepts developed by the author to give her world more depth. The author has a clear picture of what she wants, but the writing is just a bit off. The book could benefit from an editor to tighten up plot issues and inconsistencies.

Reader Recommendations
Genre -- Futuristic dystopian, science fiction        
Age recommendations -- Should be ok for young adult readers.        
Sex content rating -- None        
Violence rating -- Moderate        

** The author's links **

Amazon

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Jeffrey's review of Season, Unforgettable by Keta Diablo

Reviewed by -- Jeffrey P Wyatt        

Book Review of --
Season, Unforgettable by Keta Diablo        

Overall star rating --- 4-1/2  

About the book:
Season Scrimshaw isn't selling the land her parents left her when they died, not even to the gorgeous Rann Brogan who saved her life in the forest. Especially not after she finds out he was in the woods to survey her property.

The company Rann works for, his mother's company, wants the land for a luxury condo development and they want it bad. He never dreamed they'd go to such extreme lengths to get it.

Lives spiral out of control, lies and betrayal play center stage. Caught in the middle between his rich and powerful mother and the woman he loves, Rann discovers love is complicated...and sometimes lethal.

Book creation ratings -- Max. total of 30 possible --
Overall total, out of 30 -- 23        
-- Story & characters -- 9        
-- Cover & title -- 5        
-- Editing & formatting -- 9        
* based on a 1-10 scale with:  1-4, poor; 5-7, good; 8-10, very good.*

The review --
*****This review contains spoilers*****

To start with, the cover isn't very telling about this story. It doesn't give the reader any idea of what to expect at all, which is something I don't really like with books. The story is the land developer vs. land owner conflict in the background, but really, the main Male and Female leads are really in focus. There is instant attraction between Season and Rann right off the bat, which is quickly complicated when she finds out he was surveying her land when they met. As for Rann, after encountering Season, his world and perspectives changed. Whatever he was feeling about his job and life before, are completely changed to support Season's side. In short, the man has it bad for her. Season is more conflicted, she is attracted heavily as well, but fights it as she sees him as "the enemy" trying to take her land.

 As the misunderstandings get cleared up, Rann works on both her and her beloved Grandfather, working into their hearts, although Season has a far bigger sense of distrust to overcome than her Grandfather. Just as it looks like we are heading for the HEA, sudden and terrible disaster strikes, shaking every single character's world in the book. It almost looks like the book will end sadly, but the author turns it around at the end and we all get the HEA we were hoping for.

I was nervous throughout the better part of this book, since both Season and Rann were clearly the good guys; we didn't really see the antagonist of the story until they make their move. There is some conversations with Rann and his Business-owning mother that hint at trouble, but when disaster strikes, it hits hard and no character sees it coming. The antagonist in the story, sadly for the main characters, is smart as they are bad, so the plan nearly succeeds far too well.

Overall, I liked the story very much, enjoyed the ending, and I hope the author does another story in this world with the Matt and Bernadette's story.                         

Reader Recommendations
Genre -- Contemporary Romance        
Age recommendations -- Oh this is an 18 and up story.        
Sex content rating -- mild, nothing in detail named, but one instance is a little hot.        
Violence rating -- one fairly bad scene, not so much the act as the description of the aftermath        

** The author's links **

Amazon

Amazon author page

Facebook page

Website

Twitter

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Jacqueline's review of Ecstasy Unbound by Setta Jay

Reviewed by -- Jacqueline Driggers

Book Review of --
Ecstasy Unbound by Setta Jay

Overall star rating --- 2 


About the book:
As one of the twelve Guardians, Urian has spent the last several centuries in a constant battle to keep the inhabitants of Earth’s Realms under control. Humanity has to evolve, hell beasts need to die, and Immortals need mates. But lately, Uri's mind is overrun with thoughts of when his sexy voyeur will find him again, watching him from the shadows, continuing their wicked game. All Guardians are forbidden contact with the little goddess and her brothers, but his need for her escalating, he finds it increasingly difficult to keep from pinning her down on the nearest surface and making her his.

Alexandra has managed to evade the Guardians and being cast out from the human Realm for centuries, ever since the Creators sent the Gods to sleep for their sins against humanity and banished all Immortals. Always sensing that she was needed on Earth, only once has Alex gone against her instincts and the price she paid will forever haunt her. It is for that reason she forces herself to stay away from the only male who has ever truly enticed her. The only one who has ever made her long for what she knows is dangerous.

In a desperate need to help her beloved brother, she will have to go to the enthralling Guardian, her dark obsession, and even though he will surely attempt to exile her, she won't go easily…

Book creation ratings:
* Max. total of 30 possible *
Overall total, out of 30 -- 12
-- Story & characters -- 2
-- Cover & title -- 3
-- Editing & formatting -- 7
* based on a 1-10 scale with:  1-4, poor; 5-7, good; 8-10, very good.*

The review --
The author took 1 part mythology and 1 part porn, and put them both together in a blender, and blended well, then poured them into a book. There is a violent, evil thread that runs throughout the whole book; and it totally turned me off as a reader.

The prologue is boring and confusing. Pretty much every chapter ends in a sex scene, and the sex scenes are porn, plain and simple. A well written sex scene should read like poetry, not porn. And yes, I've read erotica before, and paranormal romance too; so I'm very familiar with both, and this book is neither. I know what good erotica is like, and good paranormal romance, and this isn't either of those.

The first 3/4 of the book moves from graphic sex scenes to graphic violence. The book includes  descriptions and references to some quite horrible things. There are no warm, fuzzy moments in this book, no awww moments either. It isn't until the last 1/4 of the book that the author throws in a few semi-tender moments, almost as an afterthought.

I've read a lot of books in my life, and rarely do I give one a two star rating. I would call this book part porn, part violence, and part horror; as there are some very disturbing scenes in it. Not something I care for at all.

Reader Recommendations
Genre -- violent pornographic horror
Age recommendations -- 25 plus
Sex content rating -- extreme
Violence rating -- extreme

** The author's links **

Amazon

Amazon author page

Facebook page

Website

Twitter