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review 2018-12-02 10:00
The One You Fight For by Roni Loren
The One You Fight For - Roni Loren

***ARC provided by publisher through NetGalley***

Dr. Taryn Landry had lost her little sister in the Long Acre massacre and watched her family fall apart, so she has one goal in life—prevent school shootings. She's been working her ass off developing a program to implement in schools and she's this close to present it to the school board of her old, now renamed school. She has no time for distractions, no matter how hot the guy might look. Besides, he's blown her off.

Shaw Miller had no other option. He's been living a lie for years, changing his name, his look, creating a new life in order to escape the brand society and media put on him—brother of a murderer. His little brother opened fire on the senior prom in Long Acre fourteen years ago and Shaw's been feeling responsible ever since...Others have held him responsible, just waiting for him to erupt as his brother had. He has no business looking for romance, feeling happy...

These two lost and lonely souls were bound to end up together, but once the whole truth comes to light, will they be able to live their lives together or will preconceptions drive them apart?


This one was rather exhausting. The entire series deals with a tough (and very contemporary) topic, and the stories aren't light and fluffy reading material, but this book made me really tired. I just couldn't read it in one gulp (as I did the others). There was something blocking me, I guess.

And I guess I know what it is.

I didn't really engage with the two protagonists. I didn't really like them, actually. I disliked the pity party they both had going; Shaw with his everybody-hates-me-so-I-don't-really-deserve-a-normal-life and Taryn with her allowing her parents to emotionally blackmail in not having a life at all.
I guess, in the end, these two really deserved each other, having so much in common, but I didn't really appreciate their story and romance.

It was the friendship angle that saved this story for me. Both Shaw and Taryn had friends, steadfast, stubborn friends who tried to make them see reason and didn't take no for an answer, never bailing, but sticking fast and true. Rivers was a nice addition to the storyline, he clicked right in (especially with Kincaid).

I guess the next book will be the final one in the series. Kincaid is the only one left and I'm looking forward to seeing who she'll end up paired with.

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review 2018-11-23 12:07
The Villa by Nora Roberts
The Villa - Nora Roberts

The Giambelli family is all about tradition, passing the business of winemaking down through generations. Now, it's time for a little change. A merger long in the making, a final business merger augmenting a long personal one.

But someone has a grudge against the Giambellis, especially, or so it seems, Sophia, the PR whiz of the family. But she's not alone, fighting against an enemy, she cannot see yet. There's her grandmother, the matriarch, her soft, yet steady mother finding a new chance at happiness in her own life, and there's Tyler McMillan, someone she grew up with, but has no blood ties...And feels no sisterly feelings for.

Sophia and Tyler must work together, despite their possible misgivings, despite the explosive attraction, to bring about the merger of their two wineries, to bring about the start of a new century for the label and brand, and to discover who is the enemy in the shadows...



This was a usual Nora Roberts book. A well-researched topic with wonderfully evocative descriptions and narrative, a prickly (and a bit too bitchy in this case) heroine who, despite not wanting to be like her father, keeps making (almost) the same mistakes, a deceptively laid-back hero who has enough self-confidence and self-worth to be able to stand back and play Beta (because being Alpha all the time is exhausting), a wonderful secondary romance between two people who more than deserve a happy ending, a great supporting cast of family and friends, and a gripping suspense sub-plot.

I must confess to preferring the secondary romance between Sophia's mother, Pilar, and the new COO, David to the main one between Sophia and Tyler. There was something incredibly sweet and cute between these two people seemingly past their prime rediscovering romance, and I loved seeing how David slowly coaxed Pilar out of her protective, quiet shell.
The primary romance, in comparison, was rather harsh and jarring, mostly due to the heroine's dislikable character...In the end, I didn't really feel the love between the two.

The suspense was great with its many twists, turns and a red herring thrown into the mix for good measure, although the unraveling at the end left me a little perplexed, since it didn't really fit with everything that happened before. The methodical revenge plot simply disintegrated into the ravings of an offended lunatic. Maybe the unraveling of the calculating personality happened because of the financial and business loss, but I'm still quite perplexed.

And then there was the supporting cast. Each individual, from family to friends and enemies, each with their own character, personality and goals, and each bringing something special to the table, from comic relief to the key of the mystery.

An intriguing story of legacy and revenge in the winemaking industry.

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review 2018-11-13 12:53
Crave the Heat by Marnee Blake
Crave the Heat - Marnee Blake

***ARC provided by publisher through NetGalley***

Dak Parrish has family issues. That's what he'd jumped at the opportunity to come back to Oregon to fight fires—his father, mother and little brother live on the reservation nearby. While his mother appears not to want to have anything to do with him, his father makes an impromptu visit, blackmailing Dak into helping an arsonist investigator look into suspicious fires...A prickly female investigator that quickly gets under Dak's skin...


Like its predecessor this story also didn't bring much to the table. The characters were bland (although the heroine was slightly too bitchy for my taste), the suspense had its moments, but the final reveal (without much motive behind it, or a worthy resolution) left everything to be desired, the pacing was plodding...

Another puffed-rice-cake equivalent.

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review 2018-11-02 04:56
First Earl I See Tonight (Debutantes Diaries #1) by Anna Bennett
First Earl I See Tonight - Anna Bennett

First Earl I See Tonight - Anna Bennett 

 

Fiona seeks out the help of Grey, the Earl of Ravenport, because she can’t forget how he very gracefully “rescued” her after she made a fool of herself by tripping in the middle of a ballroom. In her mind he’s an honorable man that would at least listen to her plight and with any luck she could convince him to marry her. I had some trouble connecting to her in the beginning because more than trying to be in good terms with him (after all, SHE was asking HIM a huge favor) she tended to correct, challenge, and even berate him. And what did he do? He found her attitude “refreshing” ¯_(ツ)_/¯ I don’t know, I’ve never thought rudeness a refreshing trait but what do I know… Fiona was a romantic at heart so I’m going to give her the benefit of the doubt and say that she acted that way because she thought she was going to marry for other reasons than love.


Gray was an honorable man that just happened to be cynical about love, and with good reasons. He was not exactly surly but I wouldn’t call him the life of the party either. His parents left his life and earldom in shambles and the few people he’d come to love and trust ended up betraying him. But even with all that baggage he was still considerate and caring. Once he realized Fiona and he made a good match he took upon himself to make her feel at the very least admired and protected. Of course it didn’t take long for either one of them to admit being in love and once they did I thought Gray did a wonderful job at declaring his love.


As far as the blackmail, I was glad Fiona was smart enough to open up to Gray and that he didn’t act like she had betrayed him as well. I think they both acted accordingly and to the best of their abilities given the situation. I didn’t like much how they took care of the blackmailer because to me his punishment was kind of vague and left me wondering if he’d come back after our couple in later books. All in all it was an enjoyable read and I recommend it for anyone in search of a light read.

 

*I received this book at no cost to me and I volunteered to read it; this is my honest opinion and given without any influence by the author or publisher**

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review 2018-10-23 21:55
Shards of Hope by Nalini Singh
Shards of Hope (Psy/Changeling) - Nalini Singh

Really good. It's one of the longest if not the longest psy-changeling novel but I still wanted more. The way the Arrows started to build their society was so fascinating and I liked how all these different groups were trying to work together. There were old characters and amazing new ones and while some of the old villains were still lurking around they had a terrifying new foe, who wasn't picky while choosing its targets.
This is definitely my favourite paranormal series.

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