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review 2020-05-17 21:58
Great Story and Characters
Legacy Found (Hell's Valley #4) - Jillian David

Following a traumatic accident in the Army, Kerr Taggart returns to Hell's Valley to come to terms with the man he’s become, so he can take the biggest chance of his life . . . asking the beautiful and forbidden Izzy Brand out on a date. But even if he achieves Mission Date Izzy Brand, Izzy’s family remains intent on destroying the Taggart family, and remains aligned with the rising supernatural creature plotting to steal Taggart land.

This was really good, right from the beginning. I really liked Kerr (although there were a few times I wanted to smack him upside the head) right off. I liked Izzy too, however for about the first half of the book I was really questioning her thought process. I hadn’t read any of the other books in the series, but it was pretty easy to catch on about the family dynamics. At this point, I plan on going back to read the first three! I highly recommend.

**I voluntarily read and reviewed this book

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quote 2019-11-18 14:48
I've always believed fitness is an entry point to help you build that happier, healthier life. When your health is strong, you're capable of taking risks. You'll feel more confident to ask for the promotion. You'll have more energy to be a better mom. You'll feel more deserving of love - Jillian Michaels
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review 2019-11-14 19:13
FYI - author's last name is Lin - also still free on kindle
The Emperor Who Built the Great Wall - Jillian Lin

This was a pretty good children's history of Qin Shi Huang. It includes facts and questions at the end. Really nice.

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review 2019-11-12 06:35
Malcolm's Honor by Jillian Hart
Malcolm's Honor (Harlequin Historical, Vol. #519) - Jillian Hart

Malcolm le Farouche felt his blood race at the thought. Yet, was rage or passion the reason? He knew only that though Elinore of Evenbough would share his bed by royal command, the warrior-trained beauty was not to be trusted...with his life or his heart!


Le Farouche—"the Fierce." The epithet added luster to Sir Malcolm's dark reputation as the greatest knight in the land. But how would Elinore refute his deep suspicions of an alliance with her treacherous father? For her soul called out that this man was her true mate born!

Goodreads.com

 

 

 

 

In the year 1280, Sir Malcolm le Farouche ("the fierce") is the greatest knight in all the land. He is sent as a kind of bounty hunter to round up the Lord of Evenbough when the man is suspected of treason and murder. When Malcolm finds the lord's daughter, Lady Elinor also in attendance, he gathers her up as well, unsure if she is equally guilty as the father. Better safe than sorry, it's decided everyone shall go to see King Edward.

Though innocent of wrong doing, Elinor (who goes by Elin for most of the novel) fears her fate will be tarnished through guilt by association, possibly meaning an end by execution. With her lady's maid, Alma, in tow, Elinor decides to make an escape attempt. Making a meal for Malcolm and his men, Elin mixes in a low dose of oakwood, mildly poisoning everyone... not enough to kill them, just enough for them to have bad enough intestinal upset for her to have a window to get away without capture. That's the plan, anyway. But much to her surprise and dismay, Malcolm pushes through his discomfort and does successfully capture her not far outside the camp.

 

Once in front of King Edward, Elin's father is swiftly handed off for execution, but Edward decides there's not enough evidence against Elin to condemn her, and her father's lands remain quite valuable. Edward's skeevy nephew, Carodoc, tries to make a grab for Elin's hand but since Edward apparently doesn't entirely trust his own family, he puts forth his decision to marry Elin to Malcolm. Malcolm's initially not fully onboard with the idea but once told that if he declines he will be banished from court and Elin WILL be executed, seems like there is little choice in the matter. So after a quick ceremony, off our newlyweds go back to the newly dubbed Le Farouche homestead...where you'd think things would kinda chill out for a bit, but nah.

 

Within mere hours of these two uniting, there are NUMEROUS attacks on their lives and home, with even more to come in the following days. It just does not let up! There's even yet another guy showing up claiming he has marital dibs on Elin! But on the upside, conflict often tends to stir up heightened emotions in people, and it's no different here. Though he's still struggling with learning to trust his new wife, Malcolm does definitely feel a growing interest towards her in general. He's impressed with her training in combat and healing arts (though he sometimes suspects her of sorcery), he's amused by her feisty side, but he's also baffled by her --- the way she has a "fragile cut of face, lithe grace, and womanly curves" but also physical strength and self-confidence to rival any man's. Prior to meeting Elin, Malcolm had taught himself to be content with putting all his energy toward being the most dedicated knight to the king. But maybe, just maybe, there IS, in fact, more to life than that ol' "punching the clock" business. Maybe there's something to be said for a coming home to a quiet night at the house and a soft woman to curl up with!

 

Though they might have had an unconventional start, Malcolm and Elin grow to have an adorable, realistic "I'm calling you on your BS" banter between them that kept me laughing and nodding. Those who have been in long-term relationships will appreciate the style of playfulness these two have. True, they developed theirs rather quickly, but the way Hart lays it out still makes it somehow believable, like they were just one of those couples that would of course find each other when the timing was right.

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review 2019-08-25 00:40
The Prince by Jillian Dodd
The Prince - Jillian Dodd

The 18-year-old protagonist, X, is one of the top students at Blackwood Academy, a boarding school for young spies. She's given her first mission before she even graduates: keep Lorenzo Giovanni Baptiste Vallenta, the Crown Prince of Montrovia, alive. Her new identity: Huntley, a 20-year-old socialite who has just learned that she has a 21-year-old brother named Ari (also a spy, but with a slightly different mission) and a billionaire father. Their "father" has just died, and it's common knowledge that they both stand to inherit billions as long as they spend the next six months getting to know each other.

Although aspects of her situation don't quite add up, Huntley rapidly gets down to business, befriending those closest to the Prince and enjoying the money, cars, clothes, and house supposedly left to her and Ari by their father. The Prince needs all the help he can get - his security is riddled with holes, mostly due to his own love of women and parties, and there are multiple people in his life who might have reason to kill him.

I found out about this book via one of the panels at Book Bonanza 2019 and ended up buying it and getting it signed at the author's table. "YA spy series" sounded like my kind of thing. Now that I've actually read it, I can say that 1) it isn't YA and 2) it's definitely not my kind of thing. I wish the author had marketed it as what it actually is, New Adult, because then I could have avoided it and saved myself some money, brain space, and time.

The things I liked: it was a quick read, and the mystery of X/Huntley's past and plans for her future were interesting enough that I wouldn't mind reading spoilers for the later books. I just don't plan to continue on with the series myself. Oh, and I like the cover.

I knew this book wasn't going to be for me when Huntley hooked up with Daniel, one of the Prince's acquaintances, by page 40. She'd known him for maybe a few hours by that point. The sex wasn't particularly explicit, but it was definitely vigorous and on-page.

After that, Huntley spent most of the book shopping for expensive clothes and accessories, driving one of her new expensive cars, and lusting after whichever hot guy was in her immediate vicinity. Occasionally, she mistook her lusting for actual emotions, which resulted in one of the weakest love triangles I've ever read. There were a few opportunities for her to save the Prince's life, but that was mostly because the Prince was an idiot who'd structured his life around having easy access to hot women, even if that meant having enormous holes in his personal security. Huntley should barely have been a blip on his radar, someone new for him to have sex with and then forget about. However, she played hard to get, which apparently works like an aphrodisiac in this book.

I wasn't fond of the author's use of first-person present tense POV - I don't know if it was intended to somehow humanize Huntley, but instead she was oddly emotionally distant. It was like she felt whatever emotions were convenient for a particular scene and then forgot about them later. This was most noticeable with the "love triangle." When she was with Daniel, she'd feel her heart soften for him, worry that she was falling for him, and fret over the parts of her training that stated she shouldn't get emotionally involved with others. When she was with the Prince, she felt the exact same things, but for him instead, like Daniel didn't exist.

The overall world-building was ridiculous. I could sort of be on board with a school for teenage spy candidates. I was less pleased when it was revealed that

the school was created solely for Huntley, to the point that it was closed after she left - that felt a little too much like the spy story version of "the chosen one."

(spoiler show)

And I downright rolled my eyes at every mention of what life was supposedly like for citizens of Montrovia. In Montrovia, all hotels were 5-star and poverty didn't exist.

It'd be nice to find out what Black X's plans are for Huntley, and I'm morbidly curious about Dodd's plans for the romance aspects of this series (my theory: the Prince and Daniel are out, or will be, and there will be an overarching love triangle involving Huntley, Ari, and William, the 30+ year old hottie British spy that Huntley has had a crush on for years). However, I'm not interested enough to subject myself to more of this.

 

(Original review posted on A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions.)

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