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WitandSin

Wit and Sin

My name is Kimberly and I'm the reader/reviewer behind Wit and Sin. Wit and Sin is a website that provides honest reviews and publicity. I primarily read and review Romance titles, but I also review Urban Fantasy, New Adult, Young Adult, Mystery, and Non-Fiction titles. In addition to Wit and Sin, I am a reviewer for Joyfully Reviewed (pen name: Shayna) and Romance Junkies (pen name: Lily).

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Down for the Count (Dare Me Series, #1)
Christine Bell

Review: My Fair Lover by Nicole Jordan

My Fair Lover: A Legendary Lovers Novel - Nicole Jordan

My review cross-posted from Wit and Sin

 

Six years ago Lady Katherine Wilde was in love with Brandon Deverill and attempted to seduce him. At the time he was about to leave to fight in a war against the British, so Deverill chose to do the honorable thing and turn her away. Now there’s peace between their countries and Deverill has inherited a title, which means he needs a suitable wife. Who better to find him a wife than consummate matchmaker Kate Wilde? Kate agrees to his plan in exchange for Deverill taking her to France and helping her search for what’s left of the ship her parents died on. She will model Deverill into the ideal English gentleman and introduce him to the perfect candidates for matrimony. What she doesn’t know is that he has no plans to mold himself into the perfect husband for some strange woman – he fully plans on seducing and wedding Kate. All he needs to do is convince her to give him a second chance and they could have a love that is truly legendary.

The ultimate matchmaker finally meets her match in My Fair Lover. Though this fifth book in Nicole Jordan’s Legendary Lovers series gives a few nods to the story of Pygmalion, Kate and Deverill’s story is more of a second chance romance than a twist on a literary legend. As I happen to be a sucker for a good second chance romance, I didn’t really mind this, particularly since My Fair Lover started out with such promise.

Deverill and Kate have fantastic chemistry at the start of the book. She is determined to be proper and not to let him seduce her, while he is equally determined to tempt her, challenge her, and ultimately win her back. Their back-and-forth was charming and the dialogue was flirty and fun. But once things started to get steamy between Kate and Deverill, the book, well, lost its steam. The obstacles in the way of their happily ever after – both internal and external – felt a bit forced as it was clear the two were meant to be together, wanted to be together, and the reasons they weren’t were fairly thin. The snappy connection that characterized Kate and Deverill’s relationship in the beginning gave way to sensual scenes that were entertaining but not as original or fun. In addition, the storyline involving Kate’s search for her parents’ sunken ship, a pirate with a grudge against Deverill, and the pirate’s lovelorn mistress just fell flat. Perhaps a shorter format would have served the characters better, but as it stands Kate and Deverill were delightful together and I was rooting for them to get their happily ever after. So while My Fair Lover had its ups and downs for me, I did finish the story a satisfied reader.


FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Source: http://witandsin.blogspot.com/2017/08/review-my-fair-lover-by-nicole-jordan.html

Great idea- reading to the children affected by Hurricane Harvey

Reblogged from ~*Krissys Bookshelf Reviews*~ :
Love this!

Read or have children read books out loud and then post them here.  What a terrific idea!

 

https://www.today.com/parents/hurricane-harvey-book-club-helping-little-flood-victims-t115677?cid=sm_npd_td_fb_ma

 

Review: Compromised in Paradise by Samanthe Beck

Compromised in Paradise (Compromise Me) (Volume 3) - Samanthe Beck

My review cross-posted from Wit and Sin

 

Arden St. Sebastian has nearly reached her breaking point. Between playing intermediary for her parents and constantly fielding calls and texts from her father interfering in her personal and professional life, Arden is constantly stressed. So when she spies an incredibly gorgeous man while in Maui for work, she decides it’s time for a little play. Arden was recently burned by a boyfriend who tried to use and blackmail her, so she’s wary of letting this handsome stranger know her identity. So why not enjoy a little fantasy? No names, just one night of fun. Except she’s under so much stress that when things get hot, she isn’t able to fully, well, enjoy it.

Nick Bancroft has no problem going along with the stunning mystery woman’s plan. But when he realizes she’s faking it, he offers her a deal: he’ll help her with her problem if she’ll give him six days of relaxing and exploring Maui. If he succeeds, she’ll tell him her real name. If not, they can part strangers. Only things get more complicated once they realize that their island fling is starting to feel like something more.

Compromised in Paradise is h-o-t HOT. Samanthe Beck has delivered the ultimate fantasy vacation in Arden and Nick’s story. It’s a sensual, fun, wonderfully entertaining read.

Arden and Nick are both incredibly likeable characters, which makes it easy to fall into their romance. Past experience – and multiple reminders of what happened from her father – has made Arden wary of trusting someone to want her, not her name and connections. As for Nick, his past has made him sell himself short when it comes to relationships. While neither of them is looking for more than a one-night stand, when they start their adventure it’s clear that it won’t be long before they’re falling in love. The two of them have fantastic chemistry that makes the pages of Compromised in Paradise fly by. Their erotic adventures are seriously steamy – Nick definitely knows how to show a lady around Maui. But the quieter moments are just as important as the two of them come to realize that a few days in paradise will never be enough.

Compromised in Paradise is the third book in the Compromise Me series, but it can easily be read as a standalone. Fans of the first book, Compromising Her Position, will delight in getting a brief visit with Rafe St. Sebastian (the scenes with him and Arden make me smile). I’ve adored every book by Samanthe Beck that I’ve read and Compromised in Paradise is no exception. It’s sexy, flirty, and just plain fun to read.


FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Source: http://witandsin.blogspot.com/2017/08/review-compromised-in-paradise-by.html

Review: Make Me Want by Rebecca Brooks

Make Me Want - Rebecca Brooks

My review cross-posted from Wit and Sin

 

A fake relationship that turns into a one-night stand that turns into something so much more makes Make Me Want an incredibly fun read. Rebecca Brooks’s third Men of Gold Mountain story is a sexy, fast-paced read that I hated to put down.

I adore well-drawn characters who are flawed and vulnerable and Tyler and Abbi fit the bill perfectly. Tyler is a hot as hell firefighter with a good but damaged heart. Tyler’s past has left him with a desire to be needed for fear of being left otherwise. To make things worse, he has recently lost his best friend to a wildfire and he’s grieving heavily when he takes on the job to oversee a firebreak in Gold Mountain. He doesn’t expect to pick up a woman his first night in town, but the sparks he and Abbi strike off one another are hot enough to burn. The only problem is, she’s the lead naturalist whose promotion depends on fighting the firebreak. Abbi is a strong-willed, independent heroine whose past has left her fearful of ever fully trusting a man. The fact that she’s drawn to Tyler – a man standing between her and her dream job – only exacerbates the problem. Usually I can take or leave stories where the hero and heroine are on opposite sides of a fight because it leads to a lot of false drama, but Ms. Brooks does a really good job of showing where Tyler and Abbi are coming from. Neither of them is fully in the right or wrong, and though they argue the arguments are logical, not just emotional.

I really enjoyed watching Abbi and Tyler play off one another, both in bed and out. Make Me Want is definitely sexy good fun, but Ms. Brooks doesn’t pay lip service to the emotional obstacles Tyler and Abbi have to face if they want to have a chance. As with the last Men of Gold Mountain book, Make Me Beg, I enjoyed the downs as well as the ups in the romance because the characters’ strengths and weaknesses were showcased really well. I thoroughly enjoyed Make Me Want from beginning to end and I cannot wait to read more Men of Gold Mountain books.


FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Source: http://witandsin.blogspot.com/2017/08/review-make-me-want-by-rebecca-brooks.html

Review: Illegal Contact by Santino Hassell

Illegal Contact (The Barons) - Santino Hassell

My review cross-posted from Wit and Sin

 

A warning to anyone about to start Illegal Contact: make sure you leave yourself time to read the entire book in one sitting. Santino Hassell has a compelling writing style that makes Gavin and Noah’s love story impossible to put down. Even if you’re not a football fan, this is one sports romance you don’t want to miss.

Gavin Brawley isn’t your typical hero. He may be gorgeous and talented both in the bedroom and on the field, but he’s also got a short temper that he lets fly. Add in an attitude and an unwillingness to be anything but straightforward and it’s easy to see why he’s a public relations nightmare. Gavin isn’t wholly the jerk the media makes him out to be, but he’s got a chip on shoulder and the forced confinement of house arrest (even if that house is a mansion) makes him even more irritable. So why did I find him so compelling? What sold me on Gavin from the start – even when he was at his most disagreeable – was that he’s utterly and completely loyal, protective, and caring when it comes to his friends. I loved peeling back the layers of his character and watching Gavin grow and change over the course of the story. He’s never going to be the smiling sports star pictured on your boxed cereal, but he does become an ever better, more well-rounded version of himself.

Noah Monroe is the catalyst for Gavin’s change, and I flat-out loved him. Noah is one of the most relatable protagonists I’ve come across in quite some time. When he applies for the job of Gavin’s personal assistant, it’s not because he’s a football fan or a celebrity-chaser. He’s simply a recent college grad drowning in student loan debt and desperately needs a job. Noah may be smart, no-nonsense, a bit of a geek, and look like a sexy Clark Kent, but he’s also an over-thinker with flaws of his own. Noah isn’t cowed by Gavin’s temper and his straightforwardness with the other man about how he comes across is part of the reason why Gavin starts to examine his own attitude.

Noah and Gavin don’t hit it off from the start; in fact, they piss each other off more often than not. The sparks fly fast and furious and I loved watching Gavin and Noah go from antagonizing one another to respecting each other to becoming more than cranky football star and overwhelmed employee. While there’s definite attraction in the beginning, the romance is a slow burn. I loved that Gavin and Noah actually got to know each other before the love story kicked things into high gear. And when the sexual tension between the two men boils over…watch out, because you’re in for some dirty, sexy fun. I loved these two together, but even after they start to fall in love, you know things aren’t going to be easy. Coming out as bisexual could destroy a career that has saved Gavin, and homophobia isn’t something you can wave a magic wand at and make disappear. I won’t say how things work out, but I will say that the ending of Illegal Contactleft me with a huge smile on my face.

Illegal Contact is the first book in Mr. Hassell’s Barons series and I can’t wait for more. Noah and Gavin are complex, interesting characters and their love story is layered, engaging, sexy, and surprisingly sweet at times. I also fell in love with Gavin’s teammates and best friends Simeon and Marcus, and I cannot wait to see what Mr. Hassell has in store for Simeon in Down by Contact. Until I find out, I’m content to keep re-reading Gavin and Noah’s story – their romance is just that addictive.


FTC Disclosure: I received the e-book edition of this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Source: http://witandsin.blogspot.com/2017/08/review-illegal-contact-by-santino.html

Review: The Wolf of Kisimul Castle by Heather McCollum

The Wolf of Kisimul Castle (Highland Isles) (Volume 3) - Heather McCollum

My review cross-posted from Wit and Sin

 

Alec MacNeil has a simple plan for revenge: kidnap his enemy’s bride on her wedding day and marry her himself. But Mairi Maclean is no wilting flower. She challenges him, tempts him, and isn’t about to give in and marry some man just because he says so. But even though she’s his captive, it’s not long before Mairi is breathing new life into Alec’s home. And the longer the two of them are around one another, the more difficult it becomes for them to resist their mutual attraction…

The Wolf of Kisimul Castle is one of the most fun books I’ve read in a long time. I can’t count the number of times Mairi and Alec made me grin and Heather McCollum’s writing just plain charmed the heck out of me.

Mairi is a strong, resourceful woman who isn’t afraid to speak her mind. When taken captive she doesn’t faint with fright, but defies Alec and makes herself comfortable in his dungeon. I loved Mairi’s cleverness, attitude, and warm heart. Kisimul Castle is a dark and depressing place when she arrives and she – along with Alec’s adorable children – turn it into a home. As for Alec, though he’s determined to avenge his wife’s murder, he’s no monster. He’s a kind and loving father and a leader who wants to do what’s best for his people. I adored both Alec and Mairi, which made it easy to become invested in their love story. Their romance is lively and fun; every part of it crackles with energy. The sparks that fly from their first meeting keep flying all through the book which made this a wonderfully satisfying romance.

Some books just make you happy when you read them, and that’s definitely the case for me with The Wolf of Kisimul Castle. This is the first book of Ms. McCollum’s that I’ve read and her style reminded me of vintage Julie Garwood. I couldn’t have been more entertained by Mairi and Alec’s story and I cannot wait to go back and read Ms. McCollum’s first two Highland Isles tales!


FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Source: http://witandsin.blogspot.com/2017/08/review-wolf-of-kisimul-castle-by.html

Review: How to Marry a Marquess by Stacy Reid

How to Marry a Marquess (Wedded by Scandal) (Volume 3) - Stacy Reid

My review cross-posted from Wit and Sin

 

Since reading the first Wedded by Scandal book, Accidentally Compromising the Duke, I have been on tenterhooks for Evie and Westfall’s story. Stacy Reid did not disappoint. How to Marry a Marquess has it all: bright dialogue, meltingly sensual scenes, and a romance you can root for. I adored it.

What I liked best about Evie and Westfall’s relationship is that it is six years in the making. Ms. Reid takes readers on a journey that starts with a less than glamorous (but quite funny) initial meeting. Even though they’re immediately attracted to one another, the two of them are friends for years before the main story develops. I loved the chemistry Evie and Westfall had both as friends and lovers. The sexual tension was utterly delicious and their dialogue brightened up the page and made How to Marry a Marquess practically speed by.

While it’s clear to everyone that Evie and Westfall would make a great match, things aren’t so easy for them. Westfall’s life took a turn when he found and rescued his illegitimate daughter, Emily. Emily changed Westfall’s outlook on life and his patience for the hypocrisy of high society is limited. The fact that he loves his daughter and the other children he adopted made me melt, but his actions have made him a pariah in society. While he doesn’t care that his name has been dragged through the mud, he’s so protective of Evie that he won’t give them a chance because he doesn’t believe that the darling of society could be an outcast. Westfall’s passion for social reform made me love him, but I did want to shake him a time or two because he makes assumptions about Evie and what she does or does not think. Neither he nor Evie are perfect and that means that – even though they both have hearts of gold – they don’t always say or do the right thing. But even when they screw up, they mean well and Ms. Reid shows us why each acts the way they do. And all the ups and downs are totally worth it because their happily ever after is wonderfully romantic.

How to Marry a Marquess is the third Wedded by Scandal book, but it can easily be read as a standalone. As happened Accidentally Compromising the Duke, I made the mistake of trying to read this story on my lunch break, which was a terrible plan. Ms. Reid’s writing is so entertaining that if you have to put the story down, you’re counting the hours until you can get back to it. I love a good friends-to-lovers story and Evie and Westfall’s is simply fantastic.


FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Source: http://witandsin.blogspot.com/2017/08/review-how-to-marry-marquess-by-stacy.html

Disciplined by the Duke

Disciplined by the Duke (Lords of Discipline) - Alyson Chase

DNF at 44%

After four days of trying to slog through this story, I had to give up. The book’s description sounded fun and I expected a sexy historical with perhaps even a dash of intrigue. As of where I stopped reading, the blurb didn’t fit the book. Perhaps the latter 56% percent of the story was all passion and submission, but I’m not about to stick around and find out. Disciplined by the Duke is incredibly slow-paced, with an insipid heroine who is mostly memorable for her brief bouts of martyrdom and a hero who is pretty unbelievable (and I’m willing to suspend quite a bit of disbelief when reading). Almost halfway in, the romance hadn’t really developed, the sexual tension had barely started to simmer, and the letter that Liz is risking everything to find was proving to be more of a MacGuffin than an actual plot point. Perhaps the latter half of the book picked up, but when reading a book feels like a chore, it’s time to call it a quits.

Review: Her Wish by Sophie H. Morgan

Her Wish: A Playboy Genie Romance - Sophie H. Morgan

http://witandsin.blogspot.com/2017/07/review-her-wish-by-sophie-h-morgan.html

 

Forget Powerball – I totally want a ticket to win a wish from one of Sophie H. Morgan’s Genies!Her Wish is a fresh and fun paranormal romance. I loved Ms. Morgan’s whole concept of celebrity Genies, the corporation that employs them, and wishes being granted to weekly lottery winners.

Charlie believes in hard work, not wishes. And when her best friend buys her a lottery ticket and Charlie wins, Charlie would rather chew glass than make a wish. Unfortunately for her, Jax Michaels – the Genie who is supposed to grant Charlie her wish – can’t let her just skip out on her wish. On the surface, the stunningly gorgeous, oh-so-charming Jax who has women throwing themselves at his feet is everything Charlie despises. But when he keeps popping in, the two actually start to get to know one another and the real fun begins. I loved that Charlie threw Jax for a loop by being unimpressed with his looks, charm, magic, and celebrity.

Charlie has her reasons for not wanting a wish, and though it took a while to learn her reasons, I understood why it was too personal for her to immediately open up and share with Jax. As for Jax, I – like Charlie – wasn’t immediately bowled over by him because he was arrogant as could be. This actually worked really well for the story, because it gave me a chance to start liking Jax alongside Charlie. There’s more to Jax than most people see. Most people don’t look past his looks or charm, just like most people don’t look past Charlie’s “plain Jane” looks and acerbic wit. Both of them are smart, flawed people who come into their own over the course of the story and their personal journeys had me as engaged as their romance. Charlie and Jax make an excellent couple and I found it difficult to put Her Wish down because the chemistry they had was so appealing. Even when they’re fighting, sparks fly and they’re equally matched. Jax and Charlie simply work on every level. They don’t instantly fall in love. Heck, they don’t even instantly fall in lust. Their love story is a natural progression as they come to know each other and I just loved that. It’s not smooth sailing for these two. Their strong personalities, differing views, and Charlie’s old wounds and insecurities mean that it’s a bumpy road to happily ever after, but it’s a road well worth travelling.

Her Wish is the first book in Ms. Morgan’s Playboy Genie series and I’m can’t wait to delve further into the world of the Genies. I was fascinated by the bits and pieces of WFY that we got to see and the Genies who worked there. I’m definitely hoping future books show us more of how WFY works. There are also a couple of supporting characters, both magical and mortal, who I’m really hoping get books of their own one day. Jax’s Handler, Luka, Jax’s assistant, Josh, and Charlie’s roommate, Kate, added extra humor and heart to the story and helped make the world come alive.

Her Wish is unique, fun, and as charming as Jax himself. I adored Jax and Charlie’s romance and I can’t wait to read the next Playboy Genie story, His Command.


FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Source: http://witandsin.blogspot.com/2017/07/review-her-wish-by-sophie-h-morgan.html

Review: Mind Over Matter by Nora Roberts

Mind Over Matter: A Passionate and Intriguing Novel of Suspense (Language of Love) - Nora Roberts

3.75 Stars

http://witandsin.blogspot.com/2017/07/review-mind-over-matter-by-nora-roberts.html

 

In Mind Over Matter a hardworking theatrical agent meets her match in a producer who isn’t afraid to knock down the walls she has around her heart. A.J. Fields has worked for years to become one of the most successful agents in Hollywood. She’s smart and has a spine of steel, so when David Brady wants to use psychic Clarissa DeBasse – A.J.’s most important client – in his new documentary, A.J. isn’t about to be bowled over by the handsome producer. Sparks fly immediately between A.J. and David, but A.J. doesn’t mix business with pleasure and those walls she has around herself are because she has been hurt repeatedly in the past. I liked the combination of strength and vulnerability in her and author Nora Roberts made it understandable why A.J. would be reluctant to open her heart to David. David is used to being demanding in his work life and noncommittal in his personal life, but the longer he’s around A.J., the more he finds his attitude toward relationships changing. She isn’t at all his type, but of course she knocks him for a loop. The two of them play off one another really well professionally and personally. Because they’re both hard-headed and flawed, they make mistakes in their burgeoning relationship, which I actually liked because it added a level of realism to the story.

Mind Over Matter was first published in 1987 and while there are things that date it (fashion, technology, some attitudes, etc.), for the most part it holds up really well. The style of this book isn’t as smooth as Ms. Roberts’s later work – the swift point of view changes took a bit of getting used to – but it’s still an enjoyable read and the romance is satisfying. All in all, I found Mind Over Matter to be a good comfort read fans of Nora Roberts are sure to like.


FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Source: http://witandsin.blogspot.com/2017/07/review-mind-over-matter-by-nora-roberts.html

Review: Royally Romanov by Teri Wilson

Royally Romanov (The Royals Book 2) - Teri Wilson

http://witandsin.blogspot.com/2017/07/review-royally-romanov-by-teri-wilson.html

 

Teri Wilson takes the modern legend of Anastasia gives it a fresh twist in Royally Romanov. I adored Maxim and Finley’s story – it’s sweet without being cloying, fun, romantic, and fast-paced. Add in the mystery surrounding Maxim and whether or not he’s the grandson of the Grand Duchess Anastasia and you have one addictive story.

Finley loves her work as assistant curator at the Louvre. Her upcoming exhibit on the Romanovs could help secure her a much-coveted promotion, but her hard work is threatened by the arrival of Maxim. Maxim has just recently been brutally attacked and the head injury he suffered wiped out his memory. All he has are a few clues which lead him to believe he is the grandson of the Grand Duchess Anastasia. If his claims are true, then all the art Finley has borrowed from various museums for the exhibit would belong to him, which would ruin the reputation of the Louvre and make Finley unemployable. Maxim has to be a con man…right?

Ms. Wilson does an excellent job of updating and putting her own spin on the Ingrid Bergman/Yul Brynner classic. I watched Anastasia right before starting Royally Romanov, and though it feels almost blasphemous to say, I actually preferred Finley and Maxim’s story to the film that inspired it. Finley and Maxim are both incredibly likeable characters who have both suffered trauma and their meeting is the catalyst for each to come into their own. The two of them have excellent chemistry and though they fell in love rather quickly, their romance charmed me so much that I didn’t care. I loved watching them work to put the pieces of Maxim’s identity together, and I enjoyed how Ms. Wilson kept me guessing as to whether or not Maxim is a Romanov. There’s just the right amount of intrigue mixed with romance in this story, and that makes it very difficult to put the book down.

It’d be remiss of me to write about Royally Romanov and not mention the backdrop of Paris. Ms. Wilson brings Paris vividly to life and I just itched to hop on a plane and visit the places she described, particularly the Shakespeare and Company bookstore. Royally Romanov shines in every scene set in the famous bookstore and Finley’s love of the place and – more importantly – her love for literature shines through and grabbed my heart.

Royally Romanov is the second book in the Royals series, but it is a standalone. Unless things change in the third book, Royally RomaRoyally Romanov, and Royal Wedding are connected by theme rather than characters. After finishing Finley and Maxim’s story, I cannot wait to read the next Royals book because I just love how Ms. Wilson reimagines classics. Royally Romanov made me smile and sigh, and I just plain adored Finley and Maxim’s romance. It’s the perfect escapist read.


FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Source: http://witandsin.blogspot.com/2017/07/review-royally-romanov-by-teri-wilson.html

Review: Ash and Quill by Rachel Caine

Ash and Quill - Rachel Caine

http://witandsin.blogspot.com/2017/07/review-ash-and-quill-by-rachel-caine.html

 

The fight for the soul of the Library is on in Ash and Quill. Rachel Caine takes readers on an electrifying journey as Jess, Morgan, Khalila, Dario, Thomas, Glain, Santi, and Wolfe escape the threat of Library soldiers only to find themselves imprisoned in Philadelphia, the heart of Burner territory. The Burners would rather die than submit to library control and censorship, and Jess will have to bargain with them in order for he and his friends to even have a chance to survive. And our heroes’ bargaining chip is a big one: the idea and knowledge of how to build a printing press – a chance for people to read free of the Library’s ever-watchful eye.

I’m hesitant to say too much about the plot of Ash and Quill for fear of spoiling the story. The danger the Burners present is only the beginning of what Jess and his friends will encounter over the course of this story. Suffice it to say there is never a dull moment in this book. Now that they’re openly rebelling against the rot that threatens to destroy all that the Library could be, it’s open season on our beloved heroes. Though their love of books and knowledge still shines, everyone’s hope and optimism must give way to practicality if they even have a shot at surviving and bringing change to the world. It was interesting to see how all eight heroes have changed since the beginning of the first Great Library book, Ink and Bone, but it also saddened me (as it should) to see them strain under the weight of their burden. Everyone has their own unique personality and because I’ve come to care for them over the course of the series, it was nearly impossible for me to put Ash and Quill. I both love and hate that Ms. Caine makes it impossible to know if the characters I’ve come to adore will all make it out alive. They definitely won’t make it out unscarred and I love that there were no easily overcome obstacles in this book. Their quest to save the soul of the Library carries real weight and thus makes it easy to become invested in their fight.

Jess, Morgan, Khalila, Dario, Thomas, Glain, Santi, and Wolfe are the heart and soul of the Great Library series and the growing bonds of friendship and love are tested throughout Ash and Quill. Those intertwining bonds are what tugged on my emotions the most and highlight how much our heroes have to lose. That being said, the world the characters inhabit is just as important to the story, and Ms. Caine’s worldbuilding continues to be phenomenal. When I started this book I was excited to see what this world’s version of Philadelphia would look like, and Ms. Caine didn’t hold back in bringing the tragic world of the Burner stronghold to life. The images that come to life in this story are both beautiful and bleak, and just plain made me love Ms. Caine’s writing.

Ash and Quill is the third book in the Great Library series and it definitely cannot be read as a standalone. The series reads like one massive story, so don’t skip reading Ink and Bone and Paper and Fire. The only problem I have with this series is that I hate having to wait for the next book.Ash and Quill ends with one heck of a cliffhanger and I’m dying to know what happens next!


FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Source: http://witandsin.blogspot.com/2017/07/review-ash-and-quill-by-rachel-caine.html

Review: Royally Roma by Teri Wilson

Royally Roma (The Royals Book 1) - Teri Wilson

http://witandsin.blogspot.com/2017/07/review-royally-roma-by-teri-wilson.html

 

Royally Roma is an energetic, charming read. Teri Wilson consistently writes great modern-day retellings and her take on Roman Holiday had wonderful nods to the Audrey Hepburn/Gregory Peck classic while still maintaining its own identity.

Put aside your disbelief and enjoy a modern day fairytale where a dutiful prince in dire need of taking a break from cleaning up his brother’s messes impulsively takes off and explores the wonders of Rome with his beautiful American tour guide. I held off on writing this review for a couple of days because I was a bit torn about this book. Nico and Julia are both likeable characters who brighten up the page when they’re together. I loved how Ms. Wilson made Rome come alive on the page as Julia and Nico zipped from place to place. Even the more serious moments of Royally Roma couldn’t dampen the story’s sunny appeal. That being said, what took the book down a few notches for me was the romance. I really liked Nico and Julia together and given the whirlwind nature of the source material the breakneck speed of the romance wasn’t an issue for me. What did bother me was that Nico starts out the story keeping his identity a secret from Julia and this goes on for so long that it did make the romance a bit hard to swallow. If their falling in love had been a bit more drawn out or if Julia had gotten to know all of Nico’s character for more of the book, then I would have been more satisfied. You can have either a whirlwind romance or a secret identity, but both together is a bit much. Added to that the ending was abrupt and left me wanting more. If there had at least been an epilogue I would have satisfied. Even with these issues I found Royally Roma to be a lively, charming story and I’m looking forward to reading the next Royals book.


FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Source: http://witandsin.blogspot.com/2017/07/review-royally-roma-by-teri-wilson.html

Review: Paper and Fire by Rachel Caine

Paper and Fire: The Great Library - Rachel Caine

http://witandsin.blogspot.com/2017/07/review-paper-and-fire-by-rachel-caine.html

 

In Ink and Bone readers were introduced to a world where the Great Library of Alexandria was never destroyed. Now The Library is its own entity, spread all over the world. It sounds amazing…until you look beneath the surface. The Library controls the dissemination of knowledge, stifles innovation, and with brutal efficiency takes down anyone who seeks to escape its control. In Paper and Fire Jess and his friends have had their eyes opened; they see the rot within the Library. But there’s no such thing as an easy escape, even if one of their own wasn’t trapped in a gilded cage and another hidden in a secret prison. The clock’s ticking for Jess and all those he cares about: if they don’t find a way to break free of the Library’s hold their time will soon run out.

Paper and Fire takes us deeper into the incredible world of the Great Library that Rachel Caine introduced in Ink and Bone. Like Jess and his friends, I absolutely love what the Library could be, if greed and power hadn’t corrupted it at the highest echelons. The joy and love of learning is muted in Paper and Fire because the world has taken on a more sinister tone. Most of the book is centered around Jess, Glain, Dario, Khalila, Morgan, Santi, and Wolfe all doing their part to search for Thomas, their friend and a brilliant young inventor taken captive by the library for coming up with an idea for a printing press. With the wonder of discovery gone from the story, this book was a bit less exciting than its predecessor. I still really enjoyed it and the threats against our protagonists (especially the imminent threat to Morgan) made my gut clench at times, but the book suffers a bit from being a bridge book. We don’t learn much new about the characters either, and not even my mad love for Wolfe and Santi could blind me to the fact that there wasn’t much character growth to balance out the slow momentum of the plot. It’s a fairly slow read for most part and I’m honestly at a loss for what to say about story because it didn’t get truly interesting until the end. There’s nothing wrong with the book and I did enjoy it overall, but I wasn’t dazzled by it like I was Ink and Bone.

I cannot talk about the last part of the book without spoiling the story, but it’s where Paper and Fire shines the brightest. When everything comes together Ms. Caine’s writing is captivating. The action, adventure, and danger coalesce into a thrilling conclusion that had me eager to dive into the next Great Library novel. So while this book had some ups and downs for me, I still absolutely love the world Ms. Caine has created and I cannot wait to see what happens next in Ash and Quill.


FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Source: http://witandsin.blogspot.com/2017/07/review-paper-and-fire-by-rachel-caine.html

Review: Heroine Worship by Sarah Kuhn

Heroine Worship - Sarah Kuhn

http://witandsin.blogspot.com/2017/07/review-heroine-worship-by-sarah-kuhn.html

 

Heroine Worship manages to be kick-ass, funny, and heartwarming all at once. It can’t be easy to have a heroine who was previously somewhat unlikeable and definitely demanding, but author Sarah Kuhn proves that she’s more than up to the challenge. Aveda is fierce, powerful, a self-confessed hurricane…and also loving, lonely, and more vulnerable than she lets on. I absolutely loved her.

In Heroine Complex, we got the story of Evie Tanaka, personal assistant to superhero Aveda Juipter (aka Annie Chang), Evie’s childhood best friend. This time around it’s Aveda/Annie’s story, and I loved seeing the reformed diva get her own book. Ever since Aveda and Evie saved San Francisco, things have been quiet, which means that all’s quiet at Aveda Jupiter, Inc. Not only that, all of San Francisco seems to have fallen in love with Evie, which means that she and Aveda are less co-superheroines than superheroine and former superheroine-turned-sidekick. Aveda is someone constantly trying to prove herself, to be the best, and between not having demons to fight and having everyone look at her like she’s still a diva, she’s going mad.

Aveda/Annie’s personal journey is the heart of Heroine Worship and I loved peeling back the layers of her character. She may have been a diva and a pretty bad friend at the last book, but Aveda doesn’t make excuses for herself. She’s determined to be the best friend to Evie that she can be and also protect her from anything that would upset or hurt her, and that isn’t always easy. Aveda tends to rush into things head first, which means that even when she means well she often screws things up. My heart actually broke for her more than once over the course of the story, as she takes a lot of hits. There were times I wished I could have reached into the book and stopped her before she made a mistake or her actions were misinterpreted. She’s on a quest to be the perfect friend and maid-of-honor to Evie, and at the same time she’s having an identity crisis and the denizens of her fair city aren’t looking too kindly on the mistakes she keeps making.

If feeling internally lost wasn’t enough for a now-outsider superheroine to handle, Aveda has a new problem on her plate: a demonic force seems to be attacking San Francisco brides. Non-possessed Bridezillas are frightening enough, so when you add in a demonic influence…let’s just say things get ugly quick. It’ll take all of Aveda and co.’s combined power to capture the demon, save San Francisco from evil Bridezillas, and get Evie and Nate down the aisle in one piece. The action sequences are fun, unique, and balance out the more serious storylines.

Heroine Worship has a lot of flash and dazzle, but there’s a lot of emotion packed into this story as well. Aveda and Evie have a couple of hurdles to overcome in order to repair their friendship, and I loved that Ms. Kuhn didn’t make things easy on them. Aveda also must face her feelings for Scott, surfer-mage extraordinaire and a longtime friend to both Evie and Aveda. Aveda and Scott have wonderful chemistry, but her fears and insecurities make her constantly push him away. I was absolutely rooting for these two to get together, and the romance storyline is just what I needed to round this story out. All in all, I adored Heroine Worship and I’m looking forward to seeing where Ms. Kuhn takes our kick-ass co-superheroines next!


FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Source: http://witandsin.blogspot.com/2017/07/review-heroine-worship-by-sarah-kuhn.html

Review: Wired by Julie Garwood

Wired - Julie Garwood

http://witandsin.blogspot.com/2017/06/review-wired-by-julie-garwood.html

 

Wired is a slightly difficult book for me to review. Julie Garwood has written some of my absolute favorite romances and I always look forward to her newest releases. Because I’ve been a fan of hers for more than half my life, it’s disappointing to say that – while Wired isn’t bad and I don’t regret reading it – the story fell flat more often than not.

Let’s start with the good: Allison. Wired is really her story and while some might take issue with how perfect she is (an off-the-charts genius hacker who is also a stunningly gorgeous model with no flaws other than she’s too giving to people who don’t deserve it), this honestly didn’t bother me because I loved her focus, intelligence, and the fact that she’s so confident when it comes to her abilities. She’s a woman determined to make a name for herself in what’s still a largely male-dominated field, so I was willing to suspend disbelief at some of the over-the-top aspects because of this. My favorite thing about Wired is actually her friendship with Jordan (the heroine of Shadow Dance); I loved that the two heroines connected and became friends through their shared intellectual interests.

A heroine as smart as Allison needs a hero who isn’t intimidated by her and appreciates her for who she is, and Liam fits the bill. Liam was a scene-stealer for me in the last Buchanan-Renard book, Fast Track. In that book he practically oozed charisma and hinted at an interesting past that made me incredibly eager to get my hands on his book. Yet in his own story, the intriguing man I’d been so excited to read about was gone, replaced by a rather generic hero without much of a personality. I actually went back and re-read parts of Fast Track to make sure I hadn’t been thinking of the wrong character because I was so surprised. The Liam of Wired is intelligent, handsome, constantly on the move, yet always in the right place at the right time, but that’s about as far as his character goes. There simply wasn’t much to him and I was incredibly disappointed we didn’t get to delve into his character at all. Perhaps in part because of this, the romance between Liam and Allison was a bit of a letdown. There was no chemistry, only a little spark (and that was when they hit the sheets), and there was no natural development in their relationship. It felt like boxes were being checked off in order to fulfill the most basic romance requirements.

The suspense part of this romantic suspense involved not one, but three plots converging around Allison. Between an abusive aunt and uncle harassing her for money, a disgraced FBI agent out to get her, and a former roommate stealing her program, Allison has a lot on her plate. There’s potential in each of these storylines, but over the course of the story they become an increasingly jumbled mess.

Even though I had a number of issues with Wired, I do want to stress that it’s not a bad book. I always enjoy Ms. Garwood’s writing and even though the story didn’t work for me on the whole, it’s still a fun read. Liam and Allison are likeable characters and the scenes where they interacted with past Buchanan-Renard heroes and heroines added a dash of liveliness to the tale. So while I think there were a lot of missed opportunities in Wired, I still believe it would make a pleasant beach read this summer.


FTC Disclosure: I received the e-book edition of this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Source: http://witandsin.blogspot.com/2017/06/review-wired-by-julie-garwood.html