Kitty Takes a Holiday by Carrie Vaughn

Kitty Takes a Holiday by Carrie VaughnKitty Takes a Holiday by Carrie Vaughn
on October 26, 2009
Format: Audiobook
Source: Purchased
three-half-stars

After getting caught turning wolf on national television, Kitty retreats to a mountain cabin to recover and write her memoirs. But this is Kitty, so trouble is never far behind, and instead of Walden Pond, she gets Evil Dead. When werewolf hunter Cormac shows up with an injured Ben O'Farrell, Kitty's lawyer, slung over his shoulder, and a wolf-like creature with glowing red eyes starts sniffing around the cabin, Kitty wonders if any of them will get out of these woods alive...

I didn’t know what to expect after Kitty Goes to Washington, but that in no way hindered my excitement to dig into Kitty Takes a Holiday. So far Kitty has had to deal with werewolves – who tried to kill her and did kill her best friend, vampires – one was nice but the other was crazy, and were-jaguars – who made Kitty’s time in Washington intimately more enjoyable. Being unsure of the direction of where this series would go stemmed mostly from not knowing how far into the supernatural world the author was willing to go.

In each book so far there has been one constant in Kitty’s life, her radio show, the Midnight Hour. In Kitty Takes a Holiday, Kitty decided to take a much needed break, but not just from the craziness that has become her life, but her talk show as well, which was a shocker to me since her radio show was the center of her world for the first two books. I guess to fill the hole that her talk show left, although she would never admit to missing her radio show, she decides to write a book.

When things start to come together where the idea of what this story could be about starts to form, another new and exciting situation starts to surface as well, one that I am fairly excited about.

In each book Kitty has hooked up with someone, in Kitty and the Midnight Hour it was her alpha, in Kitty Goes to Washington it was the were-jaguar (who for the life of me I can’t remember his name). During and after every hookup I always hold out hope that one of them will stick. Although, I do believe we have a winner in Ben, I was hoping that this book would be the one where Cormack gets his head out of his butt and takes that next step with Kitty. The chemistry between Ben and Kitty was oddly balanced and sweet, especially when you see the effort they were willing put into their relationship to make it work.

In the previous books Kitty is not much for taking charge and putting herself on the line, well except for TJ in Kitty and the Midnight Hour, but in Kitty Takes a Holiday she’s is placed in situations where her grittier side is shown and I think it’s a great next step in the evolution of her character, she can’t stay passive forever.

The books in this series just keeps getting better and better, and I expect nothing but bigger things for Kitty in the future books. Kitty Takes a Vacation was amazing. The narration really pulled me in and made eight hours seem not long at all. Can’t wait to listen to the next book because the injustice done to Cormack was outrageous.

About Carrie Vaughn

Carrie Vaughn is the New York Time Bestselling author of close to twenty novels and over seventy short stories. She’s best known for the Kitty Norville urban fantasy series about a werewolf who hosts a talk radio advice show for supernatural beings — the series currently includes thirteen novels and a collection of short stories — and the superhero novels in the Golden Age saga. She also writes the Harry and Marlowe steampunk short stories about an alternate nineteenth century that makes use of alien technology. She has a masters degree in English lit, graduated from the Odyssey Fantasy Writing Workshop in 1998, and returned to the workshop as Writer in Residence in 2009. She has been nominated for the Hugo Award, various RT Reviewer Choice Awards — winning for Best First Mystery for Kitty and The Midnight Hour — and won the 2011 WSFA Small Press award for best short story for “Amaryllis.”

Pucked by Helena Hunting

Pucked by Helena HuntingPucked by Helena Hunting
on May 3, 2015
Source: Purchased
three-half-stars

Ten years ago, Duke King knew that getting involved with Grace Truman would only bring trouble into his already hard life. After all, the son of the town drunk has no business falling for the judge’s daughter…a passion that led to disaster and ended with Duke serving a ten year prison sentence. Duke never wanted to return to Destiny, especially now that he’s built a multimillion dollar custom car empire with his brothers. But when his sick aunt calls him home, he must face his past and discover a secret that instantly changes his life.
Grace never thought she would see Duke again, especially after years of silence. But when Duke comes storming back into her life, looking hotter than ever, and determined to get to know the son he never knew he had, she realizes that maybe she’d been wrong about him so many years ago. So Grace decides to make Duke a bet. If he can stay in the house with them for the next thirty days and prove he’ll be a good father, she’ll agree to letting him be part of his son’s life. If not, he’d better be prepared for a fight.
Going from single guy to family man isn’t going to be easy for Duke, especially with the still sexy, now fiery, Grace clouding his every thought. Can Duke be the man he never thought he could be or will his old bad boy ways be too much to conquer?

I had been putting off reading this story for two reasons; (1) It was so popular, and since I usually have bad luck when it comes to popular reads I have a tendency to shy away from them instead of giving them a chance, and (2) I’m not a huge, or medium-sized, fan of sports romance, there’s a 30/70 chance of my likability towards them, so I wasn’t sure if I would even like Pucked. It wasn’t until it and Pucked Up went on sale, recently, that I figured, “why not take the plunge and see what all the hype was about.”

The three stars I rated this read in no way says that this book was horrible. A three star rating is not a bad thing. I actually enjoyed Pucked, it just wasn’t a favorite of mine, nor did it blow me away. It was more of an inappropriate goofy romance with the added bonus of a lot of sex.

” “It’s not my fault Buck can’t keep his dick in his pants and out of his coach’s niece.” ”

“Buck is a mammoth, like a yeti. A huge, perverted, hairy whore of a yeti.”

“I can see why the women behind me are dressed for their shift on the corner.”

“There’s no 70s style dick fro going on down there.”

The romance between Alex and Violet was so sweet, which was surprising to me since I was expecting this to be a raunchy story, I was shocked. While the sweet factor was one of the main reason I continued reading, there were a few things that pulled this story down for me.

I didn’t like that it took to almost the end of the book before Violent fought for something in their relationship, well, it wasn’t really a fight more of meeting Alex half way. Throughout almost the entirety of the book it was always Alex fighting and pursuing Violet. Yeah, Violet initiated almost all of their intimate moments but sex does not make a relationship.

When the story’s climax hit I felt it was over dramatized since there were way worse things that could’ve happened that would’ve contributed to Violet and Alex hitting a huge roadblock that almost ended any possibility of a future relationship between them. I guess since the author made the situation between them a huge thing in Violet’s eyes, there really was no choice but to make it a huge thing for the rest of the characters as well. Since Violent took so long to forgive Alex and in lieu of that, placing him in some embarrassing situations (which almost broke my heart for him) when all he wanted to do was apologize, slowed the story down and really brought to light how immature and self-absorbed Violet could be.

I’m really looking forward to Pucked Up, although I was kind of hopping for Darren and Violet’s best friend’s story, but I’m sure Buck and Sunny’s story should be entertaining.

About Helena Hunting

NYT Bestselling author of PUCKED. I wrote some other books, too.

Betting the Bad Boy by Sugar Jamison

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.

Betting the Bad Boy by Sugar JamisonBetting the Bad Boy by Sugar Jamison
Series: Destiny #2
Published by St. Martin's Press on February 2, 2016
Source: Publisher
three-half-stars

Ten years ago, Duke King knew that getting involved with Grace Truman would only bring trouble into his already hard life. After all, the son of the town drunk has no business falling for the judge’s daughter…a passion that led to disaster and ended with Duke serving a ten year prison sentence. Duke never wanted to return to Destiny, especially now that he’s built a multimillion dollar custom car empire with his brothers. But when his sick aunt calls him home, he must face his past and discover a secret that instantly changes his life.
Grace never thought she would see Duke again, especially after years of silence. But when Duke comes storming back into her life, looking hotter than ever, and determined to get to know the son he never knew he had, she realizes that maybe she’d been wrong about him so many years ago. So Grace decides to make Duke a bet. If he can stay in the house with them for the next thirty days and prove he’ll be a good father, she’ll agree to letting him be part of his son’s life. If not, he’d better be prepared for a fight.
Going from single guy to family man isn’t going to be easy for Duke, especially with the still sexy, now fiery, Grace clouding his every thought. Can Duke be the man he never thought he could be or will his old bad boy ways be too much to conquer?

So flipping glad I was able to read Betting the Bad Boy since I loved The Bad Boy CEO so much!

Once I realized that the author was going to bring the story back to before the King brothers rushed to visit Lolly in the hospital – with the story being in Duke’s perspective – the smile I had on my face turned down a little. I was hoping, and expecting, Duke’s story to start off at the moment he and Grace see each other for the first time in ten plus years. Although being able to gain his perspective on certain scenes did help to figure out what he was thinking as well as how he felt about certain situations and characters, especially when it came to his relationship with Colt. This all helped with understanding how he became the man seen from the beginning of this story to the end when it started to become evident that maybe the home Duke, Levi, and Colt always wanted was right where they always felt most unwelcome.

When it was revealed just how and why Grace kept her secret from Duke for so long, I really wanted to dislike her character, but it was so hard to commit to that emotion. By showing the struggles and pain that Grace endured in her time apart from Duke, you couldn’t help but sympathize with her plight and gain some understanding as to why she did the things she did, especially after Duke finds out her secret and she’s pretty much branded the bad guy/gal. What made me like her character more was how even when she was feeling so guilty about her actions she was still held true to who she was, she didn’t let what Duke was feeling change how she lived her life, she didn’t fall apart and allow her responsibilities to falter because of the guilt she was feeling.

What shocked me was how things between Grace and Duke spiced up fairly quickly. It was understandable since their previous romance was cut tragically short that they would have old feelings for each other that might’ve still been close to the surface, especially since they haven’t seen each other in thirteen years. But it was at the moment that everyone was able to forgive and try to move on, that the romance between them changed, and I think it was for the better since they waited to consummate their “new” relationship until terms were laid down about what they each should expect from this new situation they found themselves in. There’s nothing more sexy to me than a man who puts those he cares about first, even if he doesn’t know the first thing about being a provider or role model because he never had one to look up to.

I could go on and on about everything I loved about this book, but then I think I would run out of words to say, or end up repeating myself. Other than how the beginning started I really enjoyed this book, so much so that I am super stoked to read about Levi and Shelly’s story. Levi seems to be the fun-loving but mysterious (a trait all the brothers seem to share) brother and to me that mixture can be dangerous on the female it’s directed towards and I can’t wait to see how Shelly will navigate this smokin’ hot adrenaline junkie.

About Sugar Jamison

Sugar Jamison is a southern belle trapped in a New Yorker’s body. With a love of big hair and high heeled shoes, she spends her day at her very normal day job and night dreaming up sweet but sassy romances.

Hunted by Darkness by Katie Reus

Hunted by Darkness by Katie ReusHunted by Darkness by Katie Reus
on February 9, 2016
four-half-stars

From two different worlds…
Now that she’s escaped her oppressive family, Nyx is enjoying her new life and friends—even if most of her friends don’t know who or what she is. As a rare demigod, she’s just learning how powerful she truly is, but family drama turns her world upside down, throwing the one man she cares about into danger.
He wasn’t supposed to fall for her…
Nyx is nothing like the females half-demon Bo Broussard has been with. Sweet and innocent, she’s not even remotely his type. But the moment she walks into his bar, he knows he’s not letting her go. Unfortunately someone from her past thinks they can force her into an arranged marriage.
He’s not letting her go…
Someone is targeting one of them, and Bo doesn’t know why. When they’re thrown into a hell realm together, he and Nyx will need to band together if they want to survive the perils of that world. No matter who was behind the attack, his choice is clear. Defend Nyx at all cost and make her his forever.

So, so, so, glad Hunted by Darkness was recommended to me by a favorite author of mine, and I’m so glad it was on NetGalley and that I was approved to read it because this book was so very good!

I’ve never read a Katie Reus book before, although I’ve had my eye on a couple she’s written I just never took the plunge. Receiving this book was like divine intervention because now I want to read all of Katie Reus’ books.

The synopsis of Hunted by Darkness left me somewhat unsure about whether I would even like this book, but trusting the recommender’s judgement I dived in with a clear mind and open heart. My uncertainty came from the fact that I’m not a lover of the demon or half-demon romantic trope, because they usually aren’t done to my satisfaction and I’m most often than not left disappointed. But luckily that wasn’t the case for Hunted by Darkness seeing as it was the first paragraph that pulled me in and made me not want to get off this ride until the very last page.

There were some things that sort of made me look at the characters and certain situations as unlikable and unbelievable. Meaning, when Bo would have his little heart-to-hearts with Nyx, the words he would use just didn’t fit his character at all, and I found myself cringing every time he would have these ‘talks’ with Nyx. Or, it would sometimes be when he would push Nyx away because he was afraid of her reluctance to tolerate his differences in both his appearance and his powers, which I thought was ridiculous since in all the time she’s known him she hasn’t pushed him away, and when she finally did see his true demon form she didn’t go running for the hills. The last nuisance was when Nyx thought he cheated on her and she immaturely decided she was leaving him without stopping to think of giving him the same curtesy he gave her when he trusted her to take care of her father and his horrible matchmaking skills.

Other than these situations, this book was awesome!! I wonder if Rory’s book will be next, hmm…

About Katie Reus

Katie Reus is the New York TimesUSA Today, and IndieReader bestselling author of the Red Stone Security series, the Moon Shifter series and the Deadly Ops series. She fell in love with romance at a young age thanks to books she pilfered from her mom’s stash. Years later she loves reading romance almost as much as she loves writing it.

However, she didn’t always know she wanted to be a writer. After changing majors many times, she finally graduated summa cum laude with a degree in psychology. Not long after that she discovered a new love. Writing. She now spends her days writing dark paranormal romance and sexy romantic suspense.

Rock Chick Redemption by Kristen Ashley

Rock Chick Redemption by Kristen AshleyRock Chick Redemption by Kristen Ashley
Series: Rock Chick #3
on November 8, 2010
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased
five-stars

Roxie’s on the run from a bad boyfriend who will not catch the hint that it is o-v-e-r. She’s in no mood for love at first sight, but when her eyes fall on Hank, it’s trouble from the get-go. Roxie tries to hold Hank at arms length but Hank wants to be a closer (as in, a lot closer). Roxie’s trouble catches up with her and Hank wants to help but Roxie knows in her heart that she’s no good for a white hat guy. The problem is no one agrees with her, especially her crazy hippie best friend Annette or her parents; the even crazier small-Indiana-town Herb and Trish. Toss into the mix the gang from Rock Chick and Rock Chick Rescue and Roxie finds herself totally outnumbered.
Climb in for another Rock Chick wild ride through Rock Chick Redemption. As the odds stack up against Roxie, she has no choice but to hold on and just ride it out through the kidnappings, car chases, society parties, a riot at the strip club, Hank getting “Mom Bombed” and one crazy night at the Haunted House.
During all this Hank works at convincing her she really wants to stay and he, along with the Hot Bunch, go all out to make her safe. Hank also needs to work on showing Roxie that her past decisions don’t mean her future can’t include something as downright delicious as… normal.

Rock Chick Redemption is hands down one of my favorites by Kristen Ashley, which is surprising since it’s rare having more than one favorite in a Kristen Ashley series (shocking isn’t it).

Rock Chick Redemption was the perfect continuation after Rock Chick Rescue. Sad to say, I didn’t think another story could be as great as Eddie and Jet’s, but once it was revealed that Roxie was related to Tex I knew, like I knew watermelon is my favorite fruit, that this book was going to ruin me (in a good way).

“The bell over the door went just as Ally announced, “This is Roxanne, Tex’s fucking niece!”

“Roxie?”

“Uncle Tex?” I asked abruptly, but I knew it was him and I felt tears come up my throat.”

Knowing the events that lead up to this moment had my heart beating so wildly that Roxie’s excitement and nervousness became my own. This scene was so precious, so precious. The following quote was what made me fall in love with Hank something fierce!

“Hank’s hand came out. I put mine in his and immediately pulled my bottom lip between my teeth when our skin made contact.

Shit, Roxie, pull yourself together, I thought and took a breath, forced my teeth to let go of my lip and tried to smile (and failed miserably). Luckily, he didn’t notice as his eyes were doing a full body scan and then they came up and locked on mine just as Tex jerked me in another direction.

Hank’s hand let mine go, but instead of moving away, as the others had, his fingers wrapped around my upper arm and he pulled me gently, but firmly, away from Uncle Tex and towards him. Then more towards him, his hand sliding down my arm. Then more, his fingers circling my wrist. Then more, his hand finding and wrapping around mine. And finally, I was at his side, our shoulders nearly touching.

“I know you’re excited Roxie’s here,” he said in a low, soft voice that was meant only for Tex and, due to my proximity, me. “But maybe you can get a little control so she doesn’t get whiplash.”

Everything, everything, about this book checked perfect on everything I look for in a satisfying and a potential re-read for me. Even though Roxie is quite possibly more cooky than Tex she supplied Hank with what he was looking for in a woman he could spend the rest of his life with.

Great read.

On a side not, I’m not sure about Rock Chick Renegade. I am curious about Vance’s story but that ending scene where we were introduced to Jules leaves me with hesitation on opening their pages.

About Kristen Ashley

Kristen Ashley was born in Gary, Indiana, USA. She nearly killed her mother and herself making it into the world, seeing as she had the umbilical cord wrapped around her neck (already attempting to accessorise and she hadn’t taken her first breath!).

Kristen grew up in Brownsburg, Indiana but has lived in Denver, Colorado and the West Country of England. Thus she has been blessed to have friends and family around the globe. Her posse is loopy (to say the least) but loopy is good when you want to write.

Kristen was raised in a house with a large and multi-generational family. They lived on a very small farm in a small town in the heartland and existed amongst the strains of Glenn Miller, The Everly Brothers, REO Speedwagon and Whitesnake (and the wardrobes that matched).

Needless to say, growing up in a house full of music, clothes and love was a good way to grow up.

And as she keeps growing up, it keeps getting better.