ARC Review: Paper Tigers by Meg Collett

Paper Tigers
(Fear University #4)
by Meg Collett

Fear University has created a new monster …

The infamous fear switch research started with me, Patient Zero. But I am a failure. My mind adapted and now I move through the shadows like the creatures I was created to hunt. I spent my entire life in a cage with scalpels in my brain, but I am finally free—thanks to the Commander.

I am Zero, and I will make the bad men at Fear University pay.

I, Ollie Volkova, have returned to Fear University to rebuild and restore the school to its former standard of protecting the world against monsters, both human and aswang. But something new is killing Original families all over Kodiak Island and nearly assassinated the president of my university. The hunters call it a ghost, but I know she’s something more. Something worse than monsters and men. Something like me.

Fear University is my home, and I will kill to protect it.

PAPER TIGERS IS OUT NOW! GET YOUR COPY ON AMAZON!

If you’ve been following my reviews about the Fear University series, I’ve declared all my love and admiration to this woman who had encapsulated Filipino folklore in her novels, Meg Collett. And the mere mention of aswang in the story easily gives me the creeps. The crazy kind of creeps that makes me shiver in fear and anticipate in excitement. I haven’t met any other author who had written a story about aswangs, manananggal, kapre in an intricately detailed and extensive manner, much scarier and more nerve-racking than the one featured in Grimm TV series. I kid you not.

Now on to the fourth installment in the series. Paper Tigers.

The aswangs are back, and so are the aswang hunters and the halflings. Ollie had convinced Dean to let the halflings enter Fear University, against his bitter judgment, completely certain that aswangs are monsters, not half-good, not half-monstrous.

And then there’s Zero. She had wormed her way in the university, and Dean almost cost his life, but still lived, gripping in fear. Zero had found him, and he was sure he’d soon die in her hands. In her daughter’s hands. But she didn’t anticipate The Fearless One and the One Who Don’t Feel Pain. And for that, Zero is back to being zero.

The fight scenes, the aswangs, the shadows, the fear switch, the antidote, the lovestruck pairs, the traitors, the war, the confused daughter, the Queen!

I am fumbling here, I know; I wish I could narrate the entire book and tell you how awesome Paper Tigers is. But I must stop before I blurt out the whole story. You need to read this for yourself. You need to meet the woman behind this amazing series.

OMG, this has been a crazy ride and I can’t stop myself from screaming. Meg Collett is a genius and I want the whole world to know that. For me, she could be the next Sarah J. Maas. Paper Tigers is a must read. ’nuff said.

ARC Review: Prom Queen by Katee Robert

Prom Queen
(Bad Boy Homecoming #3)
by Katee Robert

A high school reunion is about to get down and dirty and a whole lot more complicated in this new erotic romance from NYT Bestselling Author Katee Robert.

Jake Davis had it all in high school—a scholarship to his college of choice, a promising football career, and the gorgeous prom queen for a girlfriend. And then he lost it all when he was injured right after graduation. Ten years later, he’s mostly made his peace with that, and now runs a company that provides women with dates for special events. Imagine his surprise when he discovers that the ex who left him in the dust needs a fake boyfriend for their high school reunion…

Jessica Jackson used to be the mean girl to end all mean girls. But life didn’t turn out like she’d thought it would, and now she’s twenty-eight, single, and works as an insurance agent to A-listers instead of being the A-lister like she’d always dreamed. She can’t go back to her home town and admit just how thoroughly she’s failed, so she lets her friends set her up with a fake date for the reunion.

The second Jessica realizes that her fake date is Jake, she tries to call the whole thing off. The problem is the chemistry between them is even hotter now than it was when they were teenagers. Against her better judgment she lets herself get drawn into Jake’s arms again—and into his bed. But time doesn’t heal all wounds—sometimes, it actually makes them worse—and if Jessica and Jake can’t learn to forgive each other, their second chance might not last the weekend.

Karma is a bitch, that’s what this is all about. Jessica realized too late that everything she’d done in the past had come haunting her back. The mean girl slash cheerleader was finally going to face her victims in the upcoming high school reunion and Jessica was sure they’d throw eggs at her because of her attitude then. Just thinking about the reunion was sending shivers down her spine, not because of her ex-boyfriend hottie Jake Davis coming too, but because she didn’t have anyone to bring as a date to the dreaded get-together. Until her friends signed her up to an escort-type service for people who needed fake dates.

I didn’t expect to like this story, for one, I really don’t like bullies in high school and second, I am not much of a second-chance romance believer. Yeah, I’ve had such horrifying experiences about these instances in high school (I was bullied a little by a teacher’s daughter when I was in junior high, so that kind of sucked. And then I had a boyfriend before who cheated on me but I gave him second chance and just blew it all away because he went back to his cheating ways. So yes, those tropes really get under my skin, so forgive me if I was hesitant to read this.

But surprise, surprise! I had a great time with Prom Queen by Katee Robert. I loved that Jessica Andrews redeemed herself and saw the fault of her ways; that was really important to me. I loved that she also took a chance with love the second time around. At least she wasn’t cheated by her ex so their renewed relationship became sweet and lovely. The drama was okay, it was essential to the story; the characters were real and relatable. One could easily find herself in this characters and I myself couldn’t help but fall for them, especially with Jake.

Overall, this had been such a delightful read! I can’t wait to read more of Katee Robert’s books and the rest of the Bad Boy Homecoming series!

 

P.S. I received this book from the publisher through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Review: Falling For the Fake Fiance by Jennifer Blackwood

Falling for the Fake Fiance

(Snowpocalypse #2)
by Jennifer Blackwood

Jill Michaels prides herself on one thing: being independent. That is until her daughter gets into an elite school, and she needs money more than ever. It seems her fairy godmother—aka her deceased Grammy—has granted that wish in the form of one-fourth of her estate. The only catch? She must be married by her thirtieth birthday. In two months.

Aaron Collins is fresh out of the army and back in town to help his father’s failing business. When he runs into Jill at a hotel where she’s attending a single’s mixer, he makes sure she doesn’t make it past his room and into another guy’s arms. When he hears about her predicament, he has a plan: they’ll get married and keep it a secret. And maybe have a little sexy fun until he leave towns for his new job.

But letting go of the woman of his dreams may be harder than Aaron could have ever imagined.

This is oohhh la la.. Oh yeah, that’s what I said after reading this book and Jennifer Blackwell is just to be blamed. Although we’ve all heard about pretend lovers falling in love, might sound cliche and all that, but I still  went for this story and I loved it! I’d never settle for just one night with Aaron Collins if I were Jill Michaels. Ha!

Single mom Jill was still in mourning over the loss of her dear grandmother. But Grammy seemed to be still in control of Jill’s love life when she decided to bequeath 1/4 of her estate, provided that Jill get married before she reached her 30th birthday. I bet Grammy was rolling in her grave, laughing and dancing when her will was read. Her timing was impeccable, too, as Jill’s daughter successfully got listed to an elite school, and whether she liked it or not, she really had to find that perfect fiance before her inheritance got poof!

Fortunately, her old schoolmate slash next door neighbor Aaron Collins was back in town after his military services. When her friends Mia and Kate set her up with Mr. Hottie, it was just a matter of time before they left each other breathless with kisses. Dayum!

A secret wedding was supposedly the plan, but everything changed when the matters got out of hand. Fake fiances or not, this whirlwind romance got me and had me falling in love all over again.

I remember reading one of Jennifer Blackwell’s books a couple of years ago and admired her writing. Now, after devouring this latest book in less than a day, I can say I admire and adore her even more. Blackwell had me giggling and gawking and getting googly-eyed most of the time. And yes, sighing and covering my mouth and closing my eyes a few times, trying to suppress my grin when reading those steamy scenes. More than steamy actually – it was fiery!

Overall, Aaron and Jill had that explosive chemistry that I like in a story. I expect much more sexy stories from Miss Blackwell soon and I’m sure she won’t disappoint.

 

 

 

BUY:

Review: Meet Me at Willoughby Close by Kate Hewitt

Meet Me at Willoughby Close
(Willoughby Close #2)
by Kate Hewitt

Ellie Matthews has come to Wychwood-on-Lea to find a new start for her and her daughter Abby. But, life there doesn’t start out as idyllic as she had hoped. While Ellie loves her cute cottage in Willoughby Close, the Yummy Mummies at the primary school seem intent on giving her the cold shoulder, Abby has trouble fitting in, and her boss, Oliver Venables, is both surprisingly sexy and irritatingly inscrutable.

But miracles can happen in the most unexpected places, and in small, yet wonderful ways. Slowly, Ellie and Abby find themselves making friends and experiencing the everyday magic of Willoughby Close. When Oliver’s nephew, Tobias, befriends Abby, the four of them start to feel like family… and Ellie begins to see the kindness and warmth beneath Oliver’s chilly exterior, which awakens both her longing and fear.

Ellie knows all about disappointment, and the pain of trying too hard for nothing, while Oliver has his own hurts and secrets to deal with. When the past comes rollicking back to remind both of them of their weaknesses and failings, will they be able to overcome their fears and find their own happy ending?

I found the characters really endearing and sweet. Oliver Venables was kind of old fashioned, almost fortyish gentleman who’d come undone when he met his personal assistant, Ellie Matthews. Theirs was a slow-burn romance, so slow that you might get annoyed at Oliver for not being too upfront for his feelings and at Ellie for always over-analyzing things between them.

Abby, Ellie’s daughter, and Tobias, Oliver’s nephew, served as a glue to their bond. I liked how the kids were involved in a relationship between two consenting old-school adults. Oliver was a dear, a darling, always prompt and proper, yet can be quite tenacious when he wanted to. And Ellie, a little too formal for my liking, eventually turned into the fierce and brave girl I wanted her to be.

Their different social upbringing and educational status brought some hindrance to their relationship, but nothing was impossible when the heart is involved.

I love a good read in the afternoon when heavy rains beat down my roof and my kids cuddle up to me in our bedroom. Felt like I was at Willoughby Close myself with Marmite and the Matthews and Venables. This had been quite a feel-good romance that I’d read again soon!

P.S.

I received this book from the publisher through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Review: Sweet Home Cowboy by Marin Thomas

Sweet Home Cowboy

(Love at the Chocolate Shop #9)
by Marin Thomas

When Marietta newcomer Elena Puente is coerced into attending a speed dating event at the popular Copper Mountain Chocolate Shop, she’s blindsided by a serious attraction to local cowboy, Wesley Banks.

Still recovering from a broken engagement, the first-grade teacher from Las Vegas isn’t looking for romance. She’s in Montana to get to know the great-grandfather she never knew existed until she found some hidden family letters. Judge Kingsley is a grouchy recluse and he’s far from welcoming, but Elena is determined to stay in town long enough to give his neglected estate on Bramble Lane a facelift.

Elena’s resolve to avoid romance is tested when she discovers Wesley is the caretaker of her grandfather’s rural property. Soon, she and the cowboy are attending more speed dating events at the chocolate shop and she’s seeking his advice on how to deal with his ornery boss. Local gossips wager the old Judge will run Elena out of town before anything serious develops between her and Wesley. But Wesley’s a determined man, too, and he’s betting Elena belongs in Marietta forever…with him.

I loved this sweet story between a woman searching for her long-lost grandfather and the man who had spent half his life caring for a crabby, short-tempered judge in the town of Marietta. A speed-dating event brought them together, a box of chocolates sweetened the connection and a grumpy old man sealed the deal. If this didn’t sound romantically exciting, I don’t know how I would call it.

Elena Puente is a first grade school teacher and had had lots of experiences with kids. She’s the kind of girl who would give it to you straight, no sugar coating, no holds barred. She says what’s on her mind, she doesn’t show weakness nor fear, even to the cranky old judge. She isn’t easily swayed by her grandfather’s cantankerous behavior and she makes sure her voice is heard and taken into consideration.

Wesley Banks joins a speed dating event at Copper Mountain Chocolate shop, hoping to find The One. What he gets is a lady who doesn’t want kids and isn’t set to start a family in Marietta. Talk about love in opposite ends.

I’ve grown to love Marietta more and more, even though I know this is just a fictional location in the beautiful state of Montana. But every story I read featuring this place makes me want to reside there and be with the town people. Judge Kingsley is such an interesting character, he could be hot one minute and then so cold the next. His elusiveness made him an engrossing personality. Elena was someone you’d love to be bestfriends with, she is so freaking amazing! And Wesley – he’s the one for keeps.

Once again, the Love at the Chocolate Shop series delivered a sweet delicious story and I can’t wait to get served again.

Review: Untapped by Weston Parker

Untapped
by Weston Parker

Some desires are better left uncovered…

Erik Bertinelli is the son of the vilest mob boss in all of New York’s underbelly. He’s the enforcer, the hitman for the syndicate, and the type of guy who doesn’t mind getting his hands dirty. His hideaway is as unconventional as they come… the New York Public Library.

With a thirst for knowledge and a grand getaway at his fingertips, he loses himself daily in the dusty tales of old. Life is too f*cked up most days of the week. Peace would be beyond welcomed.

Grace Adams desires more than anything to live fully alive, and yet, she’s doing just the opposite of that. She’s a librarian at the New York Public Library and spends her days wishing like hell that she could disappear into one of the romance novels she reads.

With an imagination that would shock her family and friends, she keeps to herself and lives in the colorful parts of her mind – alone.

Untapped.

When the same deliciously dangerous alpha male keeps showing up between the bookshelves, her daydreams quickly dive into passion that feels too good to be true. The kind that could burn anyone involved. The kind she would do anything for. Maybe even kill…

This has been a really nerve-wracking read, dynamic action erotic drama that would have your heart pumping like crazy. I cannot explicitly describe how this book got me hook from start to finish. It took me a lot of willpower to get away from this book. Seriously.

The main male protagonist isn’t the kind of book boyfriend you would want to admire nor get involved with. A member of a Mafia clan, ruthless, deadly, monstrous, that’s Erik Bertinelli for you. But Grace Adams wasn’t at all perturbed by such characteristics. Dressed like an old librarian should be, Grace captured the eyes and heart of the Mafia assassin and it was just a matter of time before he defied all odds and put a bullet to the one that made him suffer his whole life.

Erik and Grace’s relationship was doomed right from the beginning. The head of the Mafia made sure of that. It was really a surprise to me that I ended up liking the story, given the fact that I am really not into organized crime stories. Well, the only other crime syndicate novel I’ve read before was TOXIC, which was the first book in this same series. {Reviewed here}.. The brutality of Mafia and all other syndicates oftentimes scared me. But Weston Parker made this story quite fascinating and mind-blowing. I was shocked when I got to finish reading the book in one night.  Now I cannot wait to read what happens next to the doomed lovers! Yay!

Review: A Thorne in Time by Lorel Clayton

A Thorne in Time: An Eva Thorne prequel novella
by Lorel Clayton

Before Eva Thorne can accept her destiny, she must learn to accept herself. Eva leaves her family behind for boarding school (that’s a good thing when your family includes necromancers and crime lords), but the foreign city of Gernwold has its own dangers. An intruder, a teacher injured, a stolen necklace left in her room… Either someone is trying to frame her, or they know what Eva really is.

In this prequel novella to the Eva Thorne series, enjoy mystery and magic melded with technology, as you explore the Three Kingdoms and meet all the friends who will one day help Eva become the famous (or notorious) detective we know and love her to be.

Just when I thought I’d seen the best of Eva Thorne, the duo of Lorel Clayton continued to impress me with this explosive intro to The Thorne series. Eva the dyed hair Solhan heroine is enigmatic, her and her friend Karoline is formidable and Hazel the ghost simply astounded me.

I love how Eva got her first taste of action in this prequel. I thought nothing else would surprise me when it came to Eva, but with A Thorne in Time, I was in for a big surprise. This was short and fast paced and action filled, just the way I liked it. Lorel Clayton is great!

This is the prequel to the Eva Thorne series. I’ve read the first three books and really really love the series.

Tangle of Thornes (Book 1) – Review

A Thorne for a Crown (Book 2) – Review

Blood and Thorne (Book 3) – Review