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#BookReview – Rebel Heir by Vi Keeland and Penelope Ward

rebel heir - vi keeland penelope ward
Rebel Heir
by Vi Keeland

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I knew it, I knew it, I knew it!

Darn it if I didn’t love this book. In classic Vi Keeland/Penelope Ward style, it draws you in and keeps you turning those pages, eager and anxious to know what happens next.

Rush is this uber sexy, James Dean style bad boy, and you know you’re relating this guy to that one guy in your early twenties who ripped your heart out and stomped it into a million pieces. Now you get to relive that story, only you’re the girl you wished you had been at the time – the one he wanted to change for.

Oh yes, Gia is very relatable, down to earth and telling it like it is.

And I cant’ help but wonder if Gia’s thoughts about writing might give us a tiny glimpse into the world that is Keeland and Ward???

At any rate, yes, there is a cliffhanger ending on this yummy book, but don’t worry – Book 2 (Rebel Heart) is ready and waiting to be devoured the moment you read the last word of this five-star story.

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#BookReview – The Protector: Men of the North Book 1 by Elin Peer

“I can’t wait to meet the women who would inspire two such magnificent warriors to do something this stupid.”
the protector
The Protector
by Elin Peer

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Wow… where do I even begin?

This book was fantastic. I’ve had it on my TBR list for quite some time, and it took me a while to finally take the plunge, but when it was released recently in Audio, I snapped it up and devoured it in every spare (and possibly not-so-spare) moment I had.

This book is based on a futuristic, almost post-apocalyptic type society (which I seem to really like, judging from how much I also loved In Blood We Trust by Elodie Colt). In this book, Parts of the world that are still inhabitable include the Motherlands, and then the Northlands. In the Motherlands, women outnumber men 14 to 1, but women are no longer attracted to the men who are there, for reasons I’ll let you read for yourself.

Then there’s the Nmen, the Men of the North, where men outnumber women 100,000 to 1. These men are virile, strong, and masculine – everything that men from the Motherlands are not, and the people of the Motherlands have been taught to fear them because of their crude and violent natures. The borders between the two lands are guarded, and no one is allowed to cross them without approval that is not easy to come by.

Now, enter the romance. Historian and Archaeologist, Christina Sanders, volunteers to be sent to the Northlands to excavate for books to preserve history. What she finds there is Alexander Boulder who’s charged by Khan Aurelius, their ruler, to protect her. They clash on so many levels, but the chemistry between them is magnanimous and explosive.

There were so many parts in this book where these two argued over how things ought to be, each with their own, opposing opinions of what was right or proper, and I found myself saying… neither of them are wrong… and how fitting that is in the society we live in now where it seems everyone has such a strong opinion about every stupid little thing.

I loved this book. If 5 stars is the limit, I’d give it a 6, especially with the two who narrated the audio. They could not have done a better job. This is one of those books I can see myself re-reading when I’m in a funk and can’t find anything that speaks to me.

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#BookReview – Mack Daddy by Penelope Ward

mack daddy
Mack Daddy
by Penelope Ward

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

I read Mack Daddy by Penelope Ward as an Audio Book via the Romance Unlimited program in Audible. It’s the first book I’ve read by Penelope Ward that wasn’t co-written with another author, and I have to say, I like her style. The story moved along at a good pace and kept me interested throughout.

There were several mortifying moments in this book, from our heroine, “Franky Jane,” farting really loud in the bathroom and being overheard, to clogging the toilet with a floating tampon… well, it was all fun and games until they paid some stranger who worked at the laundromat to let them go up to his dated apartment and do it on his bed. What the ever loving eff??? Eww.

Aside from being totally grossed out by that particular scene, I found myself pretty emotionally invested in this story and the characters. Mackenzie, aka Mack Daddy, has a longstanding history with Francesca from being roommates in college. The way the story jumped from present to past was interesting and really brought the characters and the story to life.

I found myself almost torn in some scenes because Franky, in the present, was involved in a 2 year relationship with a really great guy before Mack came back into the picture. Victor was good, attractive, protective, noble, and worthy. While I rooted for Franky and Mack to find their way to each other, the scenes with Victor had me thinking… would it be so bad for her to just stay with Victor?

This was definitely a slow burn. It wasn’t until near the end of the book that the couple finally gets together, only for everything to immediately fall apart and leave them questioning will it ever be the right time for the two of them, as much as they obviously care about each other? But there was enough attraction and near-misses along the way to make it satisfying.

I can definitely recommend this book. It was well written and kept me interested through the whole thing, and I’ll definitely be looking for more from Penelope Ward.  I noticed a lot of other comments/reviews on GR that didn’t love this book, but from what I could gather, it was because this was not really a New Adult book, it was a more mature book with themes that older readers, like myself, would love (children with mental health issues, self sacrifice for the sake of your children, pining for the one who got away and taking a shot at a second chance romance now that you’re older and have some life experience under your belts, etc.)

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#BookReview – The Room Mate by Kendall Ryan

“Don’t look back.  If Cinderella had gone back for her shoe, she wouldn’t be a princess today.”

the Room Mate - Kendall Ryan
The Room Mate
by Kendall Ryan

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Another take on the best friend’s brother romance, which I am growing to love. This was a well-written book with lots of back and forth, lots of hair pulling, what the heck are you people thinking, open your eyes stupid, suspense.

The characters were all likable. They had distinct personalities and histories, which made them more dimensional and realistic, right on down to the little dog named Enchilada. It was a refreshing twist on why the best friend didn’t want the heroine dating her brother.

There was a lot of chemistry between the two main characters, Paige and Cannon. When they got down and dirty, it was explosive. He was a younger guy, but more experienced than her in the bedroom, and the little details the author wrote in really brought the scenes to life.

There was a point where I found myself getting anxious for the twists to stop coming and get on with the HEA. It really was one thing after another getting in between these two, if not their own internal conflicts then all kinds of external things being thrown at them. It definitely made the epilogue a lot more satisfying when it finally got there.

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#BookReview – Cinderella Undone by Nicole Snow

Even after years gone by, even after I’ve pushed you the f* away, you’re the only girl on the planet I see myself pretending to love.

cinderella undone
Cinderella Undone
by Nicole Snow

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I picked this book up because I’ve been really interested in jumping on the modern fairytale romance bandwagon lately, and this one was showing as a Bestseller with “Cinderella” right in the title. The verdict… I read pretty much the whole thing in 2 days. It’s one of those books you stay up late reading even though you know you’ve got to get up early and go to work the next day for.

Really, there was more than just a Cinderella theme in this book. Beauty and the Beast was pretty prominent, too. Knox was a quintessential bad-boy, like real bad boy, complete with anger issues and a tendency to choke the life out of people who cross him. He’s a former marine, and he left the military to work the dark diamond trade business his father shared with a shady partner, whose daughter Knox accidentally knocks up one night. He goes out of his way to be awful to people who care about him, too, even if he has reasons, good or bad. He could’ve been likened easily to a beast.

She never once imagined the man who piled on the hurt and degradation the most over the years would be the one who said never take it. 

Then, there’s the innocent, goody-two-shoes beauty, Kendra, who happens to be best friends with Knox’s younger sister. She’s too young for him when they’re growing up as kids with her having a huge crush on him, and he’s noble enough to think she deserves way better than him, even now, years into the future, when he’s fighting for his little girl, and he needs her help to do it.

This book was really good at several things. One was building up some mystery and suspense. The author did a great job at throwing little things in here and there that gave you just enough of something to wonder what it was about, and make you need to keep reading to find out what it turns out to be.

This book also had great love scenes between the Hero and heroine. You could definitely see the sparks flying between these two, and lots of good, rich details that keep you totally enthralled.

Even better when he climbs in, wraps his strong arms around my waist, and holds me like he’s making up for the times he let go.

Then there’s the story itself. There was a lot going on in this book, and I thought that, while maybe a few things could have been fleshed out a little better, overall, things were interesting, deep, and the stakes were definitely kept rising higher and higher.

The only reasons I can’t give this book 5 stars are:

1. There seemed to be some discrepancies in the time line. It starts out “4 years ago” but the next chapter says something about “two and a half years ago” referencing the same stuff that claimed to have happened 4 years ago. There were maybe a couple other minor examples of this, but that was the biggest one, and it was right off the bat at the beginning, so it had me wondering right off the bat how good the book could actually be. Four years seems to be right, since the little girl is 4 years old in the rest of the book.

2. It seemed like this book could use an extra round of proofreading to fix some typos here and there. The closet living thing to Lucifer himself… “What’s joke did I miss?”… I’m now I’m a glorified waitress… An older man’s gravely voice… (gravelly) … hands on her hands… etc.

3. As I mentioned previously, I did feel like some of the story could have been fleshed out a little better, like how Kendra didn’t recognize someone in a key part of the story that it seems questionable to me how she couldn’t recognize.

Even so, the story was very entertaining, the romance was great, and the end was satisfying. I’d say this one is worth the read.

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