Kat Morrisey

A reader, book reviewer, and writer who always has a book or ereader in my bag. I don't go anywhere without one, the other, or both!

 

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The Companions: The Sundering, Book I

The Companions: The Sundering, Book I - R. A. Salvatore I loved this book so freaking hard! It's a great balance of fantasy, adventure and yes, even some romance thrown in! (Drizzt & Cattie-brie, squeeeee!) Loved every second and can't wait to the get the next in this series.

I've written a fairly extensive review on my blog because I just had so much to say about it so check out my full review here: http://crackedandbrokenglass.blogspot.com/2013/09/arc-review-companions-by-ra-salvatore.html

Let me know what you think about it!

"I received an ARC of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.*
Say No To Joe? - Lori Foster For awhile I'd always see Lori Foster's books recommended on GR. So awhile back I tried a couple and was happy to see that I liked her style and voice. As I was perusing my local library for the book after [b:Causing Havoc|225588|Causing Havoc (SBC Fighters, #1)|Lori Foster|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1354663034s/225588.jpg|1936927] (which is [b:Simon Says|155317|Simon Says (SBC Fighters, #2)|Lori Foster|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1348556633s/155317.jpg|149925]) I ran into this one. I saw that it was the first in a series so I figured, what the heck. "Simon Says" was at another library and I'd have to wait a month for it so yeah, I grabbed it.

It then sat on my dining room table for 4 weeks. I even had to renew it. I was so busy and stressed out in August with all the things going on in my life I just hadn't gotten to it.

Well last night I figured what the heck. I need to check this out and read it. And I am so glad I did.

I loved Joe-equal parts sweetheart and alpha. And I loved Luna-strong yet also vulnerable. I loved their banter. I loved how they cared for the kids. I loved how they came to love each other.

Heck, I just loved all of it.

I can't wait to read the next in this series. Lori Foster is quickly becoming one of my fave authors!
The Demon's Desire - Kendra Leigh Castle This was a great follow up to the first book, Demon's Song, which I gave 3.5 stars. This one is a solid 4. I really liked it, and it packed way more of an emotional punch. Meresin's story was heartbreaking and this was just as much a journey of him finding himself as it was a romance between he and Dru. Dru was the catalyst, in a way, given what she did for him. And she also became his wing man, grounding him as they traveled through Purgatory to "fix" what was wrong with him. Their journey was sweet, tender, terrifying, and had them facing off against the devil himself, and I was happy to be along for the ride.

You can check out my full review here: http://crackedandbrokenglass.blogspot.com/2013/08/arc-review-demons-desire-by-kendra.html

*I received an ARC of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.*
The Chief - Monica McCarty This book...it made me cry. It made me grin like a fool. And it made me grip the covers with the suspense. It rocked my world in ways I didn't think a highlander romance could. The writing is well done, the time is well researched and explained, and the plot is focused and has plenty of action.

having said that, some may say, "Big surprise. Kat loves highlanders. She's biased." But this book was different. For me at least. Yes, I have a thing for highlanders. I love books about this time and I blame Karen Marie Moning for my obsession since her Highlander series is what seemed to start it all. My obsession that is. However, not all Highlander romances are for me. Some I like (Moning's, Banks', just to name two) but others, well others I end up DNFing. But this book?! No way. It had me up late, anxious to get to the end but also dreading it at the same time.

Why did I love this book as much as I did? Simple. The author clearly did research for this book (see, the Author's Note in the book) and weaved fiction and non fiction together to make a beautiful love story that made me feel like I was right there, on the sidelines watching as it all went down. Her descriptions of the castles, the places, the Islands: they were clear but not overwhelming. I could see them all in my mind's eye. And I could also "see" the characters.

And speaking of the characters, I have to say, Christina broke my heart. She was such a romantic, waiting and wishing for her Lancelot to come and save her, and she so wanted to believe it was Tor. So did I! Over and over again she tried to break through. She tried to help. All to, what seemed to be, no avail. And that I think is part of the greatness in this book. We see and hear from Tor's POV at times, and we see his struggle, trying to put his clan first, before anything, even himself. And we, the reader, get glimpses of his walls beginning to crack, but never fully topple. When Christina lost hope, so did I. I sobbed, openly and avidly, though Christina seemed to have it together more than me. She seemed to become, after her and Tor's last fight, resigned to her fate. I would have liked to see her confront Tor before she left-to be a bit stronger perhaps. But I also understood why she didn't. Some might say she was stupid to do what she did and cause what some would call "trouble" for Tor, but I didn't see it that way at all. This was a young girl of about 21 who grew up with an awful, abusive father who put her through hell. All Christina wanted was someone to save her. She thought that man was Tor. And given the mixed messages he was sending, I understand her confusion about whether he did, or did not, care for her. So when the reality of her situation finally sank in, when his words about just why he married her and how her romantic dreams were basically a joke and would never be fulfilled, I think in her position I'd have done the same thing. The shame and humiliation of all she'd done and endured to find someone to save her -to love her-, it just went up in smoke.

So while I was crying at this point, I was also angry. I was angry at Tor for being an idiot. I was angry at him for continuing to confide and be close with Lady Jane, his former leman, who I really wanted to stab with a sharp object. I was pissed off that he sent his brother away (though I understood why he did it), and I really wanted him to bring his sons back to the keep so Christina could raise them, not his uncle. (The latter didn't seem to happen but I believe this was a normal occurrence at the time, so I'm not surprised by it.) But mostly I was mad that Tor didn't see the damage he'd inflicted on Christina with his words. Sometimes words are worse than fists. And he knew about Christina's father and how she was treated. He didn't have to treat her with kid gloves, but he could have had a care. But instead he mouthed off, stormed off, left Christina -AGAIN!- and then 2 days later expected everything to be fine. He'd talk to her and yeah, things would be A-OK.

Um, no Tor. Really. Get a clue.

And I get it. He's a warrior, a chief, a lord, and all that. He shouldn't have to answer to a woman. (stupid man!) But did he not remember the vow he made to Christina before their marriage? The condition she made? HELLO?! He cut her down with her words, after everything she did, after all she tried to do to bring warmth back to the castle, and expected her to be waiting for him after he told her, basically, he couldn't, wouldn't and didn't love her?! Again: STUPID MAN! (Aside: It seems men haven't made that many strides since the time of the highland warriors. They're still doing idiotic crap like this! Anyways, back to my rant.)

So thus begins the final conflict of the book, Tor's epiphany, and poor Christina suffering for Tor's stupidity and refusal to acknowledge his feelings and instead be an asshat. Thankfully her suffering was only mild compared to what the men who captured her had initially intended to do to her, and she found more of her backbone during this time too, refusing to give the interrogators their answers, suffering for it, and still finding her own way out of there.

And also, Tor and his secret army appeared to help. Okay, maybe they more than helped, but I'm still a bit annoyed at Tor. I mean, I liked him. A lot. And the sexy times, well...they were beyond hot. But seriously, he needs to be slapped!

This is the most I've written on a review in a long time. But I finished this yesterday and I still can't stop thinking about it. Maybe because I remember being younger and thinking, like Christina, that a Knight would ride up on his steed, take me away, and we'd live happily ever after. (Or in his Mustang, or on his Harley, or in his pick-up truck...you get the idea.) So when her dreams shattered it was like a personal blow to me, remembering when I too grew up and stopped believing in fairy tales, knights in shining armor and damsels in distress. That's how strong this writing is, in my opinion anyways. And because of this, I've bought the second and third books in this series and can't wait to read more about this time and these warriors. Monica McCarty will definitely be on my list of top authors from now on.

*This book was a self purchase. All opinions are my own.*

Never Love a Highlander - Maya Banks Another keeper. And definitely one I will re-read again and again. Not all of Ms. Banks' titles work for me, but she has smashed out of the park every highlander she's written (and that I've read) so far. <3 this!
Seduction of a Highland Lass - Maya Banks Alaric is my fave of the brothers. His love for Keeley...it kills me every time. I've read this over and over and seriously, I still freaking cry. Love this, definitely a keeper.
Dead Sexy Dragon - Lolita Lopez Dragon shifters!!!! *does happy dances, twirls and skips along from sheer happiness* I love dragons. I love shifters. So combine all in a hot, sexy, romance novel that made my toes curl? It's like Christmas in August!

One of the few downsides with this title is that the book is a novella. Don't get me wrong, the book was worth it in every way. But don't go in to this expecting a full novel. Things move fast, the couple finally gives in to their 6 year attraction to each other,and we don't have a ton of backstory but we have enough to give one helluva story. The focus generally stays on the main couple with just a glimpse of the rest of the dragons towards the end. I liked this since this meant more Stig, who was just dreamy. *sighs* The second in this series, [b:Red Hot Dragon|17557576|Red Hot Dragon (Dragon Heat, #2)|Lolita Lopez|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1372452560s/17557576.jpg|24484555], comes out October 1. Yay!! (So totally adding this to my TBR!)

Check out the full review on my blog and let me know what you think of dragons, shifters, romance novels and what is sometimes the explosive combo of all three! http://crackedandbrokenglass.blogspot.com/2013/08/arc-review-dead-sexy-dragon-by-lolita.html
The Demon's Song - Kendra Leigh Castle 3.5 stars

I really enjoy stories about angels and I liked this author's take in Angels, Vamps, the Fallen, and all the other supernatural creatures living in this world. I can't wait to read the next story in this series and hear what happens with the rest of the Fallen. I'll also be going back to grab the first two books in this series: [bc:Vacation with a Vampire: StayVivi and the VampireIsland Vacation|13545614|Vacation with a Vampire StayVivi and the VampireIsland Vacation|Michele Hauf|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1335394023s/13545614.jpg|19110681] (Vivi and the Vampire is the first short story in the series) and [bc:Renegade Angel|7946257|Renegade Angel|Kendra Leigh Castle|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1348839592s/7946257.jpg|11492946].

And let me just say, Phenex...holy hell. That man. Or Angel. Or Demon. Or whatever he is, was freaking smokin hot! I loved his heart, his emotions and even though he tried to be surly and guarded, his light shone through, as did his music. It was the sweetest thing ever the way he always kept Sofia close to him, his wing wrapped around her while they slept, or while they walked, or ate dinner. It was the most romantic thing ever and I think I may have actually swooned a little bit.

As for Belial. Well. He's certainly a baddie of the worst kind. What he did, or almost did to Sofia?! What a jerk! He totally deserved everything he got. But I have to say the best part of this book was when Phenex asked Uriel for help and the answer that came. My heart broke. Phenex knew he could lose everything by doing what he did to save sofia, but he did it anyways. Now that's my kind of hero. *sighs*

Despite not reading the first two in this series, I wasn't lost or confused by what was going on. The author did a great job filling in the gaps and explaining all about the history of the Angels and the Fallen, and we even see Raum and Jason and get just enough to whet our appetite (which is why I have to go back for their stories!!) Meresin and Dru's story is next and the set up for those two and their issues in Demon's Song has me intrigued as well!

*This book was a self purchase and all opinions are my own.*
Liam - Abby Niles Another 3.5 stars for Ms. Abby Niles. In the second in this series we're given another hot shifter story that had a great balance of suspense, romance, sexy times, and did I mention it has shifters?! Well, it does! And we all know how I feel about shifters...if you don't, well, let's just say they're my fave of the paranormal world when done right. And this author definitely got it right.

You can check out the full review on my blog: http://crackedandbrokenglass.blogspot.com/2013/08/arc-review-awakening-liam-by-abby-niles.html

*I received an ARC of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.*
Deceiving the Witch Next Door - Melissa Bourbon Ramirez This was a fun, sweet book with some great sexual tension between the main characters. Something else about the main characters I liked? Their names...Storie Rae Bell and Reid Malone. I love those names. Seriously, if I had kids, I might have to name the girl Storie.

This book was a solid 3.5 stars and the final twists and turns in the story (and what I'm hoping is the set up for future books in the series about Astrid and Declan) were great. As I mentioned, there is serious chemistry between Reid and Storie and I like how the author uses that tension to move the story forward and show the conflict both characters are feeling.

You can check out my full review on my blog: http://crackedandbrokenglass.blogspot.com/2013/08/arc-review-deceiving-witch-next-door-by.html

Sacrifice of Passion (Deadly Legends, Book 1)

Sacrifice of Passion (Deadly Legends, Book 1) - Melissa Bourbon Ramirez I'm waffling somewhere between 3.5 stars and 4. I can't decide so I'm rounding up...

This couples' backstory ripped my heart to shreds. Totally, completely left it in tatters. Poor Laney. And god, what Vic went through too, the not knowing and then the knowing and the guilt that followed...It crushed.

But it was also awesome.

I really like this author's voice and the story itself was solid. I never, not once, considered the bad guy to be who it turned out to be. Talk about throwing me for a total loop! The only thing that seemed to be missing for me was a conversation between Laney, Vic and her parents, about what happened all those years ago. Laney had gone through a trauma, lied about Vic (which got spread around town) and that issue was never addressed. (I'm assuming it happened off screen since the cops were all there and it being a small town, the facts of what Zach and Laney went through would come out, but we never actually see it.) One thing about this book (and the second) is the story tends to focus mostely on the couple so there aren't a lot of scenes with secondary characters. (Or they don't seem to be.

NOTE: The second book in this series is "Curse of Passion". I read "Curse" first and that was where I saw the mention of Vic and Laney's troubles. So when I finished Curse I purchased this book. I think I may have liked this one better, but I think what may have tipped the scales was the myth the book explored and Esperanza. I love her!

*This book was a self purchase and all opinions are my own.*
Aidan - Abby Niles 3.5 awesome shifter stars! I really liked this book but went into it with some trepidation. I had read other reviews lamenting the fact that the story about Liam is more engaging than that of our main couple. However, I was pleasantly surprised to see that, not only was interested in what we learned about Liam and his tragic history, but there was also a hot romance between Aidan and Jaylin.

I did get frustrated when Jaylin kept resisting her love for Aidan, mainly because as a psychologist she should have see what she was doing to herself and to him. But, I guess it's the truth in this case when they say love really is blind. Oh, but when Aidan went all alpha on her and brought her to an island resort to convince her they were meant to be--somehow he made that hot and not stalker-like. Where's a rich cougar shifter to whisk ME off to an island, huh?!

Anyways, the world building was interesting and I loved the twist on the mythos of the shifter here. I can't wait to read more from this author, particularly Liam's story. (And I hope she has more planned after that! Bring on the shifters! :D )

*This book was a self purchase and I was not asked to submit this review. All opinions are my own.*
Curse of Passion - Melissa Bourbon Ramirez One of my favorite genres, or sub genres, of romance is suspense. There is nothing like a good romantic suspense novel to get my blood pumping in a variety of ways. I like the guessing game, the who done it aspect of it, and of course, the romance.

In this book I found a good balance of this. The story begins with the reader being introduced to Johanna Rios and over the next few chapters we learn a lot about her background, as well as her sister's. We learn about the tragic childhood events that shaped who Johanna and her sister became, as well as her unrequited crush on her boss, the school's principal, Ray Vargas. Throughout this, we also learn of the nefarious threat that is stalking our heroine. Someone is out to get her and is using former students to do it.

In addition to the main story, and in a way wrapped up right along side it, we get to see what Carmen, Johanna's sister is going through as well. She has a new boyfriend and a huge secret which she doesn't spill to anyone. I wanted to smack her a few times and tell her what an idiot she was being but I resisted the urge. :) Also, her reactions and emotions made sense given her situation so I cut her a bit of slack.

I will note that some of the clues scattered throughout the story were obvious. However this did not detract from the story. Instead it left me with a sense of trepidation about when the baddie was going to strike and just who was the next target. I do wish the story had a bit more when it came to the resolution. We found out who the killer was and everything wrong had been righted, and there was even a very short epilogue, but we didn't get any questions answered about the main couple moving forward. What was going to happen when Ray and Johanna had to go back to work? And what was the deal with their work anyways? It seemed that, after the first victim of the killer, neither went back to work. Maybe I missed it where it said the school was on break or something? And I would have loved to see Ray's mom meet Johanna. And what about Johanna finding out Carmen's secret? Perhaps there is going to be another book after this, to focus on Carmen, but the way things ended in this book, there was a lot left as unknown.

As for the technical pieces of the writing, it was very well written and I liked the author's voice. Her main character had a great balance of strength and vulnerability and I always love it when an author is not afraid to have the heroine show that. So many times writers make women these kick ass women, which is great, but we can be strong and still want the protection and strength of a man in our lives too. It doesn't diminish the woman when we have this. If anything I think it amplifies it.

All in all a solid read and I hope this author writes more romantic suspense in the future. If she does, I'll definitely look forward to reading it. It should be noted, for those who like to read books in order (I tend to be OCD about this), A Curse of Passion mentions Ray's brother, Vic, and how Vic and his girl, Delaney, just survived a bit of intensity. I looked at the author's page on Goodreads and see that Vic and Delaney's story is Sacrifice of Passion. I had no issues with not having read Sacrifice of Passion. Curse of Passion worked fine as a standalone. However, if you, like me, need to read things in order, check that one first. I haven't read it but I am absolutely going back to purchase it so I can find out more about Vic.

*I received an ARC of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.*
Elite  - Rachel Van Dyken This was a solid three stars. I liked the book and the vibe I got it from it. It reminded me in many ways of the Vampire Academy books but well, different. And without the vamps. Or, maybe it was just Nixon who reminded me of that series. Either way, I liked it. There were some issues I had with some of the characters, but Nixon made this book a solid one for me. I would read it again anytime, just for him.

Check out my full review here: http://crackedandbrokenglass.blogspot.com/2013/08/arc-review-elite-eagle-elite-1-by.html

*I received an ARC of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchanged for an honest review. All opinions are my own.*
The Edge of Never - J.A. Redmerski 3.5 stars

First, guess what? There's no cliffhanger! Wahoooooo!

There will be a second book however and the blurb already has me fearing the crazy horrible things that this couple will have to endure. But the ending of this book, no cliffy at all. :D

I will say though that these new adult books are killing me. I need to restock the freaking tissues if this keeps happening. *sighs* This was a great book but be aware there is angst. And that angst was so heavy but then the end...ahhhh, the end. So beautiful.

I did have a few issues with editing and the end (though awesome and I loved how things turned out) feeling like it was slightly rushed. Also there were alternating POVs. I know some don't like this but in this case each change was labeled at the start of a scene or chapter so I was never confused.

Check out my full review here: http://crackedandbrokenglass.blogspot.com/2013/08/arc-review-edge-of-never-edge-of-never.html

*I received this ARC from the publisher, via Netgalley, in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.*
Facade  - Nyrae Dawn This book left me worse off than the first. And I don't mean that in a bad way. I mean that in a way that I was crying in this one even harder than the first. The author can pack quite the emotional punch and the climax of the book threw me for a loop and pushed me even further over the emotional cliff. I had already been hanging on by a thread at that point because I knew the truth was going to come out and I knew it was going to be bad. But when ALL THE TRUTH came out, oh my god. I can't even. I.Just.Can't.Even!

Check out my review here: http://crackedandbrokenglass.blogspot.com/2013/08/book-review-facade-games-2-by-nyrae-dawn.html

And don't worry, I don't reveal the truth that rocked my world in the review. It's spoiler free! ;D

*I received this ARC from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.*