Friday, August 28, 2015

Nowhere But Here by Katie McGarry Review

An unforgettable new series from acclaimed author Katie McGarry about taking risks, opening your heart and ending up in a place you never imagined possible.

Seventeen-year-old Emily likes her life the way it is: doting parents, good friends, good school in a safe neighborhood. Sure, she's curious about her biological father—the one who chose life in a motorcycle club, the Reign of Terror, over being a parent—but that doesn't mean she wants to be a part of his world. But when a reluctant visit turns to an extended summer vacation among relatives she never knew she had, one thing becomes clear: nothing is what it seems. Not the club, not her secret-keeping father and not Oz, a guy with suck-me-in blue eyes who can help her understand them both.

Oz wants one thing: to join the Reign of Terror. They're the good guys. They protect people. They're…family. And while Emily—the gorgeous and sheltered daughter of the club's most respected member—is in town, he's gonna prove it to her. So when her father asks him to keep her safe from a rival club with a score to settle, Oz knows it's his shot at his dream. What he doesn't count on is that Emily just might turn that dream upside down.

No one wants them to be together. But sometimes the right person is the one you least expect, and the road you fear the most is the one that leads you home.

Published May 2015. First book in the Thunder Road series.
4 stars

I don't remember exactly when I first heard of Katie McGarry, but it was when she only had a book or two out. I read Pushing The Limits and loved it. Since then I've been reading all of her published books and wishing I could get my hands on some of the exclusive ebooks she's published. She's a great author, one of my favorites I'd say and one I really look up to for her writing style and characters. But let's get down to what I thought of the book, now that I've established that I love this author...

Likes: The family vibe between the wives and daughters of the Reign of Terror members and those who rode and were members. There's a great familial connection that I felt was very evident. I loved and adored Emily's grandmother. She was easily my favorite character, she brought the whole family together and everyone loved her, she has to be one of the coolest grandmother's out there! I was there 100% with the build-up of the mystery (what possibly could have happened in Eli's past?!), right there, alongside Emily. It wasn't exactly what I expected, I was thinking there would be more action and motorcycle chases, I guess? It's not really like that, there really isn't a whole lot of action, but that doesn't mean that it isn't exciting. Emily's grandmother sends her on a treasure hunt around the family's property looking for hints and clues in solving the mystery of Eli's past. Of course, there's also the tension and attraction between Emily and Oz that they keep hidden from each other at first and then, later, hidden from Emily's father. So it's not as if I got bored ;) 

Dislikes: The big reveal about Eli's past was almost a little disappointing. I think the way that she wrote it, (highlight to see spoiler)  how she had Emily's step-dad assuring her that the enemies of the ROT were imaginary and didn't pose a threat, mixed with the secrets that Emily seemed always on the brink of discovering, and the little hints that we got from reading things in Oz's perspective of his talks with Eli  fit the way things were revealed, in the end. So while the ending didn't sit great with me, I can see how it fit with the rest of the book. I admit that there are times when both Emily and Oz are a little cliche or annoying, but I kind of ignored it for the most part or it didn't bother me that much. The only thing that I can think to mention is there was a particular phrase, something about (from Oz's perspective) wanting to lick Emily's super flat stomach paraphrasing here. I thought that wasn't very positive for a woman's self-esteem and body image and was disappointed that it was in the book. There are some other practices that the ROT seems to take part in that I didn't really like, but it was that one comment that really stuck with me the most. 

Overall, this wasn't my favorite book from Katie McGarry, but I still enjoyed it. I was very happy with this first introduction to the Reign of Terror and their wives, sons, and daughters. I look forward to Razor's story that's to come next despite the things I disliked about this book. I have high hopes that this series will improve with each book. And it's not like it was awful, I think the setting and connections between the members and their families were very well done, especially. I'd recommend to fans of her other books or someone looking for a slightly more edgy, steamy romance.

Monday, August 24, 2015

A Heart's Danger by Colleen Coble Review

On the brink of war with the Sioux, a young woman risks everything to expose the betrayal threatening the man she loves.

Christmas is coming, and the air at Fort Laramie has turned cold . . . but relations with the Sioux have turned colder. As tensions between soldiers and natives approach a tipping point, Ben Croftner and Jessica DuBois prepare a trap for Rand Campbell.

Bitter from rejection and backfired plans, Croftner has enlisted the help of Rand's new fiancee to keep Rand from ever returning to Sarah Montgomery . . . for whom his heart clearly still yearns.

Sarah is simply trying to move on with her life at Fort Laramie, but doing so under the watchful eyes of both Campbell--the man whose love she craves--and Croftner--the man whose lies have cost her everything. Will Rand fall victim to the conspiracy and go through with his wedding? Or will he declare his love for Sarah and make good on the promises that brought her into the rugged western territories?

Published May 2015. Third book in the A Journey of the Heart series.
3 stars

Wow this one was pretty action packed wasn't it? This is the third addition to a six book series that Colleen Coble is publishing. It's a series that she wrote a while back that is only now being published, it's a series inspired by her brother's death. While they're a bit shorter than the length of books I normally read, they're still interesting and almost like a bite-sized read, great for an afternoon or cozy night in bed.

In this book a lot of things happened, it's quite actioned packed and a lot of things were resolved. It almost makes me wonder what is left to happen. Two men want Sarah and one nearly tricked her into marrying him in the first book. He has a dastardly plan that comes to light and put into action in A Heart's Danger. I think I flew through this book the quickest because there was so many things occurring.  

I thought that the plot was good, there's something happening nearly every chapter so you certainly don't get bored. The world-building is very authentic. I believe the author said in a forward that she went out and visited where her brother had lived and it shows in the writing. The world described in the writing is easy to imagine and your taken back in time to the wild west. 

Overall, the romance was sweet, the plot was fast-paced, and the writing takes you back in time to just after the civil war. If you like Colleen Coble or are looking for a Janette Oke sort of book, I'd recommend it! The only issue I think you'd find is that things seem to move very quickly because it's a rather short book (only 100 pages or so)...but other than that it's a nice a read :)