Review: Off the Grid by Monica McCarty

Off the Grid by Monica McCarty
Series: The Lost Platoon #2 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: July 3rd 2018
Links: Ebook • PaperbackAudible • Goodreads
Source: I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

A team of Navy SEALs go on a mission and disappear without a trace–they are The Lost Platoon.

Investigative reporter Brittany Blake may have stumbled upon the story of a lifetime in her search for her missing brother. When he seemingly disappears overnight, she refuses to accept the Navy’s less-than-satisfying explanation. She begins her own investigation, which leads her to top-secret SEAL teams, covert ops, and a possible cover up…

John Donovan is having trouble biding his time, waiting for his Commanding Officer to figure out who set up their platoon. John’s best friend and BUD/S partner, Brandon Blake, was one of the many lives tragically lost in the attack against his team. When Brandon’s sister, Brittany, tracks John down, looking for answers, he realizes that she may be their best bet–or bait–for finding out who is targeting SEAL Team Nine.

The Lost Platoon series is the kind of romantic suspense that I LIVE for. I am utterly addicted to the action, the steam, and the chemistry between the main characters. I put off reading Off the Grid until the third book released so I could binge them back to back, and boy am I glad I made this decision. I was in romantic suspense heaven continuing this fantastic series. Off the Grid is the middle child of the series, though it doesn’t have the middle book syndrome. There is so much that happens, both in terms of the romance(s) and overall plot arc, so if you enjoyed Going Dark, you’re definitely going to want to read this follow-up!

Brittany Blake is an investigative reporter who knows something has happened to her missing brother. The U.S. military gave excuses for the missing men in SEAL Team Nine, but Brittany is determined to uncover the truth. The first step to doing so? Connecting with her brother’s best friend and fellow SEAL, John Donovan… the man who broke her heart years ago.

John Donovan and the rest of the surviving SEAL Team Nine men are off the grid. They can’t let either the U.S. or Russia know that they are the sole survivors of a Russian attack, as they were never supposed to be on Russian soil. But their secrecy is in jeopardy when John’s dead best friend’s sister starts nosing her way to the truth. John is tasked with distracting and eventually stopping Brittany from her investigation. But he can’t help the connection that he’s always felt for her, that flares up just as strongly now as it did five years ago.

She laughed, totally impervious to any suggestiveness. He wasn’t sure how he felt about that. Five years ago she used to blush when he said things like that to her.

I enjoyed Brittany and John’s characters, though at times they did seem immature. John is known as the funny guy in his team, and I loved the light-heartedness he brought to the book. He’s also a bit of a player, and I wanted Brittany to make him work just a bit harder to win her over, but I can’t blame the girl for falling so easily into his arms. A six foot plus, 200+ pound alpha-male that is allll muscle? I wouldn’t say no either.

He almost didn’t recognize himself. Brittany had turned him into some kind of less evolved, possessive, jealous version of John Donovan.

In addition to John and Brittany, we also get more of Kate and Colt’s story that we initially learned about in Going Dark. I’ll admit, a big part of why I wanted to continue the series was to get Kate and Colt’s (hopefully) happy ending, and in Off the Grid, we definitely see them heading in the HEA direction, though it’s not quite there yet. As far as second chance romance goes, this one is spectacular. All the angst and all the heartache!

Off the Grid is a fantastic installment in the Lost Platoon series, but trust me, it only gets better from here. The suspense is well done – it kept me guessing who did what. Brittany and John’s relationship starts off fast in bed, but the slower development of feelings is worth the read. As far as military romances/romantic suspenses go, this one is SO good.


lacey

Quotes are taken from the arc and are subject to change in the final version.


Reading Order: The Lost Platoon series

  

#1 ~ Going Dark: Ebook • Paperback • AudibleGoodreads
#2 ~ Off the Grid: Ebook • PaperbackAudible • Goodreads
#3 ~ Out of Time: Ebook • Paperback • AudibleGoodreads


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Review: The Other Miss Bridgerton by Julia Quinn

The Other Miss Bridgerton by Julia Quinn
Series: Rokesbys #3 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: November 20th 2018
Links: Ebook • Hardcover • PaperbackAudible • Goodreads
Source: I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

She was in the wrong place…

Fiercely independent and adventurous, Poppy Bridgerton will only wed a suitor whose keen intellect and interests match her own. Sadly, none of the fools from her London season qualify. While visiting a friend on the Dorset coast, Poppy is pleasantly surprised to discover a smugglers’ hideaway tucked inside a cave. But her delight turns to dismay when two pirates kidnap her and take her aboard a ship, leaving her bound and gagged on the captain’s bed…

He found her at the wrong time…

Known to society as a rascal and reckless privateer, Captain Andrew James Rokesby actually transports essential goods and documents for the British government. Setting sail on a time-sensitive voyage to Portugal, he’s stunned to find a woman waiting for him in his cabin. Surely, his imagination is getting the better of him. But no, she is very real—and his duty to the Crown means he’s stuck with her.

Can two wrongs make the most perfect right?

When Andrew learns that she is a Bridgerton, he knows he will likely have to wed her to avert a scandal—though Poppy has no idea that he is the son of an earl and neighbor to her aristocratic cousins in Kent. On the high seas, their war of words soon gives way to an intoxicating passion. But when Andrew’s secret is revealed, will his declaration of love be enough to capture her heart…?

I recently went on a Julia Quinn binge when I was craving a new-to-me historical romance series to get lost in, and the Bridgertons series was exactly what I was looking for. It’s full of humor and heart, so of course I was excited to read about the Bridgertons prequel series, the Rokesbys! The Other Miss Bridgerton is the first in this new series that I’ve read, but I will be remedying that soon because I adored Andrew and Poppy’s story. It’s a tale of kidnapping, high seas, pirates (who prefer the name privateers), and secret identities – how could I not enjoy it?

Poppy Bridgerton is ahead of her time. She’s daring, independent, and adventurous… but that all leads her to trouble when she’s found in a supposedly abandoned cave and kidnapped so she won’t tell anyone the secrets that lie in that unfortunate cave. Captain Andrew James Rokesby is in charge of hiding and delivering those secrets, but imagine his surprise when his crew leaves an aristocratic woman, a Bridgerton of all people, in his bed on the ship. He knows he’s in trouble, but he’s keeping her on board anyway as they set sail for Portugal. Neither expect to enjoy their talks, their banter… or even to start falling for one another. But can a relationship really be possible when they reach land?

Poppy is as sassy a heroine as you can get. There’s absolutely nothing she can do on the ship, since the crew doesn’t want a woman on board because of superstition, so all she can use to fight with is her words. She’s intelligent and witty (my favorite kind of heroine), and much to her surprise, Andrew can give as good as he gets from her. They have a wonderful chemistry on board, thanks to the close proximity, and I loved that they made the kidnapping a bit light-hearted. This is more along the lines of a slow burn romance, which I appreciated. I couldn’t get enough of these two characters, their lovely banter, and the way they unwittingly start to fall in love. My only complaint is that I wish there had been more at the end. It seemed to move a bit too fast and conveniently. Other than that, The Other Miss Bridgerton was a delight and pure fun to read. I’m looking forward to meeting the rest of the Rokesbys soon!


lacey


Reading Order: Rokesbys series

  

#1 ~ Because of Miss Bridgerton: Ebook • HardcoverPaperback • AudibleGoodreads
#2 ~ The Girl with the Make-Believe Husband: Ebook • HardcoverPaperback • AudibleGoodreads
#3 ~ The Other Miss Bridgerton: Ebook • Hardcover • PaperbackAudible • Goodreads


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Release Day Review + Excerpt: Archangel’s Prophecy by Nalini Singh

Archangel’s Prophecy by Nalini Singh
Series: Guild Hunter #11 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: October 30th 2018
Links: Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
Source: I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

Return to New York Times bestselling author Nalini Singh’s darkly passionate Guild Hunter world, where human-turned-angel Elena Deveraux, consort to Archangel Raphael, is thrust center stage into an eons-old prophecy…

Midnight and dawn, Elena’s wings are unique among angelkind—and now they are failing. The first mortal to be turned into an immortal in angelic memory, she’s regressing. Becoming more and more human. Easier to hurt. Easier to kill.

Elena and Raphael must unearth the reason for the regression before Elena falls out of the sky. Yet even as they fight a furious battle for Elena’s very survival, violent forces are gathering across the world. In China, the Archangel Favashi is showing the first signs of madness. In New York, a mysterious sinkhole filled with lava swallows a man whole. In Africa, torrential monsoon rains flood rolling deserts. And in Elena’s mind whispers a haunting voice that isn’t her own.

This time, survival may not be possible…not even for the consort of an archangel.

“I will undo the universe for you.” Tear it to pieces, leave it as broken as his heart would be if he didn’t have Elena.

OMG. What an ending!!! I don’t remember the last time Nalini Singh left us readers in such suspense in the Guild Hunter series since maaaybe book one, but boy do I need the next book asap!

In Archangel’s Prophecy, we’re back to my favorite couple of the series, Elena and Raphael. Change has been building up over the course of previous books, and no one knows the outcome of the next Cascade, which is nearing every day. Elena, a mortal turned angel, has started losing the feathers of her wings bit by bit. What does the world have in store for this once-mortal and her beloved archangel and friends?

The Guild Hunter series is one of my favorite urban fantasy worlds to get lost in. Nalini Singh breathes life into every one of her books, and this latest installment is no different. I loved being back with Elena and the gang, despite so many disasters striking. Elena is as badass with a heart of gold as ever. She fights with strength and love against the struggles she faces as her wings fail her in this book. I fall in love with Raphael over and over again with every GH novel – there’s something about an all-powerful being who is cold as ice but only tender and romantic to the woman he loves that gets to me. And he’s never been so vulnerable as when the love of his immortal life seems to be losing her immortality. The plot had me on the edge of my seat the entire time I was reading, and right now, I’m absolutely dying for the next book in the series. I honestly have no idea what’s in store for the Guild Hunter world, but I have no doubt Nalini Singh will make it epic.


lacey


Now here’s an excerpt from Archangel’s Prophecy! ❤

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Illium turned in a direction that would take them to the Catskills if they kept on going.

Sweeping closer to him, she said, “You just want to fly?”

Hair rippling in the quiet but cutting wind, he twisted down in a complicated fall before flying back up to her side. She laughed at his showing off. That was Illium. An angel of violent power who had a heart that might almost be mortal. And, these days, she could appreciate his tricks again. Not a single angel in the city had been ready to witness his acrobatics in the immediate aftermath of the day he’d crashed out of the sky.

Elena would never forget her screaming fear.

To his credit, Illium had flown with absolute discretion for months, letting the memory dull and fade.

When he returned to her side today, his face was flushed, the gold of his eyes rich. “Sky’s too beautiful to shut ourselves away in a club.”

“Just don’t forget I’m not as fast as you. Also, I’m currently lame.”

Illium lifted one cupped hand close to his shoulder, the other moving back and forth . . . and she realized he was playing a tiny violin in response to her morose tone.

“Crossbow, Bluebell.” Narrowed eyes. “Remember the crossbow.”

He dived, his wicked laughter floating up on the night air. Lips twitching, Elena continued to glide, letting the air currents sweep her along with cold but gentle hands. Illium, meanwhile, flew circles around her—but he never went far, always close enough to halt her descent should she tumble.

She landed a number of times to rest her wings, once in an isolated park whispering and dark. A luminescent insect appeared then disappeared from sight before she could truly see it, an earthbound star. The ghostly owl sitting on a tree branch watched her with eyes even more luminous.

A sigh deep in her mind, an old, old presence restless in Sleep.

The hairs rose on her arms.

Then Illium shot them both up into the sky again, and together, they flew far beyond the diamond-bright skyline of the city and over the sleeping homes of ordinary people who lived in a world of vampires and angels, blood and immortality.

Another rest stop for Elena.

Another throb of pain from the cut on her forearm.

Another watchful owl, this one landing on Illium’s shoulder without his knowledge. Ashwini had told her not to be afraid of the owls, so Elena ignored the goose bumps and said, Hello, with her mind. A good night to fly.

A vein began to throb at her temple.

The answer came a long time later, after they were in the air again, the glow of the sinkhole visible from the distance.

It has been an eon since I flew.

Posted by arrangement with Berkley, a member of Penguin Group (USA) LLC, A Penguin Random House Company. Copyright © Nalini Singh, 2018.


Reading Order: Guild Hunter series

Angels' Blood by Nalini Singh Archangel's Kiss by Nalini Singh Archangel's Consort by Nalini Singh Archangel's Blade by Nalini Singh
Archangel's Storm by Nalini Singh Archangel's Legion by Nalini Singh Archangel's Shadows by Nalini Singh Archangel's Enigma by Nalini Singh
   Angels' Flight by Nalini Singh

#1 ~ Angels’ Blood: Ebook • Paperback • AudibleGoodreads
#2 ~ Archangel’s Kiss: Ebook • Paperback • AudibleGoodreads
#3 ~ Archangel’s Consort: Ebook • Paperback • AudibleGoodreads
#4 ~ Archangel’s Blade: Ebook • Paperback • AudibleGoodreads
#5 ~ Archangel’s Storm: Ebook • Paperback • AudibleGoodreads
#6 ~ Archangel’s Legion: Ebook • Paperback • AudibleGoodreads
#7 ~ Archangel’s Shadows: Ebook • Paperback • AudibleGoodreads
#8 ~ Archangel’s Enigma: My Review • Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
#9 ~ Archangel’s Heart: EbookPaperbackAudible • Goodreads
#10 ~ Archangel’s Viper: Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
#11 ~ Archangel’s Prophecy: Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
#0.4, #0.5, #0.6, #3.5 ~ Angels’ Flight: EbookPaperbackAudibleGoodreads


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Release Day Review: Beautiful Sinner by Sophie Jordan

Beautiful Sinner by Sophie Jordan
Series: Devil’s Rock #5 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: October 30th 2018
Links: EbookPaperbackAudibleGoodreads
Source: I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

Locked in with the town bad boy . . .

Most women would be scared, but Gabriella’s only worried about resisting Cruz Walsh, who’s even hotter than he was back in high school. Cruz was wrongly accused of the high-profile crime for which he was imprisoned; Gabriella’s desperate for the scoop that will get her career off the ground and get her out of Sweet Hill, where everyone still remembers her as “Flabby Gabby.” Being stuck in a supply closet with Cruz is the perfect opportunity to land an interview. What Bri doesn’t count on is Cruz taking “up-close and personal” to a whole new level.

If there’s a silver lining to the hell Cruz went through, it’s that losing his freedom put everything in perspective. Maybe starting over someplace new would be easier, but after years locked up, Cruz values his family—and his true friends—more than ever. So he’s back home, facing the gossip, dodging reporters . . . and face-to-face with Gabriella Rossi. They’ve both changed: Bri wants a story and Cruz just wants her. Another thing he’s learned? Don’t let a good thing slip away.

I’m a sucker for bad boys, and you don’t get more bad boy-ish than a formerly incarcerated man. Plus, I love the angst of childhood crushes and unrequited love, so Beautiful Sinner turned out to be exactly the kind of book I was in the mood for. I’ve read the first two novels in Sophie Jordan’s Devil’s Rock series, but this latest installment is a little different from the earlier books. It’s not as action-packed and suspenseful, but more along the lines of a contemporary romance. I loved that this was a little different from the earlier books – I had such a fun time reading about Cruz and Gabriella!

Cruz Walsh is back in his home town of Sweet Hill after being released from jail for a crime he did not commit. News outlets are all over him, and Gabriella Rossi is a journalist has a connection to the recently exonerated man, though it’s not just because her cousin was the one Cruz was wrongly accused of murdering. Cruz and Gabriella knew each other in high school, had classes together… and crushed on each other, though neither of them realized it. Now, years later, they get a chance to fully explore the chemistry and connection they’ve always felt for one another, but will Gabby let the scoop of a lifetime get in the way of a life of happiness with Cruz?

Beautiful Sinner is a great read. I loved getting a glimpse into high school Gabriella and Cruz, and I enjoyed even more the way they slowly fall for each other all over again. It is surprisingly sweet and tender, given the reason Cruz went to jail, though Sophie Jordan definitely doesn’t skimp out on the sexual tension and chemistry. If you enjoyed any of the previous Devil’s Rock books, I highly recommend giving Beautiful Sinner a try, though it can be read as a standalone!


lacey


Reading Order: Devil’s Rock series

 
  

#1 ~ All Chained Up: My Review • EbookPaperbackAudible • Goodreads
#2 ~ Hell Breaks Loose: My Review • Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
#3 ~ Fury on Fire: EbookPaperbackAudibleGoodreads
#4 ~ Beautiful Lawman: EbookPaperbackAudibleGoodreads
#5 ~ Beautiful Sinner: EbookPaperbackAudibleGoodreads


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Blog Tour // Review & Giveaway: Life on the Leash by Victoria Schade

Welcome to today’s blog tour for Life on the Leash! If you love dogs, this is definitely the book for you. Check out my review below plus a chance to win a paperback copy!

Life on the Leash by Victoria Schade
Series: Standalone
Publication Date: September 18th 2018
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Must Love Dogs meets My Not So Perfect Life in this hilarious romantic comedy about a dog trainer who’s a master at managing her four-legged friends, but when it comes to her love life…let’s just say she still has a lot to learn.

Cora Bellamy is a woman who thrives on organization. She’s successfully run her own dog training business for years, perfectly content with her beloved rescue pitbull as the main man in her life. She’s given everything to her business, and her lack of social life (or slobber-free clothes) has been completely worth it.

But all that changes when she meets Charlie Gill, the hottest client she’s ever had. The only problem? Charlie’s taken. Luckily, Cora has a new friend—the sweet, lovably geeky Eli Crawford. More loyal than a retriever, he’s always there to help Cora with her problems, including her love life. That’s why she’s shocked to realize that even as things start heating up with Charlie, there might just be a more-than-friends spark between her and Eli, too.

As Cora’s life gets more tangled up than a dogwalker’s leashes—and as she prepares to audition for a dog-training TV show that may irrevocably change her entire life—she has to figure things out before it all goes straight to the dogs.

Charming, witty, and warm-hearted, Life on the Leash inspires you to cheer for every underdog looking for love.

Buy Links:
Amazon EbookAmazon PaperbackBarnes & NobleIndieBound

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The main reason why I had to read Life on the Leash was because it was a romance that had DOGS in it!! I adore dogs of all shapes and sizes (I have my own Pomeranian who is the love of my life, much like the heroine), so I absolutely had to read this book – and it turned out as adorable as I hoped it would be. It’s not too romance-heavy, but if you’re a dog lover, Life on the Leash should definitely be on your radar.

Cora Bellamy is a natural with dogs and has turned her love for dogs into a career as a professional dog trainer in D.C. She barely has a social life as it is, but when an opportunity to audition for a TV show that’s about dog training appears, she can’t pass it up. And just when her professional life seems to be taking off, her social life comes knocking… in the form of two very different men.

Cora’s new client Charlie is everything she’s ever dreamed of – except he’s got a serious girlfriend. Eli is a new friend who is nerdy and sweet, someone she can always turn to. In between navigating her way between these two men, Cora continues to help new dog owners and even save a few dogs with her compassionate heart. I found myself charmed by Cora, though at times I did get frustrated at the love triangle. The romance didn’t feel as fleshed out as I thought it could be, but I did love the dogs and the dog training aspect of the story. Overall, I thought Life on the Leash was a fun, light-hearted novel with a very chick-lit feel. If you’re in the mood for something fluffy (and furry), this one’s for you!


lacey

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Victoria Schade is an author, speaker and dog trainer known for her upbeat approach to living and working with dogs. She’s published two books, “Bonding With Your Dog; A Trainer’s Secrets for Building a Better Relationship” and “Secrets of a Dog Trainer: Positive Problem Solving for a Well-Behaved Dog.” LIFE ON THE LEASH is her first novel.

She’s a frequent resource for the media, including the CBS Early Show, The View, WEtv, and FOX. Victoria has been featured in The Washington Post, Martha Stewart Living, Real Simple Magazine, Reader’s Digest, The Bark, and many dog-specific publications. She currently serves as a pet expert for petMD and PawCulture, writing training and behavior content and appearing in educational videos.

Website • Twitter • FacebookInstagram • Goodreads

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(1) Paperback of Life on the Leash
(US only)

a Rafflecopter giveaway


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