Book Review: Clean Sweep by Ilona Andrews

Book: Clean Sweep by Ilona Andrews

Published December 2013 by NYLA|225 pages

Where I Got It: I borrowed the e-book from the library

Series: Clean Sweep #1

Genre: Adult Paranormal Romance

On the outside, Dina Demille is the epitome of normal. She runs a quaint Victorian Bed and Breakfast in a small Texas town, owns a Shih Tzu named Beast, and is a perfect neighbor, whose biggest problem should be what to serve her guests for breakfast. But Dina is…different: Her broom is a deadly weapon; her Inn is magic and thinks for itself. Meant to be a lodging for otherworldly visitors, the only permanent guest is a retired Galactic aristocrat who can’t leave the grounds because she’s responsible for the deaths of millions and someone might shoot her on sight. Under the circumstances, “normal” is a bit of a stretch for Dina.

And now, something with wicked claws and deepwater teeth has begun to hunt at night….Feeling responsible for her neighbors, Dina decides to get involved. Before long, she has to juggle dealing with the annoyingly attractive, ex-military, new neighbor, Sean Evans—an alpha-strain werewolf—and the equally arresting cosmic vampire soldier, Arland, while trying to keep her inn and its guests safe. But the enemy she’s facing is unlike anything she’s ever encountered. It’s smart, vicious, and lethal, and putting herself between this creature and her neighbors might just cost her everything.

I really liked Clean Sweep!  I’m glad I picked this one up.

It was fun to read, and it moved pretty fast.  It is short, so that might be part of it.  But I really liked Dina’s world, and the magic and how it seems to be a little sci-fi too.  Like how the werewolves seem to have some genetic enhancements.  And other planets are mentioned.  Plus, the vampires kind of reminded me of aliens, but I really liked the spin on vampires.

The magic was really cool!  I love the idea of a magical inn, and how it can defend itself if it has to.  I also liked how the inns were rating, and higher ratings mean really good things.  I get why Dina took over this abandoned inn, and how she wants it to be a hustling and bustling place where she might have a guest who can lead her to her parents.  I really hope we learn more about them.  And I hope Dina finds out what happens to them.  I don’t know if we’ll ever meet her siblings- I doubt it we will, but it would be nice to see them.

I really hope we see Sean again too.  I hope it’s not the last we see of him, and I really hope he makes an appearance.  It would be nice to see him again in some way.

Actually, I liked a lot of the characters we meet.  Dina was really cool, and I really liked her.  She seems pretty independent, and she kind of reminds me of Nevada from the Hidden Legacy series.  I think, if you like that series, you’ll like this one.  Dina has a guest, and I wish I could remember her name, but she seemed pretty cool.  I want to know more about her, and I hope we get to see her in the rest of the series.

As fast as things went, and as much as I loved the world, I thought things could be explained a little more.  It’s pretty short, so more could have been added.  I got a basic idea of the world and how it worked, but a little more explanation would have been nice.  Still, I know there are other books after this one, so I think we’ll get more as the series goes in.  Even if I’m not completely happy with the information we get, I know we’ll get something.

4 stars.  I really liked this book, and I wish it were a little longer.  I don’t mind that too much, since this is only the first book in the series.  I can’t wait to see what happens next.

Book Review: Sapphire Flames by Ilona Andrews

Book: Sapphire Flames by Ilona Andrews

Published August 2019 by Avon|400 pages

Where I Got It: I borrowed the e-book from the library

Series: Hidden Legacy #4

Genre: Adult Paranormal Romance

In a world where magic is the key to power and wealth, Catalina Baylor is a Prime, the highest rank of magic user, and the Head of her House. Catalina has always been afraid to use her unique powers, but when her friend’s mother and sister are murdered, Catalina risks her reputation and safety to unravel the mystery.

But behind the scenes powerful forces are at work, and one of them is Alessandro Sagredo, the Italian Prime who was once Catalina’s teenage crush. Dangerous and unpredictable, Alessandro’s true motives are unclear, but he’s drawn to Catalina like a moth to a flame.

To help her friend, Catalina must test the limits of her extraordinary powers, but doing so may cost her both her House–and her heart.

I liked Sapphire Flames a lot more than I thought I would!  I mean, I liked the previous books in the series, so I was expecting to just like this one.  But I liked it a lot more than I thought I would!

So, this book focuses on Catalina, Nevada’s younger sister.  This book is set several years after the third book on the series, and it’s clear that Nevada’s story is pretty much over.  She does pop up, by way of phone calls, but this book is clearly centered on Catalina as head of house and navigating the family through hard times as their three-year grace period comes to a close.

I really liked Alessandro and Catalina together.  I didn’t spend the whole book waiting for something to happen between them, and I felt like there was more of a something between them than I did with Nevada and Rogan.  I like them together, and there are certainly going to be challenges in terms of them getting together, but I have no doubt it will happen.  I feel like they’re evenly matched, more than Nevada and Rogan.  I’m interested to see how their story plays out over the next few books, and if there will be more books but featuring other characters.

I’m also curious to see how things will go now that they’re past their grace period.  Catalina has a lot in store for her, and I’m sure she’ll rise to the challenge of steering her house in the right direction.  I just hope she can balance that with finding love.  Hopefully with Alessandro, because I do like them together, and I feel like it’s being set up for it to happen.  It’ll be an adventure getting there, I think.

It’s weird how shifting a series to a different set of characters reset the series for me.  I liked Nevada, and I liked her story but maybe I wasn’t super into her story.  Still, her story led to Catalina’s, and that is something I’m happy about.  I’m glad we get to see her abilities, and I really want to see more of them.

4 stars.  I really Sapphire Flames, and I can’t wait to read what happens next!

Book Review: Wildfire by Ilona Andrews

Book: Wildfire by Ilona Andrews

Published July 2017 by Avon|400 pages

Where I Got It: I borrowed the hardcover from the library

Series: Hidden Legacy #3

Genre: Adult Paranormal Romance

Just when Nevada Baylor has finally come to accept the depths of her magical powers, she also realizes she’s fallen in love. Connor “Mad” Rogan is in many ways her equal when it comes to magic, but she’s completely out of her elements when it comes to her feelings for him. To make matters more complicated, an old flame comes back into Rogan’s life…

Rogan knows there’s nothing between him and his ex-fiance, Rynda Sherwood. But as Nevada begins to learn more about her past, her power, and her potential future, he knows she will be faced with choices she never dreamed of and the promise of a life spent without him.

As Nevada and Rogan race to discover the whereabouts of Rynda’s kidnapped husband and are forced to confront Nevada’s grandmother, who may or may not have evil motives, these two people must decide if they can trust in each other or allow everything to go up in smoke.

I liked Wildfire!  I’ve enjoyed this series, and it’s been pretty entertaining and interesting.  I’m also excited to keep reading because I really want to see what happens next with Nevada and her family.

The thing with Nevada and Rogan as a couple is that I’ve never felt completed invested in them as a couple.  There’s a lot of interactions but for the most part, it felt like business and not romantic.  I’m not sure if it’s something that happened more off-screen but I didn’t particularly care when a big moment happened between them.  I had a hard time caring because there was barely any build-up to it.

In fact, I’m not really sure why I’m shelving it as a paranormal romance because the romance for me has been minimal.  Actually, urban fantasy might be a better categorization but for now, I’ll keep it under the paranormal romance shelf.

I really like Nevada’s family, and there are a lot of challenges they have to deal with in this book.  I doubt things are over in this book but hopefully, things will be a little better for them.  I don’t want to give it away, but I wasn’t surprised by where things went in terms of them forming a House.  I also wasn’t surprised at the outcome, and I am excited to see how things are different for them.  Assuming things change at all, which they very well could.

Honestly, I don’t have anything else to add for this book.  I’ve definitely said everything I wanted to!

3 stars.  I liked Wildfire, but I’m not interested in Nevada and Rogan as a couple.  I still want to see what happens next!

Book Review: White Hot by Ilona Andrews

Book: White Hot by Ilona Andrews

Published May 2017 by Avon|416 pages

Where I Got It: I borrowed the e-book from the library

Series: Hidden Legacy #2

Genre: Adult Paranormal Romance

Nevada Baylor has a unique and secret skill—she knows when people are lying—and she’s used that magic (along with plain, hard work) to keep her colorful and close-knit family’s detective agency afloat. But her new case pits her against the shadowy forces that almost destroyed the city of Houston once before, bringing Nevada back into contact with Connor “Mad” Rogan.

Rogan is a billionaire Prime—the highest rank of magic user—and as unreadable as ever, despite Nevada’s “talent.” But there’s no hiding the sparks between them. Now that the stakes are even higher, both professionally and personally, and their foes are unimaginably powerful, Rogan and Nevada will find that nothing burns like ice…

I liked White Hot!  I think I liked it about the same as the first book in the series, Burn For Me, and I liked seeing what was going on with both Nevada and Connor.

I’m still not sure how I feel about Connor and Nevada as a couple.  The romance really takes a backseat to everything else going on, and even though you can tell they’re into each other, it’s not really acted on until the end of the book.  Which is fine, but I did go into this series expecting more romance than what we’ve been getting.  I’m actually okay with that, because there’s a lot going on in both the book and the world that the characters live in.

I had never considered the extent of Nevada’s abilities before this book.  I mean, I was wondering what she could do, and if there was more to her ability than what we saw in the first book.  There definitely is, and that means there is a massive wrench in any sort of relationship with Connor.  Especially if she goes with one particular option.  And everything we learn about her family…it makes me wish we met her dad and knew him more.  He’s mentioned, of course, but right about now, I really wish he were alive.  Then again, how different would things be if he were alive?

There’s a lot going on in this book, and it’s more of a mystery than trying to find Adam Pierce.  Nevada’s trying to find out what happened to a lawyer, and it puts her in even more danger than trying to find Pierce.  I didn’t think that was possible, but it is.

There’s a lot of shadowy puppeteer stuff going on in the background, what with trying to solve this case, and dealing with the family stuff.  The family stuff is not going away, and I do want to know how that works itself out.  It will mean a lot of changes if Nevada does what I think she’s going to do.

Her family is still a priority, and I’m glad that hasn’t changed.  She would do anything to protect them and keep them safe, and I hope that is something that never changes.  I really do like that it’s important to her, and that she wants some semblance of normalcy and independence.

Rogan is frustrating sometimes, because he seems to go against what she wants, but in his own weird, twisted, messed up way, he does want to protect her and keep her safe.  He doesn’t seem to give her a choice, which she wants very much.  It’s frustrating that he doesn’t seem to respect that.  Hopefully, he’ll figure it out, and they can work things out, because they would be an interesting couple.

3 stars.  I liked White Hot, and I really like spending time in this world.  I can’t wait to see what happens next.

Book Review: Burn For Me by Ilona Andrews

Book: Burn For Me by Ilona Andrews

Published October 2014 by Avon|382 pages

Where I Got It: I own the paperback

Series: Hidden Legacy #1

Genre: Adult Paranormal Romance

#1 New York Times bestselling author Ilona Andrews launches a brand new Hidden Legacy series, in which one woman must place her trust in a seductive, dangerous man who sets off an even more dangerous desire…

Nevada Baylor is faced with the most challenging case of her detective career—a suicide mission to bring in a suspect in a volatile case. Nevada isn’t sure she has the chops. Her quarry is a Prime, the highest rank of magic user, who can set anyone and anything on fire.

Then she’s kidnapped by Connor “Mad” Rogan—a darkly tempting billionaire with equally devastating powers. Torn between wanting to run or surrender to their overwhelming attraction, Nevada must join forces with Rogan to stay alive.

Rogan’s after the same target, so he needs Nevada. But she’s getting under his skin, making him care about someone other than himself for a change. And, as Rogan has learned, love can be as perilous as death, especially in the magic world. 

I liked Burn For Me!  Nevada and Rogan are interesting, and I really liked the magic system.  Their world is one I wanted to stay in just a little bit longer.  It’s also one I wanted to know more about.

This book felt pretty light on the romance- there was a point where I thought Adam was going to completely change and end up with Nevada, but I realized that wouldn’t work, because things were set up so she’d end up with Rogan.  It felt more about trying to find Adam, then their attraction to each other, but maybe I was so interested in everything else that was going on that the romance went over my head.

Honestly, I think it’s because of the cover.  I haven’t read a lot of paranormal romance/urban fantasy but based on what I have read, I think I went in with the expectation there would be a lot more romance.  Part of me is hoping we’ll see more of that in the books to come, but even if it doesn’t happen, I still want to keep reading to see what happens to Nevada, her family and Rogan.

The magic is really cool, and it’s interesting how magic can get more powerful, or less powerful, depending on the generation, and how powerful their parents are.  The dynasties that each family creates based on their powers was something I wanted to know more about.

Especially because Nevada gets dragged into this world she doesn’t want anything to do with.  She’s dedicated to her family, and would do anything to protect them, even though it won’t end well for her.  I wanted to see more of her family, because they seem like a close-knit group who work really well together.  She also seems to be the main provider for them, and I’m glad she survived, if only to take care of them.  Her family is colorful and I loved that.  I wanted more with them because of it.

I like that Nevada is practical.  She has to be, but she is this practical, smart person in a world very different than the one she is used to.  She clearly didn’t want to work with Rogan but did because she had to in order to protect her family and the family business her father worked hard to build up.

Nevada had some great one-liners as well, and there’s an interesting dynamic between her and Rogan.  I am curious to see if this series will follow them, or if other characters will be the focus of the other books.  I’ll have to read to find out but their story feels far from over.

3 stars.  I liked Burn For Me, especially Nevada’s family, and the world they live in.  I do want to see what happens next.

Book Review: Archangel’s War by Nalini Singh

Book: Archangel’s War by Nalini Singh

Published September 2019 by Penguin Publishing Group/Berkley|477 pages

Where I Got It: I borrowed the e-book from the library

Series: Guild Hunter #12

Genre: Adult Paranormal Romance

Wings of silver. Wings of blue. Mortal heart. Broken dreams. Shatter. Shatter. Shatter. A sundering. A grave. I see the end. I see. . .

The world is in chaos as the power surge of the Cascade rises to a devastating crescendo. In furiously resisting its attempts to turn Elena into a vessel for Raphael’s power, Elena and her archangel are irrevocably changed. . .far beyond the prophecy of a cursed Ancient.

At the same time, violent and eerie events around the world threaten to wipe out entire populations. And in the Archangel Lijuan’s former territory, an unnatural fog weaves through the land, leaving only a bone-chilling silence in its wake. Soon it becomes clear that even the archangels are not immune to this deadly evil. This time, even the combined power of the Cadre may not be enough. . .

This war could end them all. 

I really liked Archangel’s War!  I’ve been really into this series, and I caught up in time to read this book.

I loved seeing what was going on, and how everything went with Lijuan.  If there’s someone who won’t die, it’s the Goddess Of Death.  Her abilities were terrible but also amazing, and she went to great lengths to gain more power- enough to take over the world.  That was definitely her goal, and I was glad that it didn’t happen.

After finishing the last book, I was wondering what would happen to Elena and Raphael.  They’re okay, and all of our favorites are okay too.  I know there were some questions they had- and I had them too- but I’m glad they were answered, and were able to figure it out to defeat Lijuan.  She’s definitely the big bad in this series, and I was wondering not only what had happened to her, but how they’d take her down.

Back to Raphael and Elena- things were definitely different for both them, and for pretty much the entire book.  Everything that we saw happen to Elena were still very present in this book, but things did get righted at the end of the book.  I was glad to see that because being an angel was very much a part of Elena.  Especially with what happened to her wings.

I really liked seeing what was going on with the Ancients- and the ancients that are Calienne and Alexander, but those who were Ancient beyond words.  They didn’t realize how bad things were, and how hard it would be to defeat Lijuan, but they were all able to work together, even though they might now have wanted to.

This book was action-packed, and it was definitely hard to put down.  We follow several characters, and quite a few pop in and out.  It was great to see everyone again but I wished we had gotten to spend a little more time with all of them.  It felt like non-stop action from start to finish, and I think this series ended on a great note.  I wonder if there’s going to be a spin-off of some sort.  I know her Psy-Changeling series had another series, and I wonder if that’s in store for this one as well.  With how it ended, and with the world Singh built, I think there’s a lot more story she could tell in this world.

4 stars.  I really liked Archangel’s War, and it’s a great way to end a really cool and interesting series.

Book Review: Archangel’s Prophecy by Nalini Singh

Book: Archangel’s Prophecy by Nalini Singh

Published October 2018 by Penguin|368 pages

Where I Got It: I borrowed the e-book from the library

Series: Guild Hunter #11

Genre: Adult Paranormal Romance

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’re 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 it’s too late and Elena falls out of the sky. Yet even as they fight a furious battle for Elena’s very survival, violent forces are gathering in New York and 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 really liked Archangel’s Prophecy!  There was a lot going on, and I didn’t want the book to end.  It makes glad that there’s another book, because I really want to know what happens to Elena and Raphael.

There’s a lot going on with Elena, and everything going on with her wings, and the owls had me intrigued.  Obviously, a prophecy is going on, and I wish it had been a little more resolved in this book.  Still, knowing there’s another book after this one really helps because I’m hoping we’ll get some answers.  I did like seeing Elena try to figure it out and try to work around it.

Singh is pretty good with that, so I’m hopeful we’ll get more on what’s going on with the prophecy and the angel who predicted it.  Is Elena completely mortal now, or is she something else completely?  Is she going to be like Holly?  Inquiring minds want to know, but I suppose I’ll wait and see.

I actually wanted more about Cassandra.  It seems like prophecies was not a good thing for her, and for some reason, it reminded me of Cassandra from Greek mythology.  I didn’t get the impression people didn’t believe her prophecies, but I am wondering if Singh pulled from Greek mythology for Cassandra.  I’d really like more backstory on Cassandra.

I did think everything going on with Favashi was interesting.  It seems like there’s always an archangel showing signs of madness, and Favashi is just the latest.  I did want to know more about it, because it was a pretty important part of the book.  Is it because China is her territory, or was it going to happen regardless?

If it is China…what the heck is going on over there that those archangels end up power hungry and setting themselves up to take over the world?  We know what happened with Lijuan but it’s still too early to tell for Favashi.  Still…it does not look good for Favashi, especially if she does end up following a path similar to Lijuan’s.  Hopefully, they’re able to stop it before it gets worse and she gets really powerful.

4 stars.  I really liked Archangel’s Prophecy, and I can’t wait to read the next book!

Book Review: Archangel’s Viper by Nalini Singh

Book: Archangel’s Viper by Nalini Singh

Published September 2017 by Penguin|361 pages

Where I Got It: I borrowed the e-book from the library

Series: Guild Hunter #10

Genre: Adult Paranormal Romance

Enter New York Times bestselling author Nalini Singh’s breathtakingly passionate Guild Hunter world with the story of a woman who isn’t a vampire or an angel…or human…

Once a broken girl known as Sorrow, Holly Chang now prowls the shadowy gray underground of the city for the angels. But it’s not her winged allies who make her a wanted woman–it’s the unknown power coursing through her veins. Brutalized by an insane archangel, she was left with the bloodlust of a vampire, the ability to mesmerize her prey, and a poisonous bite.

Now, someone has put a bounty on her head…

Venom is one of the Seven, Archangel Raphael’s private guard, and he’s as infuriating as he is seductive. A centuries-old vampire, his fangs dispense a poison deadlier than Holly’s. But even if Venom can protect Holly from those hunting her, he might not be able to save himself–because the strange, violent power inside Holly is awakening…

No one is safe.

I liked Archangel’s Viper!  I had actually forgotten about both Holly and Venom but I was glad to get their story.  Especially Holly’s story.

I really liked Holly, and it was good to get her story and to see how she was doing.  Now that I think about she has been randomly mentioned since the first book, but she hasn’t come up a lot since then.  This is actually the most I think we’ve seen her since the first book, where she gets caught up with Uram.  I really felt for Holly, and in this book, we really see the damage that has been done.

Speaking of Uram, I was not expecting him to come up as much as he did.  Holly is a pretty important person in this book, so it makes sense Uram would come up.  I just didn’t expect how he came up.  That threw me for a loop, and I really hope he’s gone.  Then again, the same thing could be said about Lijuan, but it seems like Uram is gone for good.  I really thought he was gone before, but it seems to be especially true after this book.

Holly and Venom are okay together.  I didn’t love them, but they do seem to be drawn together.  They worked together a lot in this book, and by the end of the book, you could tell that he wanted her to be okay.  With everything that happened to her, I totally get why he acted the way he did, and he certainly seemed protective of her.

I think I just didn’t feel the romance between them.  There’s interest and fascination throughout the book, but you didn’t see romance until the end of the book.  By then, I just didn’t care.  With all of the other characters, it felt like the romance was there from the very beginning, but it seemed like we didn’t get it with this book.

Even though though the romance is very, very minimal, I did like the story as it related to Uram, Holly, and even Michaela.  I already mentioned that I wasn’t expecting Uram to show up the way he did but I’m glad we got some closure for Holly, and that her story is pretty much wrapped up.  At least, it is for me.

3 stars.  I liked Archangel’s Viper, and while I’m glad we got more of Holly, I wasn’t particularly enthused with the minimal romance in this one.

Book Review: Archangel’s Heart by Nalini Singh

Book: Archangel’s Heart by Nalini Singh

Published November 2016 by Berkley|396 pages

Where I Got It; I borrowed the e-book from the library

Series: Guild Hunter #9

Genre: Adult Paranormal Romance

New York Times bestselling author Nalini Singh takes us into a dangerous and exhilarating world where a deadly, beautiful archangel and his once-mortal consort are caught in a fury of twisted darkness…

One of the most vicious archangels in the world has disappeared. No one knows if Lijuan is dead or has chosen to Sleep the long sleep of an immortal. But with her lands falling into chaos under a rising tide of vampiric bloodlust, a mysterious and ancient order of angels known as the Luminata calls the entire Cadre together to discuss the fate of her territory.

Accompanying her archangelic lover Raphael to the Luminata compound, guild hunter-turned-angel Elena senses that all is not as it seems. Secrets echo from within the stone walls of the compound, and the deeper Elena goes, the uglier the darkness. But neither Raphael nor Elena is ready for the brutal truths hidden within—truths that will change everything Elena thinks she knows about who she is…

Nothing will ever be the same again.

I really liked this one!  I’m glad we got back to Raphael and Elena, because I’ve really missed seeing them in a book.  It feels like it’s been a while since we’ve had a book focus on them.

This book is set a couple of years after the last one, and things start off pretty normal.  They don’t stay that way, of course, but at least things aren’t completely crazy.  At least initially.  There’s a lot going on in this book and with everything that happens, it makes me wonder what will happen in the next few books.

I think what I liked most about this book was learning more about Elena’s family.  We’ve learned some things about her dad’s side of the family- basically, the hunter ability comes from him but this book focuses more on her mom’s side of the family.  We learn about (and meet) her grandparents, and it’s nice to know she’ll have some family around long after her siblings and friends go.  We finally learn where the vampire in the family comes from, and I’m glad it came up.  I was wondering if we would ever see that come up again, and we actually did.  I’m glad that it went somewhere.

The Luminata were a pretty interesting group.  They turn out to be not so great, of course, and they definitely deserved what happened to them.  Hopefully, they’re able to turn things around and do better then what they’ve done.  There is quite the mystery surrounding them and it was nice to see it get solved.  I’m not surprised that it had to do with Elena, because they did act pretty strange around her.

We don’t get a lot in terms of the Cascade and how much it’s changing things- as Elena said, it was on pause, but it makes me feel like things are going to get super-interesting going forward.  With not knowing what’s going on with Lijuan, and if she’s really dead or just Sleeping…who knows what the future holds for these characters?  Actually, I’m pretty sure Lijuan isn’t dead, because I feel like we’d know it if she was.  After all, how many times have we tried to kill her and it doesn’t seem to work?  Not having a clear answer on where she is and what she’s doing is not a good sign, and I have the feeling she’s just going to pop up out of nowhere stronger than ever.

4 stars.  I really liked Archangel’s Heart, and I can’t wait to see what happens next!

Book Review: Until It Fades by K.A. Tucker

Book: Until It Fades by K.A. Tucker

Published June 2017 by Atria Books|368 pages

Where I Got It: I borrowed the e-book from the library

Series: None

Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance

Twenty-four-year-old truck stop waitress and single mother Catherine Wright has simple goals: to give her five-year-old daughter a happy life and to never again be the talk of the town in Balsam, Pennsylvania: population two thousand outside of tourist season.

And then one foggy night, on a lonely road back from another failed attempt at a relationship, Catherine saves a man’s life. It isn’t until after the police have arrived that Catherine realizes exactly who it is she has saved: Brett Madden, hockey icon and media darling.

Catherine has already had her fifteen minutes of fame and the last thing she wants is to have her past dragged back into the spotlight, only this time on a national stage. So she hides her identity. It works.

For a time.

But when she finds the man she saved standing on her doorstep, desperate to thank her, all that changes. What begins as an immediate friendship quickly turns into something neither of them expected. Something that Catherine isn’t sure she can handle; something that Catherine is afraid to trust.

Because how long can an extraordinary man like Brett be interested in an ordinary woman like Catherine…before the spark fades?

I loved Until It Fades!  After reading (and loving) her Ten Tiny Breaths series years ago, I decided to give some of her other books a try.

I was really nervous to give this book a try, because I wasn’t sure if I would like it as much as her other books.  I was proven wrong, and I’m glad I was, because there was some crying by the end.

I really felt for Catherine and how hard she tried to support her daughter.  Her daughter is pretty cute, and something about her made me think of Mia from Ten Tiny Breaths.  Catherine didn’t have an easy life, and I don’t blame her for having a hard time letting Brett in.  I completely get why she wouldn’t want to be in the spotlight again, especially after everything that happened with her god-awful teacher.  It’s sad that it really changed things for her.

I loved the romance between Brett and Catherine.  It felt really natural and it didn’t feel like insta-love at all.  They are a cute couple and you could he really cared about her.  It took a long time for Catherine to admit that she had feelings for Brett but given her past romances, I completely get it.

I love that she’s pretty clueless about hockey and how the hockey loving people in her life were pretty amazed by his presence.  She didn’t realize how big he was and I liked seeing her slowly, kind of-sort of get into hockey.  I’m glad things started to go her way and that she was in a better place at the end of the book than she was at the beginning of it.

Brett was a great guy and even though we don’t see a lot of him, I still really loved what I saw.  This book is definitely more Catherine’s story and seeing her start to let others in.  I really wish we saw more of him, and part of me is hoping she’ll write another book focusing on Brett.  It looks like this one is a stand-alone but that’s not going to stop me from hoping we’ll see more of them someday.  Until then, I will probably re-read the heck out of this one.

5 stars.  I loved Until It Fades, and it’s a great romance and a great story.