January 22, 2019 12:50 PM Posted by juliannadouglas
I’ve been an avid reader all my life, and in 2008, I decided to start reviewing books, as well. That’s when I founded my review website, The Hope Chest Reviews. Since becoming a published author, I haven’t stopped writing reviews of the books I read for pleasure, in part, because I’m now more aware than ever just how important reviews can be to a author in helping readers discover them. That’s why I stubbornly insist upon keeping this up indefinitely, despite the extra time it takes.
Ever since I started my review site, I’ve had an annual tradition of posting my Best of the Year list to highlight all the very best books I read the previous year. As in past years, I have an eclectic group of books on it from a wide variety of genres.
November 20, 2018 12:32 PM Posted by juliannadouglas
I read a number of books in October that I enjoyed, but only one full-length novel made it to five stars. It’s the first book of a brand new series and the latest novel by one of my all-time favorite authors who I seem to keep featuring again and again. That’s because her books are just so darn good, I can’t help myself.:-) She writes about a very famous paranormal Brotherhood, but in this new contemporary series, she’s created a different sort of brotherhood made up of firefighters and other first responders. Anne and Danny, our hero and heroine, who are both firefighters, enjoyed a very steamy one-night stand in the two short prequel novellas, but the heroine had worked too hard to make it to where she was in a man’s world to give that up for a relationship. When this story opens, it’s been about three weeks since that fateful night, and there’s still an unrequited attractions simmering between them. Their station house is called out to fight a warehouse fire, during which Anne becomes trapped and Danny must make a gut-wrenching and life-altering decision in order to free her from the flames. From there we fast-forward ten months to see Anne reinventing herself as an arson investigator, where she’s looking into a string of warehouse fires that may be connected to the last fire she fought and which place her in the cross-hairs of a desperate arsonist.
Tags: J. R. Ward
August 17, 2018 04:58 PM Posted by juliannadouglas
For my Book of the Month choice this month, I have the final book of a contemporary romance series that is one of this author’s earlier works. Both the hero and heroine of this book were introduced in previous books of the series and have close ties to the other characters, but their book stands well on its own. In it, our heroine has decided to take control of her life along with her shares of the family-owned grocery store chain, but she’s going to have to face down her jerk of an older half-brother to make her case. She’ll be doing it over a long holiday weekend at the family estate, which she’s dreading. That’s why she asked a friend to come with her. When he can’t, he suggests another guy she’s had a crush on since meeting him to go in his place. Our hero isn’t too keen on accompanying her either at first, but he’s attracted to her, too, and eventually can’t resist the pull of being near her. So he ends up being her moral support, defender, and lover for the weekend. He would have liked to be a whole lot more if only her brother hadn’t interfered, casting a pall over their burgeoning relationship.
February 17, 2018 06:27 PM Posted by juliannadouglas
I had a number of five-star reads in January, but the one that stood out the most was the latest release from one of my all-time favorite authors, whose books I’ve shared again and again. In this particular book, we get not one but two love stories complete with two very sweet and passionate HEAs. One features two relatively new characters, who we’ve only known for a couple of books, while the second pairs a character who’s been around a while in this world with someone who is brand new. I ended up loving both couples and thought they were amazing together, and I hope you do, too.
Tags: J. R. Ward
January 15, 2018 04:22 PM Posted by juliannadouglas
Long before becoming a writer I was an avid reader, and in 2008, I decided to start reviewing books, as well. That’s when I founded my review website, The Hope Chest Reviews. Since becoming a published author, I haven’t stopped writing reviews of the books I read for pleasure, in part because I’m now more aware than ever just how important reviews can be to a author in helping readers discover them. That’s why I stubbornly insist upon keeping this up indefinitely, despite the extra time it takes.
Ever since I started my review site, I’ve followed the annual tradition of posting my Best of the Year list to highlight all the very best books I read the previous year. Once again, I have an eclectic group of books from a wide variety of genres.
September 16, 2017 06:36 PM Posted by juliannadouglas
I had two five-star reads during the month of August, but only one of them was a romance. Since I write romance, I always favor those over non-romance titles when there’s more than one five-star book to choose from for my Book of the Month. It’s the final volume of a relatively new trilogy from one of my favorite authors, who coincidentally was also featured last month (yup, she really is that good.:-)). This trilogy is a family saga that’s reminiscent of the old nighttime soaps from the 1980s, which the author admits inspired her writing of it. During my teen years, I was a big fan of those sudsers, so I’ve been entranced by the series since the first book was released two years ago. Now it’s complete, and while it almost seems too soon to let go, it was a great ending that warmed my heart.
Tags: J. R. Ward
August 18, 2017 03:44 PM Posted by juliannadouglas
July was another good reading month for me. I read five novels, one novella, and two short stories, all of which rated the 3.5 stars or better needed to qualify to be recommended by me. However, only two of them got a perfect five-star rating from me and only one was a romance, so that’s the one I’ll be highlighting this month as my Book of the Month pick. It’s a slightly older contemporary romance by a long-time favorite author who IMHO is phenomenal at her craft and has been from the start. It’s the story of a hero who’s injured in both body and spirit and the one woman he’s been in love with from afar for years but thought he could never have.
September 9, 2016 07:31 PM Posted by juliannadouglas
August was an excellent reading month for me, mostly consisting of five-star reads, but one stood out a little above all the others. It’s the second installment of a new family saga from an insanely popular author that’s filled with drama, angst, mystery and yes, romance. It’s all about the incredibly dysfunctional Baldwine family trying to pick up the pieces in the aftermath of the family patriarch’s presumed suicide that soon starts looking like murder instead. It’s also about all of the dirty deeds in which he engaged prior to his death that have ripped the family to shreds and nearly destroyed their bourbon-making business that’s been the family’s legacy for centuries, and how the members of the family must start pulling together to survive the fall-out. I’m totally hooked by this series and can’t wait to read more.
Tags: J. R. Ward
July 5, 2016 03:23 PM Posted by juliannadouglas
Yeah, I know. I’m extremely tardy getting this post up. I hope readers will forgive me, but I was crazy busy during the month of May with preparations to attend the Romance Novel Convention at the beginning of June. Since returning, I’ve been struggling to get back into the swing of things.
I actually had several five-star reads in April, but my favorite was the latest release in one of my all-time favorite series, The Black Dagger Brotherhood. It revisits a couple who were front and center way back in the second book of the series and expands upon their HEA, while also continuing the storylines for many other secondary characters of whom we’re bound to see much more in future books. As is typical for this series, there are lots of things going on which made the book very hard to put down.
Tags: J. R. Ward
September 24, 2015 05:35 PM Posted by juliannadouglas
My favorite five-star read for the month of August is a brand new contemporary romance/family saga by a wildly popular author. It's also the start of her new series of the same name. Now some readers – even some of the author's staunchest fans – admittedly didn't like this one as much as her others. The most common complaint I heard was that it's too much like a soap-opera. Well, I'll admit that it is. In fact, it strongly reminded me of the old '80's nighttime soaps like Dallas, Dynasty, or Falcon Crest. From me, however, that's a huge compliment, because I loved those shows, and I've been a regular viewer of some of the daytime soaps in the past too.
Tags: J. R. Ward