Sunday, April 22, 2018

Bookish Thoughts: Hooked on a Phoenix by Ashlyn Chase

"Do you want everyone to hear us?" ~ Opening of Hooked on a Phoenix


Hooked on a Phoenix (Phoenix Brothers #1) by Ashlyn Chase
Sourcebooks Casablanca, 2018
Romance/Fantasy; 352 pgs
Source: Review copy provided publisher via NetGalley for an honest review

Looking for a quick read, I came across Hooked on a Phoenix by Ashlyn Chase on my e-reader. I enjoy a good shapeshifter romance and had yet to read one featuring a phoenix before. From what I can tell, this is the first in a spin-off series, and my first by the author.

Our hero is firefighter Gabe Fierro, a man who is determined to never marry or be involved in a serious relationship due to a guilt over a past experience. The heroine in this story, Misty Carlisle, is the younger sister of Gabe’s best friend, who had a big crush on Gabe when she was growing up. Gabe has been asked by his friend to watch over Misty while the brother is away on military duty. Gabe takes this duty very seriously. He hasn’t seen Misty in quite a while, and when he walks into the bank where she is working to check up on her, he is blown away by the beautiful grown woman he finds she’s turned into. A bank robbery, stuck in a locked vault, and a shared kiss, Gabe and Misty stumble right into romance almost immediately. Gabe tries to ignore his feelings and keep it platonic, but finds he cannot resist Misty’s charms.

What I liked: I liked both Gabe and Misty and feel they were well suited for each other. Gabe is a stand up person who will do anything for his friends and family. Misty has a strong head on her shoulders, is independent but also knows when to ask for help. I generally do not like it when characters are not honest about their feelings with one another, but considering how little the two knew each other in this case, despite their obvious attraction to one another, I can understand their hesitation to open up to each other. There was the occasional misunderstanding, particularly the obvious one: Gabe not wanting to pursue a relationship out of fear of repeating the past, and Misty thinking he wasn’t interested as a result.

Misty has health issues that seem to grow worse as the novel wears on. It is not often you see a heroine with a chronic illness in a romance novel, and I was glad to see it here. Yes, even knowing this is a paranormal romance and the likelihood of her being “cured” or something similar would beyond high.

What I didn’t like: We get a little Phoenix action, with “little” being the operative word here. I was hoping for more, especially given this is a paranormal romance novel. There is also my issue with the side story line involving Misty and her immediate supervisor. Maybe it is because I like intrigue in my romance novels that this bothered me. I just felt like that particular story line did not live up to its potential. 

 At the risk of giving away the end, I am going into spoiler alert mode now, so be warned. Highlight the below text if you want to read on. I had a big issue with the twist at the end. As I mentioned before, I was expecting Misty to get her cure given the type of novel this is, however, I wasn’t too happy with the way it came about. Gaia, creator of everything, makes an appearance and offers Misty a job as a modern muse (which would mean an automatic cure). The modern muse of motherhood. Seriously?! Misty gets pregnant by Gabe during their first sexual encounter, and hasn’t even given birth yet. She has no experience as a parent, working with kids, or anything having to do with raising them. She just doesn’t seem like the best choice to take on such a big role right out of the  gate. Maybe Gaia thinks all you need is common sense and a big heart, which Misty does seem to have. Still. Even as the mother of a seven year old, I don’t think I’m qualified for that kind of position. I am assuming Gaia knows something I do not know. It just didn’t work for me.

Hooked on a Phoenix did turn out to be a fast read liked I hoped. Unfortunately, it was that last part of the novel that pretty much ruined an otherwise entertaining, even if not perfect, book for me.


You can learn more about Ashlyn Chase and her books on the author's website She can also be found on Facebook and Twitter.


© 2018, Musings of a Bookish Kitty. All Rights Reserved. If you're reading this on a site other than Musings of a Bookish Kitty or Wendy's feed, be aware that this post has been stolen and is used without permission.

26 comments:

  1. Ahhh the ending. That seems like a convenient and odd choice, for sure. We did one of her books in book club last year and it was a miss for most people :/

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    1. Anna - That's too bad the book you read for your book club didn't go over well. I might have liked this one more if the ending hadn't been so out of left field.

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  2. I just can’t read any book with a shirtless man on the cover.

    Just my own odd pet peeve, I suppose.

    But The Book Jumper looks so delightful! I’m sorry it was a disappointment.

    https://readerbuzz.blogspot.com/2018/04/national-bookmobile-week-yoga-for-book.html

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    1. Deb - There are quite a few of you who share that pet peeve. :-)

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  3. A Phoenix??? I've never read something with a Phoenix like this before!

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    1. Verushka - I was looking forward the Phoenix part, but it turned out to be underwhelming.

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  4. Exactly the kind of cover that puts me off this genre. Alas your review didn't change my mind, I'll definitely be giving this one a miss.

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    1. Tracy - It's probably for the best if you skip this one.

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  5. Too-convenient endings irritate me! It's a shame here as otherwise the book looks to be a nice romance with unusual aspects.

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    1. Stephanie Jane - I think I would have enjoyed it more if the ending hadn't been so out there for me.

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  6. The ending sounds a bit out of left field to me. Sorry this one didn't wrap up better for you.

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    1. Carole - Yeah, it just didn't work for me at all.

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  7. Yikes! I read the ending and that is definitely not something that would appeal to me. Hope you enjoy your next book a lot more!

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  8. Too bad this one fizzled out for you. I prefer a book that gets better with the storyline rather than the other way around.

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    1. Laura - Me too. I am much more forgiving of a slow or not to great start as long as it ends on a high note.

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  9. Too bad the ending was so dopey. The rest of the story sounds like fun.

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    1. Lark - It was fun up until that point. I might have even liked the goddess character if the ending had been a bit different.

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  10. Sorry to hear that the ending wasn't all that you hoped it would be. Aside from that, it sounds like a pretty solid read. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this book.

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    1. Suzanne - Thank you. They can't all be winners, can they?

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  11. That's too bad about the ending and the lack of the phoenix. If you're reading a paranormal you do expect it to actually have a decent amount of paranormal! I hate an ending that kind of comes from nowhere. Sorry this was such a disappointment!

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    1. Katherine - I had really been hoping for more . . .

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  12. I'm sorry this book didn't work out for you, Wendy. After reading the summary I'd have expected a bit more paranormal elements too.

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    1. Melody - Thanks, Melody. I had hoped for more of the paranormal elements--even just a little more than there was. Oh well.

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  13. Too bad the ending kind of took away from the story. I did peek at the spoilers and can understand why you didn't like it as much. I do enjoy a good romance novel but rarely read paranormal romances so I don't know if this is one I would pick up.

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    1. Iliana - I may give this author another try--just maybe not in this series.

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