Sunday, January 25, 2015

L.O.S.T. by R.S. Collins and S.R. Vaught

Synopsis via R.S. Collins website:

Seventeen-year-old Brenden McAllister can't wait to prove himself to his overprotective parents—and enjoy the beach! Despite problems related to his ADHD, he's finally on his own, allowed to borrow his mom's truck and travel to his best friend's house in California. It's great. In fact, it's perfect until he makes a pit stop in a tiny desert town called Live Oak Springs Township.

Something's off in L.O.S.T., like that witchy girl in the general store, and a greasy guy that gives him an ominous warning. Weird, for sure. Maybe even a little frightening. Bren plans to take care of business and get back on the road.

Except, somebody stole his mom's truck. And that witchy girl, she's starting to change into something with glowing eyes and sparkling fingernails. And what's with the bats and finger joints for sale in that creepy store? Before Bren can even yell, "Foul ball!" he's trapped in a world of mysterious magic and terrible danger—maybe forever—unless he can find the power in his blood, become a champion of prophecy, and defeat the most evil being who ever lived.

No pressure, right?

Jasmina Corey knows Bren may be the solution to her biggest problem. He has a warrior's heart and the strongest spark of magic she's ever found. As Queen of the Witches, it's up to her to save her people from the vicious, murdering Shadowmaster, and Bren might be strong enough to fight beside her. Too bad he can't pay attention. Too bad he's so impulsive. And he knows nothing about magic, he hates her guts, and he doesn't want anything to do with his destiny.

He'll get over being kidnapped. Sure he will! She can teach him what he needs to know. Sure she can!

Bren strains her optimism to the breaking point, but Jasmina's out of choices and out of time. She has to find a way to reach Bren, and to work with him to take out the Shadowmaster for good. The fate of the witching world—of the whole world—rests squarely on her nervous shoulders.

No pressure. Right. No pressure at all...

I received a copy of the trilogy box set in return for an honest review. Thank you to R.S. Collins for this opportunity.

So, even though I received all three books, I decided to break them down and review them individually.

This trilogy is classified as YA/ Fantasy.
   L.O.S.T. is the first book and introduces us to Brenden and Jasmina (Bren and Jazz).  When you start reading you will be transported to what I considered a whole new dimension. A dimension where magic rules and conflict reigns. Where the person in charge is a teenager and her hero is also a teenager, albeit a confused teenager. 
  Jasmina is the queen of witches and has sent out a "call" for someone who can help her save her world from the evil that is destroying it little by little.
  This is an exciting book. It has every day conflict (boy v. girl, authority v. minority), ingenuity, happiness, sadness, fear, and triumph. There is even a bit of mystery.
  It is easy for the reader, no matter their age, to develop a relationship with Jazz and Bren. The adults will see teenagers that are growing and developing while teens will see one of their own creating and carrying a world. 
  The most obvious part of reading this book is that I was transported to another world. I was part of a place where magic was the ordinary and ordinary was the exception. I got to learn what is was like to experience magic for the first time while learning the frustration and pain of living through losing those I loved as well as those I felt was my responsibility. But as an adult I got to watch teens rise above the expectations of their age and what they thought adults expected of them. I got to see their triumphs as well as their failures.
  This story will take you on a roller coaster of emotions and you will love every moment!
  This is a great introduction to the trilogy. While the ending is a bit of a cliffhanger, you will continue to the next book because you truly want to know what happens next, you will be that invested in the characters and their story.

Run out and get this trilogy. You will not be sorry! 
Happy Reading!! 

Skip to the Good Parts by 20 authors

Skip to the Good Part

Synopsis via Goodreads:

Skip to the Good Part offers face-fanning romance and tie-me-up sizzle (and everything in between) from top authors including New York Times and USA Today bestsellers. 

The collection features a British alpha who wants to turn a good girl bad, a woman realizing her impetuous marriage to a stripper isn’t all bad, a bad boy boxer who could use a large dose of sexual healing, a carnie who has found new and inventive uses for fun house mirrors, and a rocker who wants to woo the girl who got away: his high school sweetheart.

I received a copy of Skip to the Good Part in exchange for an honest review.

Do you ever wish you could only read the hot, steamy parts of a book? Maybe you wanted a sample of a book from the heart of the story to see if it interested you? Maybe you wanted to try out a new author, but wanted a sample of both their writing style as well as their sex scene writing style? Then this is the book for you. The excerpts from each author were just as promised: hot, steamy, and sexy! But for each entry there was information on the story, the author that wrote it, and where you could buy the book.
But maybe you are wondering: Were the scenes really steamy? Well, even though they were short, the majority were definitely pantie-wetting. Your significant other may reap the benefits of you reading the book. And for those couples so inclined: Reading this book out loud could definitely be a benefit.
This is definitely one book that delivers on it's promise. But there is one slight drawback in my opinion (but I don't think the authors would agree with me): for most of the excerpts I was left wanting to know more. I wanted the story to keep going. I wanted to get to know the characters better,
Would I buy this book? Well, that is a YES!

Happy Reading!!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

No Mercy (Lawmen book 2) by Cheyenne McCray

No Mercy

Synopsis via Cheyenne McCray's website:

Over twenty years ago, when she was just a teenager, Belle ran from everything she knew to escape her abusive stepfather. She left behind the boy she loved and a circle of friends who had been like family to her since childhood.

Now, years later, the death of one of her close friends brings her face-to-face with the boy she had to leave. Only now he's not a boy anymore.

Dylan has never gotten over Belle running away all those years ago. When Nate—one of their Circle of Seven childhood friends—is found dead, Belle and Dylan are drawn back together. It's not long before he realizes he has a second chance to make her his.

The second reason Belle left could ruin any future she might have with Dylan. The secret hangs over her head while she falls in love with him all over again.

When a dangerous drug cartel starts targeting the Circle of Seven friends, Dylan must use all his federal law enforcement training and contacts to stay one step ahead. He must solve the clues Nate left behind before all of them end up dead.

While this is the second book in a series, it is a stand alone story.

I want to thank Miss McCray for an advanced copy in return for an honest review.

No Mercy is a story of a group of people who formed a bond in high school that never broke. A story of a high school love that never died. But mostly a story of a group of people who love each other enough to protect those who matter most.

I loved this book!  A law enforcement officer, a mystery, romance, and southeastern Arizona. I was hook from the get go!! And the cover, now what woman would not want to be a holster for his gun?!! (All due respect to my husband)

I was easily drawn into the story and lives of the characters. Even though the plot of the story required forays into the characters' past, Miss McCray effortlessly transitioned the story between the  past and present at perfect times in the story. She made it so easy to track the storyline.

I became enthralled with the characters and their intertwining lives. As I read I came to feel like I was a part of the story. I found myself feeling their anger, frustration, happiness, and fear.
The mystery part of the story was well done. There were multiple times I thought I had parts of it figured out only to find out I was way off base! I really loved that part of it. (Not to sound egotistical) I find many mystery stories easy to figure out. Miss McCray leads you towards a conclusion and then BOOM! she creates a twist or turn that keeps you guessing.

Let's talk about the characters a little. (I promise, no spoilers). Dylan: Now here is a man every woman can fall in love with!! He seems perfect! Smart, sexy, great looking, and loyal.
Belle: a woman who's past forced her to leave the person she loved the most. She had to learn how to be strong and take care of herself.
The Circle of Seven (CoS): a group of high school friends who have grown up and moved their own way, yet have never forgotten what they mean to each other. Always willing to be there for each other when needed. Basically, the kind of friends we all wish we had.

If you know Cheyenne McCray's work, then you will love this story. If you haven't been introduced to Cheyenne's work, this is the story that will hook you! You will devour it and beg for more!

Happy Reading!!

Monday, January 5, 2015

Abandoned:Three Short Stories (unabridged) by Jim Heskett

ABANDONED: Three Short Stories

Synopsis via

The story of a man whose girlfriend unceremoniously dumps him at a party due to his lack of ambition. He’ll seek solace in two piles: one of LEGO pieces, and the other, Bolivian marching powder. He’ll use them both to build something to prove his worth.

A story of a man peeping through the glass window of a hair salon, longing for the beautiful stylist inside. He knows all of her curves, her smile, everything about her. He’s got a message for her, but doesn’t know if he can find the courage to say it.

One fateful night in the life of a party kid. What starts out as a little get-together turns violent when drinks and dancers swirl into chaos. He’ll try to keep his composure and control of the situation as sanity abandons everyone in the house.

I received a copy of the audiobook in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to Mr. Heskett for this opportunity.

This was my first foray into audiobooks. I have been a little skeptical about audiobook in the past because I believe in the power of seeing the story and converting it into a movie in my head. For me, if a story comes alive in my head, then it is a wonderful ride.

Abandoned was a story that intrigued me. Three short stories in one book. The fact that it was an audiobook was definitely a plus. The narrator, Joe DiNozzi did a wonderful job. Each story made me stop and think about what the main character was really all about. Mr. DiNozzi's narration was full of consistency, depth, and interest. His tone was rich and varied. He was able to create the voices of characters that spoke to you, both literally and figuratively. But Mr. DiNozzi did not do that on his own. This was a joint venture, both the storylines and the narrator were needed to keep my attention as well as stimulate my imagination.

These three stories are not for someone who wants a little mindless entertainment. Mr. Heskett and Mr. DiNozzi draw the listener in and surround him/her with stories that require a deep, intellectual attentiveness. They cause the reader to pause and think about what the lead character is thinking and experiencing.

My first foray into audiobooks was a success. My first foray into Mr. Heskett's writing was also a success. While he is a little outside my typical genre, I would definitely delve into any story he chose to offer readers.

Happy Reading!!