Saturday, December 31, 2016

The Scam by Janet Evanovich and Lee Goldberg

The Scam: A Fox and O'Hare Novel by [Evanovich, Janet, Goldberg, Lee]

Synopsis via Amazon:
Nicolas Fox is a charming con man and master thief on the run. Kate O’Hare is the FBI agent who is hot on his trail. At least that’s what everyone thinks. In reality, Fox and O’Hare are secretly working together to bring down super-criminals the law can’t touch. Criminals like brutal casino magnate Evan Trace.

Evan Trace is running a money-laundering operation through his casino in Macau. Some of his best customers are mobsters, dictators, and global terrorists. Nick and Kate will have to go deep undercover as high-stakes gamblers, wagering millions of dollars—and their lives—in an attempt to topple Trace’s empire.

It’s a scam that will take Fox and O’Hare from the Las Vegas strip, to the sun-soaked beaches of Oahu’s North Shore, and into the dark back alleys of Macau. Their only backup—a self-absorbed actor, a Somali pirate, and Kate’s father, an ex-soldier who believes a rocket launcher is the best way to solve every problem. What could possibly go wrong?

Fox and O'Hare are back! And boy, are they back! I get hooked over and over every time I read a Fox and O'Hare story. But, it isn't just Kate and Nick, it is also their secret little gang that helps them succeed in their endeavors. My favorite person outside of Kate and Nick? Well, that would have to be Kate's dad. He is a hoot! He is NOT letting age drag him down. He wants to be in the thick of the danger. He wants to dance to his own tune.  

And once again we are taken around the world as Nick and Kate combine their IQ's and experiences to bring the bad guys to justice. There is comedy, suspense, action, adventure, family, and a little butt chewing to keep you reading until you finish the book! I couldn't put this book down!

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Ignited (The Ignited Series Book 1) by Desni Dantone

Ignited (The Ignited Series Book 1) by [Dantone, Desni]

Synopsis via Amazon:

Seventeen year old Kris Young is on the run from a throng of superhuman golden-eyed freaks hell-bent on seeing her dead, and she doesn't know why. Good thing she has her guardian angel to protect her...sort of.

Kris is aided by Nathan, the mysterious man that ends up being anything but angelic when he rescues her for the fourth time in fourteen years. Even if the handsome hero illusion is shattered by his harsh treatment of her, he knows how to fight this strange enemy and is determined to keep her safe at all costs. 
As the body count rises in their wake, Nathan introduces Kris to a world in which not everyone is human and the battle lines between good and evil are clearly drawn. Kris's piece in the puzzle is something neither is aware of and, as they uncover the truth, neither is prepared for what they find. Overcoming twists and revelations that shatter both of their lives, they discover that nothing is as it seems and nothing, least of all their hearts, are safe. 

Miss Dantone is a new author to me. It was the synopsis of this book that really intrigued me. The basic good v. evil isn't what pulled me in. It was the mysterious man that rescues this teenager four times in fourteen years. So, it was the suspense and supernatural that really piqued my interest. And it held my interest.
Miss Dantone delves into teenage romance without including the sex and turmoil that seems so popular in the YA movies and television shows these days. She is realistic in the expectations of a teen age romance. The story line is kept alive with suspense. intrigue, strong characters, and  an interesting take on the supernatural world.
Miss Dantone does not follow the traditional supernatural world of vampires. werewolves, and other shape shifters. She brings a breath of fresh air to the world of the supernatural.
This is a book worthy of a cozy corner, a cup of tea, and a comfortable blanket.

Explosive Forces: A K-9 Rescue Novel by D.D. Ayres

Explosive Forces: A K-9 Rescue Novel by [Ayres, D. D.]

Synopsis via Amazon:

Danger is heating up…

When Carly Reese’s beloved fashion boutique catches fire, she sees her dreams go up in smoke. The good news is that Carly was saved from the flames by a barking dog nearby. She soon discovers the heroic pooch is a trained K-9 who’s guarding his unconscious partner …a gorgeous firefighter who ends up in Carly’s arms.

Noah Glover and his K-9 are a fearless duo, and Noah has clearly met his match with the brave, beautiful Carly. Soon they team up to track down the arsonist behind the blast – a psychotic criminal who’s intent on framing Noah. Meanwhile, the sparks between Noah and and Carly could ignite a five-alarm fire. Should they smother their feelings in the name of justice…or fan the flames of passion? 

Miss Ayres brings us Book #5 in her K-9 Rescue Series.

Miss Ayres is a great romance author, but this is not only a romance, there is also a bit of suspense to it.
There is always a bit of education in Miss Ayres K-9 Rescue series and this is not an exception. Explosive Forces introduces the reader to the special bond between a service dog and a military veteran who is determined to overcome his acquired disability.
While most romance stories have  obstacles that the hero and heroine must overcome, Miss Ayres has created a kind of "whodunit". For me this added to the reading adventure and enjoyment.
I think as the reader tries to figure the puzzle out, they become more invested in the characters and story. Add to this a HOT cop, spunky heroine, and adorable furry friend, you get a book that is impossible to put down.
I know this is a short review compared to my other reviews, but there really isn't a better way for me to let everyone know that Miss Ayres has brought us another heart felt, heart touching story.

I received a free copy through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Dead Ice by Laurell K. Hamilton

Synopsis via

Anita Blake has the highest kill count of any vampire executioner in the country. She’s a U.S. Marshal who can raise zombies with the best of them. But ever since she and master vampire Jean-Claude went public with their engagement, all she is to anyone and everyone is Jean-Claude’s fiancĂ©e.

It’s wreaking havoc with her reputation as a hard ass—to some extent. Luckily, in professional circles, she’s still the go-to expert for zombie issues. And right now, the FBI is having one hell of a zombie issue.

Someone is producing zombie porn. Anita has seen her share of freaky undead fetishes, so this shouldn’t bother her. But the women being victimized aren’t just mindless, rotting corpses. Their souls are trapped behind their eyes, signaling voodoo of the blackest kind.

It’s the sort of case that can leave a mark on a person. And Anita’s own soul may not survive unscathed…

If you have not read any of the Anita Blake stories and you like Paranormal Erotic Romance, then you really need to read the first book in the series. Not only will this hook you on the Anita Blake books, it will hook you on Miss Hamilton's  writing.
In Dead Ice, Anita is once again called upon to save someone or something. We get to see her use her necromancy skills again. This time, she is up against an egomaniac that wants to prove his necromancy skills are better than hers. Along the way she must deal with the "pop up issues" on the "personal" side of her life. She, Jean-Claude, Micah, Nathaniel, and all her vampires and furry boyfriends and girlfriends must deal with all the political issues that go along with being the fiancee of the Vampire King.
This story, like most of the other Anita Blake stories, is not light reading. This story has so many plots within plots and twists and turns, that you must give the story your whole attention or you will have difficulty keeping everything straight. Miss Hamilton does a pretty good job of  tying in past stories in a way that doesn't make the reader feel like they are missing important facts. That being said, it will help you to read the series in order. There are still little nuances that you will not understand if you don't know all the stories.
In Dead Ice, Anita is starting to transform herself into a more girly person. While it seems like she is softening up, I see it more that she is evolving. She is learning how to put her selfishness aside and put her loved ones needs to the forefront. Now, for those that have read any of the Anita Blake series, don't fear! Anita is not losing herself, she is becoming a productive member of her relationships.
If you are not into graphic sex scenes, then not only is Dead Ice not for you, but neither is any of Miss Hamilton's books. BUT, if you are into the whole Paranormal Erotica, Miss Hamilton's writing will not leave you wanting more.
For me personally, the complexity of Anita's relationships can get too complex at times. The story really did require all of my attention. I found that if my mind wandered for even a second, I had to re-read to maneuver all of the twists and turns. But, all in all, I really enjoyed delving back into Anita's story. All of the characters are special. Each character has a personality so different from the others. It is like they come alive right before your eyes. Each character picks up in the new story where they left off in the previous story. Their personalities are the basis of bringing the story to life. Miss Hamilton delves so deeply into each character, that without them, the story would fall flat. And this story definitely does not fall flat!
I definitely recommend not only Dead Ice, but Miss Hamilton as well. Dive into a whole new world!

Monday, September 5, 2016

Illusion Town by Jayne Castle

Illusion Town (Illusion Town Novel, An) by [Castle, Jayne]

Synopsis via Amazon:

With its opulent casinos and hotels, the desert city of Illusion Town is totally unique—and will take you on a thrill ride you’ll never forget.

Hannah West isn’t the first woman to wake up in Illusion Town married to a man she barely knows, but she has no memory of the ceremony at all. For that matter, neither does Elias Coppersmith, her new husband. All either can remember is that they were on the run…

With Hannah’s dubious background and shaky para-psych profile, she could have done much worse. The cooly competent mining heir arouses her curiosity—as well as other parts of her mind and body. And even her dust bunny likes him.

But a honeymoon spent retracing their footsteps leads Hannah and Elias into the twisting underground catacombs, where secrets from both their pasts will come to light—and where the energy of their clashing auras will grow hot enough to burn…

I have been waiting to return to Harmony FOREVER!! At least that is what it feels like to me.
Jayne Castle, aka Jayne Ann Krentz, aka Amanda Quick is one of my top 3 favorite authors and her world of Harmony is my favorite place to visit.
In  Illusion Town we are introduced to Harmony's Las Vegas. Glitter, sparkle, shine, and adrenaline rushes are the mainstay of Illusion Town. 
Let's take a look at Hannah. Hannah is a finder of missing, lost, and stolen objects in the underground world. And like all Harmony heroines, she has off the chart psychic abilities. Hers happens to be dreamlight.  She and her dust bunny companion, Virgil, hire out to locate items in the underground.
Hannah is not the first character in the Harmony series that is a strong dreamlight  worker, Marlowe Jones in Midnight Crystal was also a very strong dreamlight talent. But that is where the similarities end. Hannah  has a very special way of having a conversation with herself. But, alas, I can't spill the details or it could spoil an important part of the story. Like all females in Miss Castle's story, Hannah is a very strong woman with a less than average childhood, who has taken care of herself.
Elias Coppersmith is from the well known, wealthy Coppersmith family. He is a crystal engineer in the family business Coppersmith Mining Company. And of  course, he is an off the charts crystal worker. He can manipulate crystals.
One of the things I love about Miss Castle's Harmony series, is that it always feels like I'm coming home. She brings everything to life. Instead of feeling like you are a voyeur in someone else's story, you feel like you are walking beside them throughout their journey.
This is a hard review for me to write. I have started, stopped, and returned to it three times. Why? Well, Miss Castle/Krentz/Quick is a New York Times Best Selling author many times (no pun intended). And as I said before, reading the Harmony series is like coming home. It takes someone very special to create a world that the reader can't wait to visit over and over again. I can honestly say that there is nothing I don't like about this book.
Jayne Castle aka Jayne Ann Krentz aka Amanda Quick is an author the you have GOT to read!!
On a scale from 1-5, I give her a 10!!

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Fear University by Meg Collett

Fear University by [Collett, Meg]

Synopsis via Amazon:
I’ve always known I was a monster, and I don’t mean some teenage vampire shit either. 

My mother abandoned me when I was ten years old because I have a freakish mutant disease that makes me incapable of feeling pain. I bounced from one foster family to another because too many people like to test my medical condition in a game of “Try To Make Ollie Scream.” At sixteen, I killed a man for taking that game too far. 

Two years later, I’m still on the run in Kodiak, Alaska. Here, I’m the most dangerous person around, until I come face to face with a creature that should only exist in folklore. The monster is an aswang, and I, with my medical anomaly, am uniquely qualified to hunt the beast that haunts the night. At least, that’s what the two scarred, mostly crazy ’swang hunters tell me when they kidnap me and take me to Fear University, a school where young students learn to hunt and kill aswangs. 

I arrive at the university a prisoner, but I stay because I finally find my freedom. 

For once in my life, I belong. I’m needed. I make a home for myself inside the university masquerading as an old Alaskan prison. Something close to happiness warms my icy heart when I’m with my scarred, still mostly crazy tutor, Luke Aultstriver. For a murdering runaway like me, Fear University is a haven where I can put my skills to good use hunting monsters in the night. 

But when certain truths come to light and even more lies are exposed, I fear that I, Ollie Andrews, am the worst kind of monster of all. And, maybe, they should be hunting me.

So, I tried a new author and she is "fudging" AWESOME!!!
Meg Collett is a fellow Tennessean who is the author of four separate series. The Fear University is a contemporary fantasy series. And after just reading the first book, I happily inform you that it is one impressively mind blowing read!
Miss Collett has taken an old Phillipino myth and given it new life. She has taken a story of things that "go bump in the night" and made them "go bump in the present". But one of the things I like about Fear University is that she has introduced part of the Phillipino culture to the world.  Why is that important? Well, a lot of the older superstitions  from all cultures, are handed down the generations verbally. Because Miss Collett has taken an oral superstition and given it life in the written world. It will now survive for as long as her books are around.
Let's get to the detailed review. As most who visit my blog know, I do not like to "spoil" the book for other readers.
First, what I liked about the book:
The story is contemporary fantasy. It brings the supernatural into the present. It combines your imagination with the world around you making you ask "Is this something that could be real?".
With every character, there is more than meets the eye. Each character has a depth to them that will surprise you when they are  peeled like an onion. Will they make you cry? No, but they do make you reassess how you are expecting the storyline to progress.
I especially like the main characters and how they seem to evolve when you think you have them figured out. Their "evolution" (my term) helps the story maintain it's intensifying plot without feeling tired or monotonous. All of these together helped me read this 333 pages (e-book) in two days. I HAD to know what came next. I was totally engrossed.
What I didn't like about the book:
It only took me two days to read. I was up until 1:30 in the morning finishing the book because it was so engrossing. Thank goodness the next day was not a work day!! When I finally reached the last page, I was so engrossed with the story, I didn't realize I was on the last page and when I turned the page to find the book was over, I literally groaned and exclaimed "NO!!".
Okay, so the things I didn't like aren't bad things. They are reasons why you SHOULD read this story.

I will definitely be reading the next two books. And I found another author to place on my MUST READ list.
So this is on my list of "you have GOT to read this book!".
May you be blessed with the love of reading.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Made for Sin by Stacia Kane

Made for Sin by [Kane, Stacia]

Synopsis via Amazon:
A lot of bad hands get dealt in Vegas, but E. L. Speare may be holding one of the worst: He’s cursed with the need to commit sins, and if he misses his daily quota, there’s hell to pay—literally. Fortunately, his hometown affords him plenty of chances to behave badly.

But Speare’s newest case really has him going out on a limb. The right-hand man of a notorious crime boss has been found dead in a Dumpster—minus his right hand, not to mention the rest of his arm. What catches Speare’s attention, however, is that the missing appendage was severed clean by a demon-sword, a frighteningly powerful tool of the underworld.

Speare’s out of his element, so he turns to a specialist: Ardeth Coyle, master thief, dealer in occult artifacts, and bona fide temptress. Ardeth’s hotter than a Las Vegas sidewalk on the Fourth of July, but she’s one sin Speare has to resist. 

The dismembered corpses are piling up, unimaginable evil lurks in the shadows, and if this odd couple hopes to beat the odds, Speare needs to keep his hands off Ardeth, and his head in the game.

Made for Sin is a whole new take on demon stories.
First, we are introduced to Speare, a man living with a demon. literally. Speare shares his head with a demon. This demon requires Speare to voluntarily commit a sin or the demon takes over and Speare is forced to sit back and watch.
This story was a little slow in my opinion. I was intrigued by Speare's need to commit sins. Having a morbid curiosity, I wanted to find out which sins he committed, But I was really hoping I would get to find out what kind of sins the demon would reap.
I have to say that this was not one of my favorite stories. But it was definitely not the worst story I have read.
This will interest you if you like a mystery that does not require much thought.

Ghost in the Machine (The Spheres Cycle Book 1) by Kayla Hoyet

Ghost in the Machine (The Spheres Cycle Book 1) by [Hoyet, Kayla]

Synopsis via Amazon: 
Eighteen-year-old Tyler Gaines has always followed the rules--in part because it's too much trouble to break them, but mostly because her father's bedtime stories about the Sphere's elite red-coat Enforcers scared her senseless as a child. She does what she's told, just like everyone else, so when she goes to see the Broker--a woman whose sole purpose is to assign a match to everyone in the Sphere--and gets paired with a red-coat Enforcer named Aidan, she tries her best to put her father's stories to rest and adapt to her new family. When Tyler's best friend is killed and both fingers and technology point to Tyler as the main suspect, Tyler begins to think that her nightmares are coming to life. 

Aidan knows Tyler is innocent, but there's one big problem: Proving Tyler's innocence rests on proving that the government's high-tech system, the system on which the entire population depends, has a problem the likes of which it has never had before. Aidan doesn't have a lot of time to make his case. If he can't figure out what's wrong with the system soon, Tyler may end up paying the ultimate price for a crime she didn't commit.

I enjoyed reading this book. It is fresh and new, not the standard sci-fi story. Most people think that sci-fi equates to space, but Miss Hoyet is instrumental in throwing that equation out the door.
She introduces us to a government controlled state where the population is told who they will partner with, what their jobs would be, where they could and could not travel to, and where they live. Anyone who doesn't follow the rules went to the basement of the administration building and never came back.
Aidan and Tyler are matched by their sphere's broker. But soon after they are matched, Tyler is accused of murdering her best friend.
Tyler is likeable in a childlike innocent way. She has been raised in a society that doesn't let you date or have romantic relationships because they choose your life partner. She was removed from her mother and placed in her given profession at the age of 11.
Aidan is also a likeable character. He is kind, understanding, and caring. He is totally different in reality than the stories she was told about red-coat enforcers.
Miss Hoyet is a great story teller. She is clear, concise and articulate in building a world that is very different than our own. She combines conflict, angst, respect, family, and budding romance in a story that will make you thankful to live in the world we live in.
While this is the first book in a series, the ending does not leave you hanging to find out what happens. It winds up the story but, at the same time, leaves the storyline open to continue with Tyler and Aidan's story.
If you like sci-fi or YA, this is a book for you. I will definitely be looking for book 2.

Happy reading!!

Monday, July 4, 2016

Xoe (The Xoe Meyers Serise Book 1) by Sara Roethle

Synopsis via Amazon:
Xoe never thought she’d be the type of girl to contemplate murder. Of course, she never thought she’d be dealing with werewolves on top of her own strange, budding powers. She’d also never considered the possibility of her long lost father being a demon. Everything comes crashing down at once when her best friend’s life is put in peril, and Xoe will do whatever it takes to save her. On top of it all, there’s Jason. He might be tall and handsome, but she doesn’t trust him as far as she can throw him. Given that he’s a vampire, she’ll have to be able to catch him first. 

Have I ever said that Urban Fantasy is one of my favorite genres? Well it is, but it isn't always easy to find a good story that doesn't focus on shifters and vampires in a cookie cutter story.
XOE is one of those stories that has its own voice. This is a story that kept me engrossed from word to word, page to page, and twist by twist. Should I feel guilty that I stayed up too long one night to finish the book in one day? Should I feel guilty that I was really tired the next day at work and it was all my fault? Well, I did feel guilty, but it was so worth the guilt and fatigue.
 Xoe is a strong female character. She doesn't shy away from the unknown. She tackles it head on.
One of the things I liked about this story is that it defines true friendship. Three very different high school girls stick together during good times, hard times and strange times. 
I have to say, I am having a difficult time trying to put my opinion into words. I don't want to give away the story line. I was impressed with the way Miss Roethle depicted the relationship each girl had with their parents. It was realistic. They weren't left to their own devices, they were actually given rules to follow and they did. For me, the storyline with its twists and turns are what makes this story so great.
I will say that this story holds its own without sex. It is classified as YA/Urban Fantasy. I can't wait to read book two.

15 Minutes to Live by Phoef Sutton (Spoiler Alert)a

Synopsis via Amazon:
Carl moved into his childhood home after his parents died. It’s a house filled with fond memories…like when he was a teenager and his girlfriend Jesse would throw pebbles at his window at night to lure him outside for frantic sex. So he thinks he’s dreaming when late one night, he hears those pebbles hitting his window again…and there she is outside, aching for his touch. It’s only as they are ravaging each other again that he realizes it’s too good to be a dream. 

It’s her. She’s back as if nothing has changed. But it has. For one thing, it’s been twenty years since high school. And she died three weeks ago. 

Is she an imposter? A ghost? Or is the answer even more chilling? It’s just the beginning of a dangerous, unpredictable, and bizarre odyssey for them both…where nothing is what it seems… and every minute counts. 

This was not one of my favorite reads. I have to say that is was a unique read. I have never read anything quite like it. My intellectual side wants to know if you take it at face value or is there a deeper meaning?
Let's look at it from the face value side. Here is a man, Carl, who is well into his prime and he still has not, in essence, moved on with his life. He has not married, he bought his childhood home, and he wallows in the past. Okay, so this isn't very far from the everyday norm for some people. But then, all of a sudden, one night his high school sweetheart shows up, throwing pebbles at his window, acting just like she did during their high school years and they pick up where they left off. They have sex just like they did during high school, but she seems to "reset" every 15 minutes. She can't remember anything past the last 15 minutes. Oh, did I mention she was declared dead?
OK, so there are so many things wrong with this. First, she is supposed to be dead, second, she is acting just like she did in high school, third, she is supposed to have married someone else, and fourth, she can't remember more than 15 minutes of her current life.
Carl just jumps right into having sex with this woman who is clearly confused. He doesn't stop and think there is something seriously wrong with her when she can only seem to remember the past and 15 minutes at a time. This totally reeks of rape to me.
Now the deeper meaning possibility. Is the author saying that everyone lives at most 15 minutes of their life over and over? Is he intent on showing that most people are, at their core, selfish and will take what gives them pleasure without any thought?
All I know is that this was a difficult and strange read, but like a train wreck, I just couldn't quit reading in the hopes that it would get better. Well, it never did get better.

Shadow's Passion (Shadow Warder Series #0.5) by Molle McGregor

Shadow’s Passion

Synopsis via Amazon Kindle
He lived for vengeance, until he met her. Now he has to choose—revenge or love?Exiled by her people after an accidental death, Celeste’s power is so unstable the elegant Shadow healer is considered a deadly menace. Fifty years of isolation have left her a little lonely. And more than a little bored. When a nearby family falls victim to demon infection, she decides to go hunting. Without backup, it won’t be long before the demons are hunting her.

A dangerous assassin, Gabe has better things to do than save a Shadow from her own reckless behavior. Like find the demon who killed his brother. Sure, the Shadow is gorgeous, alluring, and she needs his help. But he can’t afford to get distracted. Everything changes the second he spies his brother’s killer among the demons after Celeste. Now, nothing will tear him from her side.

Gabe is dangerous and secretive. He’s also a skilled fighter and sexy as hell. Celeste knows better than to team up with a Warder, but she’s not sure she cares. It’s been a long dry spell since her exile. Neither of them expects their fling to turn into something more. But when Gabe’s past catches up with him, he learns that his brother’s murder was just the beginning. A new evil is rising, and its sights are set on Celeste. Now Gabe has to make a choice: revenge or love?
This is paranormal romance/urban fantasy at it's best! I was hooked from page one and could not wait to find out what was next!
While Shadow's Passion is part of the Warder Series, it is a stand alone. There is never any confusion about what is going on, who the characters are, etc. Miss McGregor is a wonderful story teller. Her words float like a breeze through the leaves of a tree. I felt like I was teleported into the book and was an invisible observer. Voyeurism at it's best in some scenes.
This story has it all-solid story-line, angst, conflict, love, and sex.

This is on my list of MUST READS!!

Friday, May 13, 2016

C791 by Eve Langlais

Synopisis via Barnes and Noble:
Machines aren't supposed to feel, but this cyborg can't help falling in love.
Assigned as a specimen collector for a captured cyborg, Chloe is intrigued by the machine disguised as a man. Kidnapped during his daring escape, he shows her that despite the chip in his brain, his humanity is not completely lost.Formerly known as unit X109GI, Joe is on a quest to discover his origin. While he doesn't find the answers he's looking for, he does discover that affection and lust aren't just for humans. But when it comes to a battle between logic and love, which side will the cybernetic organism-once a man-choose?Evaluating his feelings will have to wait though because the military isn't done with Joe. But their threats against him pale in comparison before the shocking discovery of project C791, the revelation of which stuns the rebel cyborgs-and ignites a fury for vengeance.

This was one book that  I could not finish. Now, I don't like to write bad reviews, but unfortunately, this was a bad book.
As any of you who have read my other reviews  know, I do not shy away from erotica. As a matter of fact, a few of my favorite authors write erotica. So what is the difference? I am glad you asked.

C791 is a book that reads and feels like the author had sex on her brain and tried to write a story around her fantasies. The story became so bad, that I would try to skip over the sex and try to find a story somewhere amongst the words. Alas, there really wasn't one.
If all you want is gratuitous sex, well, this is definitely for you. If you require a story to go along with the sex, keep looking.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Don't Lose Her by Jonathon King

Synopsis via Netgalley:

US district judge Diane Manchester has looked across the courtroom into the eyes of evil before. But today, as she presides over the extradition hearing of a notorious Colombian drug lord, she is also eight months pregnant. Her chair is uncomfortable, her robe is constrictive, and her due date is fast approaching. If she shows a single sign of weakness, Diane risks jeopardizing the biggest trial of her career and setting a vicious murderer free.

In seconds, her situation takes a harrowing turn for the worse. Walking to her favorite lunch spot, Diane is grabbed off the street, thrown into the back of a white van, blindfolded, and threatened with death. She has no idea who her kidnappers are or what they want. Maintaining a strict code of silence, they refuse to give her even the smallest glimmer of hope.

But Diane's captors have overlooked a crucial detail: Her husband, Billy, is the employer and best friend of Max Freeman, Philadelphia cop turned South Florida private investigator. Tossing off the rule of law, Freeman sets out to determine which of a rogues' gallery of suspects took Diane—and to save her and her unborn child before it's too late.

This was an interesting book. It took me from the courtroom to the marshes of Florida. It touched on the factor of danger that touches judges as well as the greediness and corruptibility that simmers just below the halls of justice.
One of the things I liked about this book was the insight into each of the characters' heads. Mr. King gives us a glimpse into how Max runs an investigation as well as the angst he feels about trying to find his best friend's wife. He also gives us a glimpse into the thoughts and fear of the kidnapped person. Between Max and Diane, he gives the reader a glimpse into the mind of the husband of the person kidnapped. Mr. King knows how to write suspense. He kept me guessing through the majority of the book. While I can say I guessed "who" before Mr. King revealed them, I can honestly say he did a great job of keeping the clues from being too obvious.
I will definitely read another book Mr. King writes.

A SEAL Forever (West Coast Navy SEALs #3) by Anne Elizabeth

Synopsis via Goodreads:
Special Operator Declan Smith was a dedicated U.S. Navy SEAL, a known player, and daredevil who loved pushing the limits. But on his last mission, an IED leaves him injured and angry as hell—and it changes everything. 

When a loud crash disturbs his neighbor, Maura Maxwell, she assumes the sailor next door is up to his usual bad behavior. But the man she finds covered in glass is far from the cocky ladies' man she'd grown to tolerate. Lying before her is a man fighting to rediscover his place in the world—and he can't do it alone.

Do you like sexy, strong-willed, determined men? Yes? Well, this is a book for you!
I once knew a Navy man who attempted SEAL training 3 times. What happened? He broke different bones each time and could not complete the training. I met him while he was recuperating from attempt #3 and he was going to go out there and do it again. SEALs are some tough, determined, and proud men. And they have every right to be that way considering what they go through to get to where they are.
That being said, I really enjoyed this book. I fell in love with Declan and respected Maura. But throughout the story, it seems that Miss Elizabeth put most of her energy into Declan. While Maura wasn't exactly an afterthought, her evolution depended on  Declan's evolution throughout the whole story. She was never really her own "person".
I was very impressed with her attention to detail when it came to the military life. The way she created each SEAL was impeccable. She left no doubt about their honor, strength, intelligence, and will. With each personality came a common denominator: they were proud SEALs serving the country they love.
There was only one little part of the book that really bugged me. There is a female sailor who comes to Maura's gym and talks to her about teaching one of her classes. Miss Elizabeth depicts the woman as timid and unsure. This is not how a woman in the military acts. I felt she should have been sure of herself and basically have more of a military bearing. But, that is just my opinion.
I really think you will enjoy the story. This will definitely make you want to explore more of Miss Elizabeth's books.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

When You Touch Me by Marilyn Baxter

Synopsis via Goodreads:

Family woes bring Jillian Logan home to Mimosa Key, but she faces more trouble in her new job as a massage therapist at the Casa Blanca Resort in Barefoot Bay. Right away she’s given a special assignment: a wounded soldier who is a good-looking player with sex appeal and who threatens to throw her delicately balanced life off-kilter. 

Sam Hartman, AKA Hart Throb, views the beach as just another sandbox all too reminiscent of the hellhole where he was injured. And the alternative therapies that Jillian offers him? He considers them pure voodoo. He would rather move their relationship off the massage table and into his bed, but as much as he wants her touch, it forces him to face the demons that still haunt him. Can the heat of their unlikely connection heal them both?

This is a special book. It is a collaboration, in a way, between two awesome authors. Roxanne St. Claire has opened her fan-favorite world of Barefoot Bay to a select number of romance authors. Marilyn Baxter is one of those talented writers.
\Marilyn introduces us to two very different, yet similar characters, Jillian and Sam. They have both sacrificed a large part of who they are for their family. For Jillian it is her sister. For Sam it was a brother-in-arms. But Sam is suffering from a wartime injury, both physical and mental. While Jillian has found her peace in being a healer who believes in the power of her hands.
Jillian is a talented masseuse who finds herself back in her hometown, the beautiful Barefoot Bay. She is offered a job that allows her to focus on one client, a hero, a wounded warrior. Jillian is determined to maintain a professional relationship with Sam while Sam is determined to be as unprofessional with her as possible.
As I have said before, a military hero is one of my biggest weaknesses. Marilyn creates a perfect mix of hot male, wounded soul, and hidden vulnerability in Sam. He may be all masculinity, but inside is a child crying out for help.
And Jillian? Well, she is a woman who is empathetic and caring. Her goal is to help this wounded man and his body get well again. But he fights her every step of the way. This she can look past because of his injuries, mental and physical. But, she can't fight the attraction he evokes in her.

Marilyn has done Roxanne proud. She has brought two of her characters and placed them perfectly inside Barefoot Bay. She stays true to the essence of the world that Roxanne has created. I was kept enthralled by the relationship between Jillian and Sam. There is no way to skim over the fireworks, both sexual and hostile, that fly between Sam and Jillian. You can't help but fall in love with the characters and the Bay.
In reality, if this is the first visit to Barefoot Bay for you, you will definitely want to hurry back. If you have visited Barefoot Bay with Roxanne, you will want to visit again with Marilyn. This is a MUST READ!

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Dreamwalker (The Red Dragon Academy #1) by Rhys Bowen & C.M. Broyles

Dreamwalker (The Red Dragon Academy, #1)

Synopsis via Goodreads:

Addy is a typical California surfer girl until her mother dies and she is sent to a strange boarding school in Wales, where one hallway leads not to another part of the school but to another universe. Addy has always had vivid dreams. Now it seems this power to dream has made her the enemy of the powerful ruler of Gallia.

How can Addy and her new friends be any match for the powerful Grymur who calls himself The One in a world where nothing makes sense.

This story is classified as YA. But boy am I glad you don't have to be a young adult to read this book. (I passed that age more than a few years ago)
I saw where this story has been compared to the Harry Potter books. I couldn't see why, though. It is definitely in the same league, but it is a story all it's own.
We are introduced to Addy as she is being thrust into a different life across the pond by the death of her mother. We get to follow Addy as she finds herself in a new school, trying to make new friends, and stumbling into a whole different worl. A world where she is considered evil and must fight to get back home. It is so hard to write a review for this story. I want to say so much, but then I would be spoiling the story.
Addy is sent to a boarding school by her aunt. Here she becomes friend with six other students. Students with special abilities like Addy. But none of them know about these abilities until they find themselves in situations where these abilities are required to keep them alive.
I really enjoyed reading the story and found it very difficult to put down (darn work! darn sleep! darn responsibilities!). This mother-daughter writing team has created a hit series that both kids and adults will be unable to get enough of.
Personally, this has become one of my top 5 favorite series. When does the next one debut?!!!

I received a free copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

No One Knows by J.T. Ellison


No One Knows
Synopsis via

The day Aubrey Hamilton’s husband is declared dead by the state of Tennessee should bring closure so she can move on with her life. But Aubrey doesn’t want to move on; she wants Josh back. It’s been five years since he disappeared, since their blissfully happy marriage—they were happy, weren’t they?—screeched to a halt and Aubrey became the prime suspect in his disappearance. Five years of emptiness, solitude, loneliness, questions. Why didn’t Josh show up at his friend’s bachelor party? Was he murdered? Did he run away? And now, all this time later, who is the mysterious yet strangely familiar figure suddenly haunting her new life?

This book has got what it takes to keep the suspense-loving reader engrossed! Miss Ellison knows how to transport the reader to Nashville and see the sights, through her eyes of course.

Aubrey's story is an exercise in emotions. Miss Ellison transitions the reader from the present to the past throughout the story. Where most writers confuse the reader going back and forth, Miss Ellison makes it feel like this is the only way to tell the story.
And the emotions these transitions evoke in the reader are pretty intense. The reader feels sorrow, joy, antipathy, empathy, and shock just to mention a few.

I love a well-written suspense novel. While Aubrey is trying to get her life back on track after being falsely accused of murdering her missing husband, her mother-in-law is doing all she can to get him declared dead. Aubrey is easy to like and this keeps the reader strongly in favor of Aubrey no matter the situation. And her mother-in-law? Well, let's just say she is very easy to dislike.

What did I like most about the story? Well, just as I thought I had the plot figured out, BOOM!  the story would take a twist and I would have to start all over again trying to figure out who or what was responsible for all the angst. The ending? Well, let's just say I never saw it coming.

I received a free copy through Netgalley

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Vendetta (Deadly Curiosities #2) by Gail Z.Martin

Vendetta (Deadly Curiosities, #2)

Synopsis via Goodreads:


Someone very powerful is trying to destroy Sorren and everyone he cares about. That puts Cassidy, Teag and Trifles and Folly in the cross-hairs, against an unknown enemy with strong magic and significant resources. 

Sorren has spent centuries shutting down the plans of powerful immortals, dark warlocks and supernatural creatures, and now he’s got to figure out which of those many enemies is out to get him before they pick off his friends one by one and come after him to finish an immortal vendetta

Miss Martin has another awesome hit on her hands!!
So first off, this is the second book in the Deadly Curiosities series. The first one introduced us to Cassidy, Teague, Maggie, and Sorren. Cassidy's family has owned the store Trifles and Follies for hundreds of years. Cassidy has inherited the store from her uncle. Trifles and Follies was not the only thing she inherited.  Cassidy also inherited powers that have been in her family for centuries. Because of these special powers, her family has been in partnership with Sorren, a 500-year-old vampire.
Together these three acquire and neutralize dangerous supernatural objects. BUT this isn't all they do. They just happen to fight supernatural entities that threaten the mundane world.

In Vendetta, Cassidy, Teague, and Sorren find themselves fighting an evil that has a vendetta against Sorren. This evil wants to make sure Sorren watches everyone he cares about dies before it kills Sorren.

And, I stop there because as I have said before, I don't like to spoil the thrill of the read for someone else.
I truly loved this book as much as I loved the first one. In this story, Miss Martin drops little tidbits about Cassidy, Teague, and Sorren that helps the reader understand what each character brings to the story. She also introduces a few more characters. And I love how each new character is colorful and dedicated.  Miss Martin introduces the reader to the world of spirits and how they are honored by their followers. It is like having a lesson inside of a story.
Miss Martin knows how to balance the amount of excitement to backstory.  She doesn't bog the story down with a  bunch of boring inane information. Every word she writes has an impact on the flow of the narrative. And the narrative flows like lava from a, erupting volcano! There is never a dull moment. Miss Martin takes you on the supernatural ride of your life!
I consider this story as a MUST READ!

I received a free copy through Netgalley

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Count Your Blessings by Sharon Sala

Synopsis via

Previously titled Color Me Bad, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Sharon Sala dishes up Count Your Blessings, a contemporary romance piled high with love, laughter, and plenty of heart in Blessings, Georgia!

As the respectable wife of the town preacher, Patty June Clymer never thought she'd have to worry about a cheating husband. But when things come to a head, Patty decides to take charge of her life by kicking her no-good husband out her house, and getting a total makeover at the popular local salon. With a new spiky black haircut and a new outlook on life, Patty goes from mousy and meek to living large and in charge, and fairly starts a revolution in the small town of Blessings, Georgia.

This story started out with a bang! Anyone who has been cheated on or knows someone who has been cheated on will like the first few pages of this story! Revenge is best served with a pair of clippers and a lawn strewn with belongings.

Blessings, GA, the stereotypical sleepy little town with residents that know everything about everyone. The characters are colorful, the gossip juicy, and husbands are throwbacks from the 50's and 60's.

While Patty June is the main character, Miss Sala introduces you to the majority of the residents of Blessings. Each character has a distinct purpose to the story. But the story gets to be a little confusing with so many characters actually taking center stage. She does keep the storyline progressing and evolving, but it hits a climax and all of a sudden, the story is over.
Miss Sala left me confused and wanting more.
The ending felt like it was as far as she could go with the story and just quit. I know it is a novella, but I have read novellas that give you closure, but still ties into another story. It doesn't leave you wanting to read another story, it just leaves you wanting.

How would I rate this novella? Well, I'm a little torn. I enjoyed the beginning, but was so disappointed in the ending. I will rate this a 2 star.

Disclaimer: I received this e=book for free through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Future Shock by Elizabeth Briggs

Synopsis via

Elena Martinez has hidden her eidetic memory all her life--or so she thinks. When powerful tech giant Aether Corporation selects her for a top-secret project, she can't say no. All she has to do is participate in a trip to the future to bring back data, and she'll be set for life.

Elena joins a team of four other teens with special skills, including Adam, a science prodigy with his own reason for being there. But when the time travelers arrive in the future, something goes wrong and they break the only rule they were given: do not look into their own fates. 

Now they have twenty-four hours to get back to the present and find a way to stop a seemingly inevitable future from unfolding. With time running out and deadly secrets uncovered, Elena must use her eidetic memory, street smarts, and a growing trust in Adam to save her new friends and herself.

I have found myself another must read author! Miss Briggs is a talented and captivating writer.
Future Shock has a little bit of everything; suspense, drama, intrigue, and teen romance. I was hooked from the very first page.

I really liked how she wove the characters' past into the storyline instead of devoting chapters just to explain each character. The story flowed effortlessly. As I read, I just wanted to keep going. I wanted to know what happened next. I don't want to say it is a quick read, but it would be easy to complete the story in one sitting because of the easy flow of the storyline.The story never feels forced or tedious.

The drama, intrigue, and suspense naturally blended throughout the story. The idea of time travel is one that is debated everywhere. Could you exist in the same timeline as your future self without causing a paradox? Will changing the past create an alternate timeline? These are all questions that are debated every day, everywhere. This is what Miss Briggs has tackled.
Elena and the other four characters each brought their own emotions and baggage to the story. The interplay between the characters added depth to the story line. Elena is a character that you not only feel empathy for but admire for her strength and perseverance. Each character is like Elena, they bring out different emotions as the story progresses. These are not cookie cutter characters!

The only thing about the story that was somewhat baffling was the romantic side of the story. During most of the story line, the characters are what you would expect from teenagers that have been victims of the foster care system. Yet when the story turns to  romance, the ages of the characters come into question. The romantic exchange made me think that Miss Briggs was writing about middle school characters as opposed to high school students on the brink of adulthood. No, I wasn't expecting sex scenes from Pretty Little Liars or The Originals, but there was so much hesitancy between the characters that the romance felt immature and lacking.

But, overall, this is a must read story for sci-fi fantasy and YA readers.

Disclaimer: I received a free copy through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Fire and Ice (Fireman Make it Hotter #1) by Cheyenne McCray

Fire and Ice

Synopsis via

Firefighter Grady Donovan, spots Chelsey Daniels teaching at the local ice skating arena. The sexy former international champion has curves in all the right places, a smile that lights up the room, and a personality to match. She causes a five-alarm blaze inside him that only she can put out.

When Chelsey meets gorgeous firefighter, Grady Donovan, he seems perfect for her. However, when she learns of his dark past, it puts the skids on their growing romance.

Grady is nearly killed as he rescues victims from an apartment fire, and it brings back terrible memories for Chelsey. She doesn't think she can go through losing another man she loves to a dangerous profession.

Can she overcome her fears to embrace love again?

Another Cheyenne McCray homerun!
Fire and Ice will grab you by the libido and won't let you go until the very end!

So what is so special about this story in a genre with so many options? Well, let's start with the author. Cheyenne McCray is a super talented author who knows how to combine conflict, lust, sex and love into am actual story-line. She is an author who knows how to keep her readers interested. An author who cares about the quality of her writing, determined to make her fans happy and keep them engaged.

Now, about the book, Both Chelsey and Grady are loveable characters with real life flaws, inside and out.
Grady is a hot fireman (who doesn't love a man in uniform?) who is drawn to Chelsey. Chelsey is a former champion ice skater who has loved and lost. They are drawn together, seemingly perfect for each other. But as we all know, real life can get in the way. In their relationship, it is Chelsey and Grady's past that gets in the way. Gardy is head over heels for Chelsey, but Chelsey just can't seem to overcome her inner demons to fully embrace what Grady is offering her. While she can fight the emotional demons, she just can't say no to the red hot, curl your toes sex that Grady offers.
There really isn't much more I can say without spoiling the story. And believe me, you DO NOT want me spoiling this one for you.
I pick this as a MUST READ. Yes, Cheyenne is one of my favorite authors, but she earns my dedication all over again with every book she writes! Read this book. I promise you will NOT be disappointed!

Arivaca (Guardians of the Light) by John Poulson

Synopsis via
Jesse Ballard’s life is filled with misfortune. His parents are dead, he’s been convicted of a crime, and a dark secret torments his soul. But when he’s incarcerated on a ranch for troubled teens he discovers his troubles have just begun. A Supreme Power has literally hijacked his life, bringing him to the ranch to make him the guardian of a powerful relic that was hidden away 2600 years ago when Solomon’s Temple was destroyed. 

Given superhuman powers, Jesse is suddenly thrust into a strange and perilous world of supernal treasures, killers and demons—battling the dark forces who desperately seek the sacred artifact. Thinking he’s on a one man mission, Jesse is shocked to learn that Cedar Lane, a girl who seriously despises him, has spiritual gifts essential for keeping the relic safe. Without her help, he’s in jeopardy of losing not just the relic, but his life. 

As Jesse unravels this secretive and dangerous world he learns the ups and downs of young love, and both the reward and peril of following his divine call.

Arivaca was an easy, gentle read for me. As a Christian, I was intrigued with Mr. Poulson's modern twist on an age old story from the Bible. As a reader of  supernatural/YA, this was a book with deep thought and occasional action. That said, when I combine my two halves, I enjoyed this book with a "gentle sway" kind of feeling.
We find Jesse, a troubled, orphaned teen unable to find any real meaning in his life. He stumbles into a bad situation that ends up being a blessing in disguise. He finds himself placed on a ranch for troubled boys. Here he finds himself on a journey of faith and self-discovery.
 Arivaca is a place of structure where troubled boys can get away from their bad influences, learn to work with others as well as how to make and keep lifelong friendships. Mr. Poulson introduces a number of characters. These characters are pivotal in Jesse's journey. I enjoyed that Mr. Poulson gave you just enough information on each character to explain their impact on Jesse's life without delving deep into their background boring me, There is definitely no doubt that Jesse is the primary character.
I do have to admit though, that I thought Cedar was a little too good to be true as well as confusing.
Jesse is in high school, under 18, and here comes this college graduate that works on the ranch helping with these troubled boys. She is loved by all, gentle and caring, easily and quickly forgiving. Yet Mr. Poulson creates a bond that is both spiritual and intimate. No, I don't mean they have hot and heavy sex. Mr. Poulson creates an intimate relationship between Jesse and Cedar that is gentle, respectful and caring. In my opinion, it borders on inappropriate because of their ages and Cedar's position.
Overall, this is a book that puts a modern twist on some of the stories in the Bible. Mr. Poulson made the Bible relevant to our time. He opens the reader's eye to the fact that evil and demons wear the face of humanity, that satan doesn't have to pull evil out of the depths of hell because there are any number of humans he can recruit to his side.  
On a personal note: I was flabbergasted when I googled Arivaca and found that there is an actual Arivaca, AZ as well as an Arivaca Boys Ranch! But what really hit me over the head was the fact that I lived so close to the town for over 11 years and never heard of it. Sierra Vista, AZ, the home of Ft. Huachuca, the home of Military Intelligence is literally just a few miles due east of Arivaca.
Mr. Poulson's choice of setting is a mirror of what Jesse must become. AZ is a place of beauty and serenity where anything that lives must dig deep into themselves, utilizing their inner strength to help them survive. They have to have faith in themselves and learn their strengths and weaknesses.
Who will like this story? I think readers who enjoy Christian Fiction as well as paranormal readers who can take or leave erotica.
Will I read the rest of the trilogy when they come out? This is a "wait and see" for me. I am intrigued to see where Mr. Poulson takes this story, but at the same time, this is not a story that left me feeling like I just HAVE to read more.

disclosure: I received a free copy of this book throught Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.