Wednesday, July 23, 2014

If I Were You by Lisa Renee Jones

If I Were You

I received a copy in return for an honest review. Thank you to Miss Jones and Simon & Schuster for this opportunity.

Synopsis via Miss Jones website:

How It All Started…

One day I was a high school teacher on summer break, leading a relatively uneventful but happy life. Or so I told myself. Later, I’d question that, as I would question pretty much everything I knew about me, my relationships, and my desires. It all began when my neighbor thrust a key to a storage unit at me. She’d bought it to make extra money after watching some storage auction show. Now she was on her way to the airport to elope with a man she barely knew, and she needed me to clear out the unit before the lease expired.

Soon, I was standing inside a small room that held the intimate details of another woman’s life, feeling uncomfortable, as if I was invading her privacy. Why had she let these items so neatly packed, possessions that she clearly cared about deeply, be lost at an auction? Driven to find out by some unnamed force, I began to dig, to discover this woman’s life, and yes, read her journals—dark, erotic journals that I had no business reading. Once I started, I couldn’t stop. I read on obsessively, living out fantasies through her words that I’d never dare experience on my own, compelled by the three men in her life, none of whom had names. I read onward until the last terrifying dark entry left me certain that something had happened to this woman. I had to find her and be sure she was okay.

Before long, I was taking her job for the summer at the art gallery, living her life, and she was nowhere to be found. I was becoming someone I didn’t know. I was becoming her.

The dark, passion it becomes…

Now, I am working at a prestigious gallery, where I have always dreamed of being, and I’ve been delivered to the doorstep of several men, all of which I envision as one I’ve read about in the journal. But there is one man that will call to me, that will awaken me in ways I never believed possible. That man is the ruggedly sexy artist, Chris Merit, who wants to paint me. He is rich and famous, and dark in ways I shouldn’t find intriguing, but I do. I so do. I don’t understand why his dark side appeals to me, but the attraction between us is rich with velvety promises of satisfaction. Chris is dark, and so are his desires, but I cannot turn away. He is damaged beneath his confident good looks and need for control, and in some way, I feel he needs me. I need him.

All I know for certain is that he knows me like I don’t even know me, and he says I know him. Still, I keep asking myself — do I know him? Did he know her, the journal writer, and where is she? And why doesn’t it seem to matter anymore? There is just him and me, and the burn for more.

If I Were You is the first installment of the Inside Out erotic romance trilogy that has actually turned into a multi-book series. And OMG! does it make a splash! Or should I say a CANNONBALL!

So. when I first read the synopsis I was very intrigued. I was expecting the main character to start the story by reading entries into the diaries. Well, I was somewhat disappointed. And then Sara's story started developing. It went from 0-60 in seconds flat when Miss Jones started telling Sara's story.
Sara's burst of daring when she decided to go to the gallery where Rebecca, the person who wrote the diaries, worked. Sara wanted to give Rebecca her property back. But when Sara gets there, her life takes a whole new turn. First she meets the gallery owner, Mark. Mark makes her feel like she should just turn over control of her life and body to him, just by looking at him and talking to him. Then she meets Chris. Chris is an artist. Sara knows his work inside and out, but Chris is nothing like she imagined he would ever be.
As Sara's story unfolds, she and Chris jump into a relationship that neither can define. It is HOT, STEAMY, confusing, and goes beyond any relationship either has ever encountered. Together they start to traverse unknown territory while dark secrets lurk in their past.

I was SO hooked from the time Sara and Chris met. The sex scenes are toe-curling, but not the kind that make you fee like you need a cleansing shower afterward (maybe a cold shower!). But there is meat to this story. Sara and Chris are characters that you want to see stay together, but Mark is someone you just can't make your mind up about. The story line keeps you interested, wanting more; yet the sex is just a natural succession to what is happening in the story.
And to tell the truth, Chris is a character that most women will start dreaming is the type of man that will sweep them off their feet and against a picturesque window!
I can not wait to get going on the next book.
If you could give more than 5 stars, this would earn them!! This is a must read!!!!
Happy Reading!

Monday, July 21, 2014

When Shadows Fall by J.T. Ellison

When Shadows Fall (Dr. Samantha Owens #3)

I received this book free in exchange for an honest review. Thank you Miss Ellison for this opportunity.

Description via Goodreads:

Dear Dr. Owens, 

If you are reading this letter, I am dead and I would be most grateful if you could solve my murder…

Forensic pathologist Dr. Samantha Owens thought life was finally returning to normal after she suffered a terrible personal loss. Settling into her new job at Georgetown University, the illusion is shattered when she receives a disturbing letter from a dead man imploring her to solve his murder. There's only one catch. Timothy Savage's death was so obviously the suicide of a demented individual that the case has been closed. 

When Sam learns Savage left a will requesting she autopsy his body, she feels compelled to look into the case. Sam's own postmortem discovers clear signs that Savage was indeed murdered. And she finds DNA from a kidnapped child whose remains were recovered years earlier. 

The investigation takes Sam into the shadows of a twenty-year-old mystery that must be solved to determine what really happened to Timothy Savage. Nothing about the case makes sense but it is clear someone is unwilling to let anyone, especially Samantha Owens, discover the truth.

This was my introduction to Dr. Samantha Owens. I regret that I missed the stories where she was here in Nashville. I will definitely be reading those first two books!
Miss Ellison has created a character that is smart, intuitive, spunky, yet as feminine as a woman can be. She has created Dr. Samantha Owens to be a multi-faceted character that does whatever it takes to get her answers.
While When Shadows Fall  is a third book in the Dr. Samantha Owens Series, I had no difficulty keeping up with the story line.
This book was intriguing and fast-paced from the very start. The mystery continued to delve deeper and deeper as the story unfurled. Miss Ellison knows how to create a mystery that will keep the reader guessing. She has a wonderful mind for murder and mystery. And she does her homework on all the little things, as well as the big ones, to lend authenticity and believability to her story.
She had me waffling with my guess of "who-dun-it" with her twists and turns. As well as rooting for the good guys to take the bad guy down!
This is a MUST READ !
It is out in hardback and e-book now, with paperback being released in September.

Happy Reading!

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Dark Paradise by Angie Sandro

Dark Paradise

I received this book free in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to Miss Sandro and Forever Yours Publishing for this opportunity.

Description via Goodreads:

Mala LaCroix has spent her whole life trying to escape her destiny. As the last in a long line of "witch women," she rejects the notion of spirits and hoodoo and instead does her best to blend in. But when she finds a dead body floating in the bayou behind her house, Mala taps into powers she never knew she had. She's haunted by visions of the dead girl, demanding justice and vengeance.


Landry Prince has always had a crush on Mala, but when Mala discovers his sister, murdered and marked in some sort of Satanic ritual, he wonders if all the rumors about the LaCroix family are true. Yet after Mala uses her connection to the spirit world to identify his sister's killer, he starts to form his own bond to her . . . a very physical one. As they move closer to each other and closer to the truth, Mala and Landry must risk everything—their families, their love, and even their lives.

My Opinion:
I have to admit, I was a little skeptical about this book. There are a few times I have attempted to read a story about the Louisiana Bayou hoodoo, voodoo, witches, and such and ended up not finishing them. But the description for Dark Paradise just pulled me in like no other romance/thriller. And boy was I glad I took the chance on this book! Miss Sandro must be a witch from the Louisiana Bayou herself to be able to weave such a dark, exciting, thriller interlaced with romance. She had me hooked by page 2! I instantly felt so many things for Mala. I felt so bad for her upbringing, but at the same time I was so entranced with her strong, independent nature. Miss Sandro did a superb job of showing Mala's many different facets. She is a strong independent young lady forced to learn how to be a caregiver to her drunken/prostitute of a mother, yet she is still somewhat naive in the relationship department. 
After she finds a dead body floating in her swamp, she begins to see and feel ghosts. Of course in her mind, she feels like she is going crazy. And when her mother confronts her with what is really happening, Mala denies it until she can't ignore it anymore. But then, she finds she has someone to confide in, Landry, the brother of the victim. Landry is also being haunted by the same ghost, his sister. As Mala and Landry are thrown together, Mala starts to learn the difference between a crush and love.
This book was one that I almost couldn't put down. If I didn't have to sleep, I would have read it in one sitting. I enjoyed the way Miss Sandro created her characters. All of them had so many facets and they all intertwined like a perfect melody. I actually found myself beginning to get angry at the characters who treated Mala bad, and started to "like" the characters who treated her with respect. I have to say that I really enjoyed the little twists and turns in the plot.
I can't wait to read the next book to find out more about Mala.
This is a definite READ THIS BOOK!!

Happy Reading!

ARV-3 by Cameo Renae

ARV-3 (The After Light Saga, #1)

I received ARV-3(The Afterlight Saga) as an ARC in exchange for an honest review. I would like the thank Miss Renae and Crushing Hearts and Black Butterfly Publishing for this opportunity.

Description via Goodreads:

The beginning of the end. The Apocalypse.

A nuclear fallout wiped out every living thing on the planet, except for a few thousand of us who took shelter in underground bunkers across the globe. Now, after thirteen long years, we were finally able to return to the topside to begin to rebuild.

We thought we were alone. We were never more wrong.

Before the fallout, scientists had worked on creating an anti-radiation vaccine (ARV). The first two attempts failed, but despite the incomplete tests and results, the government approved and distributed the third serum to the masses in an effort to aid those who had no shelter.

It worked, keeping those who remained on the topside alive, but it also altered and mutated them. This new and infectious threat had completely outnumbered us. Now, we not only had to rebuild our planet. We would have to fight for it.

My name is Abigail Park. I’m seventeen, and this is my story.

My Opinion:

I thoroughly enjoyed ARV-3. At first it was somewhat of a slow read, but I couldn't help myself, I wanted to find out what happened next.
If you are a fan of The Walking Dead, you will enjoy this book. While the creatures are not zombies, they can be likened to zombies. It is about a group of survivors trying to fight their way to another group of survivors, a shelter built by the government, but this story is from the viewpoint of a kick ass 17 year old girl.
When Abigail and the other survivors from her hive finally meet up with the government group of survivors, they have to learn to live by rules created by somebody else. These rules are strict severe consequences even for the slightest infraction.
Miss Renae does a great job of developing her characters and the plot. She knows exactly how to create characters that jump out at the reader and take hold of them. There is no way a reader can put this book down. Miss Renae creates a plot that carries the characters as well as the reader along for a thrilling ride. I really enjoyed how she added the romance between Abigail and Finn, yet kept it realistic. As teenagers who have never had a boyfriend/girlfriend, she added that little bit of drama that kept them from being too "fairy
tale sweet". The reader will keep reading just to find out what happens next. She has a great grasp of what it will take to bring the reader back for the next book in the saga. She chose a cliffhanger that leaves the reader anxious and excited to find out what happens to Abigail and Finn?
I'm hooked! This is one series I will definitely read until Miss Renae decides to (hopefully) find a happily ever after for Abigail and Finn.
Taker the time to read this book, you will be happy you did.

Happy Reading!