Tuesday, September 19, 2017

UnEnchanted (An Unfortunate Fairy Tale)

UnEnchanted (An Unfortunate Fairy Tale Book 1) by [Hahn, Chanda]

Synopsis via Amazon:

Mina Grime is unlucky, unpopular and uncoordinated; until she saves her crush's life on a field trip, changing her High School status from loser to hero overnight. But with her new found fame brings misfortune in the form of an old family curse come to light. For Mina is descended from the Brothers Grimm and has inherited all of their unfinished fairy tale business. Which includes trying to outwit a powerful Story from making her it's next fairytale victim.

To break the fairy tale curse on her family and make these deadly occurrences stop, Mina must finish the tales until the very Grimm end.

Do you know the Grimm Editions of the fairy tales? Do you like a twist in your fairy tales? Do you like a little mystery with your fairy tales? If you said yes to any of the above, you will like this story.
Do you prefer a sweet happily ever after with your fairy tales? Well, you may want to stick with Disney stories. 
While this story is not a sweet bed time story, neither is it a story that will bring nightmares to your sleep.
It is a very well thought out, modern day, fresh take on the Grimm Fairy Tales. It is a story of a teenage girl who finds out she and her family aren't what she thought they were. It is a story of family and all they will do to protect each other. 
I really enjoy that Mina is not a typical high school teen. She has a little brother that she loves and adores and a mother that she respects and loves. She is being raised by a single mother, with a less than ideal income and never once does she talk bad about her mother. She even finds the best in living above a Chinese restaurant with colorful and funny owners.
This is a book for both teens and adults alike. As a matter of fact, if you get this book, you may as well get all 6. Believe me, you will want to go right to the next story as soon as you finish this one.
I have already purchased the next book and can't wait to crack it open and see what fairy tale Mina has to tackle!

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Amazed by You by Cheyenne McCray

Amazed by You (Riding Tall 2 Book 1) by [McCray, Cheyenne]

Synopsis via Amazon:

Jayson McBride loses a bet and loses big, and ends up with a commercial shoot on his ranch for a women’s clothing line. Before he can come to terms with city folk leaving gates open and disrupting his operation, he meets Celine, the woman who runs the show. Damned if she doesn’t piss him off then impress him five minutes later.

Celine Northland is a fashion designer with a dynamic new line of clothing—she needs this launch to save her company and herself. She has involved investors, crowd funding, and every other trick up the sleeve she can come up with. She’ll have what she needs to launch if she doesn’t continue to be bled dry by one thing after another.

Celine's whole world tips when she meets Jason McBride and she finds herself falling for the cowboy hard and fast. However, Jayson harbors a secret that could rip their relationship apart before it even starts. 

When Jayson saves Celine’s life, it turns out she just might have saved his.

As always  Cheyenne has blown it out of the stable! She has woven a tale of romance, adventure, suspense, heartbreak, and wrapped it up in forever love.

I have had the extreme pleasure of meeting Cheyenne. She is a genuine, down to earth person. There is no pretense or prima dona attitude with her. Her genuinity (yes, this is a real word. I looked it up.) and warmth is conveyed through her characters. And it felt to me like Celine and Jayson are the two characters who convey these traits the best.
With Jayson she has taken what I have determined to be her favorite hero, a drool-worthy cowboy, placed him in her favorite place, an Arizona ranch, and introduced a woman so unique that she could only have been made for him. If I wasn't already married, I would have to move back to Arizona  and try to find myself a cowboy rancher just like Jayson!
With Celine she has created a strong yet very vulnerable character. She has achieved something that I feel is almost impossible. She has found the perfect balance of 2 very different traits. Most authors tend to make their character either predominantly strong or vulnerable, but Celine is so equally both that the reader can't help but be pulled into the feelings that Celine experiences.
As a matter of fact, Cheyenne is such a gifted writer that, as embarrassing as it may be, I actually teared up when Celine is told to call Jayson's mother "mom". That feeling of total acceptance is so overwhelming that there is no question about how emotional it makes her.
Celine  and Jayson are from 2 very different worlds. She comes from a very cold and sterile family environment while he comes from a clan that is full of love and acceptance. When they meet it isn't quite love at first sight, but there is definitely interest. As they learn more and more about each other, it is easy to see they need each other.
One of the many things I liked about Celine and Jayson's story is it doesn't start out with them at each other's throat and then all of a sudden they are jumping in the sack. No these two are civil and respectful. Both are successful in their own professions, which couldn't be more different, and treat each other in a way that is expected of professional adults.
And the animals! I love how she includes animals as such an integral part of the story. I love how it is so very clear that Jayson's dog Thor is so much more than just a working dog. But it is also very clear how the horses are also so much more than working animals. She projects her love for animals through Jayson and Celine in such a beautiful way.
Another thing I liked is the refreshing way Jayson and Celine's story is more about their story than their sex life. Don't get me wrong, Cheyenne knows her way around a sizzling sex scene and this story is no exception. But there are so many authors out there who create the sex and then try to create a story around it. Not Cheyenne. The sex is a natural progression of the couple's story.
So what DIDN'T I like about this story? Well, the fact that it ended. I fell in love with Jayson and Celine and wished it wouldn't ever end.
This is a definite read!  ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Spirelli Paranormal Investigations Episodes 1-3 by Kate Baray

Spirelli Paranormal Investigations: Episodes 1-3 by [Baray, Kate]

Synopsis via Amazon:

Jack Spirelli, paranormal investigator, public debunker of paranormal frauds, and private fixer for the magic-using community has opened his doors.

Jack's in a crunch. Since he went pseudo-public with Spirelli Paranormal Investigations, his business has sky-rocketed. Debunking the scum who prey on vulnerable targets makes up half his business now. And the rest of his time? Jack's on speed dial with the Texas Lycan Pack, the Inter-Pack Policing Cooperative gives him an occasional ring, and anything that goes bump in the night might just call him with a job.

He needs an assistant, another investigator, and some additional muscle, but maybe the dragon who just walked in and applied will do for now.

This volume contains the first three episodes of Season One. Each is a complete stand-alone story.

This is one of the most fun books I have read in a very long time. It has a fresh story line with characters that draw the reader in.

Fresh, fun, intelligent, innovative, and even moments of humor. Worth the read if you don't need a lot of intellectual depth.
I honestly can't wait to read more.

The Tales of Nevaeh Volume I: Born To Magic by David Wind

Born To Magic (Tales Of Nevaeh Book 1) by [Wind, David]

Synopsis via Amazon:

What would you do if you were 18 and told the future of the world is in your hands? 

Young Areenna of Freemorn is just beginning to discover her powers when she is called to a place from which few ever return.
Mikaal of Tolemac, the son of the High King holds a secret so dangerous it could shatter the fabric of the world should it become known.

3,000 years after America is destroyed by nuclear war, the inhabitants have evolved, embracing magic and metaphysical warfare. As enemies from across the seas begin to close in, ancient legends come alive, leaving no one safe. The only two who can stop the onset of the darkest evil is the sorceress,Areenna, and Mikaal, the son of the High King of Neveah. With the safety of the world in their hands, and their powers young and erratic, will Mikaal and Areenna find the courage and strength to overcome the impossible, or...

While I enjoyed this book, it was a bit of a slow read for me. It is a perfect mix of past, present, and future. What do I mean by that? Well, post-apocalyptic America is thrown back into a time where there are kings, armies, and no technology but women have supernatural abilities born of the evil brought upon America by the "Dark Ones". Where does the present come into this little world we are introduced to? Well, the Dark Ones are from the Middle East trying to dominate the world, bring everyone under their rule. To be honest, I figured out who the Dark Ones were fairly early on.
The characters can't really be called relateable since we have not lived the life they have (unless you lived in the middle ages), but you can understand where they are coming from.
There are a few puzzles to figure out if you are into delving deeper into the story like I am. I really enjoyed Mr. Wind's choice of names. While most of them sound unique, you only need to look a little deeper to see the "twist" in choosing the names of characters and places.
I have to say, I generally like books that take me in their grip and keep me reading until I reach the end. This book didn't do that, but the intellectual aspects of it did keep me returning to read more.
All in all I liked this book. Not one of my favorites but definitely an interesting read for those more intellectually inclined.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Revolt (Book 4 of the Resistance Series) by Tracy Lawson


I was both blessed and honored when Miss Lawson contacted me and offered me a copy of Revolt for review prior to the release date of July 18, 2017.
I have been an avid fan of the Resistance Series since I first read Counteract in 2015. 
With Revolt, Miss Lawson wraps up Tommy and Careen's battle against the OCSD. But this time, Tommy isn't just battling the OCSD on the outside, he is battling the damage the OCSD inflicted on Careen while she was captive. But the worst scars aren't the ones you can see, they are the ones no one but Careen can see. Tommy must win Careen over and convince her his love is true.
In her Resistance Series, Miss Lawson has created a glimpse of what could become of our world. She delves deep into the "what if" of total government control. But she also taps in to that human desire to be free. 
I love the way Miss Lawson was able to tap into each side. She has the ability to write each side's point of view without mixing the sides up. She also does a great job of showing how greed and the desire for total control is rampant on both sides. But she also delves deep into how love can persevere even when it seems there is no hope. 
In Revolt Miss Lawson digs deeper into more characters. She expands on more characters which enhances the story. It isn't just Careen and Tommy's story, it is also the story of Madalyn Davies , Kevin McGraw, Trina Jacobs, Tom Bailey, Jaycee, Mitch Carraway, and Lara Bailey, just to name a few. Miss Lawson tells each character's story with grit, realism, and compassion. She focuses on the human aspect. She exposes the degrees of impact a battle of wills can have on different psyches. 
As you can probably tell, I am very impressed with Miss Lawson's ability to dig deep into the "what ifs" of the human condition.
Revolt and the Resistance Series is not for the reader who prefers a light read. They are for the readers who like to think, plot, and delve deep into their inner voice. It is for the reader who likes to think about the "what ifs" of life.
I can honestly say there was nothing about this story that I did not like. Definitely a 5 out of 5 stars!

Revolt is released on 7/18/17. It is available for pre-order.
You can find out more about Tracy Lawson and her Resistance Series at:
Instagram: tracylawsonauthor


Bound By Prophecy (Descendants Series #1) by Melissa Wright

Bound by Prophecy (Descendants Series Book 1) by [Wright, Melissa]

Synopsis via Amazon.com:

Aern's only job is to protect the chosen. The trouble is, she's the key to a prophecy and everyone wants her. Hiding a girl in the center of a secret war is tricky business, but when her sister shows up to take Aern hostage, all bets are off. 

A slim brunette in borrowed jeans should be the least of his problems, but there's something about Emily he just can't put to rights. And it's not her penchant for using hand tools as weapons or the fact that she seems immune to his sway. 

Everything about her screams run. But when he discovers she's working toward her own prophecy, he's got no choice but to keep her safe. It might have been easy, if she didn't think she was the 
chosen's protector. When the opposition descends, their only hope is to stick together, but the truth unravels, and together might prove the biggest complication of them all.

When I read the synopsis, I was really excited that this was currently a free e-book on Amazon (it is still free today 6/4/17). It sounded exciting, full of action, with a good meaty story line. Well, it fell short of my expectations. First of all, it does have a meaty story line that is full of action. But, I spent about a third of the story confused about what was going on and why. Why? Well, Miss Wright jumped right into the action. That in itself isn't always bad. But in this instance, it wasn't a great thing to do. There is no explanations about why things are happening. I honestly stopped at chapter three and scrolled back to the title page to see if I missed any of the story. I didn't.
I started reading the book almost a week after downloading it. I couldn't remember what the synopsis said, but I remembered it sounded exciting to me. At about the 4th chapter, I had to go back and read the synopsis to find out if the main character was male or female and why the characters were running from the one person that was repeatedly named as the bad guy.
BUT, once I did get my bearings, I really enjoyed the story. As I said it is full of action, a few nail biting minutes here and there, and a deep, enthralling story line.  There is even a little bit of suspense. There is an excerpt of the next book added at the end of the book. I would definitely read the next book in the series. While this book wraps up Aern and Emily's story, it ends in a bit of a cliff hanger.
Just to put this in perspective, I would give this book a 3 out of 4 stars. If I wasn't so lost in the beginning, I would have given this book an easy 4 out of 5. stars.
Since this is a free e-book on Amazon at this time, I recommend checking it out and deciding for yourself.
Bound By Prophecy by Melissa Wright

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Sentinel (The Sentinel Trilogy Book 1)

Sentinel (The Sentinel Trilogy Book 1) by [Foley, Jamie]

Synopsis via Amazon:

When a meteor storm knocks out the power grid, the supernaturally gifted become pawns in humanity's struggle for survival.

The meteor storm wasn’t such a big deal until a comet landed in the middle of the road. Now Darien’s car is wrecked, his sister is bleeding out, and the only medical aid is at the reclusive Serran Academy.

Some say the Serrans have blood-bonds with angels. Some say they have surreal mental abilities. Some say the gods grant them elemental powers.

But when the Academy is targeted for harvesting, its secrets—and the collapse of modern civilization—are the least of Darien’s worries.

This book had me hooked from the beginning. It started in the midst of the action and filled in back story as needed. Each character is strong, unique, and full of depth. They interact effortlessly and with  precision. Each character is integral to the story line. And the story line is unique to say the least.
I was drawn into a world very similar to the world I live in yet so different. It made me want to keep reading to see what else would be the same and what would be different. While Darien is the main character, the reader gets to see the world through other character's eyes. This gives the reader a bigger picture of what is going on in the story line.
The story line has drama, angst, humor, and conflict. All of these are woven together to keep the story line moving and the reader engrossed.
I can't wait for book 2 so I can get back to what is going on with the whole crew!! Definitely a 5/5 stars!!

Beyond by Maureen a. Miller

BEYOND (BEYOND Series Book 1) by [Miller, Maureen A.]

Synopsis via Amazon:

It is the day after Aimee Patterson’s high school graduation. College beckons, as does her dream of becoming an engineer. On an early evening walk, her cocker spaniel charges into the woods on the other side of the pond. Aimee trails after him, and in the stillness of that forest the unthinkable happens. She becomes paralyzed and watches in horror as her hands vanish before her eyes. 

Waking to the sound of voices, Aimee realizes that she has been kidnapped. Little does she know how far away from home she is, though. In an attempt to flee her captors, she launches from their confines only to freeze at the view outside the window. The sky is black and filled with stars, and in the distance is a familiar blue globe. The planet Earth. 

A group of humans forced to flee their planet after an epidemic destroyed their civilization now travel the galaxies in search of an antidote. Retrieving samples of plant life from every solar system, on this occasion Aimee was accidentally seized instead. 

Aimee must learn to avoid the advances of an awkward young scientist who seems intent on dissecting her, as her own fascination turns to the exotic young warrior, Zak. Having fallen in love with Zak, she is now torn with the decision to return to Earth or live beyond the stars.

This was a very unique book. I don't think I have ever read a book with this particular plot. Yes, there have been plots where earth women are taken by aliens, well hot aliens anyway. But this story is unique and very imaginative. The intergalactic travel trying to find a cure for a devastating disease is refreshing.
  I liked that the plot was different. I liked that Aimee is a strong female character. I like that this was an easy read with a lot of feel good moments as well as a few "crazy" moments.
While it is an easy read, I was a little disappointed that the plot wasn't deeper. I like plots that make me think. The ending was somewhat disappointing. I felt like she ran out of story line and decided to just end the story. I would even love to see a sequel. I think there is a lot of story line left between Aimee and Zak.
I have to say, overall I give this book 3/5 stars. It was a "feel good" read that left me wanting more.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Ignite: Book Three of the Resistance Series by Tracy Lawson

Ignite: Book Three of the Resistance Series by [Lawson, Tracy]

Synopsis via Amazon:
The Greatest Risk Is To Take No Risk At All.

Nationwide food shortages have sparked civil unrest, and the Office of Civilian Safety and Defense’s hold on the people is slipping. The Resistance’s efforts to hasten the OCSD’s demise have resulted in disaster, with Tommy Bailey and Careen Catecher taking the blame for the ill-fated mission in OP-439.

Both teens struggle to survive the circumstances that force them into the national spotlight—and this time, they’re on opposite sides. On the run and exiled from the Resistance members in BG-098, Tommy makes his way to a Resistance safe house in the capital.

The OCSD is preparing to monitor all under-eighteens with the Cerberean Link, a device that protects them against hunger and sickness and can even locate them if they’re lost. Tommy’s now living in close quarters with Atari, an operative who has been assigned to sabotage the Link. But does Atari plan to use it for his own purposes?

Through it all, Tommy refuses to believe Careen’s loyalties have shifted away from the Resistance, and he’s willing to assume any risk to reconnect with her. Will they be able to trust each other when it matters most?

Tommy and Careen are back!! Miss Lawson brings this third installment of the Resistance Series to a whole other level.
Careen has been caught by the OCSD and is forced to make propaganda videos for the OCSD. Tommy is still part of the resistance trying to keep his faith in Careen.
Miss Lawson introduced more characters in Book 2, Resist. In Ignite, she expands those characters, explaining their importance to not only Tommy and Careen, but the resistance.
The story continues the action we saw in Resist, but gets a little more in depth of the chaos that ensues. It is fun, interesting, intellectual, and full of excitement.
If you haven't started this series, then you really need to. If you have started the series, then you really need to read Ignite.
I am excitedly waiting for the next book to come out. According to Miss Lawson's website book #4, Revolt, comes out in July.

The Colony by Kathleen Groger

The Colony (Rasper Book 1) by [Groger, Kathleen]

Synopsis via Amazon:
Trust no one
Never go out in the dark
Always have a weapon

Sixteen-year-old Val lives by these three rules etched on her arm. Her rules and her gun are the only things standing between her and assimilation by hordes of human-looking aliens she calls Raspers.

By day, Val gathers supplies. By night, she hides and wishes she could go back in time…before her family died…before the annihilation…before the Raspers began stalking her and demanding she join their collective.

But when the Raspers attack in broad daylight, the truth becomes startlingly clear. 

They’re evolving. 

A fellow survivor crashes into Val’s life. Adam’s full of charm and promises—like rumors of a safe haven—but there’s something wrong. He’s survived with no supplies, no weapons…no plans. Time is running out. With the formula for survival shifting around her, Val must decide how many rules she’s willing to break to escape the Colony.

This story is a breath of fresh air in the YA/Post apocalyptic genre. This is a story about a strong young teenager forced to learn to survive on her own.  A young teenager who finds out she is not the only non-rasper alive. She has developed 3 rules to follow. #1 is "Trust No one". When she is confronted by Adam, also a non-rasper teenager, she starts to ignore her 3 rules and her life changes.
Val and Adam join together and try to get to the safe zone Adam's father told him about.
This is full of action, excitement, drama, perseverance, and survival. Just when you think you have the story figured out, Miss Groger injects a twist.
I really enjoyed this book. Miss Gregor knows how to pull the reader in and captivate them. I really didn't want to put the book down. I read it during lunch at work, on the way home from work, and sitting in front of the television.

Taking It All by Cheyenne McCray writing as Jaymie Holland

Product Details

Synopsis via  CheyenneMcCray.com:

Lisa Peterson's life is boring and average—until she runs into a man. With her car. Instead of asking for her insurance card, he asks her out for a drink. What can she say, but yes?

Brad Akers is anything but average. He's sexy, witty, interesting and a man with muscles in all the right places. Lisa experiences things she'd only dreamed of—turning over control and allowing herself to be bound and spanked for his pleasure and hers, too. As he draws her deeper into his world of BDSM, she has no qualms about taking it all.

First of all I have got to say "I finally have a computer again!!!". It has been over 2 months since our computer went kaplooey. I am so glad to be able to get back online and post my reviews. So, with that said, for those who follow my reviews, I am so very sorry to have gone dark for so long.

So, I am happy to say I got to read another awesome book by my favorite author, Cheyenne McCray.
This is part of her BDSM series she writes as Jaymie Holland. Her BDSM series is a little more hardcore for those who like a little spice in their sex and relationships.
I have to confess, I do not know about BDSM personally, but I do enjoy the way Chey introduces the intricacies of the lifestyle. She explains through the story how BDSM isn't about one person totally in control of another person. She makes it perfectly clear that it is about the joy, stimulation, and satisfaction one person feels when he is doing things that excite, arouse, and sexually satisfy another.

But let's talk specifically about Brad and Lisa.
Lisa is a lady stuck in a life that she describes as "boring". She works at a bank, drives a beater (my description), and doesn't even have a pet to keep her company.
Then there is Brad. He is a sexy man who knows what he wants when he sees it. And Lisa is what he likes.
After Lisa literally hits him with her car, he takes her out for a drink. During that "one drink", Brad introduces her to his world of sex and submission.
Lisa and Brad are one hot couple that enjoy very hot sex. How do I explain my enjoyment of this novella without describing the whole story and ruining the discovery for yourself? Well, to be very honest, this story made me want to do a little more research into the lifestyle. Her storytelling is very vivid and arousing. Her detail is picturesque and leaves very little to the imagination but invites the reader to view the details in their mind as if it was a personal movie.
She has developed characters that invite you to fantasize about. She creates a world that the reader can imagine being a part of.
Chey is a writer who has gifted us with with her amazing talent.
If you like erotic, sexy, drool worthy stories, Taking It All is definitely for you. Hell, all of Chey's books are for you.
For those readers into erotica, this is a must read!

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

This Is Where It Ends by Marieke Nijkamp

Synopsis via Amazon:

Everyone has a reason to fear the boy with the gun.

10:00 a.m.
The principal of Opportunity, Alabama's high school finishes her speech, welcoming the entire student body to a new semester and encouraging them to excel and achieve.

10:02 a.m.
The students get up to leave the auditorium for their next class.

The auditorium doors won't open.

Someone starts shooting.

Told from four perspectives over the span of 54 harrowing minutes, terror reigns as one student's calculated revenge turns into the ultimate game of survival.

The synopsis of this story really intrigued me. It is a story right out of our most horrifying headlines.
When I first started reading the story, I got very confused over who was telling the story. The perspective jumped from person to person. During each time period the story is told from multiple viewpoints. It got so confusing that I almost quit reading, but just as it is hard to stop looking at a train wreck happening in real time, I just had to keep reading. Eventually most of it unraveled and became easier to follow.
Miss Nijkamp did a very good job of telling the story from the teenagers' voices. The reader is carried along in real time as all these teenagers lose the last vestige of innocence, as they are brought into harsh reality in the worst way imaginable, and as they experience the truth that you can hate someone for what they do, yet love them for who they are.
This is a good story for young adults to read. This book can get a number of conversations going between teens and their friends, between teens and their parents, and between all parents. The discussion that, yes, this can happen to us. What can we do to prepare and possibly prevent this from happening? That even though someone thinks they need to be brave in the face of tragedy, they need others to gather around them and help them find help and healing. That just because someone is different from you does not mean they are wrong to BE and FEEL the way they do. But mostly that family is everything and blood is not the only thing that defines family.
After a rough start, I really respected the message and story that I feel Miss Nijkamp was trying to get across.

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

The Last Necromancer ((Ministry of Curiosities, Book One)

The Last Necromancer (The Ministry Of Curiosities Book 1) by [Archer, C.J.]

Synopsis via C.J.Archer.com:

Victorian England

For five years, Charlotte (Charlie) Holloway has lived as a boy in the slums. But when one theft too many gets her arrested, her only means of escape lies with a dead man. Charlie hasn’t raised a spirit since she first discovered she could do so five years ago. That time, her father banished her. This time, she brings even more trouble upon herself.

People are now hunting Charlie all over London, but only one man succeeds in capturing her.

Lincoln Fitzroy is the mysterious head of a secret organization on the trail of a madman who needs a necromancer to control his newly “made” creatures. There was only one known necromancer in the world – Charlotte – but now there appears to be two. Lincoln captures the willful Charlie in the hopes the boy will lead him to Charlotte. But what happens when he discovers the boy is in fact the young woman he’s been searching for all along? And will she agree to work for the man who held her against her will, and for an organization she doesn’t trust?

Because Lincoln and his ministry might be just as dangerous as the madman they’re hunting.

I really liked this book. So, let's start with the obvious: I liked the heroine of the story, Charlotte (Charlie). I like that Miss Archer created her to be a strong-willed, intelligent, feisty woman. I also like that Lincoln is an enigma.
There is nothing simple and boring about this story. I mean, who would think about a necromancer and Frankenstein in 1800's England? In my opinion, it is brilliant!
Charlotte has had to learn to survive on the streets in a time when women are considered less than second class citizens and who are expected to be pretty much half-wits. She finds herself pursued by two different men, but not in a romantic way. They want her for powers that scare the hell out of her.
The freshness of the story line and the character development is off the charts.
I actually became invested in each of the characters. I fell in love with Charlie and her new family and liked to dislike those against her.
Check this out for a fresh new take on paranormal suspense.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Fire in Frost (Crystal Frost Book 1) by Alicia Rades

Fire in Frost (Crystal Frost Book 1) by [Rades, Alicia]

Synopsis via Amazon:

CRYSTAL FROST tells herself she isn't crazy, but sane people don't see ghosts. As her psychic abilities manifest, Crystal discovers she can see into the future, witness the past, and speak with the dead. Add blackmail to the list of things she never thought would happen to her, and you basically have her sophomore year covered. After spotting her first ghost, secrets from her family, friends, and classmates begin to surface. Uncovering secrets can be dangerous, but giving up means someone will get hurt. Again.

Ahhh! Paranormal. My favorite genre. I am fascinated by non-traditional paranormal stories. This is a YA Paranormal. There is a bit of teenage romance, but definitely not the romance I generally read. I do have to say it is a nice change of pace for once.
So, instead of vampires and werewolves, this story is about a teenage girl who discovers she can see and talk to ghosts, see the past, see the future. . . well ,you get the idea.  Miss Rades's development of the characters and plot is fresh and inviting. 
Miss Rades's talent draws the reader into the story, to become a part of the story looking through the eyes of each character. The reader is able to feel Crystal's confusion, fear, and excitement every step of her journey into the unknown, as well as her drive to make things right. 
I really enjoyed this book. It was constantly moving, always interesting, and full of fun and a bit of mystery. I seriously didn't want to put it down. I wanted to know what happened next and to find out the answer to the mystery. 
I really can't wait to read the next book!

The Number of Man by J.T. Ellison

The Number of Man: (a short story) by [Ellison, J.T.]

Synopsis via Amazon:
Unrequited love. Sounds romantic, doesn't it? But what happens when a stalker falls in love? 

I was first introduced to Miss Ellison when I read her book No One Knows. I was very impressed.
I signed up for her newsletter and was gifted with The Number of Man. 
This is one of Miss Ellison's short stories. A thriller that keeps you on your toes and hits you with a twist when you least expect it.
The story is intriguing, captivating, and (dare I say it?) thrilling. Miss Ellison knows exactly how to lead you in one direction only to take a 90 degree turn and then another 90 degree turn, She knows how to keep her readers engaged. 
This is not an easy review to write. Not because the story lacks, but because it is short. Saying too much about it could ruin the thrill of discovering the plot.
If you have never read any of Miss Ellison's stories, this is a great one to get acquainted with her. If you have read Miss Ellison, you will NOT be disappointed!

Taking Instruction by Cheyenne McCray

Taking Instruction by [Holland, Jaymie, McCray, Cheyenne]

Synopsis via Amazon:

Jessica Carter is a college sophomore who’s had the hots for her university professor all semester long. He’s sexy and unobtainable—and she’s determined to get into his bed.

Dating one of his own students is taboo and Craig Robinson Bennett intends to never break that school rule… Until he finds an end of the semester present in his office: a the gorgeous student co-ed he hasn’t been able to keep his mind off of. And she’s naked, sitting on his desk.

It isn’t long before Jessica discovers she’s gotten more than she bargained for. She finds out exactly who’s in control as she learns how the professor likes to play. A whole new world is opened to her and being a bad girl never felt so good.

This is a book about BDSM. It is simply a story of a sexual relationship between a man and a woman, both consenting adults, who find what "floats their boat" together.
I have to admit, "simple" is not what this story is about. Bondage and Dominance is a very intricate practice. In my opinion, Miss McCray does a very good job of explaining the intricacies by demonstration throughout the story. Now, I have read reviews about BDSM stories that talk about the story not being anything like real life. Some say they are into this lifestyle and feel the story is "unrealistic". In my opinion, each relationship is different, whether it's "vanilla sex", bondage, or something else. It is the way the couple interacts and finds satisfaction together. And Taking Instruction is 69 pages of just that. Craig introduces a willing Jessica to bondage and domination, Jessica finds fulfillment in his instruction and sexual desires.
Cheyenne has written a tasteful read full of heat and satisfaction. As it is only 69 pages, the story does not get bogged down by every character' back story. It is action from the first word. It focuses on the sexual relationship between Craig and Jessica. On a hot scale from 1-5, it is a blazing 5! 
While erotica is not for everyone, this is a definite read for those who are interested!

Sunday, February 5, 2017

The Advocates Betrayal (The Advocate Series book 2) by Teresa Burrell

The Advocate's Betrayal (The Advocate Series Book 2) by [Burrell, Teresa]

Synopsis via Amazon:
The Killer left nothing behind but a rosary, a kitchen knife, and a dead man. but the dead man is a friend of Sabre Orin Brown. When his unsuspecting wife is accused of the murder, Sabre will stop at nothing to uncover the truth, even if it means unearthing chilling secrets. 
From a San Diego jail to the shady Chicago nightlife, Sabre's search for the true killer forces her to face the question: What do you do when the ones you trust the most are the ones with the most to hide?

This was my introduction to the Advocate Series by Miss Burrell. While it is the second book in the series, it was an effortless read. These books, in my opinion, are stand alone reads. Miss Burrell does bring in elements of the previous book, but it in no way confuses the story.
Sabre is a lawyer for the juvenile court as an advocate for the children. But in this story she finds herself thrust into the position as a trial lawyer for a friend accused of murder. Outside of her comfort zone, Sabre along with her new boyfriend and colleagues does her best to help her friend and catch a killer.
This is a true whodunnit thriller that will keep you guessing. The twists and turns will keep you engaged and involved. The side story of one of Sabre's court cases is one that will make you think hard about what really goes on in this world.
 Miss Burrell's character development is honest and realistic. Her characters are real and believable, human and fallible, and relevant to today's world.  One thing I really like about this story is that her characters are not unrealistically perfect. I fell in love with the characters. flaws and all. I loved to hate the villains and felt compassion for the victims. and found myself pulling for the underdog.
I find that a lot of the mystery/thrillers are predictable when it comes to who the guilty party is.  Well, Miss Burrell kept me guessing. While I figured out early who the murderer was, it wasn't dropped in my lap. I had to really think and navigate through the clues. It was a book that really made me use my brain. I loved it!

Accidental Ashes & Broken Beasts By Sara C. Roethle

Accidental Ashes (Xoe Meyers Young Adult Fantasy/Horror Series Book 2) by [Roethle, Sara C.]   Broken Beasts (Xoe Meyers Young Adult Fantasy/Horror Series Book 3) by [Roethle, Sara C.]

Synopsis via Amazon:
Accidental Ashes:
Last year Xoe's life was turned upside-down. Things haven't improved much. With the lives of her friends at risk, Xoe forgets to worry about another life...her own. With the reappearance of a face from her very distant past, and a random string of abductions to deal with, Xoe has to fight to keep things together. Even if 'together' is a far cry, ahem...howl, from the norm.
Broken Beasts:
Xoe had hoped that after the events of the last few months, things would finally slow down. No such luck. The werewolves are out for blood, and so are the vampires apparently. Let's not even get started on the problems her own friends are causing. Regardless of the danger, Xoe and her rag-tag entourage are in Moab, facing the werewolf coalition. Their final ruling will change Xoe's fate, and the fate of her friends forever. Here's hoping that's a good thing

Why, you ask, do I have two books in one review? Well, as I read them one right after the other, this just seemed the right thing to do to do them justice.
These are books two and three in the Xoe Meyers series. Miss Roethle continues the excitement and sass that hooked me in the first book.
Xoe's life continues to get more and more complicated and in true Xoe fashion, she attacks it head on with the stubbornness, tenacity, and grit that only a teenager can muster. She is loyal to her friends and family to a fault. That fault? Well, she doesn't hesitate to put herself in harm's way, much to her boyfriend's frustration.
In Accidental Ashes & Broken Beasts we find that Xoe is no longer the only one in her group of girlfriends that is part of the supernatural world and one girlfriend who is doing everything she can to become part of that world. Is it because her friend wants superhuman strength? Does she feel left out? Has she glamorized the life of a supernatural being? Well, the only way you can judge her reasons is by reading the series.
Xoe continues to be strong willed and hard headed, but then again, she is only a teenager. The fact that she was thrown into a situation that would daunt even the average adult, only makes her stronger nd more determined to protect those she loves. Not only that, but she must contend with the new knowledge that she is a demon, her father has "popped" back into her life, and protecting her friends and mother. Oh, and the restraints of being a teenager. After all, she still has rules she has to follow.
The progression of the stories is seamless and effortless. If you didn't have to open a new book, you would never realize you were reading the next book in the series.
You will get entangled in the trials and tribulations that Xoe and her friends are dragged through. You will find yourself asking "What more can happen to the group? How much more can Xoe carry on her shoulders?" And "Where can I get the next book so I can keep reading?".
This is definitely a series you want to read. 

Foreshadowed (Near Death Series #1) by Holly M. Campbell

Synopsis via Amazon:

Hope Murdoch was born dead. She took a breath two minutes later and now is an almost-normal sixteen-year-old. Normal: a hopeless crush on the boy next door, a negative body image, and a (mis)diagnosis of ADHD. Not-so-normal: an exhausting and distracting ability to read minds. High school is hard enough without hearing what everyone really thinks of you. Lance Hampton used to be normal until a car accident killed him and his parents. Paramedics brought him back to a life he doesn’t want: orphaned, uprooted, living with his uncle, and suddenly able to see how people die. At his new school, he tries to keep to himself. Seeing how complete strangers die is torture enough, let alone friends. At first glance, Hope doesn’t think much of Lance (though a lot of the other girls do). He looks like the typical bad boy. No thank-you…but then she meets his eyes and everything goes dark. She hears labored breathing. Rapid footsteps. And then a thud as someone falls to the ground. Inside Lance’s head, Hope just witnessed a vision of murder…her own. Together, Hope and Lance try to catch a killer before he’s red-handed. A killer who could be anywhere. Anyone. Sure Hope can read minds and Lance can see death, but they still can’t see in the dark.

This was the first book I have read by Miss Campbell. And it will most surely NOT be the last.
Miss Campbell writes with heart, soul, and lots of imagination!
It is very hard for me to put into words why I really liked this book. Some books defy written emotion and this is one of them. You see, as I read the story I actually became part of the story.  I felt the hope, the frustration, the anger, and the fear of all of the characters. Her character development is off the chart. She made me feel like Hope and Lance were my friends.To evoke these feelings from a reader takes a writer with true talent.
The story line is fresh and intriguing. I can honestly say I have personally never come across this type of story in my lifetime of reading. And believe me, I have been reading for a very long time. 💖📚
This is a definite must-read in my opinion.

The Harvesting (Book One) by Melanie Karsak

The Harvesting: The Harvesting Series Book 1 by [Karsak, Melanie]

Synopsis via Amazon:
It's all fun and games until someone ends up undead.

Layla Petrovich has spent her whole life running away from her hometown of Hamletville. Raised by the town's medium, and dubbed the "weird" girl for her fascination with swords, the last thing Layla wants is to go home. 

But when she receives a desperate call to return just as a mysterious outbreak sweeps the country, Layla's instincts urge her to go. Good thing, because the dead are rising.

Layla, however, isn't entirely on her own. With her psychic powers growing, surely everything will turn out okay, right? 

Not so fast. Just when Layla believes she might survive the apocalypse, a sinister and ancient force rises from the shadows to finish mankind for good.

Because the truth is, we were never alone in this world.

I happened upon this book on BookBub.com. The synopsis sounded so intriguing that I jumped it to the top of my TBR list. Well, the synopsis did it justice! I finished it in two days. I would have finished it in one day, but frustratingly I had to work. I really hate when work gets in the way of my reading 😉.
I really liked the fact that her background portion of the story did not last three or four chapters. It was pretty much covered in half a chapter.
Miss Karsak got right into the nitty gritty action. She didn't create a lot of "fluff" just to increase her word count. Everything in the story is relevant, interesting, and designed to keep you reading. Each character is well developed. She knows just how to describe them to elicit the exact emotion she wants out of you.
I really enjoyed that she developed Layla as a badass, strong female. She steps into the leadership role as easily as a greased pig slips through a child's arms. Not only that, she is accepted as the leader without question by the majority of the survivors in her hometown.
Layla's grandmother is a character that you can't help but love, admire, and get tickled by. She is a strong, straight forward, no nonsense, well loved woman, Then there is Ian. How do I describe Ian without adding spoilers? He will take you through a number of emotions, some driven by Layla, some driven by Grandma, and some driven by your own opinion of him. Then there is Jamie, Ian's brother. He is lovable from his first introduction. While these four are not the sum total of the characters, they are what I consider the lead characters.
The action is well thought out and added to the story as a natural progression of the story. It isn't used to add chapters, fill awkward pauses, or bridge story lines that don't mesh.
This is not a typical zombie story. It isn't like reading "the Walking Dead". It is fresh and thought provoking, exciting and emotional, sweet and sassy, intelligent and groundbreaking, And the plot twist, well let me just say you will never see it coming!!
I can't wait to read the rest of the series. I want to know what happens to Layla and her "family".
If you like horror, paranormal, or apocalyptic reads, you will definitely want to read this series.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Scar Tissue (The Mindsight Series Book 1) by M C Domovitch

Synopsis via Amazon:

When successful model Ciara Kelly wakes up in the hospital, remembering nothing of the weeks she has been missing, her only clues are the ugly words carved into her skin. According to the police she was a victim of the Cutter, a serial killer who has already murdered three women. For her protection the police and her doctors give a press conference, announcing that because her amnesia is organically caused, her memory loss is permanent. But, whether her memory returns or not is anybody’s guess. Overnight, Ciara’s glamorous life is gone. Her scars have killed both her modelling career and her relationship with her rich boyfriend. With nothing to keep her in New York, she returns to her home town of Seattle, moves in with her sister and goes about building a new life. But when her sister lets it slip that Ciara’s memory is returning, the killer comes after her again. If Ciara is to stay alive, she must keep one step ahead of the Cutter.

Scar Tissue is a deep and thought-provoking read. How often are models looked at as having such  perfect and charmed life? Most models are society's definition of the perfect woman desired by the average man. These women are easily placed on a pedestal. Well, for Ciara, one person has gone over to the dark side in his obsession with her. He literally tries to love her to death, twice.
I was impressed with the character development. Each character was real and believable. It was easy to imagine some as a friend, others as entitled bitches and still others as manipulative, self centered liars. Some were transparent as others were complex. They meshed well into the complexity of the story keeping me not only interested, but intrigued. 
When I read this book I had no idea it was the first in a series. When I finished the book I still had no idea. There is no cliff hanger ending. There is no awkward ending. Miss Domovitch gives you closure in this story.
What about the development of the suspense? Well, I waffled back and forth about who the killer could be. I am happy to announce that I didn't figure out who the bad guy was until almost the end. 
What about the "thriller" portion of the story? Well, the depth of research it must have taken Miss Domovitch to basically get into the killer's frame of mind must have been interesting, to say the least. If she were to ever fall under suspicion for a violent crime, I am sure her internet browser history will not be her friend.
All in all, I liked this book. If you're in a mood for a suspense thriller, you should definitely check Scar Tissue out.

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

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Beauty and the Weiner (A Rescue Dog Romance) by Casey Griffin

Synopsis via Amazon:

Addison Turner has scripted a perfect future for herself, complete with a fairytale ending. She will become the name in doggie fashion design and live happily ever after with the husband of her dreams--and her dachshund, Princess, by her side. Just when her plan is on track and she's gaining recognition at the local dog show, Addison is hit with some Oscar-worthy drama. A group of prize-winning show dogs are stolen from under her nose, and she's stuck asking for help from Felix Vaughn, an infuriatingly hot bartender who is the exact opposite of Prince Charming.

When more dogs go missing--and Felix becomes a suspect--the two team up to clear their names. Although Felix and Addison fight like cats and dogs, there's an undeniable spark between them. And as the trail to the missing dogs heats up, so does their red-hot chemistry. Can Addison be persuaded to throw away her script to find an ending that just might be better than she ever expected?

This is a cute story. I enjoyed the way all the dogs were woven into it. Not to mention the interesting personalities of their owners. This story has romance, light humor, and suspense.
The suspense was very well written. I waffled back and forth throughout the majority of the story, wondering who was the bad guy.
I am a BIG animal person! Miss Griffin did an awesome job of creating individual personalities for each of the dogs. I can honestly say that I fell in love with each and every dog in the story!
For me this was a whimsical read. And that is a very good thing. As a nurse, my brain is constantly multi-tasking all day long. While I do enjoy stories that take deep thought, I really enjoy the stories that make me laugh, make me want to keep reading, and have plenty of cuteness!
I gotta say, I would read another story written by Casey Griffin in a heartbeat!

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Flameout (Souls of Fire #3)

Synopsis via Amazon:
Emberly and her red hot partner, Jackson, have hit an impasse in their battle against the crazed humans infected by a plague-like virus derived from vampire blood. Their quest to unearth the leader of the group leads them into an ambush—and leaves Emberly at odds with her former lover, Sam, who’s pressuring her to join his Paranormal Investigations Team.

To make matters worse, three local witches have been kidnapped—and if their spells fall into the wrong hands, Emberly’s powers could end up smothered. With time ticking until the virus consumes the world, Emberly and Jackson must race to save the witches, find a cure, and smoke out their nemesis—or go down in a blaze of glory...

I can never get enough of Emberly, Sam, Jackson, Rory, and their adventures, wanted and unwanted.
As with the previous book in this series, Miss Arthur brings to life a whole new dimension to what our world could be with mythology come to life. Miss Arthur's take on the Phoenix species is so interesting and intriguing. They are immortal yet not immortal. They have 100 year lifetimes, They have life mates, but are not in love with them. They can only have children with their Phoenix life mates. They are destined to fall in love once each lifetime only to suffer heart break. She has taken the mythological Phoenix and developed it to fit into our modern times.
Miss Arthur is an expert and describing minute details without bogging the story down in descriptives. She helps the reader to create a running "movie" in their head. It is full of color, movement, excitement, and suspense. Her consistency between books makes it feel like you just put down the previous book.
In this story, I really enjoyed the relationship between Emberly and Jackson. How their private and working relationship intertwine. The chase of their current assignment that links into the battles of their private lives. There is also the sexual tension and relationships. As I said earlier, Miss Arthur is an expert at descriptives. But she doesn't create shallow relationships. Each relationship between the characters is complex and relevant to the story.
This book in the series is effortlessly tied into the previous book. It is fresh and exciting without being a "rewrite". This is also on my list of "definitely must be read". Bring the new year in with a burst of flame!