Tuesday, January 31, 2017
A kiss to last a lifetime
Aiden Gallagher was only five years old when he appeared in a photograph on the Kissing Bridge. The town of Darling, Vermont, has used Aiden’s image on the famed bridge—local legend has it that a kiss there results in everlasting love—as part of its tourism campaign. Now, twenty years later, Aiden is asked to recreate the moment with the woman he once kissed: Laurel Stone.
Recently divorced, there’s nothing Laurel wants less than to pretend happily-ever-after with Aiden. As teenagers, their romance was no fairy tale—and Laurel has never quite forgiven Aiden for breaking her heart. But now that she is back in her hometown, and keeps bumping into police officer Aiden, Laurel can’t deny that there’s still a strong flicker between her and her old flame. Could it be that the Kissing Bridge is working its magic on Laurel and Aiden—and that all true love ever needed was a second chance?
Check out this playlist to go along with the story! Youtube
DONNA ALWARD BIO-
While bestselling author Donna Alward was busy studying Austen, Eliot and Shakespeare, she was also losing herself in the breathtaking stories created by romance novelists like LaVyrle Spencer, Judith McNaught, and Nora Roberts. Several years after completing her degree she decided to write a romance of her own and it was true love! Five years and ten manuscripts later she sold her first book and launched a new career. While her heartwarming stories of love, hope, and homecoming have been translated into several languages, hit bestseller lists and won awards, her very favorite thing is when she hears from happy readers!
Donna lives on Canada’s east coast with her family which includes a husband, a couple of kids, a senior dog and two crazy cats. When she’s not writing she enjoys reading (of course!), knitting, gardening, cooking…and is a Masterpiece Theater addict.
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MY REVIEW -
I've never read a Donna Alward book before, so I wasn't quite sure what to expect, but the synopsis drew me in, so I thought I'd take a chance, and I'm glad I did because this book has wonderful characters and lots of heart. Laurel has returned to her hometown after the ending of her marriage, and she is feeling fragile and untrusting of herself and others. Laurel has opened a new business, a nursery (the plant and flowers kind), and she's hoping for a new, fresh start, but when someone breaks in and vandalizes her property, she calls the police for help, but help comes in the form of someone she was hoping not to see ever again. The police officer is Aiden, the boy who hurt and humiliated Laurel in high school, who Laurel still holds a grudge against, so she wants nothing to do with him, but Aiden isn't having it, and he is determined to make Laurel forgive him. Laurel tries to resist Aiden, but his charm and friendliness begin to wear down her shields, and the two begin a friendship, which begins to grow into more. I love the small-town aspect of this book! The characters are fun and the town is charming; I just loved the kissing bridge, so cute! I also love second-chance love stories, and Laurel and Aiden's is a really sweet one. Laurel did get on my nerves a bit, but she's been hurt, so I get where she is coming from, and she is a big softy, who puts others before herself all the time, and she has some insecurities she needs to work through. Aiden is a sweetheart, and he is super charming! Laurel didn't have a chance to resist him! The romance is sweet with a bit of spice, Laurel and Aiden, definitely find themselves in some interesting situations. I also liked the added bit of mystery with the vandalizing, and the side story with George. I'm looking forward to reading more by Donna Alward, and definitely interested in reading the next in the series! I'd love to read more about the little town of Darling!
Chapter 1 Excerpt!
Every single terra- cotta pot was smashed.
Laurel Stone blinked quickly, annoyed at the sting at the back of her eyes as she stared at the mess. She was angry. Furious. Most people would rant or turn red in the face. But not Laurel. When she got mad, she angry- cried. And right now she was so infuriated that she could barely see through the hot tears.
She’d come in early to do some watering and deadheading before starting the weekly stock order, but discovered the gate hanging limply from its hinges, its lock busted. She immediately took out her cell and called the cops, working extra hard to keep her voice from shaking. Falling apart was not an option. She’d made it through a lot of life changes lately and had kept it together. This time was no different.
Now, as she waited for the police, she swiped at her face and bit down on her lip. It was only six thirty in the morning and she hadn’t even had her first coffee yet. The brew sat cooling, forgotten in her ladybug print travel mug.
Normally she hummed away to herself, unwinding the hose in the cool morning air. Not today. Today she had to deal with the fact that crime actually happened in quiet,
idyllic Darling, Vermont.
And that left her shaken.
The Ladybug Garden Center was her pride and joy, her foray into building a new life for herself. There’d been little incidents in her first few weeks of opening, but she hadn’t
thought much of them. The parking lot had been messed up a bit where someone had pulled doughnuts with their car. Two lilac bushes from the bed by the store sign had been stolen. She’d sighed at the incon ve nience, but chalked it up to simple mischief.
This time the intent was obvious. Deliberate. And it felt personal.
All the pottery was in shards on the floor. Six- packs of annuals had been pushed off their tables, spilling dirt and crushed blossoms. Hanging baskets had been carelessly dropped, so that the planters cracked and split. Tomato and pepper plants were strewn everywhere, broken and wilting. The lock on the little safe had been smashed, and they’d taken the small amount of money set aside for a float.
Laurel was sweeping shards of pottery into a dustpan when she heard the gritty crunch of tires on gravel. She stood up and braced her hand on her hip as the cruiser crept slowly up the drive and into the parking lot. Might as well get the report over with, and then get on with the cleanup and the call to the insurance agent.
The cruiser door opened.
Damn, damn, damn.
She’d forgotten, though she wasn’t quite sure how she could have since Darling was such a small town. Aiden Gallagher. One of Darling’s finest, complete with a crisp navy uniform, black shoes, and a belt on his hip that lent him a certain gravity and sexiness she wished she didn’t appreciate.
The last time she’d seen Aiden, she’d been home from school, barely twenty- one, and he’d flashed her a cocky take- a- good- look grin, all the while parading around the Suds and Spuds pub with some girl on his arm. Not that she’d expected any other sort of behavior from him. But still. Ugh.
Aiden approached the gate and she took a deep breath. He was a cop answering a call. Nothing more. And that was how she’d treat him. She definitely wouldn’t acknowledge that they’d known each other since they were five years old. Or that he’d once had her half- naked in the backseat of his car.
“Laurel,” he greeted, sliding through the gap in the fence. “Looks like you’ve had some trouble.”
She would do this. She would not cry again, especially not in front of Aiden. She had too much pride.
“A break-in last night.” She opened the gate a bit wider so he could get through. He passed close by her, his scent wafting in his wake. She swallowed. After all these years, he still wore the same cologne, and nostalgia hit her right in the solar plexus. He took off his cap and she saw his hair was still the same burnished copper, only shorter and without the natural waves, and his skin showed signs of freckles, but nowhere near as pronounced as they’d been. He wasn’t a boy any longer; he was a man.
He looked over his shoulder, his gray- blue eyes meeting hers.
Definitely a man.
“Wow.” He stopped and stared at the carnage. “They made a real mess. Was anything taken?”
She shrugged, focusing on the issue at hand once more.
“Inventory- wise, I won’t know until I get things cleaned up and do a count. But I doubt it. The float for the cash is gone, but that’s only a few hundred dollars. Mostly they just made a mess.”
Laurel bent over and righted a half- barrel of colorful begonias, purple lobelia, and million bells. Her gaze blurred as she noticed the crushed, fragile blossoms and pile of dirt left on the floor.
She clenched her teeth. If he saw her with tears in her eyes . . . today was upsetting enough without adding humiliation to the mix.
“Laurel,” he said, softer now. “Are you okay?”
“I’m fine.” She bit out the words and pushed past him, going to the counter area. She could stand behind it and the counter would provide a barrier between them. “You don’t need to worry about me, or take that soothing-the-victim tone. What do you need for facts?”
She sensed his withdrawal as he straightened his shoulders, and she felt momentarily sheepish for taking such a sharp tone. But she was angry, dammit. Hell, she was angry most of the time, and starting to get tired of hiding it with a smile. This was truly the last thing she needed.
“Do you have a slip or anything with the amount of the float?” Now he was all business. It was a relief. She took a piece of paper from beneath the cash drawer in the register. “This is our rundown for what goes in the float each night. It’s put in a zip bag in the safe. Like a pencil case.”
He came around the counter, invading her space, and knelt down in front of the cupboard. “This is the safe?”
“I know. It’s not heavy- duty . . .”
“It looks like they just beat it open with a hammer.”
Great. Now she was feeling stupid, too. “It’s Darling. I didn’t expect something like this to happen here.”
He stood up and gave her a look that telegraphed “Are you serious?” before stepping back beyond the counter again. “Something like this happens everywhere, Laurel. What, you didn’t think crime happened in Darling?”
Well, no. Or at least, not until today. The fact that she’d already come to this disappointing conclusion, and then he’d repeated it, just made her angrier.
Coming home was supposed to be peaceful. Happy. The town was small, friendly, neighborly. Even after years away, many of her customers remembered her from her school years and recalled stories from those days. Darling even had a special “Kissing Bridge” in the park. There were several stories around how the bridge got the name, so no one really knew for sure. But the stone bridge and the quaint little legend to go with it brought tourists to the area and made Darling’s claim to fame a very romantic one. In a nutshell, those who stood on the bridge and sealed their love with a kiss would be together forever.
She should know all about it. Her picture— and Aiden’s— hung in the town offices to advertise the attraction. Just because they’d only been five years old at the time didn’t make it less of an embarrassment.
“I’m not naïve,” she replied sharply. “Is there anything else you need or can I get back to cleaning up?”
“Can you think of anyone who might want to give you trouble? Someone with a grudge or ax to grind?”
Other than you? she thought darkly. This was the first time they’d actually spoken since she’d poured vanilla milkshake over his head in the school cafeteria in their senior year. “No,” she replied. “I can’t imagine who’d want to do this.”
“I don’t suppose you have any video cameras installed.”
She shook her head, feeling inept and slightly stupid. Maybe she was a little naïve after all. She hadn’t lived in Darling since she was nineteen— nine years. Things had changed in her absence. New people, new businesses.
“I’ll have another look around. It looks like a case of vandalism more than anything. Probably some teen agers thinking it’s funny, or after the cash for booze or pot, and smashed some stuff for show.” His gaze touched hers.
“Kids can be really dumb at that age.”
Her cheeks heated. He hadn’t had to say the actual words for her to catch his meaning. “You never know. They might have been dared to do it. Or some sort of stupid bet.”
He held her gaze a few seconds longer, and she could tell by the look in his eyes that he acknowledged the hit.
He’d kissed her because of one of those bets . . . more than kissed her. They’d been parking in his car and he’d rounded second base and had been headed for third. And then she’d found out about the wager and lost her cool. Publicly. With the milkshake.
The only thing she regretted was saying yes to going on that drive in the first place.
“So you still haven’t forgiven me for that.”
Laurel lifted her chin. “To my recollection, you haven’t asked for forgiveness.”
Aiden frowned, his brows pulling together. “We were seventeen. Kids. That was years ago.”
Which didn’t sound much like an apology at all.
“Yes, it was. Now, I have a lot of mess to clean up. Is there any more information you need or are we done here?”
He stared at her for a long minute. Long enough that she started to squirm a bit at his continued attention. Finally, when she was so uncomfortable she thought she might burst, she turned away and retrieved the broom and dustpan from where she’d left them.
“Do you want some help with this?”
She didn’t want him to offer. The idea of spending more time with him was so unsettling that she immediately refused.
“No. Don’t you have to get back to work? Besides, I have someone coming in at eight. You go do what you need to do, Officer Gallagher.”
“Officer Galla . . . oh, for Crissakes, Laurel. Is that necessary?”
She pinned him with a glare. He was standing with his weight on one hip, accentuating his lean, muscular physique, one perfect eyebrow arched in response to her acid tone.
She wasn’t the kind to hold a grudge. Not generally. Heck, she’d forgiven Dan months ago, and that was for something far bigger than a silly teenage bet. Why did Aiden get under her skin so easily?
Maybe it was because he’d been so callous, even after the fact. If he’d shown any remorse at all . . . but he hadn’t. He’d taken the paper cup the milkshake had been in, and fired it across the cafeteria floor before charging out. And he’d never once spoken to her again. Until today. And despite the change in circumstances, she felt much the same as she had that night in the backseat of his car. Out of her depth, over her head, and at a distinct disadvantage.
She looked away. “Sorry. I just want to clean this up and get ready to open.”
She picked up the broom and began sweeping the little bits of broken pots and dirt into the dustpan. She saw his shoes first; big sturdy black ones that stopped in front of her. Then his hand, warm and reassuring, touched her shoulder. She’d been rude and brusque, and he was being kind. Damn him. Emotion threatened to overwhelm again. Couldn’t he see that gentle compassion was harder for her to handle than cool efficiency?
“Are you afraid to stay here alone this morning?” He throat tightened. “No, of course not.”
“I’m on duty until this afternoon. I can check in from time to time.”
“I’m fine.” She looked up at him and set her jaw. “I can take care of myself. I’m a big girl.”
He stepped back. “All right. But if you think of anything or anything else happens, call right away.”
She kept sweeping and listened to his footsteps walk away across the concrete floor. The building always smelled delicious thanks to the flowers, but this morning the scent was even more pungent because many had been crushed and mangled. She sighed and rested her weight on the broom handle. He was just doing his job. And she was pissed off—at the state of the garden center and the fact that the one person in Darling she didn’t really care to see was the one who’d been sent to help.
He turned when she called his name, but his expression was neutral. She wished she could be that way. Unfortunately she always seemed to wear her emotions all over her face.
“Thanks for your help this morning.”
He nodded. “Just doing my job.”
He walked to his cruiser and got in while Laurel stood there with a flaming- hot face. Once he’d turned to exit the driveway, she kicked a plastic bucket that had been abandoned in the middle of an aisle, sending it spinning away with a loud clatter. No sooner had she decided to extend an olive branch than he came back with a line that deflated any sort of possibility of amity. He was just doing his job, like he’d do for anyone else. She was no one special. Never had been. The knowledge shouldn’t have cut, but it did.
Anyway, the bigger issue was the prob lem at hand— getting the store ready to open in just a few hours. The Ladybug Garden Center was her baby now. She’d invested all of herself into it, and she was determined to see it succeed, not only this spring and summer but into the fall and winter. In order for that to happen she would have to take steps to ensure this sort of thing didn’t happen again.
Just as soon as she cleaned up the mess.
And stopped thinking about how Aiden hadn’t changed that much, either. In good ways and in bad.
Copyright © 2017 by Donna Alward and reprinted by permission of St. Martin’s Paperbacks.
By the time they were through, it was nine o’clock and time to open. Being a Saturday, business was brisk. Her dad dropped off the supplies and offered to stay to help cover the tagging, but with the heavy shopping traffic, Laurel decided to wait until things died down. For now the tarps covered the tags, and she’d focus on her customers. Otherwise her anger would get the best of her and that was bad for business. By six p.m., things had slowed considerably.
Laurel had been going flat out for ten hours, stopping for only fifteen minutes to run to The Purple Pig for a sandwich. Her stomach growled, her feet hurt, there was dirt beneath her nails and she really, really wanted a shower and a glass of wine—in that order. Laurel had just dragged out the hose to water the fruit trees when a half- ton truck drove into the lot and parked in an empty space.
The driver hopped out, and her heart slammed against her ribs as she immediately realized how she must look. Dirty jeans, mannish golf shirt that did nothing for her figure,
scrubby ponytail through a Ladybug Garden Center ball cap, and prob ably smudges of dirt on her face and arms. Not that she was trying to look nice for Aiden or anything, but it was him getting out of the truck, looking sexy as hell in faded jeans and a T- shirt that stretched across
his chest and shoulders.
She could pretend she hadn’t seen him. Resolutely she turned on the hose and started watering the apple trees.
“Hey, Laurel,” he called out, and that erased any hope of avoiding him.
She turned off the hose and faced him. “Aiden. What brings you by? Looking for a shrub or tree or something?”
Keep it businesslike, she reminded herself. The last thing she needed was for him to know that he had the ability to fluster her.
“I heard about what happened.”
Of course he had.
“Don’t even. I’m still pissed.”
“I know it’s not what you needed. Did Crystal tell you that you weren’t the only one hit?”
Crystal must be the offi cer from this morning. “She did.”
“Well, that must make you feel better.”
She stared at him. “Better? Seriously? Since I opened a month ago, I’ve had to have the driveway re- graded, I’ve had to replace shrubs that were stolen from out front, deal
with a break-in and vandalism, and now tagging. Trust me, Aiden, the only thing that would feel better is if you actually did your job and found out who was doing this.”
She turned the hose back on.
He waited. He waited a long time. Several seconds, maybe thirty. Which was really not that long at all but definitely felt that way. She was watering the third tree when he sighed. “ You’re upset.”
“No shit, Sherlock.”
He met her gaze, and his eyes were soft, even though she’d basically just accused him of not doing his job. The understanding she saw there made her stomach churn. She didn’t want to lash out, but that was what she did when she was hurt. Angry.
Stopping by was kind and thoughtful. She kept trying to make him out to be a bad guy, and he kept being nice. It definitely made it difficult for her to hate him. Particularly since her biochemistry betrayed her at every turn. Even now, when she was utterly preoccupied with the day’s events, she seemed to notice everything. His hair, his eyes, the breadth of his chest, the armband tattoo that looked like some sort of Celtic braid, peeking just below the hem of his T- shirt sleeve. The shape of his lips . . .
He muttered something that was as creative a curse as she’d ever heard, and sounded suspiciously Irish. She couldn’t help but laugh, and tried to clamp her lips shut again. But not before he saw and heard, and his eyes took on an impish gleam.
“ You’re not fine. You’re tired and upset and rightfully so. You’re also just as stubborn as you always were.” He put his hands on his hips. “I take it you’re not adverse to help, just help from me in particular.”
Her face heated. Dammit.
“Maybe this could be my penance,” he suggested, giving her a quick grin. And she wished she could take him seriously, but he always seemed to be teasing. It was one of the things she’d really liked about him and hated at the same time. Particularly now, when she wanted to be, if not mad, completely unaffected. And she wasn’t. He was trying to cajole her out of her mood and it was working.
“It’s Saturday night. Don’t you have a hot date or something?” She turned on the hose again. Focused on the large plastic pot holding a cherry tree.
“Nope. Free as a bird.”
“Come on, Laurel. Peace offering. Manual labor for you to stop hating me.”
She glanced over at him. “Why do you care so much?”
He was quiet for a moment, and to her surprise the teasing expression left his face. After a while he answered, his voice a little lower. “I don’t know why I care what people think so much. I always have. I don’t like anyone to be mad at me. Maybe it has something with being one of the younger siblings in the family. I don’t know. I just know that I don’t like it that you’re still so angry.” His intense blue gaze locked with hers. “It’s starting to become a personal mission to win you over. To atone for past sins.”
“Good luck,” she said dryly, more touched than she wanted to admit.
His boyish grin was back. “Come on, Laurel. You know you can’t hold out forever. You think I’m hot.” He had the audacity to wink at her.
She rolled her eyes.
“You do. You have a thing for gingers. And you have to admit, I grew up kinda good.” His hands were still on his hips and he tensed his muscles so that his shoulders and chest tightened beneath the thin T- shirt.
“I think you’re a bit taken with yourself, to be honest,” she replied. And tried not to smile. She didn’t want to be charmed, but he was incorrigible.
Damn, his voice was all silky- smooth now. “Yes, Mr. Narcissist?”
“You know damn well you want to hate me and you can’t. Besides, I saw your face just now. Maybe if I took off my shirt . . .”
“Would you like to go somewhere private to be with yourself?” she asked, biting the inside of her lip. She shouldn’t be enjoying this so much. And she wouldn’t be, if she thought he was serious. But he was teasing her.
Like he used to do when they were friends. And today . . . she swallowed against a ball of emotion. Today she needed a friend, and all she’d had were well- meaning customers.
She looked over at him. “Jeez, Aiden. You’re looking a little flushed. I think you could stand to cool off.” And before he could reply, she flicked her wrist and aimed the spray of the hose right at the center of his chest.
The abrupt shock on his face was gratifi cation enough, but then he grinned and reached to take away the hose. She danced away, still spraying him, admiring how the shirt now clung to his skin and the little droplets lit up his face and hair. A laugh bubbled up through her chest and out her mouth as she darted around the trees, dragging the hose with her. But there were too many pots and not enough room to maneuver and within seconds he caught her, wrapped one strong arm around her and wrenched the hose away with the other, spraying her in the process.
Cold water dripped from her nose, down her neck, over her bare arms. Aiden held her close against his body, close enough she could feel the hardness of his muscles, and thrilled at it. Their breaths came fast, their chests rising and falling with both laughter and the exertion of the struggle over the hose. But it was the way he was looking down at her right now that made her feel as if the lack of air was strangling her lungs. All it would take was the tiniest move and he’d be kissing her. Her gaze dropped to his lips— he’d always had fine lips— and she swallowed, nervous and scared at her reaction and turned on as hell.
She looked up, which was a mistake. Because he was staring at her lips. And his arm tightened just a little bit at the hollow of her back. Oh God . . .
A car horn honked and Laurel jumped back. He let her go, but the gravity of the moment remained.
Copyright © 2017 by Donna Alward and reprinted by permission of St. Martin’s Paperbacks.
Friday, January 27, 2017
As the last Pack member without a mate, Luke Reynolds has become an outsider. When he takes a job as the head horse trainer Sedona, Arizona, he’s looking forward to starting a new life. But everything changes the night he finds beautiful woman stranded on the side of the highway.
Raven Wood has been bitten and turned against her will. Luckily, her spirit is stronger than most, and she has every intention of escaping the Sedona Pack. Somehow. The sexy lone wolf who rescues her might be just the answer she’s looking for.
But the Sedona Pack Alpha has a mission, and unless Luke and Raven can stop him, they’ll lose everything.
MY REVIEW -
I love Lisa Kessler's writing! I enjoyed Wolf Moon, and I'm enjoying looking at that cover! This is part of a series, but it could be read as a standalone, but there are some cameos from characters from the previous books, so you may want to check out those books first, but I don't think it is absolutely necessary. In Wolf Moon, Raven was bitten against her will and turned into a werewolf, and is in a wolf pack that is into some nefarious things and the Alpha makes women mate against their will, so Raven decides to escape and ask another wolf pack for help, but along the way she runs into Luke, who is part of the very pack she was on her way to see. After hearing all the terrible things that are going on in Raven's wolf pack, Luke agrees to help Raven out, and all the others who are trapped by the controlling Alpha. Luke and Raven come up with a plan to bring Raven's Alpha down, and along the way the two begin to grow closer, but it's difficult for their relationship to grow within the situation they find themselves in. Raven's Alpha is having humans bitten against his/her will and turned into werewolves, so he can create a bigger pack to take out other wolf packs, and is forcing women to mate with multiple males, so they will get pregnant, and on top of that, if someone in the pack doesn't do what he says, he kills them. Raven is in a really bad situation, but I love that she stands up for herself, and does what she can to help all those trapped under the Alpha's iron fist. I thought it was really cool that Luke is a horse trainer, I almost want to say I found Luke to be a bit tame, but that makes him sound bad, and he wasn't, he is a strong guy, who puts himself on the line for others, which I found admirable; he's a really good guy, and he's a romantic, which is adorable. Luke and Raven have some really tough things to get through, and they both show extreme strength in some really intense situations. I liked the romance between Luke and Raven, and they do have some hot and sweet moments, but I do feel like I would've liked a bit more depth to their romance; it's good, but I felt like I wanted more intense emotion between the two. They are sexually passionate, but I wanted them to be emotionally passionate as well, but even with those little gripes, I still found the romance sweet and lovely. Good, solid entertaining read! Looking forward to the next!
Tuesday, January 24, 2017
It’s the start of nothing good.
I fired off a storm of raunchy text messages…to the wrong number.
And he replied.
Him: Show me a picture.
Him: Tell me your name.
Why does the lure of anonymity have me craving to indulge a stranger?
It’s the start of everything right.
I received a slew of text messages…when everything in my life was wrong.
And she made me laugh again.
Her: You’re probably a creeper.
Her: Possibly a stalker.
Why do I have the overwhelming need to find this stranger who saved me and make her mine?
Him: Take a chance with me.
Her: This is crazy.
Him: I need to see you.
Her: What are we doing?
Him: We’re about to find out.
Her: PHOTO ATTACHED
Him: PHOTO ATTACHED
MY REVIEW -
You had me at The Princess Bride! I loved this so much! I pretty much had a smile on my face the whole time I was reading, and I stayed up way too late because I couldn't stop reading! This book is entertaining, fun, funny, heartfelt, hot, dirty, and wonderful! Dani is our female lead, she is way too nice and doesn't stand up for herself, and has problems telling people no, so when she finds her douchebag boyfriend cheating on her, and to top it off, the woman he was cheating on her with has a new engagement ring that Dani is totally sure she paid for with the money her now ex "borrowed" from her, her first instinct is to blame herself, but her friend Andie isn't having it! Andie gives the douche a piece of her mind, and deletes the douche's number from Dani's phone. Andie is brash and crazy, and totally over the top, but I found myself still liking her even though I normally wouldn't, she's a tough nut to crack! Anyway, with Andie and Tequila's encouragement, Dani decides to send some interesting texts to her ex, but she doesn't quite remember his number right, and she ends up texting those interesting, colorful texts to a random stranger. Luckily for Dani, Ram, is on the other end of the text, and he finds Dani interesting and adorable! The two begin texting back and forth, and an attraction begins to grow between the two, but will a few little lies end up being the downfall of their relationship before it even gets started? Read to find out! I loved Ram! He is funny and sweet, and hot and adorable, and I love that he isn't perfect, he is human and has faults, but he is all the more amazing for them! The chemistry between Ram and Dani is terrific, and there were some scenes that just made my heart sigh. So yeah! I loved it! And am definitely looking forward to reading more in this series! Andie's book is definitely going to be interesting, and I think she has a long way to go before she can let her walls down, and let go of the chip on her shoulder. I'm very curious what in the heck happened to her for her to be so guarded. The writing is superb! Way to go, K. Webster and J.D. Hollyfield!
Sunday, January 22, 2017
Dr. James Hagen thought he’d bid Paranormal Security and Intelligence Agency good riddance nearly ten years back. He’d been an operative with them for so long that carving out a new path in life had taken time, but he’d achieved it. He’d made it his mission in life to help the wayward find a path again, to help those who couldn’t help themselves. All that changed when he fell into enemy hands. Now, unable to fully heal and plagued by nightmares and choppy visions of what is to come, James isn’t sure if he can keep going. That is, until he meets PSI’s newest person of interest—a quirky, sexy cyberpunk who totally turns his world upside down.
Laney Steele knows she’s onto something. It doesn’t matter that most have written her off as a conspiracy theorist and a hacktivist. She knows the government is hiding the existence of super soldiers who can shapeshift into animals. She’s so sure that she puts herself on the line to find out more, only what she uncovers isn’t exactly what she was hoping for, and it has a heck of a lot more to do with her than she ever thought possible. When her newfound online gamer buddy turns out to be a super solider, she throws caution to the wind just for a chance to be with him. Neither one of them realize the enemy has been lurking, waiting for the perfect moment to strike—again.
MY REVIEW -
I really like this series because I love the scenario of evil scientists trying to make genetically modified super soldiers, so I'm totally loving all of that in these books, and when you add in shifters, I'm over the moon! You should read the first book in this series because there is a continuing story through each of the books, but there is a different focal couple in each book. In this book, we get James' story, he is a wolf shifter, who was tortured by evil scientists in the last book and was finally saved, but his wolf isn't showing itself and he isn't healing properly, so he is trying to find out what the scientists did to him to cause him to have these problems. James is tasked with finding out more information about a hacker, but as he begins getting to know Goth Girl; horrible hacker name by the way, he feels a deep connection to her, even though he hasn't met or seen a picture of her. Laney a.k.a Goth Girl, believes there are supernatural things out there, and she also believes there is a corporation that is using supernaturals in experiments, and she feels like she needs to find out the truth and bring them down; plus she also has some personal reasons to wanting to know more information. Laney is usually a pretty secret person, but when she connects with James online, she feels like she has found someone she can connect with, but the road to happiness isn't going to be easy for these 2! I love, love, loved that Laney is a hacker! I find all that stuff totally cool, but then she started coming across as ditsy and a bit moronic, so I was disappointed. James is great, and I was excited to read his story because I wanted to know how he was going to get past what had happened to him, and I liked that he wasn't your typical guy, I liked that he is smart, and doesn't sleep around with every woman who walks by him. I like all the action in this book, and I do enjoy the scenes with the other team members, but I do feel like there wasn't enough time spent on James and Laney alone. I wanted to see their relationship have more time to evolve. They are cute and sweet together, but I just wanted more of them. I do love the scenes when James is shifted because I love how protective the animals are of their mates. I think I just wanted more depth to the characters and to the situation the characters are facing, but that's not really the purpose of these books, they are more on the light-hearted, humorous side of things. This book is a quick, entertaining read, and I look forward to more! I listened to the audiobook version of this book, and I also listened to the first book, and they both had the same narrator, and he did a good job in the first book, but I felt like I liked his narrating better in this book.
He’s got the biggest bat on campus… and he knows how to use it.
Asher Slade, AKA ‘Slugger’.
Hellcats captain, shameless womanizer, and grade A as*hole.
I can’t stand his kind, so imagine my joy when I’m tasked with babysitting Sir C*ck-A-Lot during his college-imposed community service.
He thinks I’m easy, that I’m going to fall to my knees the same way his opponents do.
But he’s wrong.
I have dreams. I’m going places. The last thing I need is a walking hard-on getting in my way.
Problem is, I’m already picturing him… between my sheets, my legs, his dirty mouth doing dirty things.
I should be running a mile, so why can’t I stop thinking about those coral eyes and cut body?
I’m not going to fall for him.
So why does it feel like my bases are already loaded?
MY REVIEW -
It's been awhile since I've read a college setting romance, but I really enjoy sports romances and I like Teagan Kade's writing, so I thought I'd give this a whirl, and I enjoyed it! It ended up being really cute! Asher is the big man on campus, star baseball player, known ladies man *cough* manwhore *cough*, known for having a bigger bat in his pants than the one in his hands, and all around party boy, and generally when he does douchetastic things around campus, he barely gets a slap on the wrist, but his bad boy ways have caught up with him, and he is assigned to community service. Willow is disgusted at how Asher is put on a pedestal; especially when he cuts in front of her in the coffee line, but when he is assigned to do community service where she volunteers, she is finding it harder and harder to resist his charms. Can these 2 survive as a couple when each of their pasts begin to cause problems in their new found relationship? You must read to find out! Alright, so I do like the characters, but I do feel like each had a too quick turn around; especially Willow, and I didn't really like that about her. Asher's turn around I understand more because I get he was just putting on a show for everybody because that's what he felt he had to do, but I didn't like how Willow sort of regressed to how she used to be in the past, but I did still like her. There are the typical college scenes with the parties and idiot antics, and those types of things are why I usually stay away from college romances, but they weren't too bad here, so I didn't mind them too much, and I enjoyed the rest of the story, so that overshadowed those scenes. I was thinking a lot more would go on with the ex scenario, and was a little disappointed with how that ended; it felt a little anti-climatic, and I also feel like I would've liked a little more build-up to Asher and Willow's relationship, I felt she changed her tune too quickly. All in all, I was entertained and enjoyed reading Loaded!
Friday, January 20, 2017
One Bearry Night
When Rebekah meets her future mate by chance and falls in love, she must make the agonizing choice to leave him -- not knowing that he is the one destined for her. Daamin's pride demands Rebekah choose him over duty, but his practical side respects her strength to place family above all else. Will he sacrifice pride and claim his winter mate? Or will he let her go, and never know that their one passionate night produced a special holiday gift?
Bear in Furry Armor
A baker yearning for her Bear in furry armor. A male ready to Claim his mate. The witch standing between their mate bond. Curvy hedgewitch Amberely has been Jayson's secret crush since high school. When Amberely is placed in sudden danger, Jayson doesn't hesitate. She is his have, to hold, and to protect. And no matter what spells her mother casts against him, he's determined to finally Claim his mate.
MY REVIEW -
Since this is 2 books in one set, I'm going to do a review for each of the books individually. Both books are 4 out of 5. I enjoyed both books, and each story takes place at the same time period, so it's interesting to see what is happening in other parts of the town.
One Bearry Night -
This was a cute, quick read, and I enjoyed it! Rebekah, who is a human, was adopted by a clan of bear shifters, so when her grandmother comes to her with a proposed mate, Rebekah feels like she owes it to her family to agree to being mated to a shifter she hasn't met. Rebekah goes to a club and meets Daamin, who she feels an intense connection with, but she feels a duty to her family, so she runs away from Daamin, but Daamin isn't having it. There ends up being lots of misunderstandings and withholding of information, which creates tension between these 2, and to top it off Daamin and his family are in danger from some things from their past. With this being a short story, things do happen rather fast, and I'm totally okay with that! I'm all on board for mate bonds, and I love shifters, so I'm good with the pacing of the relationship development. The chemistry is great, and the intimate scenes were spicy. Fun shifter read!
Bear in Furry Armor -
Another cute shifter story!! Bear in Furry Armor is really sweet! Amberely owns a bakery, and she also happens to be a witch. Jayson is a bear shifter, who has known that Amberely is the one for him, but her mother doesn't approve of her daughter mating with a shifter, so she keeps trying to keep them apart. Amberely feels for Jayson as well, but she doesn't feel confident in herself and worth to be worth the trouble her mother is causing. Jayson is adorable! I love how he knows what he wants and is willing to do what it takes to make it happen. Amberely and Jayson start out a bit slow, but they do get wild! I enjoyed this quick read!
Thursday, January 19, 2017
She trusted him with her future. How could she have known it was her heart she had to protect…
I know stealing is wrong but those poor, forgotten children needed my help.
I had no other choice. For a few short weeks, I made a real difference.
But my luck ran out. In the blink of an eye, I went from an angel of mercy to a mouse caught in a trap.
Now, I have a choice to make…give up everything I’ve ever known or trust a vampire to make it all go away.
He says he can give me back my life, my career…everything I’ve worked so hard to achieve.
But there’s a price…
In a world where blood is a commodity and sex is the prize, this cold, aloof vampire is my only way out…or is he?
The Vampire Blood Courtesans.
It's not supposed to be about love...until it is.
MY REVIEW -
I've been staying away from this series because I don't really care for the premise of being a blood courtesan A.K.A prostitute, for a vampire, so even though some of the main stories have sounded interesting, I had decided not to read this series, but when I saw Julia Mills had written a book in this world, I decided to give it a go because I really enjoy her writing. I did enjoy this story, and was glad the blood courtesan thing wasn't too big a part of this book; although the courtesan training scenes did go on a bit long for my likes, but that is a small thing because I enjoyed the rest of the story. Katharine is a nurse, who came across some children that have escaped from a gang of bad vampires that have been feeding on them, so she does what she can to help keep the children hidden from the bad vamps, but the bad vamps want the children back and are threating Kat, and on top of that threat the children got sick and need antibiotics, so Kat made the decision to steal medicine for them and got caught. She is in trouble, but luckily Roarke comes to her aide. Kat becomes Roarke's blood courtesan, and has told Kat he will help her and the children. I enjoyed the action and suspense throughout the book, and I enjoyed that there's a sense of danger in the story. I liked Kat's feistiness; although I do think she was a little too quick in accepting the whole blood courtesan thing, but for the most part she maintained her character. The romance is actually pretty sweet, and the intimate scenes will definitely heat your blood. I do like vampire stories, so I'm all on board for that, and I do think Roarke was a nice contrast between badass and sweetheart. I'm still on the fence about reading other blood courtesan books, but I'll just have to take it on book by book basis. Entertaining and fun!
Ace Levatino was the new alpha wolf in town. He returned to his hometown to challenge for his rightful place as alpha and to finally claim his mate. There has only ever been one woman for him and her disappearance 10 years ago still haunts his every thought. His wolf demands that he find her.
Daniella Harper was tired of running. Ten years ago she left everything that she held dear to get away from her betrothed. She refused to mate with one of the most vicious alphas in the Midwest. With a heavy heart, she ran far away and started a new life but devastating news would send her running back home.
Coming home has Daniella realizing how much she had missed her family and with the new alpha’s attention she’s no longer sure she wants to leave again.
MY REVIEW -
I really enjoyed this! I loved all the characters, and the romance was really sweet. Dani is a wolf shifter, who had to leave her pack because her parents promised her to the pack Alpha's son; despite Dani's protests, even when her parents die in a car accident, the promise is still in effect, and Dani knows she needs to runaway because the Alpha and his son are ruthless, horrible people, so she runs away when she turns 18. Dani has had to keep moving places, so she isn't found and forced back, but when she receives a call from her best friend, Hope, that Hope's mom is sick, Dani decides to return home to be there for Hope and her family. By the way, I love that Hope wasn't your typical boy crazy, bimbo best friend that is usually in books, it is so refreshing to have a friend that is great just like the heroine, and I would be happy to have a book with Hope finding her person. While Dani has been away, Ace stepped up and challenged the previous Alpha for control of the pack and won, so now he is the new Alpha, and he is also ready to claim Dani as his mate, but there may be some bumps in the road, when animals with their throats slashed begin to turn up near pack territory. I love that Asa and Dani don't play games, and I love how devoted Asa is to Dani. They are so sweet together, and they are hot together. Dani is a strong female, and Asa is perfectly Alpha with a softer side. Loved them both! I liked the added suspense with finding out who is killing the animals. Definitely checking out more from Ariel Marie, and hopefully more books with these characters! Short shifter sweetness!
Wednesday, January 18, 2017
Cover Reveal for Lisa Kessler's new book!! Wolf Moon!!!! Super Excited to Read This One!!! Lisa Kessler is Awesome!!
The Wolf Pack is BACK!
5 stars! "The author works her own type of magic on the reader pulling you into her world of wolf shifters and romance. A combination that has become a guilty obsession of mine.....not to mention my love of everything I've read by this author. It's sure to become a guilty addiction of yours too!" ~Patricia, Goodreads
About Wolf Moon:
As the last Pack member without a mate, Luke Reynolds has become an outsider. When he takes a job as the head horse trainer in Sedona, Arizona, he’s looking forward to starting a new life. But everything changes the night he finds a beautiful woman stranded on the side of the highway.
Raven Wood has been bitten and turned against her will. Luckily, her spirit is stronger than most, and she has every intention of escaping the Sedona Pack. Somehow. The sexy lone wolf who rescues her might be just the answer she’s looking for.
But the Sedona Pack Alpha has a mission, and unless Luke and Raven can stop him, they’ll lose everything.
*Note: Each book in the Moon series is a standalone, full-length story that can be enjoyed out of order.*
5 stars! "Lisa Kessler has done it again!!!! I started reading this story...and could not put it down!!! The whole MOON SERIES!!! Is awesome!!" ~Jan M, Goodreads
About Lisa Kessler:
Lisa Kessler is an award winning author of dark paranormal fiction. Her debut novel, Night Walker, won a San Diego Book Award for Best Published Fantasy-Sci-fi-Horror as well as the Romance Through the Ages Award for Best Paranormal and Best First Book.
Her short stories have been published in print anthologies and magazines, and her vampire story, Immortal Beloved, was a finalist for a Bram Stoker award.
When she's not writing, Lisa is a professional vocalist, performing with the San Diego Opera as well as other musical theater companies in San Diego.
Love or family?
Finding the man of her dreams, Adeline Montgomery is finally ready to spend her life with Blake Greenwood. But happily-ever-afters aren’t in the cards for a woman who deals with the dead on a daily basis.
Forced to team up with her greatest enemy, Addie must embrace her gift—in order to save those she loves. Desperate to uncover the truth behind her father and grandfather’s disappearances, Addie delves further into the past—confronting the demons of her background. The deeper she digs, the closer she comes to destroying everything she’s ever hoped for. Torn between her loyalty to her family and her love for Blake, Addie must choose between the two. One touch could break them all…
MY REVIEW -
Wow! I loved this! It's so interesting and unique, and the story flows beautifully, and has some twists and turns in the story that keep you reading until the book is finished. This is book 2 in the series, so you will want to read the first book before this one because the story picks up right where the first ended. Adeline and Blake are deeply in love, and are soul mates, who have loved in a past life. Adeline has the power to touch objects and see their history, which I find to be super cool! In the first book, Blake and Addie helped the police capture art thief, Otto, and when this book begins they are waiting to testify against him, but things don't go according to plan, and since Otto knows the power Addie holds, he is determined to have her work for him, and he is willing to get his way no matter the means. Blake has protection on Addie, but Otto has his wily ways, so Blake and Addie need to figure out a way to get Otto off their back, but when Otto dangles knowledge of Addie's missing family in front of her nose, Addie is finding it hard to resist Otto's offer. Blake and Addie set off on a grand adventure for information, and some of what they find is unbelievable. Secrets are revealed, mysteries are solved, and danger is a foot! I love both Addie and Blake, their love is so sweet, and the depth of their passion for each other is so romantic; it makes me swoon. I love the mystery surrounding Addie's missing family, and I love all the art talk. I was excited by the whole premise of this book, and I just love where the author has taken this story! I'm definitely reading the next book, and more from Alyssa Richards!
Tuesday, January 17, 2017
Guardian Daire has one mission: eradicate the lycanthropes before they can prey on the citizens of St. Joseph, Michigan. Then, he meets the stunning Grace. He's an immortal dragon shifter tied to the Goddess Astraea and bound to the Aquarius constellation. He can never have anything more than a passing relationship, but that doesn't stop him from craving her. The full moon is quickly approaching, and if he fails his mission, Grace and all the residents of the tiny town will become victims of the lycanthrope.
Single mom Grace is barely getting by, living paycheck to paycheck. Luck isn't on her side, and things only seem to be getting worse. Grace is thrust into a world she never knew existed. Determined to work with Daire to save her town, she offers to help the Zodiac Guardian. He's an immortal and she's human. But that doesn't stop her from craving his touch.
MY REVIEW -
This was a cute short story, and I loved the Guardians aspect, and that each Guardian is a different type of supernatural. We get dragon; regular and water, mermaids, and there are also some lycanthropes who are up to no good. I enjoyed the action scenes, and I liked the history of the Guardians; they are warriors for the Goddess Astraea. Grace is a single mother, who has to deal with her cheater of an ex-husband for the sake of their son, but she's doing what she can to make a new life for herself and her son. Daire is a Guardian, who can shift into a dragon, he is in town to find some lycanthropes who have been rampaging through towns; killing or turning people against their will, so he and a couple of other Guardians are in search of these lycanthropes before they can overrun another town. Daire and Grace cross paths, and both feel a connection between them, but Daire has his duties for the Goddess and will have to leave town soon; plus he's immortal and Grace isn't, so both know their time is limited. The romance is really sweet with a bit of spice, and I liked the chemistry between Grace and Daire. Grace has tenacity and I like that she stands up for herself. Daire is a good guy, and I loved the scenes when he uses his dragon abilities. Short, sweet, and interesting! Looking forward to more!
Pirates, dragons, mermaids. Embark on a coming of age journey that will leave you breathless.
Prophecy says that the half-blood dragon will destroy the world - some might be looking forward to it.
A lady-in-waiting's job is to follow orders. For Rowen, it is to execute her stepfather's plan to elevate the family's station by an advantageous marriage to the crown prince.
Intrigue and seduction fill Rowen's days, but the prophecies that haunt her dreams at night warn her that death awaits.
The taunts of her sleepless nights are realized when she is framed and sentenced to death for the prince's murder.
For a human, there’s nowhere to run and no one to turn to in a kingdom where power is tightly held by full-blooded dragon shifters.
It will take a stranger from the shadows to save Rowen from execution and reveal a truth full of terrifying potential. It is time for Rowen to find the courage to accept her fate, awaken her gift, and set the world on fire.
Change is coming. So is a new prophecy that threatens the fate of the entire world.
MY REVIEW -
First off, I love the cover!! I really enjoyed the premise for this book, and there are some unique, interesting characters. Also, I felt like the story had a couple surprises and twists in it that I wasn't expecting; a couple I guessed, but also a couple I didn't, so I liked that the story took a different turn than the norm. In the beginning, I wasn't quite feeling the story because I'm not huge on court politics, so I was glad when the story went in a different direction, and the beginnings of an epic quest began, but the ending of this book felt a bit abrupt; I do want to know more for sure though, so I'm looking forward to the next book, but this book did feel like we've barely even begun the story. I do think the last chapter was an excellent tease for events to come in the next books, and I look forward to seeing how Rowan will react to this news, and how the person's whose POV the chapter is in will explain themselves (sorry being vague on purpose). I love Lee's descriptions, and I really feel like this story has some really great places it can go; I'm really hoping an epic journey is in the works! In this book, Rowen is half-dragon and half-human, and because of this she is treated as inferior, but because her family has some social standing, she has been allowed to be a lady-in-waiting to the Princess of the royal family, but people still treat Rowan as inferior. Rowan tries to keep her strength and not let these people affect her, but one person can only deal with so much, and she is also dealing with having certain powers that are forbidden to have that she must keep a secret; powers she could be killed for, and on top of that she has seen a prophecy that doesn't bode well for her, so Rowan feels like she has the weight of the World on her shoulders, and her options are limited, so she is a bit trapped. I love that dragons are involved, and I enjoyed the pirate aspect; although I didn't really care for the Captain's character. This book has good bones, and I'm excited to read the next book!
Monday, January 16, 2017
SYNOPSIS FOR BOXSET -
Who cares if it’s cold outside? Curl up with this collection of hot shifters, sure to warm up the coldest winter nights! Spend this holiday season in the company of wolves and bears—And let’s not forget those super HOT dragons!
There’s something for everyone in this wonderful collection, from your favorite from NY Times and USA Today bestselling paranormal romance authors. Guaranteed to steam up these Happy Howling Holidays!
Bear in Furry Armor - Emma Alisyn
Bearly Christmas - Becca Fanning
A Roaring Fire - Kim Faulks
Cowboy Bear’s Christmas Surprise - Scarlett Grove
Beary Merry Winter - Kate Kent
Her Dragon’s No Angel - Julia Mills
A True Alpha Christmas - Alisa Woods
The Cowbear’s Christmas Shotgun Wedding - Liv Brywood
Bear My Perfect Gift - Ariana Hawkes
Prey - Chloe Cole
Santa Paws - Harmony Raines
Bear Winter - Michele Bardsley
A Dragon’s Gift - C. E. Black
Andre - V. Vaughn
SYNOPSIS FOR SANTA PAWS by HARMONY RAINES -
All Dermot wants for Christmas is a mate. Because a mate will lead to cubs, and a family to spend the holidays with.
But since Dermot, a paramedic, hasn't met his special lady yet, he agrees, as he always does, to work Christmas so others can enjoy time with their families.
However, fate is about to step in and give him just what he needs.
Vicky is a reindeer shifter who has lost her Christmas spirit. Can Dermot help her find it before it's too late?
Too late for what? You'll have to read Santa Paws to find out...
MY REVIEW -
*So far, this review is only for Santa Paws by Harmony Raines*
This was super cute! I love shifters and I love Christmas, so put those two together, and I'm a happy camper! Dermot is a bear shifter, and Vicky is a reindeer shifter, which is awesome! This story definitely has the spirit of Christmas! Dermot is a paramedic, who hasn't met his mate yet, so he works for Christmas so others with families don't have to. Vicky has left home because she isn't feeling the Christmas spirit anymore and just wants to be left alone, but when she meets Dermot, she knows he is her mate and she can't resist him. Dermot is grateful he has found his mate, but he is worried because Vicky is holding back some. The romance is lovely, sweet, and we also get some hot moments! I definitely wanted more with Vicky and Dermot! Looking forward to reading more by Harmony Raines and more in this series! So far, this boxset is rockin'!
Sunday, January 15, 2017
Butt-kicking Guardian, Madelyn Mason, is the only female in a sea of supernatural males. College student by day, she spends her nights fighting for mankind--the innocents, the ones who have no clue that the things of nightmares walk among the living.
Larger than life Hollywood hunk, Brady Devens, has won the hearts of millions of adoring fans. But, the only heart he wants to win is that of his mate, Madelyn. She hasn't shown an interest in him as anything more than a friend, and he’s beginning to think the Powers That Be goofed.
In this world of magik, mishap, demons, gods, and pleasure nymphs, anything is possible. Can they find a love that transcends time and space or will the Powers That Be decide maybe they weren’t destined for one another after all?
MY REVIEW -
So, I ended up really enjoying this book. The premise is interesting, unique, and I loved the action scenes. The reason why I say I ended up enjoying the book is because the characters came off rather moronic at times, and I was having a hard time wanting to continue. Also, I listened to the audiobook version of this story, and the narrator was really grating on my nerves. Her voice was really breathy, and added to my thoughts that the female lead was a ditzy bimbo, and at times her voice was a bit robotic, so I was having a hard time getting past that to continue the story, but I pressed on and I was glad I did. I do really enjoy Mandy M. Roth's writing, but I think I will stay away from this narrator from now on. The premise is really cool in this book, Madelyn is a Guardian that kicks some major supernatural butt!! She is put into lots of dangerous situations, and she has people out to kill her because she is a Guardian and she is immensely powerful. Loved the suspense, and how the secrets unfold. I love that this story has a lot of different supernaturals! Madelyn also has a best friend, Brady, who she has recently moved in with, but he doesn't know anything about what Madelyn does, or how powerful she is, so she does what she can to hide it from him, so he won't be in danger, but Madelyn may not be the only one keeping secrets, and both Brady and Madelyn have been kept in the dark about a lot of things. Now, Madelyn at the beginning of the book came off really ditzy and clueless, Brady and her rub up on each other and such, and it is very obvious that Brady wants her, but she just doesn't get it! There's many times in this book where people say things that are huge clues to who they are, or what they are doing, and she just doesn't pick up on it; it's like she is off in la la land, so I was annoyed with that aspect of her character. Brady is an actor, and I hate all the fan-girling involved in that, so I'm glad it wasn't too huge a part of this book. I happen to love shifter books, so I was super happy that Mates is a thing in this book, and the sex scenes are hot! I was actually surprised at how intense they were since the characters felt rather young to me, so at first I was a bit startled, but I did enjoy them. The action scenes were badass! And I found them highly entertaining. I found this story gripping, and at times really heartfelt. This story ended satisfactory, but there is still a bigger story that needs to be completed, so I'm looking forward to continuing the story. The next book looks like it deals with different main characters, which I'm looking forward to, but I also hope we get more from Madelyn and Brady. The things I could've totally done with out are Vance and the Pleasure Nymphs, I can't stand characters that are pretty much prostitutes; especially the overly sexual Nymphs, they do have some comic relief because of how ridiculous they are, but not enough for me to enjoy their parts in the story. So yeah, I'm looking forward to the next book, staying away from the audio version, and going to continue to enjoy Mandy M. Roth's books! She has some great ones!
I came to Earth determined to fulfill my purpose. My home planet of Megleron is dying and my people are threatened. It is up to me to find a new planet we can consider home. But I may have found something more...
From afar, I have admired her. Stacy is headstrong and independent, focused on her career alone. But the more I get to know her, the more I find myself breaking my one and only rule—never fall in love, especially to a human.
She has vowed to never love again, and I am determined to change her mind. But can love abound a whole universe of differences?
MY REVIEW -
I haven't read a lot of alien romances, but the ones I have read, I've really enjoyed, so I thought Zarak sounded like something I would enjoy, and I did! I like that Zarak wasn't just one big sex scene, but actually had an interesting story to it; now, don't get me wrong, there is sex in this book, and it was hot! Zarak is an alien, whose planet is dying, so he and a team of other aliens are sent to Earth to see if it is suitable for his kind to move there, and also find a group of his people that went missing about a year ago on Earth. Once on Earth, Zarak and his team begin their search for their missing people, and despite it being forbidden, Zarak is attracted to a human woman, Stacy, and as they grow closer, Zarak worries how she will feel when she finds out he isn't from Earth; especially since Stacy has some trust issues. The sex to story ratio was good, and I liked all the characters in the book. I do wish a bit more time was spent on Zarak and Stacy's relationship, but this is a fairly short book, so I understand some things need to be glossed over a bit. I also wish there was a little bit more drama to things; everything just seemed too easy, and it would've been a little more exciting for the action scenes to pack more of a punch. There's a bit of a side storyline with Stacy's landlord that think fell flat, and I think it could've been used to create a bit more drama in the story. The story is interesting though, and I liked where the story is going, and I would like to see where these characters go. I think each book is going to be about a different couple, which is cool, and I'm looking forward to reading where the story is going to go, but I would like to have more story about Zarak and Stacy too, so I'm hoping there will be more for them. There is one thing that I really didn't enjoy in this book, and it is a bit of a spoiler, so I'm giving warning, but it isn't a plot spoiler, so it isn't too bad of a spoiler, so SPOILER WARNING!!! So, there is a sex scene between Zarak and another woman, and it is detailed, and I absolutely hate that in books, so I didn't enjoy that part one bit. It is before he meets Stacy, but I still hate when authors have detailed sex scenes between the Hero or Heroine with other people, so I skimmed past the whole thing, so if you don't like that type of thing, definitely skim right past that part. Since I skimmed it, it didn't ruin the story for me.
Thursday, January 12, 2017
Heather Luth knows nothing about the paranormal world until one awful night changes everything. Now she’s on the run — straight into the arms of forbidden love. Her mind knows better than to fall for Cody Hawthorne’s sunny smile and mesmerizing voice, but her heart — and destiny — have other ideas.
On the surface, Cody is warm, witty, and fun, but beneath his carefree facade, Heather sees a real man struggling to break free. Day by day, Heather and Cody grow closer and closer, unable to resist their simmering passion — while day by day, a serial murderer closes in on his prey. Duty fights desire; fear wrestles trust as the human world clashes with the paranormal in a tale of forbidden love.
MY REVIEW -
I really enjoy Anna Lowe's books, I like her take on shifters, and each book is short and sweet, and packs a punch. I enjoy that each book is about a different couple, but there are still glimpses of the previous characters. In Desert Blood, Heather has experienced something insane, and she is being stalked by a creature that shouldn't exist, so she leaves her home and takes a job as a teacher at the Twin Moon Ranch. Cody is a werewolf, who is part of the Twin Moon Ranch pack, he's always been a sort of ladies man, but lately he is getting tired of not feeling a connection, and of putting on a show as the fun-loving, carefree guy, who isn't responsible enough to take on important roles in the pack, so he has decided to step-up in hopes of being taken more seriously, but it's difficult to change the way people think of you. When strange murders are happening near the ranch, Cody sees a chance to prove his worth to his father and the pack, but when Cody and his wolf start feeling a draw towards Heather, a human, a wrench is thrown into his plans. Cody's father would not approve of Cody mating with a human, so Cody tries to resist his pull towards Heather, and Heather is only suppose to be at the ranch for a short time, so she tries to resist her attraction towards Cody, but the heart wants what the heart wants. I like that in Anna Lowe's books there are some action scenes; they are intense! Both characters are great, and I was only ticked at Cody at one point in this book, and I was sort of hoping that he would have to answer for that a little bit more. Heather is strong, and I loved the scenes with her field hockey stick; badass! The intimate scenes were great too, we get a dirty dancing type scene, that was hot! And there is also, a yoga type scene that was interesting to picture, lol! I like that there is POV's from both Cody and Heather, and they are super sweet together. I also listened to the audio version of this, and the narrator is awesome! She really brings the story to life! Definitely reading the next book in this series, and looking forward to more from Anna Lowe!
Sunday, January 8, 2017
PSI-Ops Series is a spin-off series to the Immortal Ops World.
Paranormal Security and Intelligence Operative Duke Marlow has a new mission: find, interrogate and eliminate the target—Mercy Deluca. She’s more than he bargained for and Intel has it all wrong. She’s not the enemy. Far from it. Intel forgot to mention one vital piece of information—she’s Duke’s mate. And this immortal alpha werewolf doesn’t take kindly to her being in danger.
MY REVIEW -
I enjoyed the humor in this book, and the characters are great! I also love military romances, and when you also add in shifters, I'm definitely a happy reader! Duke is part of a military type group, and he receives a mission to rescue one of their team that has been captured. Mercy works for the company that has captured Duke's team mate, but it is only recently that she has discovered how cruel their practices are, so she decides she will do anything she possibly can to rescue every test subject there and bring the corporation down. Unfortunately, when she sends information to Duke's team about their team mates, she forgets to add a code word that would inform them that she isn't a hostile, so now she has to fear that they may try to kill her along with the rest of the corporation. I loved the banter with Duke and his team mates, but I didn't love that they are hound dogs. There's a scene in a coffee shop that I could've really done without! I loved all the action, and I enjoyed getting to know the other team mates, but I do wish more time was spent on Duke and Mercy as a couple. I love the scenario of mates finding each other, and Mercy and Duke have some super hot moments together, and also some really sweet, tender moments. I loved the scenes when Duke is a wolf! I love that Mercy is intelligent, and when she is under stress, she is such a weirdo! I did enjoy the humor, but I do at times wish somethings would've been taken a little more seriously. I listened to this story on audiobook, and the narrator is male, and for the most part he does a good job, but the accents were a little weird, and made the story seem even more comical, but I still enjoyed his narration. I'm definitely looking forward to reading the next book in this series, and checking out more by Mandy M. Roth!
It is 2217. Civil War rages in London, England. The Pearson family in the East set their might against the Renzo stronghold in the West. Blood, destruction, death and toil. Many face the storm; few emerge in one piece.
Raphael Renzo, Morpher and youngest son of the famed Lord Renzo, leads his warriors into battle against the blood-thirsty, malevolent forces of thugs and hooligans who threaten to destroy everything he seeks to protect and all he holds dear. There can only be one outcome: victory. But Raphael must be careful; for the road to victory is rife with snares and not all is what it seems...
MY REVIEW -
I really loved this one! I'm so happy to see Skye and Raph grow into their own, and the depth of their feelings for each other makes my heart sigh with happiness. I think it is best to have read the first book because it will help you better understand Sky and Raph, and how they became a couple. In this book, Skye and Raph have been dating for awhile, and although Skye has come a long way with her confidence, she still has moments of self-doubt, but she is trying to find her way in Raph's world. It also doesn't help that her wolf is a little bit aggressive. The thugs are continuing to cause problems, and Raph has bodyguards looking after Skye and her mom, but when some power players for the bad side start upping their game, the possibility of a war brewing becomes more and more of a reality. I love that Skye and Raph are Morphers, and I love the scenes when they are in animal form and are together. The depth of love Raph has for Skye is so sweet, and I love how he isn't afraid to show Skye how he feels. I hope in the next book Skye evolves even more, and she shows more of what her wolf is capable of. I loved how involving this story is, and the writing is great, and I find the whole story really unique. There are some very brutal things that happen in this book, and we are left with a cliffhanger, so I definitely need the next book!
Thursday, January 5, 2017
Scandal. Blackmail. Obsession. It’s just another day if you’re a Marinossian. When Annika disappears without a trace, Talvi launches the hunt for his most infuriating rival yet. His only clues are from a government he’s increasingly at odds with. In exchange for access to their resources, he does the unthinkable and reveals Annika’s true nature. Time is short, but the list of names Talvi can trust keeps getting shorter.
Back home at the family’s country estate, his brother Finn is blindsided when the missing redhead turns up injured with no recollection of how she arrived. While his mother tends to her physical wounds, Finn’s given the task of restoring her memory…and he just can’t resist showing her his version of the truth. But playing mind games is like playing roulette—and someone’s luck is about to run out.
MY REVIEW -
I really enjoy the writing of this series, and the story is interesting, so I do want to know what is going to happen, so that keeps me reading. The actions of the characters are still despicable for the most part, and there are a lot of POV's in this book, which I wasn't completely feeling because I felt it bogged down the story, but Cannaday did do a good job of making it flow nicely, but I just didn't really care about some of the characters, so I cared even less about their POV. You should definitely read the previous books before this book, and this one does end with a cliffhanger, so you'll want to read the next book. In this book, Annika has been kidnapped, and Talvi sets out to find her, but a lot of other things are at work that are keeping Talvi and Annika apart. First off, I wanted more time with Annika and Talvi, and I also wanted less of them with other people. Talvi takes some actions with Merri way too far in my opinion, and I know he had a plan in place, but I was still grossed out by his actions as a married man, but I am glad Merri got put in her place a bit, and I'm not liking that Merri seems to be more present a character in this series. Actually, I felt Talvi should've been more present in the book, and I would've liked to see more of what he was doing to find Annika. Annika has to go through a very trying ordeal, and I felt for her, and she didn't get on my nerves as much as she usually does, but I do think she needs to stop thinking the grass is always greener on the other side, and be thankful for what she has. Annika and Finn's "friendship" wasn't exactly something I enjoyed reading, and I was really disappointed to learn what happened in Paris in the previous book. Finn isn't necessarily thinking clearly through most of this book, and I felt his actions towards Annika were a bit shady. I believe I know what is up with Finn in the ending of this book, so I'll have to check out the next book to see if my assumptions are right. I am looking forward to reading the next book in the series, but I would definitely be happy if Annika and Talvi would be together for the majority of the book, and that their relationship would find a happy place without so much drama. One can hope!!
Wednesday, January 4, 2017
My family might be worth billions, but we’ve always been proud to serve our country in the military, in every generation. I put in my four tours of duty - but they left me with shrapnel in my leg and voices that attack and torment me every night.
All I want is for these ghosts in my head to leave me alone. Pills help; booze helps more. I’m broken, and I can’t be fixed.
Especially not by some young, hot-shot female psychiatrist who seems to get off on pestering me with questions.
Beneath my veneer of professional composure, I’m a nervous wreck. I’m basically broke, and I can’t afford to lose a single patient. Richard Stone might be a rude, arrogant ass, but I just can’t turn him away.
He might be tall and very easy on the eyes, but he’s got a hard core that he won’t let me touch. I know he’s broken, and he needs my help.
But as I work to connect with this handsome, haunted soldier, I find him slipping into my thoughts more and more. I can’t stop picturing the two of us together, breaking every taboo as we make love…
MY REVIEW -
I love military romances, so I enjoyed that aspect of this book, and for the most part I enjoyed the bulk of this story. Richard was wounded in the military, and he now had PTSD. He drinks, pops pills, and sleeps with random women he calls bimbos; sometimes 2 at a time, which the author goes into a bit, which I could've done without, but I do think those scenes show that Richard is in a downward spiral and it is just a matter of time before he really harms himself. He goes to refill his pills, but his doctor at the VA hospital thinks Richard needs to seek help for his PTSD besides the pills, so he sends Richard to see a psychiatrist. Linda is the psychiatrist, and she wants to help Richard, but he gets under her skin and she is attracted to him, so she has difficulties. She tries to maintain professionalism, and for the most part she succeeds, but overtime the 2 begin to bond. I don't really get how Linda would be turned on by Richard, he is a complete ass to her the first time they meet, and he continues to be self-destructive, so Linda's attraction to him didn't feel like it was based on anything except his looks, and Richard also happens to be super rich, and I felt like that was emphasized too much. There are some sweet, raw moments between Richard and Linda, so I really loved those scenes, and there is some passion between them. I also liked the banter between Richard and his brothers. Those boys definitely need some TLC! I feel like the consequences of Richard's actions should've been more discussed because he does some rather awful things that could've turned out way worse, and I feel like he uses Linda as a crutch, so I would've liked to see more of a turn around on his attitude and behavior. I still enjoyed reading about Linda and Richard figuring out what they want and growing as people, and the story kept me interested. I think it would be interesting to see where Richard's brothers are going, and to see them grow up, so I'd like to read their books.
Lana Dixon knows well enough to steer clear of alpha males, but Ty Hawthorne is as impossible to avoid as the sizzling Arizona sun. Her inner wolf just won’t give up on the alpha who’s tall, dark, and more than a little dangerous. One midnight romp under the full moon is enough for Lana to know she’ll risk her life for him — but what about her pride?
Ty puts duty above everything — even the overwhelming instinct that says Lana’s the one. She’s the Juliet to his Romeo: forbidden. And with a pack of poaching rogues closing in, it’s hardly the time to yield to his desires. Or is love just what this lonely alpha needs to set his spirit free?
There’s more than meets the eye on Twin Moon Ranch, home to a pack of shapeshifting wolves willing to battle for life and love.
MY REVIEW -
I love shifters, and Anna Lowe does a great job of mixing shifters, romance, and suspense! I love the connection her characters have, and I love the hint of danger in this story! Lana, a wolf shifter, accompanies her grandmother to Arizona to help her get settled in her new home, and while she is there she meets, Ty, son of the Alpha and next in line to be Alpha of his pack. Lana and Ty feel an attraction and a connection to each other, but each has their reasons for trying to stay away from the other. Lana is a strong women, who doesn't want to be involved with an Alpha who just wants a little wife to take care of the home, and Ty tries to stay away from Lana because he felt a connection when he was younger, and is waiting for the person he calls his "Phantom", and also he believes his father may have some issue with Lana because of who her family is. On top of Ty and Lana figuring out what they want from each other, there are also some loose Rogues, who are killing things around Ty's family's land, so that adds to the pressure on Ty and Lana. They have excellent chemistry; awesome sex scenes! I liked that once Lana decided what she wanted, she went for it, and I enjoyed the depth of passion Ty and Lana feel. The trouble with the Rogues was intense! Exciting and fierce! I love how Anna Lowe had scenes where Lana and Ty are in their wolf forms, and I like the way the story unfolds. There are dual POV's, which is awesome, and I would have loved if Ty had another chapter in his POV after the events at the end. I love how strong both characters are, and I enjoyed the desert setting. I listened to the audiobook version of this book, and the narrator was good in some parts and not so good in others. She did a great job during the intimate scenes, but sometimes she would say things that didn't come across right, or were hard to hear, and also there were parts where it sounded like some parts were recorded at a different recording session, but luckily it didn't bring me out of the story too much. Looking forward to the next book in the series, and definitely want more from Anna Lowe!
Sunday, January 1, 2017
Scientist Bridget Dutton has no time for traditional love. Her heart belongs to her work. Even though taking chemical readings of ocean water isn't her thing, she's willing to put in her time for her chance at exploring the Abyss. When her boat is attacked from below, Bridget's dream just might come true sooner than planned.
Caderyn the Hunter, the sexiest--and perhaps craziest--man she's ever laid eyes on may have rescued her from death, but who's going to rescue her from him? With a deliciously hot body and all the right moves, the man is a walking seduction that's too hard to resist. There's only one problem. Caderyn claims they're in the Abyss, living on a cursed island along the deep ocean floor. And, if that wasn't bad enough, he says he's a merman.
Sparks fly. Desires heat. But can Caderyn convince the logical Bridget there's room for more than one love in her heart?
MY REVIEW -
I loved that this book is about Mer people! It was awesome that the setting was in a city deep in the ocean, and I liked the story that went along with why the Mer are there. Bridget is a scientist on a boat, who has dreams of studying the deep sea, when her boat is attacked, and she is taken to an underwater city by a Merman named, Caderyn. Caderyn is a fine Mer specimen, but Bridget is really unsure about being in this Mer kingdom. Caderyn feels an attraction to Bridget, and has hopes that Bridget will choose him to be mates with. Bridget doesn't handle any of this well, and I was really getting ticked off at how inconsiderate she is, and for a scientist, she makes a lot of stupid decisions, assumes way too much about how she is going to be treated without any evidence to make her think that way, and flies off the handle, so she comes across as bitchy and rude. Caderyn does put her in her place at times, which I was definitely happy about! She definitely needed to be brought down a peg. That's really my only critique, well, there is also all the butt talk that I could've done without, and also the pleasure nymph scene; I would've been happier if it was just eluded to, but the rest of the book was interesting and fun. The sex scenes were hot, and it was lots of fun to see how the Mer people live, and it was cool to see the landscapes in the Mer world. I like that there is a bit of adventure in this book, and the story is unique. Caderyn is a sweetheart, who is a Saint for putting up with Bridget. Bridget does have her moments, and Caderyn and her do have some really sweet moments. This is the first book I have read by Michelle M. Pillow, and I would love to read more! I'm looking forward to the next book in this series! I also listened to the audiobook of this story, and I think the narrator did an excellent job! She even did the moans during the sex scenes!