Category Archives: Review

Review: Just Almost Friends by Jill Shalvis

Almost Just Friends

Jill Shalvis

Wildstone Series, Book 4

Paperback, 384 pages
Expected publication: January 21st 2020 by William Morrow Paperbacks

New York Times bestselling author Jill Shalvis returns to Wildstone with the touching story of finding your place in the world—and the people who make it home.

Piper Manning’s about as tough as they come, she’s had to be. She raised her siblings and they’ve thankfully flown the coop. All she has to do is finish fixing up the lake house her grandparents left her, sell it, and then she’s free.

When a massive storm hits, she runs into a tall, dark and brooding stranger, Camden Reid. There’s a spark there, one that shocks her. Surprising her further, her sister and brother return, each of them holding their own secrets. The smart move would be for Piper to ignore them all but Cam unleashes emotions deep inside of her that she can’t deny, making her yearn for something she doesn’t understand. And her siblings…well, they need each other.

Only when the secrets come out, it changes everything Piper thinks she knows about her family, herself…and Cam. Can she find a way to outrun the demons? The answer is closer than she thinks—just as the new life she craves may have already begun.

 

 

4.5 Stars

 

 Almost Just Friends is almost too real. Heart and home, trust and sacrifice, hurt and healing wrapped in a tale family and love.

Piper thinks she got herself on the right track. She has a game plan, lots of lists and more than enough will to accomplish the goals she sets. Piper is as fierce and tenacious as they come. Growing up fast, caring for her siblings and trying to make the best of what they had, has given Piper a hard edge, but the woman has a heart like no other. She is not a stranger to sacrifice, and she would sacrifice over and over again for those she loves.

In blows a storm that lights a spark with a stranger, carrying her siblings home and a bucket full of secrets to make Piper’s head spin. Just wanting a new life became something altogether different than what she want. But needed more than she knew. With a handsome Cam knocking on her romance door, her siblings and their respective secrets eating at her, Piper’s new life hands already began.

Almost Just Friends is all about family, those born to you and those you choose to bring in. Hot messes and all. Life is not always easy but those around you make it a lot better. Ms. Shalvis twisted wit and humor with emotion and life’s choices that make people people discover who they are and whom they want to be. Piper and Cam captivate reader with the depth at which they will go and of just who they are. A story you truly don’t want to miss.

 

 

Review: Hero’s Haven by Rebecca Zanetti

Hero’s Haven
Rebecca Zanetti
Dark Protectors Series, Book 11
Paperback, 336 pages
Expected publication: January 21st 2020 by Lyrical Press

After years of struggling, Haven Daly has finally accepted that she’s nuttier than a fruitcake. Why else would she see visions of a beautiful but tormented male every night . . . and actually believe she can talk to him, even feel his touch?  But thanks to those dream journeys, she can paint images nobody else on earth can duplicate. In each brush stroke, she captures the blatant masculinity and raw desire in his eyes that promise he’s coming for her…and soon.

She’s the light that keeps him going. . .

Quade Kayrs has already suffered a lifetime of pain and torture. Completely isolated, he kept his sanity  thanks to one beautiful female, a vision with kind emerald eyes. In the end, her soft voice led him out of hell. Now, naked and alone, he’s in a strange world that bears little resemblance to the one he left behind. All he knows is Haven.  All he wants is Haven.  His final mission? To protect her from the evil hunting them both—whether she likes it or not . . .

 

 

4 Stars

 

Quade Kayrs has spent more than a few lifetimes living and dying in pure hell. The only thing that seems to keep him going are those few moments, those glimpses of a beautiful woman invading his realm.  Haven Daly thinks she’s crazy but unique is a more appropriate way to describe her. A fiercely independent woman, an amazing artist and a girl on the run.

 

Driven by visions and a pull Haven and Quade start the wheels of motion on something that makes epic look small.  Through an action packed, fast paced, dangerous story Haven and Quade build a sexual tension that practically just off the pages. The banter between these two is top notch.  Their chemistry is intense as is everything else going on in the book. The depths they easily went to for one another made every bit of craziness so worth.

 

Hero’s Haven is a true on the edge of your seat read. Once I started, I couldn’t stop reading until I was done.  Strong characters and fabulous world building are just the start of why I enjoyed. The action scenes are spot on and engaging. And let’s just say those hot moments are definitely on fire. Ms. Zanetti kept Haven and Quade’s story moving yet nothing felt rushed or unnatural for the story. A true heart pounding, blood pumping read.

 

 

Review: Murder Ink by Lorraine Bartlett

 

Murder Ink 

Lorraine Bartlett with Gayle Leeson

Victoria Square Mystery Series, Book 6 

Published December 31, 2019

Berkley Books, 304 pages

 

 

The charm of Victoria Square may prove to be only skin deep when murder follows the arrival of a tattoo parlor in town in this latest installment of the New York Times bestselling series.

A tattoo parlor on Victoria Square? Some of the merchants get hot under the collar at the proposal, but could they be driven to kill to stop it? That’s what the sheriff’s office and Katie Bonner want to know when the building’s owner is electrocuted with his own saw.

Meanwhile, tensions rise when a hot chef takes over the square’s tea shop. Will Katie have three men vying for her affections, or will her rival take the tea cake?

 

 

 

3.5 Stars

When a tattoo shop plans to open on Victoria Square it shakes up more than the merchants view of what business should be on the square. When the owner of said tattoo shop dies one of their own is the prime suspect.

 

Katie is the owner of Artisans Alley and Tealicious as well as president of the Victoria Square Merchants Association. She is a strong woman, not intimidated and an amazing entrepreneur.  Katie finds herself in the middle of murder, trying to help a friend, playing detective and trying not to second guess everything she sees. There were moments when I thought Katie was overreacting and other when I thought, girl you got this together.

 

Murder Ink is my first read in the Victoria Square and an enjoyable one. It did take me to be to catch up with who was who and how they all worked together but I got it. I enjoyed the mystery that kept me guessing. I’m a romance reader first and foremost so Katie and Andy’s romance and squabbles were a bonus to this read. The writing style of Lorraine Bartlett is fun and keeps the pages turning. I was able to feel like I was right at home with these characters even though this was my first read of the series.

Review: From Flame and Ash by Carrie Ann Ryan

From Flame and Ash

Carrie Ann Ryan

Elements of Five Series, Book 2

ebook
Expected publication: November 19th 2019

NYT Bestselling Author Carrie Ann Ryan continues Lyric’s epic journey in this spellbinding sequel to From Breath and Ruin.

Lyric lost her past, her friends, and even her connections to both worlds when she found out about the Maison realm and her calling. But now she must put that aside and travel back to the Maison realm to continue her training as the Spirit Priestess. Only her journey isn’t to Rhodes and those she fought alongside before. This time, Easton and the other Obscurité warriors will stand by her side as she tries to unlock her final three elements.

However, just as she starts to learn more about what she’s been prophesied to do, a Seer’s wish and the calling of the Lumière kingdom calls her forth, thrusting Lyric into another journey where she must trust those on both sides of the age-old war to survive…and keep those she loves safe.

 

 

 

 

 4 Stars

Carrie Ann Ryan gives readers a compelling and suspenseful read with the second installment of the Elements of Five Series, From Flame and Ash.

Lyric has lost all she’s known while coming into the new person she’s become. This journey takes her Obscurite Kingdom and into an age old battle of light and dark. Lyric makes stunning leaps coming into her power and learning to find her place. Lyric truly opens her mind to the reader allowing them to see all the struggles she deals with. Lyric’s quest to unlock her elements is captivating and magical. Lyric proves her strength time and time again as her world gets tipped upside down on more than one occasion.

Carrie Ann Ryan has something truly special going on with From Flame and Ash. Lyric is an amazing character. She goes with the flow, even as the flow has her life in and out of danger. The amount of growth we’ve seen from her in just two books is part of what kept me flying through the pages. The world building Ms. Ryan has put into the Elements of Five Series is outstanding. From Flame and Ash get very high praise in my book. I should note that YA/NA is not my normal cup of tea when it comes to reading but Ms. Ryan caught me with Lyric’s adventurous saga.

 

Review: Twist of Fate by Jill Shavlis

 

Twist of Fate

Jill Shalvis

Heartbreaker Bay Series, Book 8.5

1001 Dark Nights

Kindle Edition, 120 pages
Published November 5th 2019 by Evil Eye Concepts, Incorporated

 

 

When the one you want …

Daisy doesn’t believe love is ever-lasting, so it’s ironic as hell that she parlayed a business degree into a wedding planning business. More ironic still is her latest job bringing her back into contact with the man who’d taught her that love can’t last.

Is the one you can’t have…

To say Diego has been taught the hard way to bury emotions is an understatement. But when he’s called home to help the brother he hasn’t seen or spoken to in years, that’s one thing. It’s another entirely to also come face to face with the first woman he ever loved. First and only…

Can love conquer all?

Daisy’s learned to depend only on herself, and Diego is and always has been an island of one. And yet when they’re together, even when they’re bickering, still wary and haunted by memories of what was … it’s magic. The question is, how to find their way back to each other…? (less)

 

 

 

 

 

4 Stars

Diego Stone is a little less than happy about returning to San Francisco for his brother’s wedding. Issues from years passed, in family and love, have kept Diego away for more than a decade. Even with the rocky relationship with his brother, Diego agrees to be part of the wedding.

Daisy Evans is an amazing event planner. She struggled for many years to be able to live her dream and be what she wanted to be. After years of hard work she returns to San Francisco and begins to make a name for herself. Agreeing to help a friend with his wedding puts Daisy in a position where she will be face-to-face with her first love. A love she has yet to get over.

Twist of Fate is a sweet and romantic second chance at life. Daisy and Diego have chemistry to spare and their attraction has not wavered one bit through the years. Yet they both harbor feelings of hurt and loss with each other. When their love started they were both young and life was just beginning, yet life also happens. Years have not taken away from the love they shared, they just had to find away to be able to open themselves to each other. Through a series of wedding planning events Degio and Daisy rediscover what they had and more. They open the old wounds, gash it out and begin their healing and life together.

Twist of Fate is a wonderful introduction to Ms. Shalvis’s Heartbreaker Bay Series for those who have yet to read and nice treat for those who have. I very much enjoyed this visit to Heartbreaker Bay with Degio and Daisy.

 

 

Review: Rough Ride by Jayne Rylon

Rough Ride

Jayne Rylon

Powertools: Hot Rides Series, Book 5

Kindle Edition, 234 pages
Expected publication: November 12th 2019 by Happy Endings Publishing

 

 

Sevan has been keeping secrets. She’s not the errand boy everyone at the Wildfire outlaw motorcycle gang thinks she is. No, she’s been playing a dangerous game, hunting their president from inside their ranks in the name of revenge. And if anyone finds out, they won’t hesitate to kill her.

Levi Jansen has always been drawn to Sevan, even when he thought she was a scrawny male mechanic named Rivet. He can’t blame her for that since he’s been hiding plenty too. As an undercover agent, he’s relied on his tenuous partnership with ex-con, Ransom, to infiltrate Wildfire and build an ironclad case against them.

As the three of them swirl deeper into darkness, they’ll need to rely on each other to find their way out, and back home to Hot Rides. Otherwise they’re doomed to become exactly what they’ve been fighting so hard to defeat.

Allowing themselves to be distracted by desire would be the stupidest thing they could do. Unfortunately, it’s impossible to ignore the sizzling attraction between them, complicating everything.

This is a standalone book in the Hot Rides series and includes an HEA with no cheating. The series is part of the greater universe where both the Powertools and Hot Rods books are also set, so you can visit with many of your previous favorite characters and see what they’re up to now!

 

 

 

 

 

 4 Stars

An undercover cop, an ex con and a woman disguising herself as a man have found themselves tangled in danger and on a dark mission with revenge in their sights. Each carrying a secret and damage to their souls. Rivet, Ransom and Levi return the MC, to take it down.

I can’t decide if Rivet is bravest, smartest woman or crazy with a death wish. The things one does for revenge. The woman is deep, intense and fears nothing. Ransom and Levi are equally as intense yet so very alpha. While Sharing similar characteristics these two men could not be more different from each other. Each of their scars cut deep but make them the man they are.

Rough Ride is an intense, white knuckled, oh so hot ride. Dark and dangerous with the intent on nothing but revenge. Yet three people somehow find their way to each other in a completely messed up situation. The wrong move could be it for all three. Rivet, Ransom and Levi found something beyond beautiful in a mess of darkness. They learn to lean on and trust one another. Ms. Rylon pulls out all the stops and kept me flying through the pages. Rough Ride’s dark edge and intensity, fast pace and good plot line, and passion beyond passion makes this installment of the Powertools Hot Ride my favorite.

 

Review: More Than Pleasure You by Shayla Black

More Than Pleasure You

Shayla Black

More Than Words Series, Book 5.5

Kindle Edition, 120 pages
Expected publication: November 12th 2019 by Evil Eye Concepts, Incorporated

 

 

From New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Shayla Black comes a new story in her More Than Words series…

Can I convince her our hot but temporary engagement should last forever?

I’m Stephen Lund, confirmed bachelor…and son of a successful billionaire whose sins I can’t forget—or forgive. After he delivered an ultimatum to either get over his transgressions or get out of the family business, I put space between us with a temporary getaway to Maui. My rental’s sexy caretaker, Skye Ingram, is a beautiful distraction. Yeah, it’s a terrible time to start a fling, but I can’t help wanting to give her every bit of pleasure she’s willing to take.

When Skye needs a date to her ex-boyfriend’s wedding, I’m game to play her pretend fiancé. The jerk should see what he passed up…and that I’m holding her now. But our pretend engagement begins to feel real. Our passion certainly is. So are the consequences. When I’m confronted with the reality that our lives are now irrevocably entwined, I have to choose between leaving Skye to return to the life—and wealth—I’ve always known or abandoning everything familiar to start over with the woman who awakened my heart.

**Every 1001 Dark Nights novella is a standalone story. For new readers, it’s an introduction to an author’s world. And for fans, it’s a bonus book in the author’s series. We hope you’ll enjoy each one as much as we do.**

 

 

 

 

4 Stars

When an overheard phone call pushes two people together, is it fate working her hand.  Stephen is on a working vacation with a little bit of soul searching. Skye needs a miracle of a date to wedding so the ex’s mother will leave her alone for good.  Hello fate!!!! Stephen and Skye have the attraction and chemistry, not to mention the heat they throw back and forth with each other. Throwing caution to the wind Stephen and Skye give in the passion and desires, the raw feeling and emotions that they have created.  When the foundation starts to crumble under the two, in steps the Reeds to lead their helping hand.

 

I love the depth of emotion and rawiness of the More Than Words Series.  Each story of the series has hit my heart in one way or another. More Than Pleasure You, I can happily say hits all the right buttons and leaves a lasting impression on the reader. I love that Ms. Black gets deep into the minds and emotions of both Stephen and Skye. Yet they are fun together and the banter they share is remarkable.  It was highly enjoyable to see Stephen and Skye figure it out.

 

 

Review: Fever by Donna Grant

Fever

Donna Grant

Dragon Kings Series, Book 16

Paperback, 400 pages
Published October 29th 2019 by St. Martin’s Paperbacks

 

 

His kiss was fire and passion. She shivered, wondering how he knew just how to touch her, to send her spiraling into an abyss of pleasure…

For centuries, the Dragon Kings have lived among mortals, forsaking their true selves. But for Kelton, hiding in the realm of shadows—and existing only in the world of dreams—is no longer an option. A human woman claims to know that he, like other dark warriors of his kind, is real. That the legends about these powerful, seductive men with hearts ablaze are true. And that, with just one embrace, Kelton could destroy her…or love her until the end of time.

Bernadette Davies is an anthropologist who knows better than to fall into the arms of a Dragon King. But how can she resist Kelton when he’s so willing to share his secrets and bear his soul? He hasn’t met a beautiful, trustworthy woman like Bernadette in…forever. But once they give into their mutual desire, their worlds will never be the same. Soon Bernadette must face her dilemma: Should she expose the truth about Kelton in the name of science? Or join him in his battle with the dark forces—in the name of love?

 

 

 

 

4 Stars

 

Donna Grant has readers hearts racing with the latest action packed, tear jerking installment of the Dragon Kings series, Fever.

When someone hits a little too close to home with the for the Dragon Kings, actions must be taken. Anthropologist Bernadette Davies makes it a mission to let the whole world in on the fact that dragons are real. Although she doesn’t understand where this obsession comes from. Kelton, a centuries old Dragon King, has sworn to protect the humans that he really has no love for. When sent to investigate the person planning to expose his kind, Kelton gets a double punch in the gut upon seeing this beautiful woman and no an old hag.

Fever is the 16th Book is the Dragon Kings Series and first I must give Ms. Grant props for giving enough background information that a new reader could catch on or an existing reader could have a refresher. Bernadette and Kelton’s coincides and possibly sets the start button with bigger things happening in the Dragon kings world. Donna Grant weaves an epic tale within her epic tale. Fever is a non stop, emotional, jaw dropping and pivotal story within the series. Fever has all the heat you could want and a few moments of good plot twisting shock to keep your blood racing.

ARC Review: Spun Out by Lorelei James

Spun Out

Lorelei James

Blacktop Cowboys Series, Book 10

Paperback, 336 pages
Expected publication: November 5th 2019 by Berkley Books

 

 

New York Times bestselling author Lorelei James returns for another wild ride in Wyoming with a new Blacktop Cowboys(R) novel.

Years in the Army equipped Bailey Masterson for many things: target shooting, rappelling off cliffs, dodging grenades. She’s lived through horrors that still give her nightmares. But nothing in Bailey’s life-or-death training prepared her for caring for the tiny terror that is five-year-old Olivia Hale. Or how to control her raging attraction to Olivia’s father, Streeter, the rugged, green-eyed cattle rancher who undermines her every move even when he stars in her dreams.

Streeter Hale has room for only two things in his life: his daughter and his job. He doesn’t date. He doesn’t get attached. Not anymore. So not only is Streeter stunned by Olivia’s improved behavior after just a few days with Bailey, he’s downright floored by his immediate attraction to the woman. But with secrets in her eyes and a body that doesn’t quit, Streeter begins to worry that Bailey Masterson might just be the one woman to heal his fractured family and broken heart.

One thing’s for sure–these two wrecked souls are spinning out of control as they desperately try not to fall in love…

 

 

 

5 Stars

 

Sexy, heartfelt and deep with that touch of humor that only Ms. James can deliver.

Bailey Masterson is one of those characters that I allowed myself to have preconceived ideas about who and what she was through previous books in the series. Holy crap was I wrong. Bailey has more layers than I could have guessed. She an incredibly strong woman yet carry many complexities that she’s really good at keeping on the down low. Returning to Muddy Gap to figure out the next step in her life while, Bailey hinds herself twisted in more ways than one with a bunch of out of control ranch kids and a green eyed cowboy that makes her heart skip a beat.

Four and a half years ago Streeter Hale’s life changed forever. Leaving for work like any other day and returning to find high school sweetheart wife committed suicide and his six month old baby girl screaming her head off. Questions, anger, sadness and grief leave a once stable man on shaky ground. Add in his wonderful brother and father that cut him out their family business. Streeter finds himself at the Split Rock Ranch, in the company of his younger brother and begins to build a new normal for his daughter and himself. In all accounts, Streeter should be broke beyond broken, but for his little girl he keeps on keeping on. When his hand full of a daughter makes a little commotion the Split Rock, Streeters blood starts to boil and not in the mad at sort.

Ms. James brings everything and more with Spun Out. Streeter and Bailey are both dealing with baggage on their shoulders but that does nothing to lessen the attraction and chemistry they are feeling. There’s nothing wrong with a summer fling, right? When the fling turns into something more, that’s where the story gets good. Bailey’s spunkiness and take charge attitude along with Streeter’s dirty mind yet almost innocent way to him, turns a lust filled fling into something more than either one was looking for. Spun Out is emotional, deep, heartfelt and sexy. Ms. James touches upon hard emotional and physical issues with class and elegance. Not leaving out any of the dirty details that make this not only entertaining, but an emotionally satisfying story as well. Giving the reader the smile or tear just where each was needed.

Being the tenth book in the Blacktop Cowboy Series, Spun Out is fresh, refreshing and right on point with what I want in my reading. Streeter and Bailey’s journey is a roller coaster ride of emotions. From the highest of highs to the lowest of lows, and everything in between. Spun Out totally get 5 stars from me.

 

Review: Beauty by Lexi Blake writing as Sophie Oak

Beauty

Lexi Blake

Sophie Oak

A Faery Story, Book 3

Paperback, 344 pages
Published October 29th 2019 by DLZ Entertainment

Re-released in a second edition. Re-edited but no substantial changes.

The princess in the tower

In one horrifying night, Bronwyn Finn lost her family, her kingdom, and the princes who had haunted her dreams for years. Left alone, years pass as she fights for survival and craves revenge against the uncle who took everything from her. But she’s never forgotten her Dark Ones. Now she hides along with her guardian, but the war rages ever closer.

Two dark princes

A tragedy marred Lach and Shim’s lives. The future kings of the Unseelie Fae are obsessed with finding their promised wife—Bronwyn. Lach and Shim have never stopped believing that Bronwyn is their mate. She is the bond that connects the halves of their shared soul.

A destiny that will change a kingdom

With the blessing of the renegade kings, Beck and Cian Finn, Lach and Shim begin a dangerous quest to find their bride before Torin and his hags take her life.

Across two planes, a war will rage. Lives will be lost. Love will be found. And the Seelie Fae will welcome their true kings home.

 

 

 

 

4.5 Stars

Bronwyn is the girl in the tower. Someone everyone thought was long gone. She may be a princess in name but this woman is all warrior. Her world got turned upside down and inside out is every way that it could. Bronwyn finds strength through her dark ones. A strength that has been growing and bonding for years through dreams.

Shim and Lachlan are Symbiotic twin heirs to the Unseelie throne. They are very much like Beckett and Cian of the Seelie court. The twins share a soul and need their mare to balance them out. Problem is their should be mate has been gone for many years. Or has she….. The connection shared through dreams has Lach and Shim on a mission that won’t stop until they find their mate.

Save the best for last….. Beauty was hands down my favorite of the Faery Trilogy. I can’t even put together words together to begin to describe the amount of enjoyment I had while reading this book. I loved the dreaming aspect of the story and the connection that it brought to the trio. Beauty was a fantastic finish to this wonderfully sexy trio of reads.