Tanza (The Astor Chronicles: Book 2) by Amanda Greenslade

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Tanza - epic fantasy novel (The Astor Chronicles Book 2) by [Greenslade, Amanda]

Publisher: Tigerace Books

Date of publication: September 2nd, 2016

Series: The Astor Chronicles – Book 2

TalonBook 1 

TanzaBook 2

Genre: New Adult, Fantasy

Where you can find this book: Amazon

Book synopsis:

Sarlice and I came to Tanza to escape from the Zeikas, and we were not prepared for a country on the brink of war. Where should our loyalties lie—to our home towns, to Tanza or to each other? 

The Zeikas have their fire magic, dragons and demons, but they lack the Kriite ability to communicate across vast distances using the waves. I know one thing—the skyearls will not give up Tanza without a fight. 

Soon I will have a skyearl of my own, and the miracle of flight along with it. I was slow to come into my powers in Jaria, but I was wrong to think Krii had no purpose for my life. They have a new name for me here in Tanza: Astor Talon.

‘Tanza’ is the second in “The Astor Chronicles”, a series of epic fantasy adventure novels for a new adult audience.

My review:

I enjoyed reading this book. It is a fantasy with a lot of action put in it and  is an easy read. This is a book that cannot be read alone. You need to read Talon first.

I had trouble understanding what was going on in the first couple of chapters. It seemed like Tanza immediately picks up where Talon left off. I was left to puzzle over what wavelengths were. I was confused and I do not like reading a book where I am confused.

I was thrilled that there is a glossary at the very end of the book. I was able to reread those chapters with a better understanding of what is going on. Also, kudos to her, including the glossary. It also had how to pronounce some of the names. I am a weirdo who likes to know how the names are said. I know I’m not the only one.

This book is filled with action, which started after Talon bonded with his skyearl. The Zeikas is an extremist religious group who are determined to kill anyone who doesn’t agree with them. Tanza is next on their list. Tanza is protected by a barrier. It does take the Zeikas a while before they succeed in breaching the barrier.

The battles in this book were impressive, on both ends. From the demons/conjurers/dragons on the Zeika side to the Anzaii/Rada-kin/skyearls on the Tanza side, the battles were epic. I couldn’t get enough of them.

The religious undertones of the book were right. Krii is, and I am going to assume this, like Jesus and the Zeikas are like Satan. The battles are a battle between good and evil, but the lines are blurred behind the Tanza lines too. There are extremists on both ends, and the extremists can cause a lot of harm (and they did in this book).

The ending of the book was a bit anticlimactic., I understood why the author wrote it this way. In no way did she end the battle between Tanza and the Zeikas with Tanza winning. They won one battle and drove the Zeikas away, for now. Who’s to say in the next book that the Zeikas will come back and take over the land?

I wasn’t expecting certain things to happen at the ending and was thrown for a loop when it did. But, thinking about it, there were huge red flags thrown up in the last chapters of the book. I shouldn’t have been that surprised.

How many stars will I give Tanza? 4

Why? A great fantasy book with well-written characters. If you didn’t read book 1, like me, I suggest you go and read it. If you don’t, then make use of the glossary at the end of the book.

Will I reread? Yes but after I read book 1

Will I recommend to family and friends? Yes but will also suggest reading book 1 first

Age range: Adult

Why: No sex (but there is mention of rape and the threat of rape in the book) and lots of violence.

**I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book**

Errant Spark (Elemental Trials: Book 1) by Ronelle Antoinette

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Publisher: Self published

Date of publication: July 1st 2016

Series: Elemental Trials, Book 1

Errant Spark – Book 1

Genre: Fantasy, Romance

Where you can find this book: Amazon

Goodreads synopsis:

How can you afford to risk it all for love when your life is not your own?

They say to keep your friends close and your enemies closer, but In Egalion’s Imperial court, you can’t tell one from the other…especially when they change at the flip of a coin. Behind the luxury and splendor lies a realm of treachery where cloak-and-dagger political maneuvering threatens to destroy the peace of two thousand years. 

Twenty-five-year-old Battlemage Jex Xander has a mouth that frequently gets him into trouble, while in contrast, Enari Namelum speaks not at all. When Jex becomes the target of a faceless curse-slinger, Enari, the girl he has protected since the day they met, must now protect him. A string of ritual human sacrifices coupled with Jex’s growing inability to keep his feelings (and hands) to himself only serve to complicate matters. Amidst the mounting chaos, passion and romance should be the last thing on their minds, but life and the Goddess seem to have other ideas.

In a world as enticing as it is perilous, love, danger, and magic will collide, leaving lives irrevocably changed. The events of a single summer stand to change the course of more than just the kingdom of Egalion and the ones dismissed as pawns may yet prove to be the most important players.

“Errant Spark” is the hush before the storm, the last deep breath before the plunge. The flint has been struck and it’s possible the whole world might go up in flames…because love in the Imperial court is as dangerous a thing as backroom politics and jealousy can be as much a driving force as silver and gold.
***
Fantasy? Action? Romance? Yes! This romantic fantasy novel by Ronelle Antoinette is a broad, epic, sweeping fantasy with more twists and turns and ups and downs than a wild roller-coaster! The first installment of the Elemental Trials series is one of those books that really is so much more than what the blurb can convey. Described as “surprisingly complex and visionary” by one reviewer, “Errant Spark” will leave you mesmerized from the first page to the last. 

Hailed by Amazing Stories Magazine’s Ricky L Brown as “a simple story about interesting characters with just enough romance and magic to make it work. […] Errant Spark is as complex as George RR Martin, with a world that is well-suited for conniving and cavorting. Rest assured, there is plenty of sex and violence, but not as raw and stabby as the aforementioned works. It’s more like a big kid’s version of a fairy tale.

Recommended for:
•Mature teens and up
•Fans of epic fantasy and romance
•Those looking for characters they want to eat…or take home and enjoy
•Readers who can appreciate a gorgeous tapestry of magic, myth, and mayhem
•Connoisseurs of fine love stories that complement the plot and that ‘slow burn’
•Lovers of surprises, twists-and-turns, and well-placed, necessary supernatural elements
•Anyone looking for sex, magic, love, fantasy, and a story that will sweep you away
•Those who don’t mind staying up all night so they can turn that final page

My review:

I am a huge fan of fantasy. About 90% of the books I read (and don’t review) are fantasy. When I was approached by to read Errant Spark, I was very excited and couldn’t wait to read this book.

I wasn’t disappointed at all.

The book starts with meeting Jex Xander, a battlemage, and his mentor, Eryk, the High Mage. Jex has a reputation of being somewhat of taking many ladies and men into his bed. He is a bit of a manwhore, and I loved it. The threesome scene was hot.

He is pursued by Sarene, the middle daughter of the Tor and Torina of Egalion. I didn’t like Sarene at all. She was rude and a spoiled brat.

The book jumps to Enari Namelum, a mute orphan who lives at the Cyrilan Temple. She is training to be a kvinna under the tutelage of Vasi de’Curande, the Master Apothecary of the Temple. She is shunned because of her exotic looks and her aversion to being touched. People say that she looks like a Vintyri (think Fae) and her muteness keeps her isolated from other people.

Vasi and Enari have been summoned to the Imperial Palace to assist Tora Aelani with the birth of her child. While crossing the plains, they are met by Jex, who has come to escort them across the plains. When Jex meets Enari,  there is an instant attraction. Note that I said instant attraction, not instalove, big difference!! Jex falls ill and almost dies on the journey home. The relationship was off while Enari and Vasi nurse him back to health.

Then the book gets good. Mysterious deaths are happening in the palace, around the same time Jex is brought in. Jex and Enari have sex and connect on a deeper level. I loved seeing that. The High Mage is brought into the investigation of the deaths.

There is a heartbreaking death that I didn’t see coming, a birth and a couple of revelations that did surprise me. One I did guess at but the other one, well it took me by surprise.

How many stars will I give Errant Spark? 4

Why? While a great high fantasy novel that kept my attention, I had issues with some of the titles and terms. If there was a guide, it would have been great. Other than that small issue, a great read.

Will I reread? Yes

Will I recommend to family and friends? Yes

Age range: Adult

Why? sex scenes (including a threesome) and violence

**I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book**

Agrathias by Conor Nicholl

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Publisher: 

Date of publication: August 5th, 2016

Genre: Fantasy, Paranormal

Where you can find this book: Amazon

Book synopsis:

900 years ago, Dogane fell at the hands of Ubinion and Ramas. That day, the people rejoiced to the heavens, which had finally removed its dark veil and given them the warmth they deserved for so long. Since then, nearly everyone had forgotten the power that almost tore Agrathias apart.

But Ubinion and Ramas had always warned of the corruption they were never able to completely rid the world of. A corruption that now allows one sorcerer the chance to rule Agrathias…forever…

My review:

This book was fantastic, and I loved reading it.

Agrathias starts with a mystery man sitting in a tree, surrounded by monsters called Arcams. He is full of grief and guilt over leading them to his village and the death of his sister. The chapter ends with a battle between him and the Arcams. This unknown man is a sorcerer and he controls ice. He did take out a ton of Arcams before being captured.

The next chapter, Arone is approached by a strange man and is demanded to give back what is his. Arone does what any sane person would do being confronted by a weirdo, he turns around and leaves. But he gets attacked by a strange guy and injures him with fire, which startles Arone. At this point, Arone’s brother shows up and they head to the village to let the mayor know.

The mayor gives Arone an egg-like object and tells him to head to the capital to talk to the king. Before that could happen the Arcams attack the village. While Arone is helping defend, he is told to find his parents by their friend. He witnesses the destruction of his village and the death of his brother while escaping.

Arone is grief-stricken. He makes it to the city and sees the king, who has the same reaction that the mayor had. The king put Arone up at a tavern and has him meet his sorcerer, Tyris.

Arone discusses magic with Tyris. He can’t understand where his fire magic comes from. That night, he goes back to the tavern and realizes that his egg-like object has hatched, and it is a baby griffon. He tells Tyris, who advises him on how to handle a griffon.

After that, the book gets epic. Arone, Aine, Akadi, Abnoba, and a motley crew that they pick up in their adventures. I loved Lupercus and Gunnolf’s characters. Kathara, I didn’t care for her. She was too prickly for me to like. Urana’s and the Ragmar’s characters weren’t gotten into until almost the very end.

The adventures that crew went on were epic and very well written. I felt that I was in a quest with them all.

I did feel bad for Dogane. While he was evil, he didn’t start that way. He was made that way by being abused by a tutor that his father hired. He did try to tell his father, and his father looked the other way. It was heartbreaking reading that but it explained a lot.

The ending of the book was fantastic. All the storylines were ended. But there are still unanswered questions that will be explored in the next book. I would love to know, what happened to Arone’s parents? Are they still alive?

How many stars will I give Agrathias? 4

Why? A great, well-written fantasy novel. This book takes you away to a land where magic is the norm, griffins are real and friendships that are forged are forever.

Will I reread? Yes

Will I recommend to family and friends? Yes

Age range? Teen

Why? To be honest, I would have no problem with my 11-year-old daughter reading this book. It is very clean (no sex, no swearing) with minimal violence.

**I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book**

Lured In (Fishing For Trouble: Book 2) by Laura Drewry

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Publisher: Random House Publishing Group – Loveswept, Loveswept

Date of publication: September 27 2016

Series: Fishing for Trouble

Off the Hook – Book 1

Lured In – Book 2

Where can you find this book: Amazon

Book synopsis:

The O’Donnell brothers continue to cast their lines and find love in this alluring romance from the bestselling author of Off the Hook (“A must-read for fans of second-chance love stories.”—Lauren Layne).

Seasick. That’s how Jessie Todd feels when her best friend and boss, Finn O’Donnell, tells her that the Buoys will be featured on a popular fishing program—which just so happens to be hosted by a guy she used to date. She’s still friendly with her ex, but her new feelings for Finn are making things . . . complicated. His life is out on the sea, and though Jessie works at the resort, her paralyzing phobia of water keeps her on land, where she’s safe. To take a shot with Finn, she’ll need to face her fears—and her innermost desires—head-on.

Finn has been nursing a crush on Jess for a long time, so when she suddenly asks for swimming lessons, he dives right in. Holding her shaking hand as she steps into the ocean makes his heart swell—despite the sinking feeling that she’s just doing it to impress that smarmy TV host. Finn doesn’t trust anyone with his bruised and battered heart, but he’ll be forced to lay it all on the line to keep Jess from being the one that got away.

My review:

This book is more profound than what the synopsis says. The backstories (Finn and Jessie’s) were complicated and heartbreaking. Finn was the last one to see his mother before she took off. He overheard her soul breaking words “Finn was a mistake.” He was seven at the time. He took years of physical abuse from his alcoholic father. That did a number on his self-confidence and self-esteem. Jessie holds herself responsible for the drowning death of her older sister. She had to deal with parents who stopped being there for her. My heart hurt for both of them.

Jessie was awesome. She was a wonderful character to read. She faced her fear of water on top of running the Buoys. She had such positivity to her that it radiated off the page. I loved it!!

Finn was such a down to earth guy and such a great friend to Jessie. He would do anything for her. When they did make that leap into having a relationship, he waited almost a month before having sex with her. He was her friend first, lover second.

The romance between the two of them was believable. Finn and Jessie were friends who fell into love and did it in such a gradual way that it grew on me. The sex was hot but not too descriptive. The author did not feel the need to describe everything that they were doing. Which was great because I got to use my imagination.

This book is the 2nd book in the series, though, and it did read like one. There were certain sections where I was left scratching my head and going “Huh.” I believe that if I read the first book, I would understand the nuances in this book better. So not a standalone novel.

The ending was what I expected. The twist I could see coming from the middle of the book. It was an excellent lead-in for the 3rd (Ronan’s) book.

How many stars will I give Lured In? 3.5/4

Why? I would call this a beach book. The plot was good, the characters great (even though Olivia annoyed me…btw, I would love to see an LGBT romance with her) and the romance was satisfying.

Will I recommend? Yes

Will I reread? Yes

Age Range: Adult

Why? Sex and language

**I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book**

The Woman In the Mirror (An Alexandra Mallory Novel) by Cathryn Scott

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Publisher: D2C Productions

Date of publication: July 1st, 2016

Where can you find this book: Amazon

Book synopsis:

Alexandra loves martinis and men. 

But she hates misogynists.

Men want her. 

Women like her, but they don’t always know why.

She has an insatiable curiosity and sometimes takes risks she shouldn’t.

Trying to escape the consequences of her risky behavior, she rents a room in a clifftop bungalow, where she finds herself caught in a web of deception and jealousy.

When she untangles the lies, she’s compelled to right a terrible wrong, even at the risk of revealing secrets of her own.

A hypnotic sociopath you can’t help but love.

A gripping, page-turning journey, peeling back more and more layers through tantalizing revelations of the past.

My review:

I couldn’t get into this book. I liked the blurb when I read it, plus that it was a psychological thriller drew me in. But once I started reading it, I couldn’t get into it.

It was Jared and Alexandra’s characters.

I know the author wanted Alexandra to be a strong, mysterious female lead. And in some ways, she was. The author did a great job of releasing key facts about Alexandra at the right moment in the book. What I didn’t get was Alexandra having sex with every single guy she came into contact. Everyone, except for Tom. It made Alexandra look like a slut than this mysterious person.

Jared’s character had promise in the book. I liked him in the beginning. He came across as this guy who got stressed out at work and needed to take a break. He then got stalked by his landlady. Which was fine until he got obsessed with Alexandra. Every chapter that was from his perspective was all about her and how much he needed her. I guess it was supposed to show how she casts her spell over men, but it showed how pathetic Jared was.

The story was ok. It kept me on my toes with following the various subplots. One subplot went back to her college days, one to right after she left college and then the couple in her present. The more I read, the more I realized how Alexandra sticks up for people that she perceives are the underdog.

The ending of the book was a surprise. The author did a great job of ending all the substory lines in the preceding chapters. I was shocked at how things ended. Despite saying that I couldn’t get into the book, in the beginning, I would like to read the next book. The way this book ended left it open for another book.

How many stars will I give The Woman In the Mirror? 3

Why? A good book but it lacked with the thriller part. Plus, I didn’t like the main character at all and thought the male main character was a bit of a wuss.

Will I reread? Maybe

Will I recommend to family and friends? Yes

Age range? Adult

**I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book**

Serene (A Dr. Rachel E. Color-Me-Mystery: Book 1) by Jim Musgrave

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Publisher: Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA), Member’s Titles

Date of publication: July 17th, 2016

Part of a series: Yes

Which series: Dr. Rachel E. Color-Me-Mystery

Serene – Book 1

Where you can find this book: Amazon

Book synopsis:

This is the mystery that establishes Dr. Rachel Edelstein as a sleuth with a super-power. Raised on an ashram in California, she is molested by Guru Bhagwan Sharma, but he pays for her college education after her parents are found dead inside a lab working on a secret experiment called “Serene.”

While working as a psychiatrist in the Israeli Army, she treats two IDF soldiers who had also been members of the Omshanti ashram back home. When they are murdered in a strangely anti-Semitic way, and no DNA evidence can be found, she decides to resign her commission and return to California to try to solve the murders.

After she teams up with another Jewish psychiatrist, Dr. Jacob Stein, who attends the same Kaballah study group, she is recruited by a scientist who worked with her parents on Serene. Dr. Joshua Lawrence implants the beta test device in her brain, but instead of allowing her to control her own libido, she is able to see the sex traumas of others.

This is the first mystery in a series that features illustrations that can be colored by the reader. Watch for more Dr. Rachel Edelstein and Dr. Jacob Stein Techno-Mysteries.

My review:

I was intrigued by the premise of this book. It is part adult coloring book and part mystery. I made the mistake of leaving my Kindle on with one of the pictures up, and my 11-year-old had a look. She had no clue what it was but still.

If I had the paperback (or even hardcover) of the book, I would have been coloring in those pictures. They looked fun to color and did go with the story.

The story, itself was also decent. In the beginning, it was all over the place, which is something I hate in a book. Once I got past Rachel’s backstory, the story progressed. The author did an excellent job keeping who the bad guy a mystery until the end.

Rachel had overcome a lot in this book. Her parents moved her to a commune when she was 10. She was chosen as a “bride of passion” and raped when she was 12. Then her parents died. That’s a lot for a kid, and Rachel has issues. She returns to the commune after two IDF soldiers are murdered in horrific ways. She agrees to become the beta tester for a project that her parents were working on when they died.

I won’t say much about the book after that point. I will say that it is full of androids, bizarre sexual practices, and one woman who is looking for answers.

I did like that the Kabbalah was mentioned here. Rachel was a student of it, and the author did get into some of what it is about, but not enough. I wished that he did because I find it fascinating.

The end of the book was a surprise. I wasn’t expecting the killer to be who it was. I am pretty good at figuring out mysteries, and this one I didn’t and it still chafes at me.

How many stars will I give Serene? 4

Will I reread? Yes

Will I recommend to family and friends? Yes but with a warning about the coloring book pages.

Age range: Adult

**I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book**

Clementine and Claudia by Piper Milton

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Publisher: Silvertail Books

Date of publication: September 22nd, 2016

Genre: Romance, Women’s Fiction

Where you can find this book: Amazon

Book synopsis:

There are more than two sides to every love story…

The First World War is raging and sisters Clementine and Claudia are coping in very different ways. Clementine is a nurse on the front line, doing her best to save the lives of soldiers wounded while serving their country. Claudia, on the other hand, is living the good life in England, deliberately oblivious to the horrors her sister and so many others are living through. When they both meet their perfect man, their already fractured relationship is tested in ways they could never imagine.

The début novel from Piper Milton, Clementine and Claudia is a powerful and beautifully written story of romance and war for fans of Kristin Hannah’s The Nightingale, and a wonderful addition to the romantic traditions of Penny Vincenzi, Soraya Lane, Brief Encounter and Downton Abbey.

My review:

This book was so slow at the beginning that I almost DNF’d. Stress almost. Once I got past the first couple of chapters, the book started to pick up steam and move along.

I loved the historical aspect of this book. I loved that it took place during World War 1. The author did an excellent job world building. I could picture the bomb and air raid sirens going off. I could hear the battlefield in my ears along with hearing the moans and groans of injured patients.

I did have an issue with the romance part of the book. I want my romance from that period to be sweet and innocent. This one was twardy, and it was almost dirty.

I know people can’t help who they fall in love with. I wished that the author chose a different road for her characters. Cheating on your spouse isn’t cool, and I felt for Charles in that scene. And in the scene where he let his wife go to be with the one she wanted. I was so sad about that.

The ending was what I expected because I knew that the star-crossed lovers would be together.

How many stars will I give Clementine and Claudia: 3

Why: A wonderfully written, vivid historical piece that was written as a historical romance. For me, the romance fell flat and like I said in my review, was twardy and almost dirty.

Will I reread? Maybe

Will I recommend to family and friends? Maybe

Age Range: Teen

Why: Sexual situations (but never gotten into detail) and description of wartime violence (including an amputation of a leg).

**I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book**

Anywhere You Are (Return to Briarwood: Book 3) by Elisabeth Barrett

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Publisher: Random House Publishing Group – Loveswept

Date of publication: September 20th 2016

Genre: Romance

Series: Return to Briarwood

Once and Again – Book 1

The Best of Me – Book 2

Anywhere You Are – Book 3

Where can you find this book: Amazon 

Book synopsis:

The author of Once and Again (“Engaging, sexy, and immensely touching.”—Marina Adair) invites readers back to the Briarwood with a novel about a single-minded businessman and the rock princess who melts his heart.

As the daughter of a music legend, Grace Davingham knows all too well what it’s like to be burned by the media’s glare. Now all she wants is to be left to do her painting and conservation work in peace, with no intention of returning to the spotlight. But after she sprains her ankle hiking and a handsome real-estate mogul comes to her rescue, Grace once again finds herself in the public eye.

Sexy, successful, and averse to any attachments, Marcus Colby thrives on rigid discipline in order to manage both his real-estate investment company and his personal life. Marc has no time for fun, and no patience for crazy. Which is why meeting Grace—and inheriting an enormous Great Dane who won’t listen to a word he says—has turned Marc’s carefully constructed world upside down.

Only when Grace and Marc square off over a local controversy do they realize how different they really are. But if opposites attract, their love is destined to bind them together—forever.

My review:

I was “Meh” about this book. It wasn’t because it was a 3rd  book in the series. Anywhere You Are can be read as a standalone book. It wasn’t because of Great Dane named Mr. Pipplepotts. It was because Marc and Grace weren’t believable as a couple. Something about their relationship struck me as forced. I don’t like it when a romance novel comes across that way.

Marc was rigid in his dealing with life and with Grace. I understood some of his rigidity but the way he acted with Grace was a little over the top sometimes. He blew hot and cold, and it drove me nuts.

Grace grew as a character in the book. She was a person who hid out all the time and let people take advantage of her. She became someone who stood up to her family, Marc and people who took advantage of her. I loved it. Plus her interactions with Mr. Pipplepotts was great.

Marc and Grace’s relationship seemed forced. I couldn’t put the finger on it, but his past issues were part of the relationship being the way it was. They also didn’t seem to connect with me as being a couple until the very end.

The ending was what I thought it was going to be and all issues throughout the book were resolved. What got me was that Marc, who is private, was OK with Grace doing guest spots on her family’s reality TV show. A total 180 from where he stood that the beginning of the book and that bugged me.

How many stars will I give Anywhere You Are? 3

Why? Like I said above, I was “meh” about the book. But, the plot was solid and the author did do a great job of making you like the main characters (yes, Marc grew on me after a while)

Will I reread? Yes

Will I recommend to family and friends? Yes

Age Range? Adult

**I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book**

Visibly Broken by Chelsea Camaron and MJ Fields

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Publisher: Random House Publishing Group – Loveswept, Loveswept

Date of publication: September 20th 2016

Genre: Romance

Where the book can be found: Amazon 

Book synopsis:

In a powerful, smoldering novel from the bestselling authors of the Caldwell Brothers series (“Bad boy heroes to die for!”—Tracy Wolff), two tortured souls team up to overcome the past, finding the courage to heal . . . and to love.

Jason “Cobra” Stanley was born to fight. With a father like his, he had to toughen up just to survive. Now Cobra tries to take out all of his frustration, all of his anger, and all of his pain in the MMA cage. But after he receives one too many hits to the head during a match, the cycle of violence comes to a screeching halt. Cobra wakes up in the hospital, under the care of a nurse whose blond hair shines like a halo—and whose pure heart touches him on the deepest level.

Lorraine Bosch is a fighter too. The lone survivor of a chilling family tragedy, she prides herself on remaining professional, despite the chaos of the ER. But Cobra is the ultimate distraction. Lorraine knows she should run away screaming from his rippling muscles and shattered psyche. And yet how can she deny this broken man a second chance—especially since she knows exactly what he’s been through? Lorraine’s used to playing guardian angel. Now it’s her turn to find heaven in Cobra’s arms.

My review:

Do not let first impressions ruin this book for you. The first couple of chapters of this book are tough to read. Jason and his girlfriend are abusive to each other. To stop from hitting her, he starts doing MMA style underground cage matches. During one of those matches, he gets hit on the head hard and gets dumped at the ER. That is where he meets Lorraine, a nurse who is damaged by her past.

Like I said above, you need to get past the first couple of chapters to feel the book. I couldn’t understand why the authors would start the book like that. But the more I learned about Jason and his childhood, the more I understood and it is heartbreaking.

It took a while for Jason to grow on me. It took a while to realize that through helping Lorraine, he was helping himself get over his past trauma. He found someone he could protect in Lorraine. Someone who accepted him and his past with no questions asked. Someone who stilled the rage and violence in him. Someone who made him think that he wasn’t the monster that he believed he was.

Lorraine was as damaged as Jason. It took me a while to realize how damaged she was because of the way the book described her. It was brilliant of the authors to do it the way they did. I thought that there were two people instead of one. The more  interactions she has with Dr. Bennett and his family, I came to understand why and it is sick.

The sex scenes were out of control hot. I didn’t like was that Jason was going bareback with Lorraine within days of breaking up with Missy. It bothered me.. The fact that he moved her into his condo without even asking her. That bothered me too. But, in his way, he was protecting her.

The ending wasn’t what I thought it was. The twist fit in with the plot, and I was a little surprised by it. The epilogue was what got me. I was crying at the end.

How many stars will I give Visibly broken? 4/4.5 stars

Will I reread? Yes

Will I recommend to family and friends? Yes

Age Range? Adult

**I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book**

Dead Souls by J. Lincoln Fenn

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Publisher: Gallery, Threshold, Pocket Books

Date of publication: September 20, 2016

Genre: Horror

Where you can find this book: Amazon

Book synopsis:

From the award-winning author of the acclaimed novel Poe comes an edgy and bone-chilling new novel.

When Fiona Dunn is approached in a bar by a man who claims he’s the devil, she figures it’s just some kind of postmodern-slash-ironic pickup line. But a few drinks in, he offers her a wish in exchange for her immortal soul, and in addition, Fiona must perform a special favor for him whenever the time comes. Fiona finds the entire matter so absurd that she agrees. Bad idea. Not only does Fiona soon discover that she really was talking to the devil incarnate, but she’s now been initiated into a bizarre support group of similar “dead souls”—those who have done the same thing as Fiona on a whim, and who must spend their waking hours in absolute terror of that favor eventually being called in…and what exactly is required from each of them in order to give the devil his due.

My review:

What would you do if the devil approached you, offered your heart’s desire and all you have to do is give him your soul and perform a special favor for him? Would you take him up on his offer or would you walk away?

That is what Fiona ran into in this book. After seeing her boyfriend of 3 years hugging another woman at the airport, she returns home to find that she has locked her keys in the apartment. Upset, she heads to the local bar, where she approached by a man who claims to be Scratch. He wanted to know if Fiona would give him her soul to get what Fiona wanted. All she had to do was perform a special favor. At this point, I would be calling over the bouncer to have him escorted off the property. But for some reason, Fiona didn’t, and she agreed.

Imagine her surprise when she wakes up in her bed and in the apartment that she locked her keys into. Imagine her surprise when her neighbor approaches her with her clothes and an envelope with her name on it. There is a card inside with her name, date, and favor.

Things start to get super creepy. Fiona starts going to a support group of people who have also made a deal with the devil. They ranged from a college student who wanted to levitate to a lesbian who wanted to be straight (yes, you read that right, even I did a WTF there) to a couple who desperately wanted children to a mysterious photographer. They meet once a month to see if they are all still there and to check their cards.

I am going to shut up at this point because the book got creepy and surreal. The favors got called in on everyone in the group.

The ending of the book was surprising. I expected some of it, but I didn’t expect the other thing what happened. Totally didn’t expect it and it kind of threw me off.

How many stars will I give Dead Souls? 5

Will I reread? Yes

Will I recommend to family and friends? Yes

Age range: Adult

**I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book**