Sentinel (Caretaker Chronicles: Book 3) by Josi Russell


4 Stars

Publisher: Future House Publishing

Date of Publication: November 17th, 2016

Genre: Science Fiction

Series: Caretaker Chronicles

Caretaker – Book 1

Guardians – Book 2 (review here)

Sentinel – Book 3

Stasis Dreams – Short story

Where you can find this book: Amazon

Book synopsis:

Rigel Bryant is the only natural-born telepathic human in the history of the universe. His father, Ethan, wants him to lock his abilities away, but Rigel doesn’t see why it is wrong to use his gifts.

Rigel’s carefree attitude is shattered when he receives an urgent telepathic distress signal that overwhelms his every thought. The call comes from Ethan’s old friend, Tesuu the Zumiin, who saved his life during his misadventures as Caretaker.

In order to reclaim Rigel’s mind, the father-son pair hire a beautiful pilot named Carine to take them to the Zumiin planet. When the trio arrives, they are attacked by AI robots determined to kill any potential threat to the Zumiin, including their own programmer. Before Ethan and Tesuu can find a solution to the problem, a deadly poisonous snake bites Ethan, sending him into a deep coma. While Tesuu battles the rampaging robots, Rigel hunts for a rare antidote to save his father’s life.

Can Rigel become a hero like his father, or is it too late for him and the rest of the universe?

My review:

Rigel Bryant is the only known natural telepath in the known universe. The other two telepaths, his father and pseudo-grandmother (Kaia), but they were experimented on by an alien and gained their powers that way. They now wear a device called a thought blocker. That device can block the thoughts of the people around them, so they aren’t listening to other people’s thoughts all the time. Rigel, however, does not wear a thought blocker, and he can hear everyone’s thoughts all the time. He has learned to filter it out, and he has learned to use his ability for not so great purposes.

His latest venture was insider trading. He read his girlfriend’s mind and got the information about the merger from her thoughts. He was able to buy stock and then sell it for a hefty price. His girlfriend, who I felt bad for, didn’t know that Rigel was a telepath until he was arrested by the Coriol Defense Civil Division (aka CDCD) in her apartment. To say she was upset that he used her for her information is an understatement.

Ethan, Rigel’s father, is at the end of his rope with him. Not only can Rigel read thoughts, but he pushes people into doing what he wants, which happens when he is brought to the Governor of Coriol. After being released from the offices, Rigel heads home with Ethan for what becomes an epic intervention. Aria, who had long been Rigel’s champion and against him getting a thought blocker, told him that he was getting a thought block in the morning. End of story (at this point I was like, Go Mom).

Rigel takes off after telling Aria, Rigel, and Polara that he won’t get one. He goes back to his girlfriend’s apartment and pushes her to repress her anger and let him stay with her. It was during this time that he starts to have vivid nightmares about a gray planet with tunnels running across the surface. There is something wrong on that planet, terribly wrong. Pretty soon, the dream has invaded his waking thoughts. He does the only thing that he has left to do (since his girlfriend threw him out), he goes home and tells his father.

Ethan immediately knows where and who are sending the nightmares to Rigel. An old friend called Tessu, who resides on a planet called Entewen One. He tells Rigel that he needs help but then gets cut off. Ethan decides to take a day trip to Entewen One and drags Rigel with him. They hire out a ship called The Mirror with a young pilot named Catrine. The journey there is pretty easy because the ship has something called a chip drive, and that can get them there sooner than later.

When they get to the planet, they realize that something is wrong. Very wrong. They are attacked by spheres as soon as they land, and Catrine’s ship is taken by something. They are saved by a timely storm that sweeps away the spheres and allows them to find shelter in some nearby caves.

That is where Tessu meets them and tells them what is going on. His grandson, Ravi, did an upgrade on defense spheres that he had created, but something went wrong, and the spheres are now destroying anything that they think is a threat to Tessu’s species. The control sphere took Catrine’s ship and is now branching out to other planets in the galaxy, to protect the Zumiin.

Catrine is sent out in one of the Zumiin ships to warn the Mineans about the incoming spheres. Ethan and Rigel are told that there is a Pilaay ship in their trash heaps that still can be flown. All they need to do is get there. Which they do, but then they are attacked by a giant, venomous snake, and Ethan gets bitten. Rigel is now racing against the clock to find the antivenom that will save his father’s life.

What happens in the rest of the book? Well, you need to read it. Because what I outlined here doesn’t even cover what happens.

It was interesting to read Rigel’s transformation in the book. He went from someone who was only thinking for himself and using his powers to better his life to someone who risked life and limb to save people’s lives and used his powers to aid him in it. It was interesting to see the transformation.

His relationship with his family was painful to read. He did so much wrong and caused such a huge rift that I was beginning to wonder if it could heal.

The romance between Catrine and Rigel was cute. She was the only person, besides Polara, whose mind he couldn’t read and that was a big part of the attraction for him.

The end of the book was very suspenseful, and I read it thinking that what was hinted could happen would happen. But it didn’t, and I was pretty happy about that.

I would give Sentinel an Adult rating. There is sex. There is language. There is mild violence. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

I would reread Sentinel. I would recommend it to family and friends.

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

For the Children (Cameron, Utah: Book 2) by Margaret Watson


4 Stars

Publisher: Dragonfly Press

Date of publication: October 7th, 2016

Genre: Romance

Series: Cameron, Utah

Rodeo Man – Book 1 (review here)

For The Children – Book 2

Cowboy with a Badge – Book 3

The Fugitive Bride – Book 4

The Marriage Protection Program – Book 5

Where you can find this book: Amazon

Book synopsis:

His assignment is FBI agent Damien Kane’s worst nightmare – guarding two young children who witnessed a murder. Since he lost his family, Damien goes out of his way to avoid children. Now he’ll spend every day and every night with two of them. Their aunt won’t let the girls out of her sight – which means Damien is also spending every minute with Abby Markham. That wouldn’t be a problem, except the emotions, Abby stirs in Damien are feelings he thought he’d buried long ago.

Abby’s only goal is keeping her nieces safe until their mother comes home. She’s determined not to be distracted by the sexy FBI agent assigned to guard them. But in spite of Damien’s cold façade, she longs to ease the pain in his eyes and lose herself in the warmth he tries to hide.

Damien won’t let himself love again. Abby can’t give in to her desire for Damien. When love and danger collide, will either of them survive the explosion?

My review:

Abby is not a stranger to watching her sister’s twin daughters when she went on business trips. But something was different this time. Her nieces were suffering from nightmares, were clingy, and had personality changes. What is concerning Abby even more, she cannot get a hold of her sister.

Everything changes when Abby hears some strange noises in her basement. Terrified, she leaves with them to eat ice cream and calls the police to her house. Abby is scared because she noticed a person sitting in a car outside her home, watching her, the day before. She doesn’t know what is going on, but she has a feeling that her sister and nieces are somehow involved in it.

Her questions are answered when an FBI agent shows up at the ice cream parlor to escort her house. The agent, Damien Kane, believes that her nieces saw a murder at her sister’s job (she worked at a construction site), her sister found out and was able to get her daughters’ to Abby before being whisked off for a “business” trip out of the country.

Damien is there to protect the girls until they are ready to tell him what they saw that day. So, after a disastrous trip to the FBI psychologist, Damien decides to take Abby and the girls to Cameron, Utah. He figures that there is no safer place than there. Well, it doesn’t end up that way. The killers somehow follow them there, and from that point on, it is a game of cat and mouse.

Damien was such a tortured person for most of the book. The author did a great job of not telling everything about what made him so tortured. All I knew, until almost the end, was that he tragically lost a child three years before. But, when the full story was revealed, I cried. No wonder he shut himself off, and no wonder that Maggie and Casey affected him so much.

Abby irked me. While she came across as one of those people who took in strays, people, and animals, she didn’t act like it at times. I understand she was scared for her nieces, but she hindered the investigation when she put off letting the psychologist talk to them. And when he did and made the girls cry, she swooped in and put an end to it. But, I can understand where she was coming from. She just found out that they might have seen a murder and she can’t get in touch with her sister. She was scared to death.

The romance between Damien and Abby was bittersweet. Damien was caught up in his grief that he couldn’t give Abby anything but sex. Abby, however, started off the same way but quickly fell in love with him.

The sex scenes between them were great. The only thing that I got weirded out about was when he was feeling her up when they took the girls swimming. That made me go kinda “Eh” when I read it. But the other sex scenes were fantastic, and they were boiling.

The ending was standard but pretty good. I did like that Damien had to go looking for Abby and the surprise that she had waiting for him and his reaction got me teary-eyed as did the reason she didn’t contact him. The other storylines were wrapped up in a pretty satisfactory way.

While this is a book 2 in the Cameron, Utah series, you can read it as a standalone. There are mentions to book one, but, and I liked this, this book was taking place at the same time as the events in Rodeo Man. You know something is going on, but the focus is on the events going on in this book if that makes sense.

I would give For the Children an Adult rating. There is sex. There is language. There is mild violence. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

I would reread For the Children. I would recommend it to family and friends.

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

House of Silence by Sarah Barthel


4 Stars

Publisher: Kensington Books, Kensington

Date of publication: December 27th, 2016

Genre: Historical Fiction, Mystery, Thriller, Suspense

Where you can find this book: Amazon

Book synopsis:

Oak Park, Illinois, 1875. Isabelle Larkin’s future—like that of every young woman—hinges upon her choice of husband. She delights her mother by becoming engaged to Gregory Gallagher, who is charismatic, politically ambitious, and publicly devoted. But Isabelle’s visions of a happy, profitable match come to a halt when she witnesses her fiancé commit a horrific crime—and no one believes her.
Gregory denies all, and Isabelle’s mother insists she marries as planned rather than drag them into a scandal. Fearing for her life, Isabelle can think of only one escape: she feigns a mental breakdown that renders her mute and is brought to Bellevue sanitarium. There she finds a friend in fellow patient Mary Todd Lincoln, committed after her husband’s assassination.
In this unlikely refuge, the women become allies, even as Isabelle maintains a veneer of madness for her own protection. But sooner or later, she must reclaim her voice. And if she uses it to expose the truth, Isabelle risks far more than she could ever imagine.
Weaving together a thread of finely tuned suspense with a fascinating setting and real-life figures, Sarah Barthel’s debut is historical fiction at its most evocative and compelling.

My review:

Isabelle is the envy of all the girls in Oak Park. She has caught the eye of handsome Gregory Gallagher, and he proposed to her. In an age where marriages are usually treated as business contracts, she considers herself lucky that she loves Gregory, and he loves her.

The night of her engagement party, Isabelle is ecstatic but, at the same time, worried about her friend Lucy. Lucy was too supposed to elope with her true love, Patrick, against the wishes of her mother. Isabelle was surprised when she sees Lucy at her engagement party. As soon as she can, Isabelle speaks to Lucy and finds out that Patrick was called out-of-town to tend to his sick mother. Lucy is understandably upset and resigned to the fact that her mother will marry her off to the highest bidder.

Isabelle is half listening to Lucy when she sees Gregory heading out to the garden. She decides to follow him and finds him talking to a servant girl in the garden. When she asks who that was, he explains that she was a servant girl, and she wanted to speak to him in the garden about a misunderstanding. Isabelle (who is a smart cookie) doesn’t quite believe him and follows him back to the party.

The next day, Isabelle is on her way lunch with her mother after a morning full of appointments. Her maid tells her that someone wants to have a word with her and asks Isabelle to pretend to miss a glove. The person who wants to meet her, the girl from the night before.

What Isabelle hears from the girl throws doubt on her relationship with Gregory. The girl, Katerina, tells Isabelle that she knew Gregory when he was growing up in Joliet, and she wants Isabelle to give him a message. Isabelle tells her she must have the wrong Gregory, but she will be happy to deliver the message for her. The girl is upset but doesn’t say any more.

She does tell Gregory and he reconfirmed that he doesn’t know her, which puts Isabelle at ease. A few days later, Isabelle decides to visit her maid, Abigail, at her house to give her a basket full of fruit, muffins, and tea to thank her for helping her pick out the dress. When Abigail is bringing the basket into the house, Isabelle is left outside, kicking stones. One of the stones goes several houses down, and she follows it. Isabelle hears Gregory and Katerina yelling. She goes to look in the front window, and what she sees terrifies her. She watches as Gregory strangles Katerina to death.

Traumatized by what she has seen, Isabelle stays where she was until dusk. She goes to look at the body and almost gets caught by Gregory when he comes back to move Katerina. Isabelle leaves the house and heads towards Abigail’s house, where she promptly passes out after twisting her ankle. When she comes too, she tries to tell her mother and Dr what she has seen. But they don’t believe her. Her mother tells her that Isabelle must have made it up, that Gregory is a good boy, and that Isabelle is lucky to be marrying him.

After having several run-ins with her mother and Gregory, Isabelle decides that going to a sanitarium would be the best thing for her. So she goes voluntarily mute and starts throwing horrible fits. The next day she was on her way there.

The sanitarium that she goes to is called the Bellevue Sanitarium. While residing there, Isabelle meets some colorful people but none more unusual than Mary Todd Lincoln, the widow of Abraham Lincoln. She is admitted shortly after Isabelle, and soon the two of them are friends.

I liked Isabelle. She was so stubborn, and she stood by her story, even if it meant pretending to be insane to avoid marrying Gregory. I felt terrible for her because her mother should have believed her. During those scenes, I wanted to reach through the book and hug her.

Isabelle’s mother was one of the worse characters I have read in a book in a long time. I couldn’t stand her. She was very self-centered. I seriously wanted to smack her. She didn’t even pretend to care about Isabelle.

Historically, the book was on point. The author did a great job of adapting the time Mary Todd Lincoln spent in the Bellevue Sanitarium (and she did) into an excellent thriller.

There wasn’t a mystery to this book, though. You know everything upfront. But it was a mystery as to what Gregory would do when he finally got a hold of Isabelle.

The end of the book was great but somewhat predictable. I thought the girl power element was significant. I did feel bad for Gregory when everything was revealed, though.

I would give House of Silence an Adult rating. There is sex. There is language. There is mild violence. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

I would reread House of Silence. I would recommend it to family and friends.

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

Lost in Time (The Fine Art of Deception: Book 3) by Alyssa Richards


4 Stars


Date of publication: November 22nd, 2016

Genre: Romance, Suspense, Mystery, Paranormal, Thriller

Series: The Fine Art of Deception

Undoing Time – Book 1 (Review here)

Somewhere In Time – Book 2 (Review here)

Lost In Time – Book 3

Where you can find this book: Amazon

Book synopsis:

Searching for the answers she needs, will Addie lose everything she has?

Adeline “Addie” Montgomery is searching for the truth. As she and Blake travel back to 1922, she expects her nemesis Otto is behind a string of art forgeries. The only problem is that the villain has completely disappeared. Addie must now find Otto without blowing her cover to keep the past intact, as long as a lover from a past life doesn’t get in the way…

Blake Greenwood wants nothing more than to catch Otto and return to the present with Addie, the love of his life. When his mother goes missing as well, he leaves Addie alone with his half-brother to save his family. As the future begins to change in unexpected ways, Blake and Addie begin to question everything. Can they find Otto and save their relationship before what they had disappears for good?

Lost In Time is the third book in an absorbing series of paranormal romance time travel novels. If you like museum capers, psychic powers, time travel, and steamy romance, then you’ll love Alyssa Richards’ thrilling conclusion to the Fine Art of Deception Series.

My review:

Lost in Time starts two years after Addie, Blake, and Philippe were sent through a painting by Otto. After making sure they weren’t able to get home, Otto then kidnapped Carolena, Blake’s mother and disappears. Blake has searched tirelessly for the paintings. Also, in the past with them are Addie’s father and grandfather, also banished there by Otto.

Addie and Blake have been cautious about who they talk to in the past. They do not want to change future events. That comes to a head when Blake meets Sarah, who Addie is reincarnated as in the future, and Addie meets Jack, who is Blake reincarnated in the future. Taken by surprise by a kiss, Addie warns Jack to be careful. What happens with those words changes her and Blake’s future and present in a big way

Addie also has become very irritated by her relationship with Blake. In the two years that they have been there, he has become very focused on finding his mother and a way home, leaving Addie feeling alone and abandoned. The only way that they connect these days is when they have sex, and even then, Blake is holding a piece of himself back.

Then they get word that Carolena is definitely in Paris, and they all head there to get her. Meanwhile, back in the future, Addie’s grandmother notices that a weird cloud is covering Blake in every single picture that they have. She finally realizes that something must have happened in the past for Blake to start being erased and sends word to Addie through the first edition of an F. Scott Fitzgerald’s book. They use that book to communicate with everyone.

I loved that the author chose to make Blake and Addie got through relationship difficulties, instead of everything is peachy keen. The ups and downs of their relationship were so realistic and added so much to the book. I mean, even Addie pleading with Blake to please open up, to please let her in, is something that everyone is relationships have said at one point.

Addie was a fish out of water in the early 1920s. I don’t know if I would have been able to pull off what society expected a woman in the era to be, and I give her props for doing it.

I was a little disappointed that we didn’t see Addie’s gifts in full force in this book. I mean, she did talk to 2 ghosts, she was able to pick up on Carolena just by touching a tub, and she used her abilities to see if the paintings were a forgery or not (and her other gift was also used). I just wanted to see her interact more with the ghosts. I know, weird.

Blake had the weight of the world on his shoulders, and I felt terrible for him. He was trying to protect (or control, depends on how you look at it) Addie, find his mother, find Otto, and find the paintings that can bring them home. Blake has been at it for two years, and I am surprised that he didn’t crack under pressure. He was at one point in the book, starting to act just like his father. I wanted to reach through and give him a smack on the back of the head and tell him to knock it off.

The sex scenes between Blake and Addie was as hot as ever. Those scenes scorched the pages; they were so hot, which was very good.

The end of the book was sad, in places, and it was what I expected. All of the storylines were resolved in a very satisfactory way. I will say that I didn’t expect the people to stay in the past who stayed. Looking back, there were signs, but I was still surprised.

The series as a whole was excellent. I think I learned more about art from this series of books, then I expected.

I would give Lost in Time an Adult rating. There are sexual situations. There is language. There is violence. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

I would reread Lost in Time. I would recommend it to family and friends.

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

The Many by Nathan Field


4 Stars

Publisher: Silvermac Publishing

Date of publication: July 12th, 2016

Genre: Horror, Mystery, Thriller, Suspense

Series: The Many

The Many—Book 1

Ancestral—Book 2

Where you can find this book: Amazon

Book synopsis:

Karl notices something odd about his sister the morning after a blind date. A coldness in her manner; nothing anyone else would notice. Suspicious, he confronts her about the date but she turns nasty, accusing him of taking a perverse interest in her sex life.

When he next sees her, months later, she seems back to normal, until a harmless comment provokes a sudden, violent response. As her mental state fluctuates, Karl seeks out the man she dated just before her personality began to change, convinced she is suppressing a painful memory from that night. But what he discovers is something far more sinister, and pervasive, than he’d ever imagined.

Strictly for adult readers, THE MANY are the first book of a series that explores the dark side of the world we live in and sheds light on a shadowy evil that is both disturbing and eerily familiar.

My review:

Karl’s sister came home acting very weird after a blind date. Concerned that she had been date raped, Karl asks her what the matter. She lashes out in an inappropriate way, accusing Karl of having incestuous thoughts of her and wanting to sleep with her. Shortly afterward, Karl moves out, unable to deal with the insane things she was saying.

The next time Karl sees her is at Thanksgiving, and she acts like nothing is wrong. That is until Karl brings up that night, that’s when she goes bat poop crazy. His sister attacks their mother, twice, and then attacks Karl. Karl was able to restrain her, and when she calms down, he convinces her to go to his friend’s mother….a respectable psychologist. What she reveals there concerns Karl. But before he or the psychologist can act on what was told, she jumps out of the window. But before she dies, his sister tells them who she went on the blind date with, and now Karl is on a mission to discover what exactly happened to his sister the night of her blind date.

Dawn is a 17-year-old living a good life with her mother, Isobel. Isobel, who had just broken up with her long-term girlfriend, had scored a date on a lesbian dating site. Even though Dawn thought the woman looked mean, she encouraged her mother to go out on a date with her. Which, in hindsight, could have been the worse thing she could have done.

Dawn wakes up the next morning to a vastly different Isobel. An Isobel who was disconnected and short with her. An Isobel who hints at things that they both did that nighs, even though Dawn was home all night. Even so, Dawn was surprised when she got up one Saturday morning, and Isobel was gone. All her mother left her was a note. Panicked, she calls the police but gets a blown off. All she had left was to discover what happened the night Isobel went on her blind date.

As Dawn is dealing with that, Karl is dealing with the aftermath of his sister’s suicide. After confronting her date, almost getting arrested, and then hiring a PI, Karl meets a mystery woman who invites him back to her loft for a drink and some fun. He barely escapes after being drugged.

Dawn is dealing with her stuff. Creating a fake profile on the dating site, she meets another woman who has had an encounter with the mystery woman. Meeting up with her and hearing what that woman had to say, Dawn goes to the police, only to be told that they couldn’t help her. She also gets a phone call from the mystery woman, who threatens her. After that phone call, Isobel shows up and is a mess. She starts to go after Dawn, who runs out of the house, and Isobel gets hit by a car and dies. Shortly after her funeral, Dawn is contacted by Karl, and they discover that they have a lot in common, the main thing being that their loved ones had contact with both the mystery man and mystery woman.

The rest of the book, from that point on, was excellent. I liked that the author incorporated mind-altering drugs and mind control experiments into the story. The whole backstory about that was fascinating, and I do wish that more time was spent on it and on the guy who was told to eat until he was obese and how it affected his life.

Dawn had to have been my favorite character in the book. She was smart, she was very sarcastic, and she thought on her feet.

I did like Karl, but I did think he was a bit of a dummy in certain parts of the book. Mainly Dawn’s blind date. I wanted to yell at him when he hung up on the police.

The plot twist was hinted at the beginning of the book but wasn’t confirmed until the end. And, to be honest, it was gross but it explained a lot.

The end of the book was exciting. The main storyline was resolved, but before it was, a whole other storyline was exposed, and the end of the book left it open for the next book.

I would give The Many an Adult rating. There are sexual situations. There is language. There is violence. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

I would reread The Many. I would recommend it to family and friends.

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

A Secondhand Life (Killer Thriller: Book 1) by Pamela Crane


4 Stars

Publisher: Tabella House

Date of publication: March 18th, 2018

Genre: Thriller, Mystery, Suspense

Series: Killer Thriller

A Secondhand Lie—Book 0.5

A Secondhand Life—Book 1

Where you can find this book: Amazon

Book synopsis:

A string of murdered girls. An innocent man behind bars. A serial killer still on the hunt.

In a freak collision when she was twelve, Mia Germaine faced death and the loss of her father. A heart transplant from a young murder victim saved her life, but not without a price. Twenty years later, chilling nightmares about an unresolved homicide begin to plague Mia. Compelled by these lost memories, she forms a complicated connection to the victim–the girl killed the night of Mia’s accident–due to a scientific phenomenon called “organ memory.”

Now suffocating beneath the weight of avenging a dead girl and catching a serial killer on the loose dubbed the “Triangle Terror,” Mia must dodge her own demons while unimaginable truths torment her–along with a killer set on making her his next victim.

As Mia tries to determine if her dreams are clues or disturbing phantasms, uninvited specters lead her further into danger’s path, costing her the one person who can save her from herself.

More than a page-turning thriller, A Secondhand Life weaves a tale of second chances and reclaimed dreams as this taut, refreshing story ensnares and penetrates you.

Readers of Gilly Macmillan and The Woman in the Window will enjoy the provocative prose and unreliable narrator that makes you realize you don’t really know what you thought you did.

My review:

I am going to start this review off with something that I rarely do. I am absolutely in love with the cover. It caught my eye, and I will stare at it. I think because it is so simple (a girl hugging herself in black and white with a black splash of something across her back).

Now that I am done drooling over the cover, let’s get this review going.

Mia grew on me during this book. When I first started reading it, I thought she was a little self-centered, impulsive, and hugely hung up on how her scar looked. But, as the book progressed and the deeper into her search on who killed Alexis, Mia evolved. She became this person who was the opposite of what I said above. At the end of the book, well, let’s say that forgiveness is everything.

The mystery surrounding the killer was great, and the author threw out red herrings left and right. When it was revealed who the killer (and the serial killer) was, I was genuinely shocked and then saddened.

I found organ memory fascinating and plan on doing a little more research on it. Just the thought of an organ retaining memory intrigues me.

The end of the book (and the epilogue) was great and I had tears in my eyes. I do hope that there will be a book 2.

I would give A Secondhand Life an Adult rating. There are sexual situations. There is language. There is violence. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

I would reread A Secondhand Life. I would recommend it to family and friends.

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

Devil’s Honor (The Devil’s Keepers: Book 1) by Megan Crane


3 Stars

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group – Loveswept, Loveswept

Publication Date: November 1st, 2016

Genre: Romance

Series: The Devil Keeper’s

Devil’s Honor – Book 1

Devil’s Mark – Book 2

Devil’s Own Book 3

Where you can find this book: Amazon

Goodreads synopsis:

In the start of a sizzling new series, bestselling author Megan Crane takes readers deep into bayou country, where the sultry swamp has nothing on the heat of Louisiana’s fiercest bikers: the Devil’s Keepers.
Merritt Broussard grew up knowing she had two choices if she stayed in Lagrange: run with the outlaws or get left in their dust. So she got the hell out, leaving behind a bad-boy biker and scorching memories of their summer fling. Now Merritt’s back, with trouble on her tail, and the sergeant-at-arms of the Devil’s Keepers is the one person she can still trust. But Greeley isn’t the boy she remembers. He’s harder now, more dangerous—and even more alluring.
Joseph “Greeley” Shaw loves two things: his bike and his club. At eighteen, he escaped a rough life, found the Devil’s Keepers on the wrong side of a bad weekend, and never looked back. Greeley swore to live and die by their code: Devil’s Keepers first, Devil’s Keepers forever. No one comes between him and his brothers—except for the tantalizing woman who touched his soul. Greeley’s the kind of man who honors his commitments . . . and Merritt is one promise he’s determined to keep.

My review:

Merritt Broussard had vowed that she would never return to Lagrange, La after finally escaping it when she was 18. She was briefly tempted when she was 22, about to go to law school, and came home on break. What, or should I say, who lured her? A biker named Greeley, who was a member of the Devil’s Keepers, the local biker club that ran Lagrange. She was hellbent on getting out of Lagrange and getting away from her swamp rat roots, and she left, breaking Greeley’s heart.

Five years later, and Merritt is returning to the one place she vowed she would never go back. Lagrange. She didn’t even return there when her father died, that’s how much she hated her hometown. The only reason she is returned is that she has an abusive ex-boyfriend and her hometown is the last place that he would look.

But Greeley is in Lagrange, and Merritt knew that it would be a matter of time before he showed up. The last time she saw him, he warned her about coming back.

Greeley is at the club’s clubhouse when another brother tells him that Merritt is back in Lagrange and staying at her father’s house. He leaves the clubhouse and has a confrontation with Merritt that almost ends with sex. Almost because right as he was sliding home, the phone rings, and he has to go back to the clubhouse.

Merritt and Greeley do hook up, and oh boy, is it hot. The pages burned when they had sex. And, of course, they do it bareback. If you have been reading my blog for any length of time, you know how I feel about that. Like I have said in previous blogs, I really should start a movement: Safe Sex For Fictional People (SSFFP)….lmao.

Anyways, back to the review.

The plotline with Merritt’s abusive boyfriend was anticlimactic. After what Merritt told her best friend, I thought that Antony would be more of a badass. Instead, when he did make an appearance, he came across as flat. I don’t know how to describe it. I was expecting Greeley to kill him and was a little put off that he got away with just a beating (hey, I’m bloodthirsty sometimes).

The end of the book was pretty good. All the storylines got wrapped up, and there is a HEA for Merritt and Greeley. I am pretty excited to read the other two books in this series once they come out, and I do hope that the author doesn’t stop with just 2. There are a few characters that I would like to read their stories.

I would give Devil’s Honor an Adult rating. There are sexual situations. There is language. There is violence. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

I would reread Devil’s Honor. I would recommend it to family and friends.

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

Blood Divine by Greg Howard


4 Stars

Publisher: Anakim Press

Date of publication: November 28th, 2017

Genre: LGBTQIA, Horror, Fantasy, Paranormal

Where you can find this book: Amazon

Book synopsis:

Cooper Causey spent a lifetime eluding the demons of his youth and suppressing the destructive power inside him. But a disconcerting voicemail lures Cooper back home to the coast of South Carolina and to Warfield—the deserted plantation where his darkness first awakened. While searching for his missing grandmother, Cooper uncovers the truth about his ancestry and becomes a pawn in an ancient war between two supernatural races. In order to protect the only man he’s ever loved, Cooper must embrace the dark power threatening to consume him and choose sides in a deadly war between the righteous and the fallen.

My review:

Cooper Causey is a love them and leave them type of guy. He is unable to form any long-lasting relationship after a disastrous one in high school that ended with the guy in a coma and Cooper blaming himself. So he took off and eventually landed in Nashville, where the story begins.

Well, it began 20 years previously, when Cooper was 8. On a dare, his older brother, his brother’s friends, and Cooper go to an abandoned, haunted manor called Warfield. While they were there, the boys get spooked, and all leave. Well, all but Cooper, who ends up crashing his bicycle into a tree and loses his glasses. He ends up seeing a ghost called Blue. Blue corners Cooper when he falls on top of his bike, holds his head and shoots energy into Cooper’s head. Then Cooper passes out.

When Cooper was with his latest one-night stand, his grandmother, Lillie Mae, calls him and leaves a cryptic voice mail. Panicking (like anyone would when their grandmother doesn’t answer the phone), he heads back to Georgetown, SC, to check on her.

What ends up happening once he gets there is something he doesn’t expect. He calls the police to report Lillie Mae missing, and the officer that shows up is none other than his deceased brother’s best friend and Cooper’s old crush, Randy. After filing the report and Randy leaves, Cooper decides to head to the one place that terrifies him. Warfield.

It is there that his world kind of gets turned upside down, and I am not going to get into it.

I loved the fantasy and paranormal aspect of this book. The author put a great spin on Biblical stories which I enjoyed reading. I also really liked the spin on vampires/witches. He didn’t release all the information on either of them at once. Instead, it was leaked, slowly, throughout the book, and that was more than enough to keep my attention.

The ending was excellent, and I loved that Cooper finally found happiness. The way it ended, though, suggested at a book 2. If so, I will be eagerly awaiting it!!

I would give Blood Divine an Adult rating. There are sexual situations. There is language. There is violence. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

I would reread Blood Divine. I would recommend it to family and friends.

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

Earthfall (The Circuit: Book 3) by Rhett C. Bruno


4 Stars

Publisher: Diversion Books

Date of publication: December 13th 2016

Genre: Science Fiction

Series: The Circuit

Executor Rising – Book 1 (review here)

Progeny of Vale – Book 2 (review here)

Earthfall – Book 3

Where you can find this book: Amazon

Book synopsis:

The conclusion to Rhett Bruno’s stunning science fiction epic series The Circuit, which the San Francisco Book Review called “space opera that fans of Firefly and its ilk will appreciate.”

Earth is uninhabitable, but beneath its ruined surface sits massive deposits of Gravitum, a powerful, dangerous element with the ability to generate artificial gravity. Whoever controls the element can control the settled regions of our solar system, now known as the Circuit. For centuries the peoples of the Circuit endured an uneasy, if peaceful alliance designed to share resources. Now the Tribunal, a religious order, is nearly ready to take over all of it. With only the reconvened band of Clans inhabiting the asteroid belt known as the Ceresian Pact standing between the Tribunal and system dominance, one man––Cassius Vale––intends to end their oppressive rule. Vale’s brutal and brilliant plan is nearly complete.

In order to gain more time to complete preparations, Vale builds an army under the control of his robotic creation ADIM in order to attack one of the leaders of the Tribune. ADIM loves his creator but is growing more independent by the day, and soon may be too powerful for anyone to stop.

Talon Rayne, a mercenary, teams up with Sage Volus, a former Tribunal spy, when Talon discovers that his daughter has been captured by the very Tribunal leader Cassius Vale is after. Together, they have no choice but to ask for Vale’s help in saving her. Vale agrees, but are they just another cog in his scheme for bringing down the Tribune, or is there a part of him left that cares about anything other than vengeance?

My review:

Earthfall starts after the ending events of Progeny of Vale. Sage has been reunited with Talon, but it isn’t a happy reunion. He is upset that she killed his friend in front of him and wanted to kill her when he saw her. But she was on a mission to get his daughter back from The Tribunal. Talon has no choice but to join forces with her. He doesn’t trust her but she is his key to rescuing his daughter.

Cassius is going through with his plans of starting a war between the Ceresians and The Tribunals. Kalliope was the first shot in the war, with both sides blaming each other. While he is meeting with Zaimur Morastus, the head of the Morastus clan, he is contacted by Sage via a telecom device that he had put into her prosthetic arm. Cassius is Sage’s ticket to getting onto the Tribune vessel that is holding Elisha.

After they meet up with Cassius and discuss their plans to rescue Elisha, Talon and Tarsis have also introduced to ADIM. After the initial shock of meeting ADIM, a plan is launched to rescue Elisha. It involves ADIM taking over 500 androids to assist them when they recover Elisha.

I devoured the pages of the battle to get Elisha. I shed a tear when Tarsis gave his life, so Talon, Elisha, and Sage could escape. Cassius got his revenge on The Tribunal, but Talon and Sage discovered his deceit. The war between the Ceresians and The Tribunals escalate. While those two factions are fighting, Cassius slips away to do something that will have consequences beyond the conflict.

I loved Sage in this book. She becomes 100% human, instead of a tool of The Tribunal. Her relationship with Talon was complicated, but it was her relationship with Cassius that was even more complicated. She looked at Cassius as a father that she never had, and he viewed her as a daughter and he just wanted to better her world.

Talon came alive in this book. Even though he had a death sentence, he still fought against The Tribunals with everything that he had. The love for his daughter eclipsed everything in this book. I will admit that I wasn’t happy with specific events in the book. I got outraged and yelled at my Kindle.

Cassius remained in my top 3 favorite characters. Even though he started a war and did some horrible things, he wasn’t a bad guy. Cassius was a father, grieving for his child and wanting to get revenge for his death. He wanted to bring down The Tribunal. His actions did make sense. As did him building an android that could think for itself and that he considered his child.

The ending of the book was bittersweet. Just leaving it at that. I do hope that there will be more books written in this universe.

The whole series is worth reading. If you do decide to read the series, my suggestion would be to read it one after another, with no pauses for other books. The author intended for the book to be on a continuous story but separated it into three books because he didn’t want to chance that the book would be too long.

I would give Earthfall an Adult rating. There are sexual situations. There is language. There is violence. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

I would reread Earthfall. I would recommend it to family and friends.

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

Progeny of Vale (The Circuit: Book 2) by Rhett C. Bruno


4 Stars

Publisher: Diversion Books

Date of publication: March 15th, 2016

Genre: Science Fiction

Series: The Circuit

Executor Rising – Book 1 (review here)

Progeny of Vale – Book 2

Earthfall – Book 3

Where you can buy this book: Amazon

Book synopsis:

In the thrilling sequel to THE CIRCUIT: EXECUTOR RISING, Cassius Vale has drawn the Circuit into open war.

After arriving on Ceres Prime, ADIM, ever the loyal companion created by Cassius Vale, is hesitant to help the Ceresians. Their hatred for his Creator will never wane and he starts to understand the danger all of Cassius’ many rivals pose. ADIM must realize the true magnitude of his abilities in order to keep him safe.

When Sage Volus finds herself a captive of Cassius, she begins to struggle with her role in the coming war, and what exactly it means to be an Executor. The removal of her cybernetic implant reveals emotions she thought she’d buried too deep to be found. She must make a decision on who she truly wants to serve: Cassius Vale, The Tribune, or herself.

After breaking free of the Solar-Ark Amerigo and certain death, Talon Rayne finds himself in unusual company. His quests to hold his daughter again brings him to places he never thought he’d go–into the very arms of his people’s most hated foe.

As the battle grows ever closer, threatening the all-out war that could annihilate millions, these four must determine what part they intend to play, who they will align themselves with, and what it means to be human in a universe where that means less and less.

My review:

This book starts right where book 1 (Executor Rising) leaves off.

Sage awakens on Cassius Vale’s ship, The White Hand, after reliving the worst memory she has, the death Caleb Vale, Cassius’s only son. She has no clue where she is and leaves sickbay to explore. Sage finds out where she is, who she is with and what was done to her. She is sedated and brought back to the medical bay.

Cassius reveals that he was an Executor (which explained things from book 1). He had his implant removed, for the same reasons he removed Sage’s, to free himself from the Tribunal. The implant helped suppress any bad memories but it also allowed the Tribunals to look through the eyes of the person.

ADIM is getting to know the little girl he saved from Kalliope and intends to give the girl to Cassius as a gift to ease his sadness over losing Caleb (big awww moment there). Her name is Elisha and she’s Talon’s daughter. ADIM and Elisha form a friendship while traveling to meet up with Cassius.

Talon escaped the Amerigo with a Keeper, Tarsis, and is floating in space. Tarsis has an advanced case of the Blue Death and sleeps most of the time. They are not expecting to be rescued when a miracle happens, they are picked up by a shipful of Vergent merchants. Their relief is short-lived because right after they are picked up, a Tribunal ship hails the Vergent ship and demands that they allow them aboard for a routine check of the ship. Which they say no to and they make a beeline towards Kalliope on Talon’s suggestion.

Sage is reeling from Cassius’s revelations. She decides to attack him when he comes to visit her one day in the medical bay and make a run for it. But, she doesn’t get far at all. She is subdued by ADIM and taken to the hangar to be put on a ship home. Sage is given a sedative so she won’t be able to tell the Tribunal where she was. But, before she is gone, Cassius makes a series of confessions to her. When Sage awakens, she realizes that Elisha is aboard the ship with her. When she gets in contact with the Tribunal, they have her go right to Cassius’s old compound. There, Elisha is taken from her and she is immediately stripped of her weapons and taken for questioning.

Cassius and ADIM have their own agenda. After seeing off Sage, ADIM detects life aboard the Solar-Ark Amerigo, goes in and discovers carbon copies of itself. Cassius reassures it that those are only copies and that ADIM is the only one with something called “Dynamic Intelligence“. Basically, he is the only one that is self-aware and can make decisions on his own. Which might or might not be a bad thing.

I won’t go into the book after this. I will say that there is a death, a fake death, a couple more revelations and the beginnings of a war.

Sage is becoming my favorite character in this series. In the first book, she seemed like an emotionless robot (not knowing that the implant suppressed her emotions). Once Cassius removed the implant, she started to flush out and by the end of Progeny of Vale, her character was awesome.

Talon is tied for my 2nd favorite character. Even though he is dying, he is willing to not go down without a fight. When he realizes that Kalliope is destroyed and thinks Elisha is dead, he goes into berserker mode.

Cassius is my other favorite character. He has his own agenda and isn’t afraid to pit opposing factions against each other in order to wipe out the Tribunal. I can’t wait to see what he’ll do in the next book.

The book ends on a cliffhanger. If you have been following my blog for any length of time, you know how I feel about cliffhangers. But with this series of books, they actually work. I think that it is because I am actually reading them back to back.

I would give Progeny of Vale an Adult rating. There are sexual situations. There is language. There is violence. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

I would reread Progeny of Vale. I would recommend it to family and friends.

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

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