Set the Night on Fire (Cottonbloom: Book 6) by Laura Trentham

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Set the Night on Fire (Cottonbloom, #6)

4 Stars

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press, St. Martin’s Paperback

Date of publication: July 31st, 2018

Genre: Romance

Trigger Warning: postpartum depression, spousal abuse, cancer, addiction, and parental alienation

Series: Cottonbloom

Kiss Me That Way – Book 1

Then He Kissed Me – Book 2

Till I Kissed You – Book 3

Candy Cane Christmas – Book 3.5

Light Up the Night – Book 3.75

Leave the Night On – Book 4

When the Stars Come Out – Book 5

Set the Night on Fire – Book 6

Where you can find Set the Night on Fire: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

Cottonbloom is the perfect place for starting over, finding your way back home–and falling head over heels. . .

Ella Boudreaux has a lot to prove to her family, friends, and foes–and to herself. So when her marriage ends she decides to invest her energy and money into a place that brings back some of Ella’s happiest memories: the Abbott brothers’ garage. Maybe, if she puts her mind to it, she can teach skeptical, stubborn Mack Abbott how to make the business a true success. Which would be a lot easier if the hunky mechanic didn’t make her motor run quite so fast…and hot.

Mack was furious when his brother, Ford, sold his share of the business. He’s in no rush to team up with a wealthy divorcee who shows up to the garage in stilettos–and the longest, sexiest legs he’s seen in forever. But Ella’s grit and determination won’t quit…and soon Mack can see that she’s been down a few rough roads herself. Neither Mack nor Ella can deny the fierce attraction that’s revving up between them. Could it be that true love has been in the back seat all along…and they’ve finally found the key?

My review: 

I am not going to get into my complaints about reading books out of sequence if they are in a series. I keep accepting them, so my complaints are void at this point. But, it does show talent if the author can take book 6 and make it completely stand alone. That is one of the things I enjoyed about Set the Night on Fire. The other hight points of this book were how it tugged on my heartstrings and how the main characters were completely relatable. Of course, there were aspects that I didn’t like but they didn’t affect my review in a huge way. Mack’s 180 change on how he felt about Ella, Ella’s ex-best friend and husband, and the whole mystery behind Mack’s mother leaving I didn’t care for. But, I enjoyed reading Set the Night on Fire.

Set the Night on Fire is a cute, fast-moving romance set in the town of Cottonbloom, Louisiana. Ella moves to Cottonbloom to start over again. Recently divorced from an abusive excuse for a man, Ella has something to prove. Mack is the owner of a successful garage. He is furious that his brother sold his shares to a stranger. That anger grows when he realizes that the new part owner of the garage is a woman. An attractive women who match him step for step. He soon realizes that Ella is much more than she seems. Ella realizes that behind Mack’s gruff exterior is a kind, passionate man. Can Ella help Mack overcome traumas of his past? Can Mack help Ella realize that not all men are like her ex?

When I started reading Set the Night on Fire, I was expecting some parts of the book not to make sense to me. I mean, this is book 6 the Cottonbloom series. So, I was surprised when the author explained Ella and Mack’s shared backstory up front. There were some vague references made to other books but it wasn’t enough to make go scratch my head and go “How does this relate to the book“. I loved it. I was able to enjoy reading Set the Night on Fire without wondering what happened in the other book. It also made me want to read the other books in the series.

I liked Ella. From the first scene, when she was parked outside the garage, I thought there was something about her that stood out to me. The more the author got into her backstory, the more I liked her. She had a hellacious childhood that left her with a severe phobia of dogs. She also survived a marriage that was abusive. She wouldn’t allow herself to be backed into a corner. She also had one of the biggest hearts that I have seen in a book. She took in the woman who was her ex-husband’s mistress (now wife) when he started abusing her. She stood up to her ex when he showed up at her house, demanding where his wife was. She organized a charity drive for a couple that she barely knew but felt compelled to help. I 100% related to her.

Mack was a huge grump at the beginning of the book. I understood why he was so mad but his anger was misplaced. I thought him making Ella do an oil change on the car was low because he thought she couldn’t do it. But the more into the book I got, the more I realized that Mack had his issues. He was dealing with the death of his father the year before. He was also dealing with his brother, Ford, selling his share of the business to a stranger (and a woman). Plus, he was still dealing with his mother upping and leaving him and brothers when he was younger. When I found that out, I thought to myself “Well, no wonder he was grumpy. I would be too“. By the middle of the book, though, Mack was on his way to dealing with everything. I also loved how he dealt with Ella’s ex-husband. I cheered when that scene happened!!

This book definitely tugged on my heartstrings. There were times when I was crying along with Ella and Mack. Not going to say what scenes but if you read the book, then you know what I mean. One word: Cookies (read the book to find out).

The other thing that I liked was how relatable that the characters were in this book. The author made them as realistic as she could for fictional characters. Even the main characters had their issues. I liked was that she wasn’t afraid to tackle issues like postpartum depression, spousal abuse, cancer, and parental alienation. It made the book much more real for me.

There were parts of the book that I didn’t like. I didn’t like how Mack’s feelings for Ella turning from dislike to love so fast. It didn’t ring true to me. Also, I didn’t like how Ella’s ex-husband felt like he could walk right into her house and continue with his abusive behavior. I know that it mimics real life but I didn’t like. I also didn’t like that her ex-bestie felt that she could call on Ella to save her. I wanted to shake her and say “Sister, she WARNED you about him.”. My last complaint was how long and drawn out it was to get the story behind Mack’s mother’s abandonment. I didn’t like it <shrug>. I felt that it could have been dealt with sooner in the book.

Ella and Mack’s romance was hot and fast. I was surprised at how fast it was. They also had incredible chemistry together. The sex scenes were out of this world hot. My poor Kindle almost couldn’t take the heat.

I liked the end of the book. I do feel that there were enough storylines left unended for a 7th book. Which I would be very interested in reading.

What I liked about Set the Night on Fire:

A) Can be read as a standalone

B) Tugged on my heartstrings

C) Relatable characters

What I disliked about Set the Night on Fire:

A) Mack’s feelings changing for Ella so suddenly

B) Ella’s ex-best friend and husband.

C) The mystery behind exactly why Mack’s mother left

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

There are trigger warnings for Set the Night on Fire. They are postpartum depression, spousal abuse, cancer, addiction, and parental alienation. If you are triggered by any of those, I would recommend not to read the book.

I would reread Set the Night on Fire. I would also recommend this book to family and friends.

I would like to thank St. Martin’s Paperbacks, St. Martin’s Press, and NetGalley for allowing me to read and review Set the Night on Fire.

All opinions stated in this review of Set the Night on Fire are mine.

**I chose to leave this review after reading an advance reader copy**

Deep Cover (Love Over Duty: Book 3) by Scarlett Cole

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4 Stars

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press, St. Martin’s Paperbacks

Date of publication: July 31st, 2018

Genre: Romance

Series: Love Over Duty

Under Fire – Book 1

Final Siege – Book 2

Deep Cover – Book 3

Where you can find Deep Cover: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

ARE THEY IN TOO DEEP?

Ex-Navy SEAL Cabe Moss always comes when called to duty―at all costs. Even though the death of his fiancée nearly destroyed him, Cabe won’t let his past interfere with any work that has to get done. When his latest task pushes him to team up with FBI Agent Amy Murray, a fierce beauty with the undercover skills to match, Cabe must admit that, for the first time in years, he wants to do more than just complete their mission together…

Amy was born ready for this assignment, but working side-by-side with the strong, silent, and frustratingly professional Cabe seems to be the biggest challenge of all. But when the sparks begin to fly―and the stakes rise to dangerous heights―the only thing Amy is left worrying about is how she can resist him. Their lives may be in danger, but their hearts hold the biggest risk of all…

My review:

I didn’t like Deep Cover when I started reading it. But, the more I read Deep Cover, the more I realized that I judged the book by the first chapter. This book is so much more than Amy and Cabe’s relationship. I enjoyed the plotline about the missing girls. I enjoyed reading about Amy’s time undercover as a card dealer at a casino. I enjoyed how I was kept on the edge of my seat when Amy went off the grid.

Deep Cover is not a stand-alone book. You do need to read the first two books of the Love Over Duty series to understand some of the backstories. The author did a great job of doing catch up in the first couple of chapters. I would recommend reading the first two books before this one.

The romance between Amy and Cade was slow-moving. I felt that the romance came after the sex, as weird as that sounds. While Amy was sexually attracted to Cade, I didn’t get any sign of a romance between them. Because Cade was holding back.  It wasn’t until after Cade went to Jess’s grave that I felt the romance came into the book.

Speaking of sex, Amy and Cade had red-hot sex. Sizzling sex. Steaming up the screen of my Kindle sex. I loved it because Amy was a good sexual match for Cade.

The storyline involving the missing girls was fantastic. I enjoyed reading about Amy going undercover at the casino. I also enjoyed reading about it on Cade’s end. How he was trying to get into the inner circle of Popov through gambling. I loved it when Woods started grooming Amy to go on the boat. I knew that something was going to happen. When stuff went down, it went down exactly how I thought it was going to happen.

I did have an issue with how Cade treated Amy after they started sleeping together. He went hot and cold with her. I didn’t blame her for getting mad. If I were her, I know that I would have smacked him upside the head. Thankfully Six verbally did that to him. Made Cade see that treating Amy the way he did was not cool.

The end of the book was action packed. From the moment that Amy was on that boat, I didn’t expect it to be anything but. I loved how Cade came through for her. I also loved the epilogue. I might have cried a teeny bit.

What I liked about Deep Cover:

A) The plotline with the missing girls

B) Amy being undercover

C) The suspense!!!

What I disliked about Deep Cover:

A) Not a stand-alone book

B) Slow moving romance

C) How Cade treated Amy after they started sleeping together

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

I would recommend Deep Cover to family and friends. I would also reread this book.

I would like to thank St. Martin’s Paperbacks, St. Martin’s Press, and NetGalley for allowing me to read and review Deep Cover.

All opinions stated in this review of Deep Cover are mine.

**I chose to leave this review after reading an advance reader copy**

The Warrior of Clan Kincaid (Highland Warrior: Book 3) by Lily Blackwood

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4 Stars

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press, St. Martin’s Paperbacks

Date of publication: July 31st, 2018

Genre: Historical Romance

Series: Highland Warrior

The Beast of Clan Kincaid – Book 1

The Rebel of Clan Kincaid – Book 2

The Warrior of Clan Kincaid – Book 3

Where you can find The Warrior of Clan Kincaid: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

LOVE TAKES NO PRISONERS

Derryth MacClaren is on the run. Traveling under heavy guard, she has been sent from her castle home to avoid capture by the vicious nobleman known as the Wolf, who has vowed revenge against the Clan Kincaid, and any who support them. When a surprise attack leaves her vulnerable, Derryth ends up in the hands of an enemy warrior who claims her, with the Wolf’s blessing, as his prize. But her captor’s gentle words and touch seduce her heart—and body—completely…and when she discovers the tattoo on his arm that proves him to be the legendary, long-believed dead son of the murdered Laird of Kincaid, Derryth knows she must find a way to alter his fate—and her own.

Cull has no memory of his family or past—all he knows is the life of a warrior, trained to fight on behalf of the Scottish king. If he can help the king’s law officer of the North, the Wolf of Badenoch, defeat a rebellious faction of Highlanders, Cull will be met with untold riches beyond possessing beautiful, innocent Derryth. But now that she has informed him of who he really is—Cullen Braewick, the youngest son of the slain laird—he is torn. If Cull exacts revenge against the Wolf, who executed his father, he stands to lose the precious lass who he has come to love. What is he willing to sacrifice for Derryth to keep her safe…and in his arms?

My Review:

I have a love of all things Scottish. Heck, BK, my SO, can trace his roots back to Dundee, Scotland (2nd generation Scots on his mother’s side). I love historical romances based in Scotland and/or have Highlander’s. Ever since I had read Heather and Velvet by Teresa Medeiros, I have been hooked. So when I read the synopsis for The Warrior of Clan Kincaid, I thought “Right up my alley“. And guess what, it was.

I liked the plotline of The Warrior of Clan Kincaid. Cull was indebted to the Wolf. The Wolf rescued him from a slave ship in the Mediterranean when he was a child and trained him to a warrior. Cull rose through the ranks to fight for the Scottish King. He also is loyal to the Wolf. When the Wolf says that he has the king’s permission to move on the current Laird Kincaid, Cull doesn’t think twice. Derryth is being sent back to her stepmother to keep her safe as the battle looms. But she wasn’t safe. She was captured by Cull on the journey to her stepmother. She starts to develop feelings for Cull. It is after one magical night that she realizes who Cull is. Can she convince him to join his brothers in battle and embrace his birthright? Or is he too in debt to the Wolf to break free?

I liked Derryth. I loved seeing her transformation from a selfish little girl to a poised young woman. When she was first captured by Cull, I did get a laugh when she started using her wits to keep Cull away from her. I thought her drenching his side of the bed with cold water was funny. When she was held by the Wolf, she used her wits to keep one step ahead of the Wolf. She also revealed to Cull who he was and set that chain of events in motion. I admired her by the end of the book.

I felt awful for Cull. He was a slave until he was 12 when he was rescued by the Wolf. Then he was trained to fight for the King. But he was also used to do the Wolf’s dirty work. Work that included waging battle on the Kincaid’s. He didn’t particularly want to do it. He wanted a rest but if the Wolf said jump, Cull asked how high. All he wanted to was to find a place to belong. A sense of self. He had insecurities from being “Nameless“, which is what the King dubbed him. Which is why Derryth was good for him. She made him think about the future.

The Wolf was an evil SOB. When he revealed why he ordered the execution of the former Laird of Kincaid, I got queasy, then angry. Love does strange things to people. What was even more messed up was that he knew where Cull was and he let him SUFFER for 5 years. The Wolf should have been hung up by his nads for that one. I loved the afterward. The author explained that he was a true historical figure and what happened to him the last night of his life. Poetic justice!!!

I felt that there was little build up to Derryth and Cull’s romance and relationship. It moved too fast for me. I like at least some romance before the characters start having feelings for each other.

The sex between Derryth and Cull was super hot. Even though there was a lack of romance, it didn’t mean that there was a lack of sexual attraction. The author waited and banked on that attraction until it exploded between them. Even better, the sex was great for the rest of the book. There wasn’t one sex scene that was great and then the rest were stagnant. Nope, all the sex scenes were fantastic.

The end of the book was great. I did have some issues believing that Cull embraced his family as well as he did. Other than that, I loved it. I loved that justice was served at the end of the book and in the afterward!! I do wish that another book would be written about Ainsley. I would love to see what her story would be.

What I liked about The Warrior of Clan Kincaid:

A) Set in Scotland and had Highlanders

B) The plotline

C) Derryth. Her transformation was great

What I disliked about The Warrior of Clan Kincaid:

A) The Wolf. He was an evil SOB

B) Little romantic build up for Derryth and Cull

C) Had a hard time believing that Cull embraced his family as well as he did in the book.

I would give The Warrior of Clan Kincaid an Adult rating. There is explicit sex. There is violence. There is no language. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

I would reread The Warrior of Clan Kincaid. I would also recommend this book to family and friends.

I would like to thank St. Martin’s Press, St. Martin’s Paperbacks, and NetGalley for allowing me to read and review The Warrior of Clan Kincaid.

All opinions stated in this review of The Warrior of Clan Kincaid are mine.

**I chose to leave this review after reading an advance reader copy**

Missing: The Morris Mystery Book 1 by Shawn Jolley

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1 Stars

Publisher: 

Date of publication: January 2nd, 2018

Genre: Mystery

Where you can find Missing: Amazon

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

The idea of becoming a legal guardian wasn’t easy for Cecil Morris to swallow because of his profession as a traveling private investigator. However, that didn’t stop him from adopting his nephew, Evan, shortly after his parents were killed in an automobile accident. Together, they uncover what happened to a wealthy businessman’s missing son in a small desert community.

My review:

I like mysteries. But I don’t like it when a mystery leaves you hanging at the end. Or it was poorly executed. Which is what happened in this short story.

This book is 34 pages. It starts off strongly. Evan was taken in by his uncle Cecil after his parents were killed in a car accident. Cecil is a PI and he has taken on a kidnapping case in the desert. Evan meets him there. While waiting for his uncle, Evan is befriended by a strange girl, Janine. Evan becomes involved in the case and helps Cecil solve it.

It was after Evan meets Janine that the book went sideways for me. We were given the bare bones of the kidnapping case. There was no investigating. Evan is brought to the station by one of the officers on the case, only to be interrogated? No lead-up, it happened. Then everything was fine. Cecil didn’t even ask why Evan was there. WTH? Then when the case was solved, there was no huge reunion, no arrest. It ended. I was shaking my head.

I also wondered why Janine was involved in the plotline. She brought nothing to it except more confusion.

I got no sense of satisfaction from the ending. I felt like I was left hanging and was wondering what was going to happen.

Like I mentioned above, I felt that the mystery was poorly executed. There was no build up, no red herrings, nothing. If that could be fixed (along with the other things), this has the potential to be a good story.

I am not going to do a like/dislike section because there was nothing that I liked about Missing.

I would give Missing an Older Teen rating. There is no sex. There is no language. There is some mild violence. I would suggest that no one under the age of 16 read this book.

I would not recommend Missing to family and friends. I also would not reread this book.

I would like to thank the author for allowing me to read and review Missing.

All opinions stated in this review of Missing are mine.

**I received a free copy of this book and volunteered to review it**

The Third Step by William Lobb

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4 Stars

Publisher: Gatekeeper Press

Date of publication: November 3rd, 2017

Genre: Thriller, Suspense

Where you can find The Third Step: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

Dark, gritty, and riddled with back alley characters, The Third Step is one man’s journey into the black recesses of his own soul… 
Meet Frankie, a young, disaffected amateur boxer, really more of a punching bag, a drunk, and a drug addict. He is a loser at love, except for his relationship with his grandma, who, rumor has it, is a white witch. She, along with a handful of others, serve as his moral compass. 

Frankie fights a lifelong struggle to find an understanding of the creator of the universe, not the poisoned caricature painted by the church and the “holy” people who seem to torment him. 

His journey takes him from the East Coast down to New Orleans to face confrontations with his demons, both real and imagined. Along the way, the story is littered with tales of drug smuggling, murder, an affair with a woman who may be the devil herself, and an ultimate quest for revenge. 

Frankie comes to terms with his addictions, but his search for a deeper understanding of this God entity and his need to connect with his soul could be his ultimate addiction, one that may follow him beyond the grave…

My Review:

The Third Step is a raw, gritty book that follows a young man as he deals with addiction, failed relationships, and a struggle with religion. Frankie does questionable things with his life. Things that include drug smuggling, murder, being involved with a girl who is disturbed and revenge. As Frankie starts spiraling out of control, he heads to New Orleans. It is there that he finds the strength to deal with his demons head-on.

Frankie was not a likable character and I am not going to pretend to like him. He did some despicable things in the book. Awful things. But, there were moments where you could see what type of person he could have been. That is what made this book so compelling and what kept me reading it.

Like I mentioned above, this is a raw, gritty book. If you are looking for a book that has a happily ever after, this book is not it. If you are looking for a book where the main character realizes that he needs to turn his life around to better himself, again not the book. This is the book to read if you are looking for a book that is based in reality. This is also a book that doesn’t shy away from anything.

I didn’t like The Third Step. But it was a compelling read and I had to finish it. I had to find out what happened to Frankie. It drew me in.

Now, why did I give The Third Step a 4-star rating if I didn’t like the book? Like I mentioned, the book was a compelling read. It was also very well written. Frankie’s angst over everything came across very clearly.

The end of the book bothered me. It wasn’t what I expected.

I am not going to do a like/dislike section because I was so conflicted.

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

I would reread The Third Step. I would also recommend this book to family and friends.

I would like to thank the author for allowing me to read and review The Third Step.

All opinions stated in this review of The Third Step are mine.

**I received a free copy of this book and volunteered to review it**

Immortals’ Requiem by Vincent Bobbe

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5 Stars

Publisher: Jump Start Publishing

Date of publication: June 29th, 2018

Genre: Fantasy, Horror

Where you can find Immortals’ Requiem: Amazon

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

There are beings that live a shadow’s breadth from our reality. They are the dreams and nightmares of humanity, the ancient seeds of fairy-tale and superstition. 

These are the Immortals, creatures of magic that should live forever… and they are fading. 

When a horror two thousand years dead returns to contemporary England, creatures long thought lost to myth and legend collide in a scramble for survival that could tumble civilization back into the dark ages of blood and death. 

If you like urban fantasy, ravening zombies, terrifying shapeshifters, scheming vampires, and vast supernatural worlds, you’ll love Immortals’ Requiem! 

Content Advisory: This book is intended for mature audiences and contains graphic violence.

My review:

When I first read the blurb for Immortals’ Requiem, I thought that this was going to be a run of the mill fantasy. Since I like fantasy, I figured why not, the worst thing is that this book is cookie cutter vampire/shifter/zombie novel. Well, wasn’t I super wrong. Immortals’ Requiem was like nothing I have read before. Let’s put it this way, I loved this book. I loved how the author took everything that terrified people (vampires, shifters, zombies) and put his unique spin on them. I liked how his heroes were flawed. I loved that the author wasn’t afraid to kill off characters.

There were things that I didn’t like about the book but they were minor things that didn’t have any effect on my review. I didn’t like how the zombies in the Tower of the Dawn came to be. More specifically, who was behind it. I wasn’t expecting that. I also didn’t like how the Barghest (Cú Roí’s children) came to be. When the birthing scene played out, all I could think of was the movie, Alien. The last thing that I didn’t care for was Mark. I didn’t like him <shrug>.

There are several plotlines that are in Immortals’ Requiem. There is Grimnir and Cú Roí’s. Grimnir was charged with killing Cú Roí over 2,000 years ago. So, when Cu Roi comes back to Earth, Grimnir is resurrected. Then there is Mark’s. He is obsessed with hunting down and killing supernatural beings. He is also obsessed with keeping the reincarnation of his late wife alive. Lastly, there is Cam. Cam is a dissatisfied Elf who has distanced himself from his heritage and family. He happens to meet Grimnir in a pub and the rest is history.

This is a long book, 552 pages. While I like long books, some people don’t. Personally, I think that longer books are great. There is more time for the author to do world and character building. Which is what the author did here. He built a complex world with complex characters. I loved it!!!

I liked that the heroes in Immortals’ Requiem were not “good” per se. They were grayer. Take Mark, for instance. He became Immortal after peeing on a stone that told Grimnir’s tale. It was a punishment for a cocky young Roman man. He was also forced to live with watching his true love die before he could save her, every 50 years. He cannot die, so that means he cannot kill himself. So, what does he do? He starts to the hunt for the person responsible for his Immortality, the Maiden. He starts hunting down all supernatural beings and killing them. The reason I consider him a “good” guy is that he decided to help Rowan and his sister escape Cu Roi and then helped Grimnir and Cam when push came to shove.

There is a lot of violence in Immortals’ Requiem. Normally I wouldn’t touch it in my review but I feel that I have to in this one. Plainly, if you do not like violence, don’t read the book. Other than that, dive right in. This book is blood-soaked. No character is safe. Major characters are killed off without a thought. It was different and I loved it. But I did get sad when a certain foul-mouthed Elf met his end. That was a death I was not expecting. But what a way to die!!!

The end of Immortals’ Requiem was awesome. There were some things that happened that I expected, some I did not. I love how the author chose to reveal what Immortals’ Requiem meant in the book. Loved it! The almost all the storylines were brought together and ended in a way that I was satisfied with. Notice that I said almost. There was one storyline that wasn’t ended. I am hoping that it leads to book 2!!

What I liked about Immortals’ Requiem:

A) A unique spin on vampire/shifters/zombies

B) Flawed heroes

C) The author not afraid to kill off characters

What I disliked about Immortals’ Requiem:

A) How the zombies were created and how was behind it

B) How the Barghest was birthed

C) Mark

I would give Immortals’ Requiem an Adult rating. There is sex. There is language. There is explicit violence. I would suggest that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

I would reread Immortals’ Requiem. I would also recommend this book to family and friends.

I would like to thank the author for allowing me to read and review Immortals’ Requiem.

All opinions in this review of Immortals’ Requiem are mine.

**I chose to leave this review after reading an advance reader copy**

Rough Ride (True Brothers MC: Book 4) by Gillian Archer

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4 Stars

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group, Loveswept

Date of publication: July 24, 2018

Genre: Romance

Series: True Brothers MC

Ruthless – Book 1

Rebellious – Book 2 (review here)

Resilient – Book 3 (review here)

Rough Ride – Book 4

Where you can find Rough Ride: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

Hang on tight. When it comes to love, this loyal soldier plays rough.

Amber: 
Two years ago I would’ve made a play for a guy like “Bam” in a heartbeat. That was before my father died in a puddle of blood in the middle of a parking lot before I swore off his fellow bikers and their stupid “business.” But I still need answers about what happened to my dad, which is why I’m poking around at a nightclub owned by the Russian mafia. And that’s where I run into Bam, who carries me out of the club in his ridiculously strong arms like I was True Brothers property.

Bam: 
Motorcycle club princess Amber Bennett is the last person I’d expect to see at a club like Howl. She’s flirting with some dangerous people, and it’s my duty to step in and protect her before she gets in over her head. Like I don’t have enough on my mind without cleaning up Amber’s drama. Besides, she’s the definition of off-limits. If only she weren’t so f***ing hot. And determined to take care of everything herself. And oddly vulnerable. Because when we cross the line, I’m forced to choose between my true family — or my true feelings.

Look for all of Gillian Archer’s smoldering True Brothers MC romances:
RUTHLESS | REBELLIOUS | RESILIENT | ROUGH RIDE

My review:

I was excited to read Rough Ride. I have read the True Brother’s MC series from book 2. This series has captivated me. I love reading about bad boys who find their true loves with good girls. I have loved reading this series and Rough Ride was no exception.

What I liked about this book was how relatable Amber and Bam were. I also liked the chemistry between Amber and Bam. Even when they were in denial about their feelings for each other, it was still there. What I also liked was that both of them were not afraid to stand up to people. Bam stood up to his MC family for his relationship with Amber. And Amber, well she stood up to the son of the head of the region’s Russian mafia.

There were also things I didn’t like about the book. I didn’t like how Tank acted for 90% of the book. I get that he felt guilty about what happened with Stitch but still. He acted like a jerk when he began to suspect that Bam had feelings for Amber. If I didn’t know any better, I would have thought Tank had feelings for her. I also didn’t like Bam’s mother. She was a vile woman. That whole scene in the casino turned my stomach. The last thing I didn’t like about the book was how Amber’s mother acted the entire book. I get that she was destroyed when Stitch was murdered. That would have destroyed me too. But she wallowed in it. Kept drinking and forced Amber to take over paying the mortgage and all the house bills. She did redeem herself halfway through the book but still, the damage was done. I couldn’t look at her the same way I did when Brittany was introduced in Rebellious.

I liked the plot of Rough Ride. It takes place a year after Stitch was murdered. We find Bam is a full member of the book, despite what happened in Resilient. Amber is struggling to take care of her mother and keep the bills paid while going to school. She also needs closure with her father’s death. So she decides to go to the Russian Mafia owned club and demand answers. She gets them and she gets the unwanted attention of Ruslan, the son of the head of the region’s Russian Mafia. When the Brothers’ find out that Ruslan is stalking Amber, Bam is put on duty to watch her and keep her safe. Which Amber resents and fights against. But soon they start to develop feelings for each other. Can their love survive? Or is it destined to be a failed love story?

Ok, let’s talk about the cover. While I like it and think the model is hot, he does not look like what I expected Bam to look like. Bam was described by Amber as looking like a Viking. I was expecting a cover model who looked like a biker viking. Like:

That is what I thought Bam should look like. Not, the cover model on the cover. Just saying.

I liked how Bam and Amber’s romance was slow going. Bam didn’t want to be attracted to her. She was off-limits to him and here he was fighting his attraction to her. But once he kissed her, the romance took off. Of course, it wasn’t easy-going.

The chemistry between Bam and Amber was insane. The author took her time having them do the dirty but when they did, it was insane. As was every other sex scene that they had together. I do have one question, which wasn’t answered in the book. Was Bam pierced like Reb and Tank? Author didn’t mention it and inquiring minds want to know…lol.

The end of the Rough Ride had me in tears. I agreed with Amber about why she did what she did. But, I also agreed with Maverick. She shouldn’t have run. I loved the epilogue. Loved, loved, loved it!!!

What I liked about Rough Ride:

A) How relatable Amber and Bam were

B) The chemistry between Amber and Bam

C) How they weren’t afraid not to stand up to people

What I disliked about Rough Ride:

A) Tank and how he acted for 90% of the book.

B) Bam’s mother. What a vile, vile woman

C) Amber’s mother.

I would give Rough Ride an Adult rating. There is explicit sex. There is violence. There is language. I would suggest that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

I would reread Rough Ride. I would also recommend this book to family and friends.

I would like to thank Random House Publishing Group, Loveswept, and NetGalley for allowing me to read and review Rough Ride.

All opinions stated in this review of Rough Ride are mine.

**I chose to leave this review after reading an advance reader copy**

Believe Me by J.P. Delaney

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4.5 Stars

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group, Ballantine

Date of publication: July 24th, 2018

Genre: General Fiction, Mystery, Thriller

Trigger Warning: Mental Illness

Where you can find Believe Me: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

In this twisty psychological thriller from the New York Times bestselling author of The Girl Before, an actress plays both sides of a murder investigation.

A struggling actor, a Brit in America without a green card, Claire needs work and money to survive. Then she gets both. But nothing like she expected.

Claire agrees to become a decoy for a firm of divorce lawyers. Hired to entrap straying husbands, she must catch them on tape with their seductive propositions. The rules? Never hit on the mark directly. Make it clear you’re available, but he has to proposition you, not the other way around. The firm is after evidence, not coercion. The innocent have nothing to hide.

Then the game changes.

When the wife of one of Claire’s targets is violently murdered, the cops are sure the husband is to blame. Desperate to catch him before he kills again, they enlist Claire to lure him into a confession.

Claire can do this. She’s brilliant at assuming a voice and an identity. For a woman who’s mastered the art of manipulation, how difficult could it be to tempt a killer into a trap? But who is the decoy . . . and who is the prey?

My review:

This book messed with my head, big time. See, I liked psychological thrillers. I like reading a book where I don’t know what is going to happen from one chapter to the next. I like damaged main characters. I didn’t think that I was going to get that with Believe Me. I thought this book was going to be your typical who done it with the female main solving the crime. What I got instead was a book that kept me guessing from chapter to chapter. A book that I had a hard time forgetting about once I was done with it. A book that got under my skin. I should have known better than to assume the book was going to be a typical book.

Believe Me’s plot started off simple and progressed into complex. Claire was a British ex-pat actress living in New York City without a green card. Desperate for work, she starts doing decoy work for divorce lawyers. It is that job that puts her in the path of Professor Patrick Folger. His wife is found dead the day after the setup. Claire is brought in for questioning since she was the last person to see her alive. She is recruited by a shady psychologist to get to know Patrick and to get a confession out of him. Little does Claire know that her life is going to be turned upside down and inside out.

Claire was such a complex character to write. As a reader, I love it when characters have different layers to them. Claire definitely had them. There was one point in the book where I was questioning her memories of growing up in foster care. She was such a great actress that she made me, the reader, question what I was reading. I am sure that was the author’s intention. I loved it!!

I didn’t know how I felt about Claire. My feelings for her went from one extreme to another. I could love her in one chapter and then hate her in another. I have never had another book do that for me. Even at the end of the book, when we were seeing the “realClaire, I was still on edge about her. I mean, was that the real Claire we were seeing or was it another one of her personalities?

I’ve gotta say that Patrick had me fooled the entire book. I went from thinking one thing about him to thinking another to rethinking my opinion. So, needless to say, I was surprised by what he revealed to Claire. I shouldn’t have been but I was. Actually, let me rephrase that. I was more shocked by what he revealed.

I was also surprised that the poem referenced in the book “Les Fleurs du Mal” is an actual book written by Charles Baudelaire. To be honest, I did think that it was made up. Until I did a google search and there was a ton of information about it. I’m not going go too much into him but I will say that those poems are freaky. Google them and him. You’ll see what I mean.

The end of the book was insane. It is where the plotline went from simple to complex. I am not going to get into much of the ending except I wasn’t expecting what happened to happen. Also, as I mentioned above, I wasn’t too sure about Claire. Even with everything revealed, I still had my doubts about her.

There were a few reasons why I didn’t give Believe Me a 5-star rating. The main reason was that the book got off to a slow start. I know that the author was laying the groundwork for Claire’s story but still. It crept. I almost DNF’d (but I am glad I didn’t).

I also felt that the plot faltered towards the middle of the book when Claire was in the mental hospital. I felt that her experiences in that hospital were not relevant to the storyline. It was interesting but not relevant.

My last reason was the last few chapters of the book and how Claire’s secret came out. While it was shocking, I definitely didn’t see it coming. It came out of left field. When the book finally ended, I felt it was anticlimactic.

What I liked about Believe Me:

A) Got under my skin

B) Complex characters

C) The end of the book

What I disliked about Believe Me:

A) Book got off to a slow start

B) Plot faltered towards the middle of the book

C) The ending felt almost anticlimactic

I would give Believe Me an Adult rating. There is sex. There is violence. There is language. I would suggest that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

There is a trigger warning for Believe Me. They are mental illness. If you are triggered by that, I suggest not to read the book.

I would reread Believe Me. I would recommend this book to family and friends. But I would include a warning about the triggers.

I would like to thank Random House Publishing Group, Ballantine Books, and NetGalley for allowing me to read and review Believe Me

All opinions stated in this review of Believe Me are mine

**I chose to leave this review after reading an advance reader copy**

Everytime You Go Away by Beth Harbison

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4 Stars

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Date of publication: July 24th, 2018

Genre: Women’s Fiction

Trigger Warning: Anxiety, Death of a Spouse/Parent

Where you can find Every Time You Go Away: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Book’s Synopsis (from Goodreads):

In New York Times bestselling author Beth Harbison’s most emotional novel ever, a fractured family must come together at a beach house haunted by the past.

Willa has never fully recovered from the sudden death of her husband, Ben. She became an absent mother to her young son, Jamie, unable to comfort him while reeling from her own grief.

Now, years after Ben’s death, Willa finally decides to return to the beach house where he passed. It’s time to move on and put the Ocean City, Maryland house on the market.

When Willa arrives, the house is in worse shape than she could have imagined, and the memories of her time with Ben are overwhelming. They met at this house and she sees him around every corner. Literally. Ben’s ghost keeps reappearing, trying to start conversations with Willa. And she can’t help talking back.

To protect her sanity, Willa enlists Jamie, her best friend Kristin, and Kristin’s daughter Kelsey to join her for one last summer at the beach. As they explore their old haunts, buried feelings come to the surface, Jamie and Kelsey rekindle their childhood friendship, and Willa searches for the chance to finally say goodbye to her husband and to reconnect with her son.

Every Time You Go Away is a heartfelt, emotional story about healing a tragic loss, letting go, and coming together as a family.

My review:

I am going to start this review out on a complaint. If you go on Goodreads, you will notice that there is a different blurb for the book. Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and the NetGalley page feature the one I used for the synopsis. I got confused about what I was reading because the blurbs were different. I went through a small “WTH” moment when I realized that. I came <this close> to emailing the publisher to clear up the confusion. I didn’t after reading several reviews that pointed out the same thing. At that point, I decided to use Amazon’s blurb because it matched with what I read on NetGalley’s page. I do not like being confused. And over something as simple as a blurb.

Not that is out of my system, let’s get to how I feel about the book. I liked Every Time You Go Away, even if it made me feel sad for about 90% of the book. I liked that the author shows that love transcends death. I liked that I was able to see Willa heal while fixing up the beach house. I liked that Ben was able to help with Willa’s healing. I liked that Jamie ended up being a normal teenager, once he got away from his possessive ex-girlfriend. This is a book that you need to read with a box of tissues nearby because you are going to cry. Trust me on this one.

There were parts of the book that I didn’t like. I didn’t like Roxie. She brought nothing to the book except stress for Jamie. She was a manipulator. Oddly, I didn’t like the real estate agent. She grated on my nerves. I know it was her job but she could have shown a little more tact and understanding of Willa’s situation. I also wasn’t a huge fan of the ending.

I thought Willa was a hot mess at the beginning of the book. She took no pleasure out of her life after Ben died. She existed. She shut herself from everyone, including her son. Her anxiety was out of control. I thought I was bad with having my kids check in. She so much worse. But I understood why she was like that. To have someone died so suddenly was traumatic. I loved seeing her gradual healing throughout this book. Being at the beach house was what she needed, even if it brought back memories of her and Ben.

I liked the paranormal turn that the book took. While I thought that the book would have been fine as it, having Ben helping Willa get over him made the book even better. I did get some vibes from Ghost during the scenes when they interacted. Mainly the end of the book.

I liked the sub-storyline with Jamie and Kelsey. It was cute and mirrored Ben and Willa’s. I do wish that the author gave some closure to that storyline. I would have loved to see if they ended up together.

Like I mentioned above, I wasn’t the biggest fan of the ending. I didn’t feel satisfied with it. I wanted more. I wanted to know what was going to happen to everyone. The book just ended. I get driven nuts by that.

What I liked about Every Time You Go Away:

A) Love transcends death

B) Ben helping Willa getting over his death

C) Jamie ends up as a normal teen after dumping his psycho girlfriend

What I disliked about Every Time You Go Away:

A) The confusion over the blurb

B) Roxie. I did not like her

C) The ending. Wasn’t a huge fan of that.

I would give Every Time You Go Away an Adult rating. There is no sex but there are sexual situations. There is very mild language. There is no violence. I would suggest that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

There are trigger warnings in Every Time You Go Away. They are the death of a parent/spouse and anxiety. If you are triggered by those, I suggest that you don’t read this book.

I would reread Every Time You Go Away. I would also recommend this book to family and friends.

I would like to thank. St. Martin’s Press and NetGalley for allowing me to read and review Every Time You Go Away.

All opinions stated in this review of Every Time You Go Away are mine.

**I chose to leave this review after reading an advance reader copy**

Snow (The Black Ice Trilogy: Book 1) by Mikayla Elliot

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3.5 Stars

Publisher: Independent Book Publishers Association, Member’s’ Titles

Date of publication: July 31st, 2017

Genre: Science Fiction, Fantasy, Young Adult, New Adult

Where you can find Snow: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Series: Black Ice Trilogy

Snow – Book 1

Blizzard – Book 2

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

Taken from all she has ever known and loved, Neva finds herself swept into a world of vampires where she learns she will determine their future. Yet she quickly discovers she is the target of a vampire, Zachariah, seeking to stop her from altering the vampire lineage. She must decide which path she will take while trying to protect the family she left behind and discovering a past she cannot escape.

My review:

When I started reading this book, I thought that it was going to be a vampire Snow White type of book. I don’t know why I thought that, but I did. If I paid more attention to the blurb, I would have seen that.  Oh well.

I don’t understand how Snow was labeled as a young adult novel. Neva, the main character, was married. If I were to guess at her age, I would put her in her early to mid-’20s. I thought that his book was better suited for the NA genre than YA. But that’s me. Someone else could have a different take on it. Which is a wonderful thing about writing reviews. No one’s opinions are wrong. Unless you didn’t read the book and give your opinion, then I don’t pay attention to those reviews.

I liked the plot of Snow. I thought that it was original. Neva is brought into the vampire world when her life was almost taken in an attack. She is thrust into the middle of a conspiracy that will leave everyone reeling. Can Neva bring Zachariah to his knees and save the vampire lineage? Or will she become a pawn in an ancient war?

I liked Neva but I found her whiny for most of the book. Yes, she had a terrible shock when she was turned. It would have been a huge shock for anyone. Even after Thedryk explained why she was turned and who she was, she still whined about it. She didn’t understand the danger she was in. For an adult, she didn’t act like one. I did like that she wised up during the last half of the book. Seeing what happened to her family shocked her into wising up.

I didn’t think that Zachariah wasn’t that bad of a guy for most of the book. Yes, he didn’t like Neva and yes, he was only with Eliza because he cared about the power. The author showed a 100% different side to him when he was interacting with his adopted daughter. He cared for them. I honestly don’t think that he is going to be as bad as he was made out to be. I do think it is awful what he did in the last half of the book. But it didn’t go with what the author showed. I wonder if there is more to his story and if it will be revealed in book 2.

I loved what the author did with the vampires in this book. While these vampires need human blood, they don’t need it that often. They can eat regular food but it doesn’t do anything for them. Not everyone can be turned into a vampire, though. The author explained that people can be turned into vampires have a special aura. The vampires can see it but can only turn if they have permission from the Council. If someone is turned who doesn’t have the special aura, they become something out of a nightmare. The author also had the vampires have a special gift. Some are stronger than others but everyone has it.

There is even a science fiction angle of Snow. There is a vampire that can open portals into different dimensions. It is explained more thoroughly in the book. I found it fascinating and wished that it has been added sooner in the book.

The end of Snow was action packed and moved very fast. What happened to Zachariah, he deserved it. But it was the end of the book that made me go what. First with the introduction of a famous fictional character. Then it was who was introduced in the very last pages of the book. It is that revelation that makes me excited to read the next book in the series.

What I liked about Snow:

A) How the vampires were portrayed

B) Neva’s storyline

C) The science fiction angle

What I disliked about Snow:

A) Neva. She was a whine bag for most of the book

B) Zachariah. I was on the fence with him for most of the book. But the ending events turned me

C) What happened to Neva’s family

I would give Snow an Older Teen rating. There is no sex or sexual situations. There is violence. There is no language.

I would reread Snow. I would also recommend this book to family and friends.

I would like to thank Independent Book Publisher’s Association, Member’s Titles, and NetGalley for allowing me to read and review Snow.

All opinions stated in this review of Snow are mine.

**I received a free copy of this book and volunteered to review it**