Christmas on Mistletoe Lane by Annie Rains


4 Stars

Publisher: Forever (Grand Central Publishing)

Date of publication: September 25th, 2018

Genre: Romance

Where you can find Christmas on Mistletoe Lane: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Goodreads synopsis:

This USA Today bestselling author invites you to the delightful small town of Sweetwater Springs where the magic of Christmas brings to strangers together in this “story you won’t forget” (RaeAnne Thayne, New York Times bestselling author).

Christmas is coming to the North Carolina mountains, and the air is fresh and crisp and filled with promise. After the devastating loss of her job in the big city, the small town of Sweetwater Springs feels like heaven to Kaitlyn Russo. She’s inherited her grandparents’ charming (if a little rundown) bed and breakfast, and it’s just the new lease on life she needs. Only “heaven” comes with a catch-and a handsome and completely infuriating one at that. 

After what he hopes will be a quick trip, Mitch Hargrove wants nothing more than to put his hometown in the rearview mirror. But his plans get derailed when he learns he’s now half-owner of the Sweetwater B&B. The fact that he’s given only two months to make the inn a success is a huge problem, but it’s his pretty-and incredibly headstrong-partner who’s the real challenge. With the holiday fast approaching and a grand re-opening looming, will Mitch keep running from the ghosts of Christmas past . . . or will he realize the true gift he’s been given? 

My review:

When I saw that Annie Rains was coming out with a new book, I knew that I had to read it. But I wasn’t expecting to get approved for the review. So, when I saw the email from NetGalley stating that I got approved, I was happy and excited to read this book.

Christmas on Mistletoe Lane is one of those books that will make you smile while reading it. Kaitlyn’s enthusiasm for running her late grandmother’s bed and breakfast was catching. I found myself getting excited with her when Mitch said he would stick around for the terms of the will. I laughed when she was coming up with names for each room. It was a happy book.

There were some sad parts. There were also parts that made me mad. The reason Kaitlyn lost her job made me furious. I wanted to go smack that guy so bad. I kept thinking to myself “The Me Too movement would have a field day with that guy AND her ex-employer.” I also wanted to shake her mother when Kaitlyn finally told her what was going on. I did say out loud “Are you freaking serious!!!” The other sad part was the reason Mitch didn’t want to be anywhere near Sweetwater. When he explained to Kaitlyn what happened, I felt awful for him. But, when everything came out, I got mad. Talk about abuse of power.

The romance between Mitch and Kaitlyn was cute. I like how it played out as it would in real life. I have read too many romances where the problems of the main character went away as soon as they hooked up. Kaitlyn and Mitch had very real problems. It made the book so much more enjoyable to read for me.

Mitch and Kaitlyn had some serious sexual chemistry going on between them. Even the other characters noticed it. Which made for some pretty interesting conversations…lol. What I liked about this book is that while they had sex, it wasn’t the main focus of the book. The author didn’t waste any time on it. They went to bed at the end of one chapter and woke up rumpled the beginning of the other one. That meant I had to use my imagination for the sex scenes.

I had a connection to both Kaitlyn and Mitch. I understood why they acted the way they did. I understood why Kaitlyn needed to make this bed and breakfast work. I also understood why Mitch didn’t want to be in Sweetwater any longer than he had to be.

The secondary characters made this book shine. Each character had their own personality and brought a bit of oomph to the plotline. I enjoyed the antics of the first guests at the bed and breakfast. I liked Paris (and hope that he has a book soon!!). I also liked Chris and Nate. What Kaitlyn did for them was amazing. If only more people did that.

The end of the book is a tear-jerker. I will admit that I cried during it. Let’s say that everything was wrapped up in a way that I loved. And the epilogue. It was everything that I hoped for and more.

What I liked about Christmas on Mistletoe Lane:

A) Book made me smile

B) Kaitlyn and Mitch’s romance

C) The secondary characters

What I disliked about Christmas on Mistletoe Lane:

A) What happened to Kaitlyn

B) What happened to Mitch

C) How Kaitlyn’s mother responded to what Kaitlyn told her

I gave Christmas on Mistletoe Lane a 4-star rating. This was a well written, cute romance. I had a smile the entire time I read the book. There wasn’t anything I didn’t like about the book that would affect my rating.

I would give Christmas on Mistletoe Lane an Adult rating. There is sex, not explicit. There is some mild violence. There is mild language. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

I would reread Christmas on Mistletoe Lane. I would also recommend this book to family and friends.

I would like to thank Forever, Grand Central Publishing, and NetGalley for allowing me to read and review Christmas on Mistletoe Lane.

All opinions stated in this review of Christmas on Mistletoe Lane are mine.

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

Swagger (Milwaukee Dragons: Book 2) by Liz Lincoln


4 Stars

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group, Loveswept

Date of publication: September 18th, 2018

Genre: Romance

Series: Milwaukee Dragons

On the LineBook 1 (review here)

Swagger–Book 2

Where you can find Swagger: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Goodreads synopsis:

“Tight end,” noun: 1. a position in American football, 2. NFL star Marcus James, 3. what any hot-blooded woman can’t stop staring at every time Marcus walks by.

Bree Novak is so close to earning her Ph.D. she can taste it, but she’s supposed to be writing her dissertation, not giving lectures while her advisor slacks off. The semester gets even crazier when veteran tight end Marcus James—Bree’s celebrity crush—enrolls in her “Intro to Physics” class. The man’s even hotter in person than he looks on Sunday Night Football. So why is Bree hoping he drops out? Maybe it’s because Marcus, with his cocky smile and chiseled body, is the ultimate distraction. . . .

Drafted out of college years ago by the Milwaukee Dragons, Marcus is taking advantage of a season-ending knee injury to finish his bachelor’s degree. Plus, thanks to a required science credit, he’s also getting to know the geek goddess who teaches physics. With brains and beauty, Bree is living proof that opposites attract. She’s even kind enough to give Marcus extra help with the material, as if she didn’t have anything better to do. And the more time Marcus spends with her, the more he realizes he’s not just crushing on his teacher—he’s falling for her.

Don’t miss any of Liz Lincoln’s mouthwatering Milwaukee Dragons novels, which can be read together or separately:

My review:

Let’s start this review by looking at the cover. Mmmmhmmm. That is a fine specimen of a man right there. Definitely caught my eye on NetGalley when I was browsing Loveswept’s page. My only issue with covers like this, they overshadow the book and they tweak my mental issue of the main male character. And I have the same issues when it is the female main character on the cover. But, the cover did not overshadow the book. Nope. My mental image of Marcus was as good as the cover.

I was thrilled with how the author wrote Bree’s character. To have her teaching physics classes while working on her dissertation was empowering. But, the author didn’t make it easy for Bree. She showed exactly how hard it is for a woman to break into male-dominated careers. The attitude that her advisor and father had is unfortunately commonplace everywhere. I admired Bree for the perseverance in going after her dream and achieving it. I also could relate to her.

Marcus, oh Marcus. Is it possible that he can be brought to life from the book? Because I need someone like him in my life, pronto. I loved him. I liked his restraint with Bree. Even though he was attracted to her, he was willing to be her friend. He let her call the shots in the bedroom. He realized that he loved Bree before she did, which is amazing for a romance novel. Usually, the woman has the revelation first. When he screwed up (which I didn’t think was that bad), he gave Bree space. He understood that she was under a lot of stress.

I loved the secondary characters in this book. Bree’s friends were awesome. I wish I had a friend like Reina. I loved her spunk and love of life. I was a little peeved with Bree’s male friends. They saw how she was being treated by her advisor and didn’t do anything. Well, Kevin did something and Bree reamed him a new one. I have always said that secondary were the lifeblood of the book. And these were. They added more depth and humor to the storyline.

The chemistry and sexual tension that Marcus and Bree had were insane. You could cut it with a knife. I normally don’t do cheerleader chants in my head but I did with this one. I kept chanting “Do it, do it, do it“. I wanted them to have sex so that sexual tension and chemistry could be spent. But, once they did, it surged back up. The author did a fantastic job of keeping it up and going.

The sex scenes were beyond hot. That first sex scene was insane. Marcus had Bree screaming in pleasure. I had to put my Kindle down a few times and fan myself, the sex scenes were that good.

I do want to add that I loved that CTE was discussed in this book. CTE is something serious that athletes should worry about. I loved that Matt and Cassie had a foundation set up to do research on it.

The end of the book was great. The author did a great job at ending all the secondary storylines except for the one that involved Bree and her family. I got no sense of closure. I also wish that there was an epilogue. While Marcus and Bree made up, I wanted to see if they had their HEA.

What I liked about Swagger:

A) The cover

B) Bree’s career

C) Marcus

What I disliked about Swagger:

A) Bree’s freak out

B) Bree’s advisor

C) Bree’s family

I gave Swagger a 4-star rating. This is a sexy, fun read with relatable characters. Be ready for some steamy sex scenes!!

I would give Swagger an Adult rating. There is explicit 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 Swagger. I would also recommend this book to family and friends.

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

All opinions stated in this review of Swagger are mine.

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

Drawn to the Marquess (Imperfect Lords: Book 2) by Bronwen Evans


4 Stars

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group, Loveswept

Date of publication: September 4th, 2018

Genre: Historical Romance

Series: Imperfect Lords

Addicted to the Duke – Book 1 (review here)

Drawn to the Marquess – Book 2

Attracted to the Earl – Book 3 (expected publication date: February 26th, 2019)

Where you can find Drawn to the Marquess: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

Destined to go blind, a rake sets his sights on the toast of society, lighting a fire of passion that scorches the night, in this captivating novel from USA Today bestselling author Bronwen Evans.

Stephen Hornsby, the Marquess of Clevedon, has one goal: to see every exquisite thing he can before he goes blind. His greatest joy, watching a woman shuddering in the throes of passion, will be gone. But before the darkness descends, he is determined to seduce a magnificent widow, Lady Penelope Fisherton. Unfortunately, his rakish reputation has preceded him; Lady Penelope spurns his advances. Being a man who relishes a challenge, however, her reluctance adds only luster to his desire for the last beautiful sight he’ll ever see.

Considered the belle of London society, Lady Penelope was married to a scoundrel who cared for no one but himself. Now that she’s free, she wants nothing to do with love, passion, or desire—emotions that abandoned her with a cruel husband. So why does her body react when Stephen smiles? As much as she’d like to avoid the rogue, her brother-in-law wants her fortune, and he’ll kill to get it. Stephen is willing to help, but he’ll take only one thing in return: Her. In his bed.

My Review:

I love historical romance. Something about reading about love in Regency/Victorian England gets to me.  I love reading about the ton and its many rules about how a woman in Society must act. I love reading about how some women chose to either toe the line or ignore the strict rules that were set in place. I love reading about rakes and how they become reformed. I loved everything about them. Of course, there are some historical romances that I don’t like. But for the most part, they are some of my favorite books to read.

I enjoyed reading Drawn to the Marquess. What I liked the most about this book was that the characters were damaged. Stephen was going blind. Penelope was a battered wife. The author was able to take what happened to these characters and turn them into strengths. This book was nowhere as dark as the earlier book, Addicted to the Duke but it was dark enough for me.

There were things that I didn’t like about Drawn to the Marquess. I didn’t like how no one knew that Stephen had issues with his eyes. He couldn’t see anything off to the side and couldn’t see in low light. Wouldn’t that have been an issue when he was at balls? Because electricity hadn’t been invented yet and candlelight is dim. But, Penelope figured it out soon after meeting him? Didn’t make sense to me. I am sure that his mother and sisters would have noticed something. Because of what their father went through years ago. The other main thing was Penelope not telling Stephen about her husband’s death until after the Frenchman hinted about it. While I could understand her reluctance and embarrassment. But still. Stephen was working to clear her name and he finds that out. I would have been furious too.

I did connect with Penelope. I understood what she went through after her husband died. I also understood her absolute horror and disgust when she found out what he was doing. I wouldn’t have been so….restrained….in my response to that. I wanted to hug her and tell her that it wasn’t her fault. That he hid it well. But, she also annoyed me a little. As I stated above, I thought she should have been more upfront about her husband’s death to Stephen.

I liked Stephen but I also pitied him. I couldn’t imagine knowing that I was going to go blind and seeing my vision go. I understood why he wanted to experience everything. He wanted those memories of what a sunset was like before he went blind. I even understood why he didn’t tell his family about going blind. He didn’t want to put his mother or sisters through that again.

While I figured out what role Penelope had in her husband’s death about halfway through, I was still surprised by it. It wasn’t exactly what I thought. As soon as she realized what a monster her husband was, she went out to take care of it. As she should have. Those people were her responsibility and she lived for 6 years without knowing what was going on. To me, that made her a hero.

The sex scenes were fantastic. Penelope was a wildcat in bed, once she realized that she could get pleasure from it. I loved the scene where she started describing what was going on while Stephen and she were having sex. That upped the hotness factor for me (and them).

The chemistry and sexual attraction between Penelope and Stephen didn’t go away after the first time. The author kept that amped up for the entire book. Even in the epilogue, all he had to do was look at her in a certain way and her toes curled. Loved it!!!

The end of the book was great. Stephen showed such courage when he went after Penelope. I thought the scenes after everything had happened was awesome. The author did a fantastic job at ending all the storylines. One storyline, which was a minor one, got wrapped up in the epilogue. I had tears in my eyes when I realized that both Penelope and Stephen had their HEA. I am also looking forward to book 3!!

What I liked about Drawn to the Marquess:

A) Characters were relatable

B) The connection I felt with both Stephen and Penelope

C) The sex scenes!!!

What I disliked about Drawn to the Marquess:

A) Stephen not letting people sooner about his eyesight issues

B) Penelope not being truthful about her role in her husband’s death

C) Penelope’s husband (what she found out he did).

I gave Drawn to the Marquess a 4-star rating. I enjoyed reading this book. I felt a strong connection to both characters. The storyline was great and easy to follow. I did have some issues with Penelope and Stephen but that didn’t factor into my rating.

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

I would reread Drawn to the Marquess. I would also recommend this book to family and friends.

I would like to thank Loveswept, Random House Publishing Group, and NetGalley for allowing me to read and review Drawn to the Marquess.

All opinions stated in this review of Drawn to the Marquess are mine.

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

Worldwielder by J.M. Vaughan


4 Stars

Publisher: Aeternal Books

Date of publication: July 30th, 2017

Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult

Where you can find Worldwielder: Amazon

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

Melissa Mabrey isn’t like other sixteen-year-olds. From the time she was four, she’s been able to see the colors of people’s minds, colors that reveal to her their true feelings, desires, and fears. She’s only met one other person who’s like her—her best friend Kyle. But two years ago, Kyle mysteriously disappeared, and she hasn’t heard a word from him since. 

Until today. In a book carried by a stranger, Melissa finds a desperate plea for help from Kyle. Following his clues, she’s hurtled from our world into the Gallery, a gateway to millions of worlds. Each world is entered through a painting, and each has a different “pull” on the minds of its occupants. There are pulls that make people grow calm in the face of peril, or flee from shadows in terror or kill each other or forget things forever. 

But for Melissa, there’s nothing scarier than the unknown, and now she must traverse countless perilous worlds to find Kyle, fending off ruthless barbarians, the Gallery Guard, and her friend’s captors. Along the way, she’ll discover the truth about what she and Kyle are—a truth so terrifying her life will never be the same.

My review:

If you have read this blog for any amount of time, then you know how much I love fantasy and Young Adult. As much as I love those genre’s, I have found myself wanting when trying to find a combination of the two. Don’t get me wrong, I have read some awesome fantasy/YA books. But they are few and far between. So when the author approached me with a request to review Worldwielder, I almost declined. Then I read the blurb and my interest was caught. I thought to myself “Hmmm, this book could good.” And guess what, it was!!

Worldwielder is the story of Melissa. Melissa is different from other girls (and boys) her age. She has a special talent. From the age of 4, she has been able to see the colors of people’s minds. Through that, she is able to see their true feelings/desires/fears. When she was younger, she told her parents what she saw. That lead to years of doctors and therapy. But it eventually ended with her parents treating her like she was making everything up. The only bright thing in her life was her friend, Kyle, who shared the same abilities that she did. But Kyle disappeared 2 years ago. His disappearance and her actions afterward furthered the divide between herself and her parents. Things change when Melissa reads a message in a book from Kyle. A message that is pleading for her help. Melissa must overcome her self-doubts and rescue Kyle. She will also find out that her talent is not what she thought it was. That it was the tip of the iceberg. Can Melissa rescue Kyle?

I felt awful for Melissa. She had it tough at home and at school. She couldn’t get over Kyle leaving. She was so depressed at the beginning of the book that I wanted to reach through the book and hug her. Reading about her home life made me sad. No child should feel like that. I did think that she was obsessive about Kyle, though. But, if I were in her shoes, I probably have done the same thing at 14. I loved seeing her character blossom in this book. In the beginning, she was antisocial and tried to drive people (mainly Brock) away. But, towards the end of the book, she was able to rely on people for help and learned to accept the help offered. She also learned that sometimes her best friends were the ones that were sitting right under her nose the entire time.

I didn’t feel as connected to Kyle as I did to Melissa. But, I did think that it was a smart move on the author’s part that he slowly leaked information about Kyle. It was Melissa’s memories of Kyle that painted the picture of a boy who was kind and gentle. Which was the complete opposite of what I read later in the book.

Brock annoyed me as much as he annoyed Melissa in the first few chapters of the book. He didn’t know when to stop. He was too laid back too. I can’t believe I said that about a secondary character…lol. But, after she met up with him in the last half of the book, he grew on me. He showed that he was a true friend to Melissa by his actions.

The fantasy angle of the book was excellent. I loved the world building that went into the book. Each world had layers to it, which I enjoyed. I do wish that more time had spent on a couple of worlds. Other than that, I loved it. I also enjoyed how Melissa was able to get from world to world. Accessing them through a painting was a great idea.

Melissa’s talent was interesting too. I liked how she was able to tell the moods/feelings/desires from the color of people’s minds. But what I liked the most was that was only the tip of the iceberg with her. What she was able to do after meeting up with Ringo and getting that book was amazing. I also like that her power was connected to the “pull” of the planet. It made for some interesting scenes in the book.

The young adult angle of the book was great too. Melissa acted her age, which was refreshing. I have read books where there the main characters were supposed to be 16 and they acted 20. So to have a teenage character actually act like a teenager was refreshing to read.

The end of Worldwielder was good. I wasn’t expecting Kyle to be how he was. It was a bit of a letdown for me to read that. I also didn’t think that his mother would give up so easily. The storylines were all wrapped up and ended in a way that satisfied me as a reader. I do wonder if a book 2 is going to be in the works. Because there is so much that I need to know. Mainly about the Worldwielders. I also want to know about the other worlds that Melissa could sense.

What I liked about Worldwielder:

A. The plotline. It was original

B. The fantasy angle

C. Melissa

What I disliked about Worldwielder:

A. Melissa’s parents

B. I didn’t feel as connected to Kyle as I should have felt

C. How Kyle was in the last half of the book.

I gave Worldwielder a 4-star rating. This is a solid Young Adult/fantasy book. The storyline was interesting and engaging. The characters, I felt connected too (except for Kyle). This is a book that would be right for teenagers 16 and older.

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

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

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

All opinions stated in this review of Worldwielder are mine.

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

Lies by T. M. Logan


4 Stars

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Date of publication: September 11th, 2018

Genre: Mystery, Thriller

Where you can find Lies: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):


When Joe Lynch stumbles across his wife driving into a hotel car park while she’s supposed to be at work, he’s intrigued enough to follow her in.

And when he witnesses her in an angry altercation with family friend Ben, he knows he ought to intervene.

But just as the confrontation between the two men turns violent, and Ben is knocked unconscious, Joe’s young son has an asthma attack – and Joe must flee in order to help him.

When he returns, desperate to make sure Ben is OK, Joe is horrified to find that Ben has disappeared.

And that’s when Joe receives the first message… 

My review:

I can’t even begin to explain how much I liked this book. Can’t even begin. I will admit that I went into reading Lies, thinking that this book was going to be an ordinary mystery. Then I started reading the book and well, I was proven wrong, This book is anything but ordinary.

Lies had a simple plot. Joe sees his wife going into a hotel parking lot. Seeing that she is supposed to be at work, he follows her. He ends up witnessing her arguing with a family friend. Breaking them up, the friend turns on Joe and tries to start a fight. Forced to defend himself, Joe knocks the friend unconscious. Before he could get help for him, Joe’s son has an asthma attack…which requires Joe to go home to get his inhaler. Returning, he finds that his friend has disappeared. Strange things start happening that culminate with the police charging Joe with murder. But everything is not what it seems. The truth is more sinister than what Joe expected.

I felt awful for Joe. His life was destroyed within a week. I did think that his reaction to what was going on was pretty dead on for an ordinary guy. His confusion over everything came off the pages. Even his actions started showing how erratic he was becoming. I love it that the author took him to the edge and then pulled him back. I won’t say what pulled him back. But I will say that it was brilliant.

The mystery angle of the book was excellently written. I did figure out part of what was going on. I thought it was the whole thing. But, then the major plot twist happened and it seemed like it came out of left field. There is a smaller, minor plot twist that happens almost after the major one. It only added to the story. It was also sad.

The suspense angle of the book was awesome. I was with Joe, wondering who was tormenting him.

The end of the book was insane. Like I mentioned above, there was a plot twist that blew my mind. I didn’t see it coming. But, the author also touched on what happened afterward. Which is something that I don’t see too often in books like these. I was glad that the author chose to do that. It gave me the closure that I needed.

What I liked about Lies:

A) How intense the book was

B) Joe.

C) The plot twist

What I disliked about Lies:

A) Nothing, the book was very well written

I would give Lies an Adult rating. There is no sex. But there are sexually explicit pictures and talk. There is violence. There is language. I would suggest that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

There are trigger warnings for Lies. They are stalking and death.

I would reread Lies. 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 Lies.

All opinions stated in this review of Lies are mine

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

Dead Girls Don’t Love by Sarah Hans


4 Stars

Publisher: Dragon’s Roost Press

Date of publication: May 28th, 2018

Genre: Horror

Where you can find Dead Girls Don’t Love: Amazon | Barnes, and Noble

Book synopsis (from Goodreads): 

Do you enjoy creepy stories about people who don’t quite fit in? Dead Girls Don’t Love is a collection of poignant tales for the outsider in all of us. For a domestic violence victim, there is no life after death–but could there be revenge? Can a woman returning to her life after 40 years with the fae remember how to be human? When two Buddhist monks travel to China to spread the dharma, will they survive the unspeakable horror they find instead? What really happened when the Big Bad Wolf ate the lonely grandmother living in the woods? Will the love between two zombified women help them break the spell that binds them in eternal servitude? And, perhaps most importantly, can an Elder God find true love? These and many more fascinating questions will be answered on the pages within if you dare to read them. But be warned: the strange and horrifying realities contained in Dead Girls Don’t Love may haunt you long after you close the back cover.

My review:

While I like to read anthologies, I don’t review them. I find them hard to review because they are short stories. But, when the author approached me with a request to review Dead Girls Don’t Love, I had to review it. Because of the blurb. The blurb made me want to read this book and share it with everyone. The other reason why I accepted is that I like sharing books by indie authors. They should be showcased on blogs as much as the mainstream authors. All it takes is one person to give that author a chance.

I am glad that I decided to read Dead Girls Don’t Love. The range of the stories in this book was amazing. There was a bit of everything. You want a story about the Fae? You got it. You want a story about what happened after the grandmother was eaten by The Big Bad Wolf? You got it. You want a zombie love story (which was my favorite story)? You got it.

I am not going to get into each individual story in this book. If I did that than this review would be super long and you would lose interest after the first blurb. Like I mentioned above, these stories are varied. There is a connecting thread of horror in each of them. In some stories, it takes a bit longer for the horror element to show up but it is worth the read.

There was also a small romance theme that ran through a few of the stories. The tree, the Elder God, and the zombie women were the three main ones that I remember. What I enjoyed, even more than the romance was that the author had two of those romances be LGBTQIA themed. Rarely I read a horror book where one or both of the characters in the story are gay or lesbian. It was refreshing and I loved it!!

The horror angle in each of these stories was different. Some were in your face (the Fae) and others were subtle (the story of the monks on the ship). But they all got you in the end. The one that freaked me out the most was the one with the wandering monks. I got chills reading that story. Even more so because one of the monk’s questions about his past wasn’t answered. I was left wondering about him.

To wrap up this review, go pick up this book. It is 230 pages but it is a fast read. It is wonderfully written and I was creeped out by some of the stories.

I will not be doing a like/dislike section for this book.

I gave Dead Girls Don’t Love a 4-star review. I enjoyed reading this book. The stories were chilling to read.

I gave Dead Girls Don’t Love 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 Dead Girls Don’t Love. I would also recommend this book to family and friends.

I would like to thank the author for allowing me to read and review Dead Girl’s Don’t Love.

All opinions stated in this review of Dead Girl’s Don’t Love are mine.

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

Carbon Replacements (McAllister Brothers: Book 4) by Reily Garrett


4 Stars


Date of publication: September 9th, 2018

Genre: Romance, Suspense, Thriller, Mystery

Series: McAllister Justice

Tender Echoes – Book 0.5

Digital VelocityBook 1

Bound by Shadows – Book 2

Inconclusive Evidence – Book 3 (review here)

Carbon Replacements – Book 4

Where you can find Carbon Replacements: Amazon

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

The killer held a knife to her throat—the ultimate decision locked within a dark and deviant gaze.

Determined and dedicated, forensic pathologist Remie Tallin validates her talent by discerning a victim’s last moments of life. Returning to Portland signified her new beginning where a psychopathic stalker designates her a pawn in a seductive game of intrigue. 

The lines between predator and prey blur in hunting a medical genius bent on resetting the laws of nature. Evidence has never failed to point Remie in the right direction, yet conflicting discoveries mock the legal system and defy the scientific arena for clarification.

Detective McAllister’s return from leave includes a new assignment along with a partner well versed in subtle sarcasm and innuendos. Discovering the new medical examiner unconscious at the scene of a grisly murder forces him to unite with his brothers against a world of chaos where reality shifts according to a psychopath’s desire.

My review:

Romantic thrillers are a favorite of mine to read. So when Reily approached me to read Carbon Replacements, I jumped on it. Not only because it is a romantic thriller but also because it is the next book in the McAllister Justice series.

Carbon Replacements takes place sometime after the ending of Inconclusive Evidence. Remi Tallin is a forensic pathologist that had moved back to Seattle after the death of her mother. When her next door neighbor comes to her after being attacked by a John, Remi is drawn into a game where her every move is watched and reported. Billy McAllister is back from leave. He comes into Remi’s world when he is the one to find her after she was attacked by the same John who murdered her neighbor. But not everything is what it seems. Billy and Remi are drawn into a dangerous game of cat and mouse with a psychopath called The Sandman. The secret that he is hiding could change the world. Can Billy and Remi outthink him or will they become his victims?

I loved the storyline. From the beginning, when Remi was sitting in the car with Gena, I was drawn in. The author did a fantastic job of keeping me interested in the story. The side storylines of Royden/Abby and Katt/Matt were a welcome distraction when Billy/Remi’s storyline got too much. The author did a wonderful of tying them all to the main storyline at the end of the book.

The thriller angle of the book was very well written. This book did a great job of taking sudden twists and turns. Just when I thought I had the bad guy figured out, the author threw a wrench in it. I also liked the idea that was behind everything. I have never heard of bioprinting organs before and I was unaware of the controversy surrounding it. The role that it played in this book was frightening. I had no issue imagining someone wanting to do what The Sandman wanted to do with a bioprinter.

I loved how the relationship between Remi and Billy evolved. It went from a typical police/victim relationship to one where they had feelings for each other but refused to act. So no Instalove. The chemistry between them was amazing. With every glance they shared, the chemistry became more charged. There was a point in the book where I was like “Just DO IT, already“.

Speaking of sex, there wasn’t a lot in this book. Which was refreshing because I could focus on the storyline without wondering when they were going to have sex. The sex that Billy and Remi had was amazing because of the chemistry.

The end of the book was amazing. Who The Sandman was a surprise. A surprise because of why The Sandman did what he did. Talk about frightening and twisted. I also liked how the author lined up the next romance. I wasn’t surprised at who it was because you could see it going there the entire book.

What I liked about Carbon Replacements:

A) the storyline

B) the side storylines

C) The relationship between Remi and Billy

What I disliked about Carbon Replacements:

A) The Sandman

B) What happened to Abby (not mentioned in the review so read the book!!)

C) Remi’s stalker (again, not mentioned in the review. See above)

I gave Carbon Replacements a 4-star rating. This book is a thrilling read. I didn’t know when or where the plot would twist and go in a totally different direction. The Sandman was a truly despicable villain.

I would give Carbon Replacements 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 Carbon Replacements. I would also recommend this book to family and friends.

I would like to thank Reily Garrett for allowing me to read and review Carbon Replacements

All opinions stated in this review of Carbon Replacements are mine.

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

Sadie by Courtney Summers


4.5 Stars

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press, Wednesday Books

Day of publication: September 4th, 2018

Genre: Young Adult, Mystery, Thriller, Suspense

Where you can find Sadie: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

Sadie hasn’t had an easy life. Growing up on her own, she’s been raising her sister Mattie in an isolated small town, trying her best to provide a normal life and keep their heads above water. 

But when Mattie is found dead, Sadie’s entire world crumbles. After a somewhat botched police investigation, Sadie is determined to bring her sister’s killer to justice and hits the road following a few meager clues to find him.

When West McCray—a radio personality working on a segment about small, forgotten towns in America—overhears Sadie’s story at a local gas station, he becomes obsessed with finding the missing girl. He starts his own podcast as he tracks Sadie’s journey, trying to figure out what happened, hoping to find her before it’s too late.

My review:

I had seen reviews for Sadie on various blogs that I follow. All them good. I thought to myself “This book can’t be THAT good.” I had gotten Sadie as an ARC a few months back but due to school vacation, I fell behind on my reviews. So I went into reading this book with a fair amount of skepticism. Well, let me take back everything I thought to myself. Sadie was amazing. There are very few books that I will get completely immersed in and Sadie was one.

I loved the way it was written. It was split between being told as a podcast and from Sadie’s POV. Not only did I get to see the effect of Sadie’s leaving had on people. But I also got to read about what Sadie was thinking when she started off on her journey to find Keith.

I loved how the author dangled parts of the plotline. Instead of giving everything all at once, she broke things up into little pieces. You know that Mattie, Sadie’s younger sister, was killed. You know that Sadie didn’t deal with it well. It’s the underneath that the author takes her time revealing. It was drawn out. Sadie would reveal something then it would switch to McCray as he is doing this podcast. What was revealed was explained after the fact, by the people affected. It was interesting because not everything was told to McCray.

McCray was trying to do good with his podcast but it seemed like he was always 3 steps behind Sadie. At one point, I got mad because he kept running into dead ends. But, Sadie did make it easy for him to follow her. She left clues. I could see McCray getting more and more involved in this case the more time he spent on it. He went from an impersonal radio host to a human being trying his best to find a missing girl. It was interesting to see that transformation.

I should have seen what Keith did to Sadie coming. It wasn’t addressed until after Sadie found those pictures. Then, I understood while she was doing this for Mattie, she was also doing it for herself and the other girls that Keith victimized. If Keith had stayed away, Sadie would have gone on with her life, caring for Mattie. But he came back and bad things happened. That broke Sadie. So yes, I wasn’t surprised that she decided to go after him.

I was angry with Sadie’s mother. She was the catalyst for everything. Either she didn’t know or she turned a blind eye to what was going on. But, when he dared to attempt something on Mattie, she threw him out. Even with Mattie dead and Sadie gone, her mother mourned only for Mattie. I don’t think she had it in her to love Sadie (even though she said she did). May Beth, the surrogate grandmother, shed more tears for Sadie than her own mother. That showed how empty Sadie’s life was.

I couldn’t believe the ending. I tried to flip to the next page because I refused to believe that the author ended it that way. I might have shouted “Seriously!!!” Talking about frustrating. But genius of the author. Because it made you think. And, unfortunately, it ended as it would have in real life. With more questions than answers.

What I liked about Sadie:

A) Relatable characters

B) How it was written

C) Was able to get completely immersed in it.

What I disliked about Sadie:

A) Keith

B) Sadie’s mother

C) The ending

I gave Sadie a 4.5-star rating. I was completely immersed in this book from page 1. This was a fantastic book to read. The only downside to it was the ending. Other than that, a great book to read.

I gave Sadie an Older Teen rating. There are sex and sexual references. There is language. There is violence. I would recommend that no one under the age of 16 read this book.

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

I would like to thank St. Martin’s Press, Wednesday Books, and NetGalley for allowing me to read and review Sadie

All opinions stated in this review of Sadie are mine.

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

The Breakup (The Jordan Brothers: Book 2) by Erin McCarthy


3.5 Stars

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group, Loveswept

Date of publication: August 28th, 2018

Genre: Romance

Series: The Jordan Brothers

The Hookup – Book 1 (review here)

The Breakup – Book 2

Where you can find The Breakup: Amazon | Barnes, and Noble

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

Can two wrongs feel oh-so-right? This bride is about to find out—with the bad boy who makes an epic breakup worth her while.

Bella: I know I’m a princess. I’m used to getting what I want. But all I ever really wanted was a husband and a family. Unlike my sister, Sophie, I’ll never have a brilliant career to fall back on. So what’s a bride to do when she learns that Prince Charming is a cheating snake just a few days before her fairy-tale wedding? With my fiancé begging for another chance, the only way to save the wedding is to even things out with a little revenge sex—and local bartender Christian Jordan seems like the right man for the job.

Christian: If gorgeous Bella Bigelow thinks sleeping with me will somehow lead to happily ever after, I’m not going to turn her down. The guy she wants to marry is a jerk, and her sister is fooling around with my estranged twin brother, Cain. So what’s the problem? Besides falling for a woman who doesn’t know what she wants out of life? All I want to do is whisk her away from that church, take her to a cabin in the woods, and act out all our naughtiest fantasies. And I may just get the chance. . . .

My Review:

I enjoyed reading The Breakup. It was a book that was straight to the point. It had an easy plot to follow, likable characters and some steaming hot sex scenes. I needed to read a book like The Breakup. After some of the books I have read, it was a welcome turn of pace for me.

What is interesting about The Breakup is that it starts halfway through The Hookup. That was interesting to me because I haven’t seen too many books written that way. I got to see everything from the bar scene from Christian and Bella’s POV. It added an extra insight not only to the stress that Bella was going through but to Christian and Cain’s complex relationship.

I could not stand Bella’s fiancée. I wanted to kick him in the nads and punch him in the face. I couldn’t believe the stuff he put Bella through. The things he said to her. I felt so bad for her when she found the text messages and told Sophie why he did what he did. He tried to justify his actions to her. “Baby, you made me do it. You are boring in bed“. What the actual frick frack???? No wonder she was so insecure about sex. Then to get her parents involved? W.T.F. So, yeah, I was happy when she left him at the altar. He deserved it.

Bella and Christian had insane chemistry. Every scene that they were in was through the roof. I found myself chanting “Do it! Do it!” What made it even hotter was that Christian refused to do anything with Bella until she was single. She came to him for a “revenge screw” and he turned her down. What guy does that?? A guy who has morals. Loved it!!

When Bella and Christian finally had sex, it was explosive. I knew that certain things were coming since Bella had told Christian that she didn’t like oral sex or butt play. Him teaching her to like oral was a no-brainer. But, I was surprised that anal wasn’t touched. Maybe because it was a line that she didn’t want to cross. Who knows. What I also liked is that the sexual tension continued. It wasn’t as red-hot as the first time but it was still there.

I liked that Christian was a bit of a straight arrow. He carried incredible guilt over what happened with his brother. He felt that he was the blame for Cain’s drinking. At the same time, though, he also stood up and took responsibility for his son. I did find it interesting that they wouldn’t know if Cain or Christian was the little guy’s father. Because they were identical twins, they have identical DNA. But he decided to take the responsibility. I loved how he handled baby mama drama. He wasn’t willing to rock the boat because he was afraid that she would go for full custody.

Bella was awesome in this book. I got a strong Runaway Bride vibe from her at the beginning of the book. I understood what she was going through, relationship-wise. She didn’t want to stay because he was a jerk but he was also familiar. Her taking off right before the wedding made me go “Oh yeah” and do a fist pump. The same thing when she let loose on Christian’s baby mama. I thought she was a little innocent for Christian, as weird as that sounds. Some of her phrases made me think “Is she from the ’50s?“.

I was disappointed by the last half of The Breakup. I had a feeling something like what happened was going to happen. I did an “ugggh” when it came around. A typical romance theme that I was hoping wouldn’t be in the book.

The ending of The Breakup was your typical HEA. I liked seeing what happened with Sophie and Cain. I also wonder if there is going to be a book 3. There are a brother and a sister that need romance!!!

What I liked about The Breakup:

A) Easy to follow the plot

B) likable characters

C) steamy sex scenes

What I disliked about The Breakup:

A) Bella’s ex

B) Christian’s baby mama drama

C) The last half of the book.

I gave The Breakup a 3.5star rating. This book was a great read. It had an easy plot to follow. It had likable characters and some steamy sex scenes. I didn’t like Bella’s ex or Christian’s baby mama. I also didn’t like the last half of the book. But, overall, a good read.

I gave The Breakup an Adult rating. There is explicit 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 The Breakup. 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 The Breakup.

All opinions stated in this review of The Breakup are mine.

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

Dagger’s Edge (Brute Force: Book 2) by Lora Leigh


2 Stars

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

Date of publication: August 28th, 2018

Genre: Romance, Suspense

Series: Brute Force

Collison Point – Book 1

Dagger’s Edge – Book 2

Where you can find Dagger’s Edge: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

#1 bestselling author Lora Leigh is back–with a vengeance–in her latest novel of passion and intrigue, Dagger’s Edge, featuring the men of Brute Force. 

Ivan Resnova wants nothing more than to escape his hard, brutal past. Starting over is not so easy once you’ve been a powerful crime boss but now, instead of being punished for his alleged crimes, Ivan fears that the one woman he can’t forget is in danger of paying the price.

Crimsyn “Syn” Delaney thought the danger she’d faced was over, and that she could resume her life. She never imagined it would return with a vengeance and throw her back into Ivan’s world. But when an attempt is made on her life, she needs Ivan more than ever to keep her safe–even if she is in danger of falling deeply and dangerously in love. . .

My review:

I have a personal goal of not DNFing any book. I like to give books a chance. Sometimes a book will start rocky and then morph into a great book. I have never been challenged to finish a book until Dagger’s Edge. I had to talk myself out of deleting this book and sending a DNF to the publishers. I had to force myself to finish this book.

Dagger’s Edge is the 2nd book in the Brute Force series. Journey (aka CrimsynSyn“) is on the run from her family. Being pressured to married Beauregard and to restore favor to the Queen Mother, she leaves. She runs into Ivan, who she has always had a thing for. Besides being her best friend’s father, Ivan is the one man she wanted to run to. But can she trust this dangerous man? Will he be able to protect her?

When a book leaves me confused after the prologue, I know that it isn’t going to be good. That is what Dagger’s Edge did to me. Left me confused and going “What the heck is happening here” I reread the prologue to make sure I didn’t miss anything. I paged back to see if there was something before the prologue. Nothing. So I was left confused. And I stayed confused the entire book. I have a feeling that if I read book 1, then I would have a better understanding of what was going on. But I didn’t….so yeah.

That confusion trickled down to the characters and their relationships. I could not connect with Journey. At. All. She went between acting like a child and a mature woman for most of the book. She made life choices that had me questioning how she survived so long on her own. Seriously.

I respected Ivan but I didn’t like him. He rubbed me the wrong way. I did think at one point “He must have a lonely life.” So when he went all in with Journey, it didn’t fit in with the image that was projected.

There was sexual tension between Journey and Ivan. What I liked is that the author was able to keep the level of sexual tension for the entire book. There was no dip. It was thick in this book, which was one of the few enjoyable things in the book.

Let’s talk about sex. Journey and Ivan had a lot of sex. They were like freaking bunnies. In a van, in a plane, in a limo, the list could go on. One look and he was ripping her panties off. Which would have been great except, sex was related to pleasure/pain in every sex scene. I couldn’t get past it. Listen, I know a little pain is good during sex. I also know that there are people who get off on pain. But in this book, nothing was mentioned about that. It seemed like having sex was actually hurting her. To have it brought up all the time ruined the sex scenes for me.

The secondary plotline involving Journey’s family made me sick. The abuse she suffered at their hands was horrible. No wonder she took off. I don’t understand why she didn’t tell the Queen Mother?? Going with the plotline involving her family, I couldn’t understand why her cousin didn’t scoop her up like she said she could. Instead, she got bent over Ivan having her and got in his face. Which almost didn’t end too well for her.

The other storyline, which I won’t talk too much about, I saw coming from a mile away. Even with Ivan telling himself certain things, it still happened.

The end of the book was a cluster. Storylines were left wide open. I am hoping that is because the author is going to write a 3rd book. Minor things got resolved but all the major things didn’t. I was left scratching my head and going “OK” after the last chapter.

What I liked about Dagger’s Edge:

A) Ivan. Well, I respected him. Doesn’t equal to like

B) The sexual tension was kept up for the book

C) The ending. Because the book was over.

What I disliked about Dagger’s Edge:

A) Confusion while reading

B) The sex.

C) The secondary plotline

I gave Dagger’s Edge a 2-star rating. This book was a mess to read. I was confused for most of the book. Which is a turn off for me while reading. But, saving it from a 1-star review was that  I respected Ivan. Also, the sexual tension was kept up for the entire book.

I gave Dagger’s Edge an Adult rating. There is explicit sex. There is explicit language. There is explicit violence. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

I would not reread Dagger’s Edge. I also would not recommend this book to family and friends. I also wouldn’t read any more of this series.

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

All opinions stated in this review of Dagger’s Edge are mine.

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

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