Illegally Yours (Laws of Attraction: Book 2) by Kate Meader

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3 Stars

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group, Loveswept

Date of publication: January 22nd, 2019

Genre: Romance

Series: Laws of Attraction

Down with Love—Book 1 (review here)

Illegally Yours—Book 2

Then Came You—Book 3 (expected publication date: May 7th, 2019)

Where you can find Illegally Yours: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Goodreads synopsis:

Rule #1: Never fall for your client.
Rule #2: Never fall for your client’s fiercely protective, smoking hot sister-in-law.

I’m the kind of guy who believes that everyone deserves the best legal representation money can buy—which just so happens to be me, Lucas Wright. Give me your henpecked, your cuckolded, your irreconcilable differences yearning to break free! And if you’re the bad guy in your marriage, that’s cool too. Your green is as good as anyone’s.

Tell that to Trinity Jones. It’s my job to destroy her sister—the soon-to-be ex-wife of my a-hole of a client—and Trinity’s “big sis” instincts are dialed up to the max. I admire that. I admire her. But she won’t stop me from representing my client to the best of my ability.

Not even if my chemistry with Trinity is undeniable. Not even if we can’t keep our hands off each other. Not even if she injects life into a heart assumed to be long dead.

Because when faced with a choice between love and duty, the job will always win—or at least that’s what I thought before I met Trinity . . . and suddenly conflict of interest never felt so right. 


My review:

Lucas wasn’t looking for a relationship when he met Trinity. Immediately taken with her, he decided that he would charm her into going on a date with him. But that was easier said than done. Lucas is a divorce attorney who is representing Trinity’s soon to be ex-brother in law. If he started a relationship with Trinity, it would be a violation of the ethics oath that he took. The only way around that is if his client agrees to let Lucas date her. Will that happen?

Trinity was working as a whiskey sommelier. She was also happy taking care of her niece and nephew while her sister is going through a bitter divorce. She wasn’t expecting the hot British man that she is lusting after to be her soon to be ex-brother in law’s attorney.  A conflict of interest arises for her. If she dates Lucas, she will risk hurting her sister. If she doesn’t date Lucas, she could miss out. What will she do?


I was wondering who was going to be the next book in the Law of Attraction series. I had it between Grant/Aubrey or Lucas. So when I saw that it was Lucas’s story, I was interested. Lucas had caught my attention in Down with Love. I needed to read it. 

I was a little disappointed with Illegally Yours. Why was I disappointed? It didn’t deliver on the blurb. When I read the blurb, I got the sense that this was going to be a fun book. A book where the characters find themselves in situations that would make me laugh. Not the case here. The majority of the book was spent with the both of them stressed out over being together. Not to mention that individually, they each had major stress.

I did like Lucas and Trinity together as a couple, though. They were cute together. Together, they made me laugh. Their personalities meshed. They made me smile. I rooted for them too. Everything was balanced against them. I was hoping that their story would end up a happy one. I was worried at one point (after that scene with Brian).

 They also had insane chemistry together. Sparks flew when they were together. I had an inner bet going with myself about when those sparks would combust. When they did combust, it made for some pretty awesome sex. 

I liked Trinity. She put up with a lot throughout her life. Because she was biracial, she dealt with that crap (from family and general public). She dealt with crap from being a woman sommelier. She had issues with her brother in law. The depth of those issues stunned me. I wasn’t expecting it to be that, which in turn made me want to smack her sister into next Tuesday. I liked her humor with the age range. She wasn’t exactly a cougar….lol.

I thought Lucas at the beginning and middle of the book was immature. Every scene that he was in, he grated on my nerves. He had to be the center of attention. I have to keep this Amazon PC but I would call him an “Attention W***e”. Just saying.  I did feel bad for him when it was revealed what happened to Lizzie and how his childhood was. I wouldn’t go as far to say that he matured towards the end of the book but he did get better. His restraint at the end of the book made me laugh.

There were dropped storylines. Also, important elements of the storyline not talked about until almost the end of the book. Take for instance Trinity’s attacker. It affected her to the point where she had nightmares about it (years after the event). Lucas took notice when he stayed over when she was sick. Then there was no mention of it after that, even though it was mentioned a few times in the first half of the book. 

The end of Illegally Yours was bittersweet. I am glad that Lucas and Trinity got their HEA but I wished things could have been different with Lizzie. That broke my heart. The epilogue was awesome. I loved it. I also liked how the author set up for the next book!!


I gave Illegally Yours a 3-star rating. This was not my favorite book by Kate Meader. It didn’t deliver on the blurb. There were dropped plotlines. I also thought Lucas was immature. There were things I liked about the book. I liked Lucas and Trinity together as a couple. The sex scenes were hot. The ending was bittersweet. The epilogue was awesome!!

I would give Illegally Yours an Adult rating. There is explicit sex. There is language. There is violence. There are triggers. They would be divorce, cheating, neglect of a child and parental alienation. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book. 

I am on the fence if I would reread Illegally Yours. I am also on the fence if I would reccomend 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 Illegally Yours

All opinions stated in this review of Illegally Yours are mine.

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


Have you read Illegally Yours?

Love it? 

Hate it?

Meh about it?

Let me know!!!

The Wartime Sisters by Lynda Cohen Loigman

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4 Stars

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Date of publication: January 22nd, 2019

Genre: Historical Fiction

 Where you can find The Wartime Sisters: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Goodreads Synopsis:

Two estranged sisters, raised in Brooklyn and each burdened with her own shocking secret, are reunited at the Springfield Armory in the early days of WWII. While one sister lives in relative ease on the bucolic Armory campus as an officer’s wife, the other arrives as a war widow and takes a position in the Armory factories as a “soldier of production.” Resentment festers between the two, and secrets are shattered when a mysterious figure from the past reemerges in their lives.


My review:

I wasn’t sure about reading The Wartime Sisters when I got approached to review it. I am not a fan of historical fiction. I have been burnt by too many books that were dry and uninteresting to read. I was afraid that this was going to be the case with The Wartime Sisters. And I almost turned it down. But something about the blurb caught my attention. With that, I decided to accept the request.

The Wartime Sisters is the story of Ruth and Millie. Ruth and Millie have been estranged since their parents were killed in an automobile accident. Before the accident, Ruth resented Millie. Ruth blamed Millie for stealing her boyfriends, for being popular and for being the apple of their parents eye. Millie, however, doesn’t understand why Ruth is so cold and distant to her. When Millie’s husband dies overseas, she writes to Ruth, asking for help. Ruth agrees to let Millie and her son live with them. When Millie arrives in Springfield, she finds that Ruth hasn’t changed. Ruth grows more bitter the longer Millie stays with them. But Ruth and Millie have secrets. Secrets that could destroy their relationship if they came to light. Can Ruth get over the past to help Millie in the present? Or will she allow past resentments color what she thinks of Millie? Can Millie trust Ruth enough to tell her about her secret?

I didn’t like Ruth one bit. I didn’t like how she treated Millie. I thought it was disgusting that she held on to old resentments. She was afraid that Millie was going to one-up her. I wanted to shake her and say “Get over it!!“. What she did the night of her parents funeral was awful. The author did try to change her character by having her confront Grace Peabody. It didn’t matter. I didn’t like her.

I liked Millie and I felt bad for her. I liked how the author wrote her side of the story. I understood why she left out parts of her story when she moved in with Ruth. I do think that she was unfairly judged by people. They saw how good-looking she was and thought she wasn’t that bright. Which was far from the truth. She was also stronger than most of the women in this book.

I liked Lillian. But I didn’t understand why she was getting her own chapters until later in the book. She was an amazing woman. She had been through so much in her life and she still looked on the brighter side of things. She didn’t dwell on things she couldn’t change. What she did for Millie was nothing short of amazing.

Aria was brought in later in the book. Again, I didn’t understand why she was getting her own chapters but I soon realized why about the same time I understood why Lillian did. She brought an outside perspective to Ruth and Millie’s relationship. She was the only person in the book who dared to call Ruth out on her treatment of Millie. She also was the only one who stood up to Grace and her husband when things were going down. Aria was a true friend to Millie.

I liked how the author wrote Millie’s secret into the book. I also liked what she did to get rid of it. That was also a turning point in Ruth and Millie’s relationship.

I loathed Grace Peabody. She was a nasty woman who got everything that she deserved. I do wish that her husband got the same treatment.

I did like that I got a better understanding of what a woman did to support her soldier/country during World War II. I thought it was fascinating what Millie did. I also liked the location. Having grown up in the NE part of MA, I love it when any part is represented in a book. Double kudos if it is in a positive light.

The end of the book was sweet. I liked that Millie and Ruth were moving towards a better relationship. The author did a great job at ending all the storylines. I had a question about the Aria/Fitz one. Other than that, perfect!!

What I liked about The Wartime Sisters:

  1. The storyline
  2. Mille
  3. How Millie’s secret was written in and out of the book

What I disliked about The Wartime Sisters:

  1. Ruth
  2. Grace Peabody
  3. Aria/Fitz relationship left up in the air

I gave The Wartime Sisters a 4-star rating. I liked the storyline and Mille. I also liked how Millie’s secret was written in and out of the story. It was Ruth who killed the book for me. She was miserable the entire book.

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

I would reread The Wartime Sisters. 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 The Wartime Sisters.

All opinions expressed in this review of The Wartime Sisters are mine.

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

Katie’s Highlander (Highlander Protector: Book 3) by Maeve Greyson

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3.5 Stars

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group – Loveswept, Loveswept

Date of publication: January 22nd, 2019

Genre: Romance, Historical Fiction

Series: Highland Protector

Sadie’s Highlander—Book 1 (review here)

Joanna’s Highlander—Book 2 (review here)

Katie’s Highlander—Book 3

Where you can find Katie’s Highlander: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Goodreads synopsis:

An archaeologist with a zest for life finds herself stranded in small-town North Carolina—with a brooding Highland hunk who’s straight out of ancient Scotland.

Ramsay MacDara wishes the goddesses had left his arse back in the tenth century. That way he never would have met the gold digger who made a fool out of him. A loner at heart, Ramsay is riding his beloved horse through the woods near his family’s North Carolina theme park, Highland Life and Legends, when he hears tires squealing—followed by a thud—and rushes to the scene to help. That’s when he sets his eyes on a pair of long legs sticking out of the moon roof of a car. His interest piqued, the rest of her will soon arouse his greatest desires…and deepest fears.

Archaeologist Katie Jenson is on a six-month sabbatical from her job at Princeton University. Following the death of her beloved father—whose dying request was for Katie to live life to the fullest—she’s headed to a friend’s beach house in North Carolina. But a momentary distraction takes her off the road and on the journey of her life…with a sex god in a kilt at her side. Ramsay’s passion is the stuff of legend—and it just may be Katie’s greatest discovery.


My review:

I was stoked when I saw that there was the 3rd book in the Highlander Protector series. I wasn’t sure who the next was going to be about. I had a 50/50 chance of it being either Ramsay or Ross. When I read the blurb, I had a mini-freakout because it was Ramsay. I loved Ramsay in Joanna’s Highlander. I couldn’t wait to read the book.

While I did like Katie’s Highlander, I thought that it fell short in several areas. The plotline didn’t seem as well developed as the previous books. The characters didn’t seem as vibrant.

There were things that I did like about the book. I thought that Katie was a perfect heroine. I loved Ramsay. And while I thought the plotlines weren’t as developed as the previous books, I did like reading them.

Kate was a hoot in this book. I loved that she owned her geekiness. That she knew her self worth. She was raised to value herself above everything else. It was an amazing message to read. More people, women especially, need to know that. I liked how real she was. Except for the driving while looking at the constellations. That wasn’t real. That was kinda stupid. But, in hindsight, she wouldn’t have met Ramsay.

I loved Ramsay in this book. He had been hurt by his ex-fiancee. He didn’t want to like Katie. Heck, he didn’t want to fall in love with her. I did think that he was a bit stubborn at times in the book. When he realized that he was in love with Katie, he was willing to let her go so she could be happy.

There is Instalove in this book. Katie and Ramsay meet and fall in love within 2 days. I do wish that there was more time for them to get to know each other. 2 days didn’t cut it with me.

I wasn’t expecting Katie and Ramsay to go back in time. It was a nice twist in the plot and gave the book that added “ummph” that was needed. I liked seeing Katie’s reactions to being in Medieval Scotland. She was out of her element and wanted to go home. I didn’t blame her.

The other twist in the plotline was not expected. It didn’t add anything to the plotline because Ramsay was so accepting of what happened. That made me to “WTH“. I was waiting for the other shoe to drop with it. Like something bad happening to Katie. So, I wasn’t expecting it when it ended the way it did. It was another “WTH” situation.

I did like the sex scenes but I didn’t love them. I was a little skeeved about the period sex. I also didn’t appreciate the scene where Ramsay was cleaning himself off after sex. We all know guys do it but reading about it. No thank you.

The end of Katie’s Highlander was bittersweet. I loved that Katie made the right choice. I also like how Ross and Esme put Adam in his place.


I gave Katie’s Highlander an Adult rating. There are sex and sexual situations. There is language. There is violence. There are triggers. They would be the death of a parent and child abuse. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

I would reread Katie’s Highlander. I would also recommend this book to family and friends.


I would like to thank the publisher, the author, and NetGalley for allowing me to read and review Katie’s Highlander.

All opinions stated in this review of Katie’s Highlander are mine.

The Secret Bloodline by SE Bloom

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3.5 Stars (rounded up to 4 stars)

Publisher:

Date of publication: January 16th, 2018

Genre: Fantasy, Romance

Where you can find The Secret Bloodline: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Goodreads synopsis:

What if your destiny was beyond imagining? 
Dolma was happy with her life 
working at the Dexter Corporation from home in a telecommuting position. She didn’t have a boyfriend, and the prospects were not good in that department, but she was used to it. 
The world suddenly changed one day. 
Her boss, Jessica, demanded that she start working from the office. Her roommate started urging her to take the new position. Everybody was suddenly making demands of her that seemed to be coordinated. 
She met a man that she had dreamed of, and he told her that she was in danger. The man was Lucas, and he told her of two great houses, each wanting her to join them, and that they would try to kill her if she did not join them. 
Dolma was suddenly thrust into a world of immortals with strange powers, and she realized that her future was uncertain. Lucas assured her that she could become the most powerful of them all, but before that happened, 
she would have to leave with him. 
Together, they flee from the two bloodlines of the gods, and Lucas begins to train Dolma in how to use her dormant powers. The danger and the protective nature of Lucas, along with some unbelievably wonderful sex tells Dolma that Lucas is the man that she would love. 
Will they have the chance to be happy together, or would death come for them both?


My review:

The Secret Bloodline is about Dolma. Dolma was your ordinary girl. She telecommuted to work for the Dexter Corporation. She didn’t have a boyfriend. She did have an on again/off again sexual relationship with her roommate. She was content with her life. Until the day that her life went sideways. Her boss wants her to start working from the office. Her roommate is urging her to take the position. Then she meets Lucas, who she dreamed about. What he tells her is a story about gods, immortals, and dual bloodlines. He also tells her that she is in great danger and her only hope is to go with him. Fleeing with him, Dolma soon realizes that her power is greater than what Lucas thought. What will happen to Dolma and Lucas? Will they be happy together?


The Secret Bloodline is a short book, at 135 pages. Even though it is short, it does pack a lot of stuff in it. This is also not your typical paranormal romance. There are no vampires or shifters. Instead, the author chose to take the ancient gods of the Sumerians and make them the focal point of the book. The author added her own spin to the Annunaki, which I thought was fascinating.

I was a little disappointed with the lack of character development in the book. I wanted to know more about Lucas. I wanted to know about his background and how he came to be immortal. It was hinted at in the book but nothing else was said about it. I also thought that Dolma could have had more padding added to her backstory.

I will say that the sex scenes were out of this world hot. When you start off a chapter with the main female choking on the head of the shaft of the main male, you know it is going to be good.

The paranormal angle of the book was great. It was refreshing to read a paranormal romance that didn’t have a vamp or a shifter in it. Instead, the author had Dolma have precognitive abilities. They were outlined perfectly in the book.

The end of the book seemed a bit rushed. I was a little skeptical that the two warring bloodlines would do what they did because Lucas called them. But, hey, it worked. The author did wrap up all the storylines and left nothing open.


I would give The Secret Bloodline an Adult rating. There is explicit sex. There is language. There is violence. There are no triggers. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

I would reread The Secret Bloodline. 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 Secret Bloodline.

All opinions stated in this review of The Secret Bloodline are mine.

Death March Escape by Jack J. Hersch

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5 Stars

Publisher: Frontline Books

Date of publication: January 19th, 2019

Genre: Nonfiction, Biography, Memoirs

Where to find Death March Escape: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Goodreads synopsis:

In June 1944, the Nazis locked eighteen-year-old Dave Hersch into a railroad boxcar and shipped him from his hometown of Dej, Hungary, to Mauthausen Concentration Camp, the harshest, cruelest camp in the Reich. After ten months in the granite mines of Mauthausen’s nearby sub-camp, Gusen, he weighed less than 80lbs, nothing but skin and bones.

Somehow surviving the relentless horrors of these two brutal camps, as Allied forces drew near Dave was forced to join a death march to Gunskirchen Concentration Camp, over thirty miles away. Soon after the start of the march, and more dead than alive, Dave summoned a burst of energy he did not know he had and escaped. Quickly recaptured, he managed to avoid being killed by the guards. Put on another death march a few days later, he achieved the impossible: he escaped again.

Dave often told his story of survival and escape, and his son, Jack, thought he knew it well. But years after his father’s death, he came across a photograph of his father on, of all places, the Mauthausen Memorial’s website. It was an image he had never seen before – and it propelled him on an intensely personal journey of discovery.

Using only his father’s words for guidance, Jack takes us along as he flies to Europe to learn the secrets behind the photograph, secrets his father never told of his time in the camps. Beginning in the verdant hills of his father’s Hungarian hometown, we travel with Jack to the foreboding rock mines of Mauthausen and Gusen concentration camps, to the dust-choked roads and intersections of the death marches, and, finally, to the makeshift hiding places of his father’s rescuers. We accompany Jack’s every step as he describes the unimaginable: what his father must have seen and felt while struggling to survive in the most abominable places on earth.

In a warm and emotionally engaging story, Jack digs deeply into both his father’s life and his own, revisiting – and reflecting on – his father’s time at the hands of the Nazis during the last year of the Second World War, when more than mere survival was at stake – the fate of humanity itself hung in the balance.


My review:

It is rare that I read nonfiction. It is even rarer that I review it. I do make an exception for anything written about WW2 and the Holocaust. When I was approached by the publisher to review Death March Escape, I accepted without hesitation.

This book was haunting. Excellent but haunting. The author did a fantastic job of telling the story of his father’s escapes from 2 different points of views. The first being his father’s point of view. The second being his. Jack’s story was intertwined with his father. He would write about the Seder where his father told him the story of his escapes. Then he would write about what he did. His journey to Mauthausen and Gusen. His following of his father’s escape routes. It was amazing to read. I don’t like it when a book does that. But, in this book, it worked.

There are some brutal scenes in this book. This book will make you cry. From the minute Jack’s father is separated from his mother to the scene where he is liberated, I cried. Like Jack, I did wonder at how this 17/18-year-old boy survived mentally. Like Jack, I came to the conclusion that he had to disassociate from everything that he was seeing/experiencing. That is the only way he survived.

I also had tears during Jack’s part of the book. He had grown up with tales of his father’s imprisonment. It wasn’t until he actually went to Mauthausen and Gusen that he understood exactly what his father went through. Those were some of the toughest scenes to read. Knowing what he did, seeing the concentration camps and then realizing that his father glossed over what happened. My heart broke for him.

This was not an easy book to read. Nothing that is written about the Holocaust is. But, it needs to be read. That way future generations can learn.


I would give Death March Escape an Adult rating. There is no sex. There is violence. There is some mild language. There are trigger warnings. They would be concentration camps, separation of family, the death of parents, the death of siblings and extreme cruelty. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

I would reread Death March Escape. I would also recommend this book to family and friends.


I would like to thank the author, the publisher, and NetGalley for allowing me to read and review Death March Escape.

All opinions stated in this review of Death March Escape are mine.

The Gilded Wolves (The Gilded Wolves: Book 1) by Roshani Chokshi

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5 Stars

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press, Wednesday Books

Date of publication: January 19th, 2019

Genre: Science Fiction, Fantasy, Young Adult

Where you can find The Gilded Wolves: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Goodreads synopsis:

Set in a darkly glamorous world, The Gilded Wolves is full of mystery, decadence, and dangerous but thrilling adventure.

Paris, 1889: The world is on the cusp of industry and power, and the Exposition Universelle has breathed new life into the streets and dredged up ancient secrets. In this city, no one keeps tabs on secrets better than treasure-hunter and wealthy hotelier, Séverin Montagnet-Alarie. But when the all-powerful society, the Order of Babel, seeks him out for help, Séverin is offered a treasure that he never imagined: his true inheritance.

To find the ancient artifact the Order seeks, Séverin will need help from a band of experts: An engineer with a debt to pay. A historian who can’t yet go home. A dancer with a sinister past. And a brother in all but blood, who might care too much.

Together, they’ll have to use their wits and knowledge to hunt the artifact through the dark and glittering heart of Paris. What they find might change the world, but only if they can stay alive.


My review:

Severin is a wealthy hotelier in 1889 Paris. He seems to have it all but looks can be deceiving. Severin is a treasure hunter with an agenda. He wants his House reinstated back into the mysterious Order of Babel. He wants to be acknowledged as the blood heir to the house. The only way for that to happen is to hunt down and retrieve a ring stolen from the Matriarch of one of the two houses that are left. He also needs to prevent an ancient artifact from coming to life and destroying the world. It is not going to be easy. Severin needs the help of his team. Can Severin and his team hunt down the ring and prevent the artifact from coming to life? Or will they be too late?


The Gilded Wolves showed up on my radar a few months back. When I read the blurb, I had a “meh” reaction and almost didn’t accept the review request from the publisher. At the time, my reading/review schedule was busy. Even though the book was due to be published in January, I didn’t think I was going to be able to read it. Then I reread the blurb and my “meh” reaction turned into a “Hmmm“. Since I had a few books scheduled for review in January, I decided to accept the review request. Let me tell you, I am so glad that I did. This has to be one of the best books I have read this year.

This was a beautifully written book. The author took her time building up the characters backstories while progressing with the main storylines. Any other book would have me sitting here and complaining about it. But not here. It worked. The author separated the backstories by having them in italics. What I liked also is that there was no confusion when that happened either. That alone made this book an enjoyable read for me.

I liked that the main characters were fleshed out and they were diverse. Enrique was from the Philippines and was mixed race. He was Filipino/Spanish. Laila was from India. Zofia was Jewish and from Poland. Hypnos was White and Black. Severin was Middle Eastern and White.  I enjoyed reading how each culture was different and how everyone meshed together.

I also liked how the author chose to bring up sexuality in the book. The century that the book is set in wasn’t known for being tolerant of homosexuality or bisexuality. So to have Enrique be bisexual was awesome. His attraction to both Hypnos and Zofia was written beautifully. He wasn’t ashamed at being attracted to both men and women. Which was fantastic. 

I didn’t like Severin when he was first introduced in the book. He came across as cocky and careless. As the book went on, I did start to like him. All he wanted was to bring his House back and to be its Patriarch. Which is why I was surprised when he did what he did at the end of the book.

I liked Laila. She was the heart and soul of the group. The relationships that she forged with everyone was prevalent throughout the book. I was surprised and intrigued by her backstory. I am wondering what is going to happen to her when she turns 19. Her hidden ability was amazing.

Zofia was odd but I liked her. She was brilliant. Her nickname of “the phoenix” fit her. I wanted to cry when she was remembering her years at the university. The way she was treated by both her classmates and teachers was horrible. I don’t blame her for doing what she did (even though it was by accident).

Enrique was one of my favorite characters in the book. For the reasons, I stated above. Also because he told it like it was to Severin. He was also brilliant. The history he knew blew me away.

Tristan touched my heart. From the beginning of the book, I could tell there was something wrong. The abuse that he suffered by Wrath broke him. He reminded me of a small child at points in the book. Because of that, I thought he job as a poisoner was odd. But he was brilliant. He was also obsessed with spiders. He devotion to Goliath was touching. Creepy, but touching.

The plotline with Severin and his quest to get his House back was fascinating. I liked that Egyptian mythology was used in the book. At times, the book reminded me of an Indiana Jones movie. I love it when a plotline keeps me guessing and this one definitely did.

The secondary plotlines enriched the main plotline. They added more depth to the book that was needed.

The end of The Gilded Wolves surprised me. It also broke my heart. The author did a fantastic job at wrapping up some storylines and leaving other ones wide open. The cliffhanger at the end of the book did its job. I am going to have to read book 2 when it comes out. 


I gave The Gilded Wolves a 5-star rating. This is a beautifully written book. It has a diverse cast of characters and plotlines that kept me reading. 

I would give The Gilded Wolves an Older Teen rating. There is no sex (there is mention of sex and several kissing scenes). There is no language. There is violence. There are trigger warnings. They would be child abuse. I would recommend that no one under the age of 16 read this book.

I would reread The Gilded Wolves. I would also recommend it to family and friends.


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

All opinions stated in this review of The Gilded Wolves are mine.

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


Have you read The Glided Wolves?

Love it? 

Hate it?

Meh about it?

Let me know!!!

Love, Faith, and a Pair of Pants by Herb Freed

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3.5 stars (rounded down to 3 stars)

Publisher: Bellrock Press

Date of publication: October 2nd, 2018

Genre: General Fiction, Romance

Where you can find Love, Faith and a Pair of Pants: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Goodreads synopsis:

Ben Zelig thinks he has his life all figured out. Graduate from rabbinical school. Get hired by a spiritually enriched community. Meet a nice Jewish girl and start a family. Simple, right? Naturally, nothing goes according to plan, but life can still work out as long as you have Love, Faith and a Pair of Pants. 

Herb Freed, the author of the timeless love story Bashert, is back with a collection of five short stories about the smart, witty, spiritual and, according to his mother, incredibly handsome, Rabbi Ben Zelig. In five stories about a rabbi’s life, Zelig navigates romance, family ties, colorful congregants and the meaning of faith. We follow him through the decades as master storyteller Freed takes us from humor to pathos and back again in an uplifting examination of what it means to be human. 


My review:

I love to read, which is a given since I maintain a blog that is about book reviews. I also like to read books that other people might pass up. I have found a few hidden gems by doing that. I also like not to turn down books. I very rarely turn down a request for review. So when the publisher emailed me about Love, Faith and a Pair of Pants…I accepted the invite. I wasn’t sure if I would like to read the book but was willing to give it a try.

I am not going to say that I didn’t like the book. I thought that it had a great messages in each section. There were fascinating insights into a rabbi’s life. But this book wasn’t for me.

For one, I couldn’t connect with the main character. Ben attracted drama like honey attracts bees. No matter where he went, drama followed. From his first funeral to the end of the book, it didn’t stop. His obsession with finding a nice Jewish girl did make me laugh a little. By the time Eden came around, I was no longer amused. I thought he was desperate.

I will admit that I was fascinated by the inner workings of being a rabbi. I grew up in a city with a huge Jewish population (the city had 6 temples). Some of my best friends were Jewish. I also dated a guy, for a few years, who was Jewish. So I was familiar with most of what was being talked about in the book. Except when it came to Ben’s duties as a rabbi. I was fascinated and I wish that more time had been spent discussing it.

I lost my focus several times during the book. The book was split into sections and I felt that I was missing out on what happened between the stories. Not something that I usually complain about when writing a review. But I felt that there were gaps. The only section that I didn’t feel that was Eden and that was because, well, I can’t say.

Like I mentioned above, the book did have some redeeming qualities. The messages in each section were great. The lessons that the sections taught were good. I also thought that the other characters (besides Ben) were vividly written. They brought an extra depth to the book.

Would this be a book that I would return to read, probably not. But, I tell people to read it. The messages in each section and the lessons that were taught in them are worth reading.


I would give Love, Faith and a Pair of Pants an Adult rating. There is no sex (there are sexual situations and kissing). There is no language. There is mild violence. There are triggers. They would be the loss of faith, the death of a spouse, the death of a sibling, cancer and estrangement from a parent. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

I am on the fence if I would reread this book. I would recommend it to family and friends.


I would like to thank the author, the publisher, and NetGalley for allowing me to read and review Love, Faith and a Pair of Pants.

All opinions stated in this review of Love, Faith and a Pair of Pants are mine.

The Hangman’s Secret (Victorian Mystery: Book 3) by Laura Joh Rowland

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3 Stars 

Publisher: Crooked Lane Books

Date of publication: January 8th, 2019

Genre: Mystery, Thriller

Series: Victorian Mystery

The Ripper’s Shadow—Book 1

A Mortal Likeness—Book 2

The Hangman’s Secret—Book 3

Where you can find The Hangman’s Secret: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Goodreads synopsis:

From award-winning author Laura Joh Rowland, a story about the darkness that lurks within and the deadly secrets that beg to be revealed.

Intrepid photographer Sarah Bain and her motley crew of friends are back to hunt criminals in the dark, seedy underbelly of Victorian London, but little do they know, the darkness may lurk closer than they first divined.

Photographer Sarah Bain and her friends Lord Hugh Staunton and sometimes street urchin Mick O’Reilly are private detectives with a new gig—photographing crime scenes for London’s Daily World newspaper. The Daily World is the latest business venture of their sole client, Sir Gerald Mariner, a fabulously wealthy and powerful banker. 

One cold, snowy January morning, Sarah, Hugh, and Mick are summoned to the goriest crime scene they’ve ever encountered. A pub owner named Harry Warbrick has been found hanged and decapitated amid evidence of foul play. His murder becomes a sensation because he was England’s top hangman and he’s met the same fate that he inflicted on hundreds of criminals. 

Sir Gerald announces that the Daily World—meaning Sarah and her friends—will investigate and solve Harry Warbrick’s murder before the police do. The contest pits Sarah against the man she loves, Police Constable Barrett. She and her friends discover a connection between Harry Warbrick’s murder and the most notorious criminal he ever executed—Amelia Carlisle, the “Baby-Butcher,” who murdered hundreds of infants placed in her care. 

Something happened at Amelia’s execution. The Official Secrets Act forbids the seven witnesses present to divulge any information about it. But Harry had a bad habit of leaking tips to the press. Sarah and her friends suspect that one of the other witnesses killed Harry to prevent him from revealing a secret related to the execution. What is the secret, and who hanged the hangman?


My review:

When I first read the blurb for The Hangman’s Secret, I was undecided if I wanted to read this book or not. While I like mysteries, I have to be in the right mood to read them. But, seeing that the book was set in one of my favorite time periods (The Victorian Era), I decided to take a chance on reading it. While I am glad I took the chance on reading it, I was unimpressed with the book. It didn’t surprise me or astonish me. I was a little disappointed in it.

The plot for The Hangman’s Secret was a good one. Sarah and her friends are dispatched to a crime scene by the paper’s owner, Sir Gerald Mariner. There has been a gruesome murder. Sarah, a crime scene photographer, arrives on the scene to find out that the victim was a hangman. Pushed into solving this murder before the police, Sarah finds out that the victim was the hangman for a notorious baby murderer. She also finds out that something happened at that hanging. Whatever that was, someone was willing to kill the people who were at the hanging to keep them quiet. Can she solve it? Or will her reputation, her relationship, and friendships be ruined? Also, will she be able to finally track down her father? Or will she discover something about her past?

While I enjoyed reading The Hangman’s Secret, I felt that it dragged in spots. Mainly in the middle. I was mentally urging the characters to do something to bring the plot out of its lag. Which happened but I almost DNF’d the book before it happened. Also, the beginning was slow. There was too much time discussing the characters backgrounds and storylines from the earlier books. I am here to read this book, not to read about Sarah, Mick and Hugh’s adventures with Jack the Ripper and kidnappers. If that could be cut back a bit, the beginning wouldn’t be so slow.

Sarah bothered me. Because this is Victorian England, I get that she should have been a little reserved. But she wasn’t. She was determined to be an independent woman. Which was unheard of in those days. She was the one that Sir Gerald talked to when he wanted something done. She was the one that took on the job of finding her father. She called the shots in her relationship. It was unheard of in those days for a woman to have as much power as she did. I hate to say this (because I am all about girl power) but I wished she was more like women of that era. Because it was not realistic the way she was.

I liked the mystery angle of the book. The author did a great job at keeping the identity of the killer hidden until the end of the book. I did think it was going to be one person and I was surprised at who it was. I did feel that all the red herrings and false leads weren’t needed. The whole Cross angle of the mystery didn’t do it for me. It actually made me aggravated that one person could be so nasty. As for the mystery of Sarah’s father, it was well done. But there were more questions than answers.

The romance between Bennett and Sarah screamed of dysfunction and took away from the story. While I appreciated that Sarah had someone to love her, I didn’t like that it became a focal point in the plotline towards the end. I also didn’t like how Sarah was judged on her looks. It wasn’t even other people, she put herself down.

The author tied the storylines up nicely at the end of the book. I thought that the ending went on a little longer than I thought. There was no big twist. I also had questions about DCI Reid. Where did he go? There was no mention about him at the end of the book. Seeing that he was Bennett and Sarah’s nemesis, I would have thought there would have been a mention about it. I did like that the author left enough room for another book.

What I liked about The Hangman’s Secret:

  1. The plotline. I enjoyed it
  2. Being set in Victorian England
  3. The end of the book

What I disliked about The Hangman’s Secret:

  1. It dragged in spots and was slow to start
  2. Sarah. She didn’t match the stereotype of women of that era
  3. Sarah and Bennett’s romance

I gave The Hangman’s Secret a 3-star rating. The plotline and the mystery angle of the book was enjoyable to read. I also liked how the book was ended. But, the story was slow to start and the plotline lagged in spots. Also, I didn’t think that Sarah fit the stereotype of women of that era. I also thought that Sarah and Bennett’s romance was dysfunctional and brought no added depth to the story.

I would give The Hangman’s Secret an Adult rating. There is sex but it is not graphic. There is violence, sometimes graphic. There is no language. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

I am on the fence if I would reread The Hangman’s Secret. I am also on the fence if I would recommend this book to family and friends.

I would like to thank Crooked Lane Books and NetGalley for allowing me to read and review The Hangman’s Secret.

All opinions stated in the review of The Hangman’s Secret are mine.

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

Game On (Aces Hockey: Book 8) by Kelly Jamieson

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4 Stars

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group – Loveswept, Loveswept

Date of publication: January 15th, 2019

Genre: Sports, Romance

Series: Aces Hockey

Major Misconduct—Book 1

Off Limits—Book 1.5

Icing—Book 2

Top Shelf—Book 3

Back Check—Book 4

Slap Shot—Book 5 (review here)

Playing Hurt—Book 6 (review here)

Big Stick—Book 7 (review here)

Game On—Book 8

Where you can find Game On: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Goodreads synopsis:

Cam Brickley and his pro hockey teammates bet on everything: who can win five faceoffs in a row, who can do forty pushups in less than a minute, who can eat a ghost pepper without puking. But when his buddies bet him he can’t date the same woman—like, say, the hot blonde over at the bar—for two months and not fall in love, he’ll take that bet all day. Then he’ll laugh all the way to the hockey arena, where they’ll be washing his jock straps for the rest of the season because Cam’s never giving up his bachelor lifestyle.

Olivia Lockwood, the heiress to the Lockwood Industries fortune, is used to people using her for her money and family connections. When Cam Brickley hits on her in a club, Olivia’s first instinct is to brush him off. But he couldn’t be using her for her money since he has more than enough of his own. Cam’s gorgeous and built, and it would be no hardship to go out with him . . . besides, he’d be the perfect spokesperson for the children’s charity she works with. Maybe it’s time for her to start using people.

Cam and Olivia are both in it for something. What they don’t know yet is that they’re playing for keeps.


My review:

This was a bittersweet read for me. I had come into the Aces Hockey series late in the series (Slap Shot). But, I enjoyed the series from that point on. I got to see Hallsy, Chaser, and Nick get their HEA’s. I was left wondering who was going to be the next one to fall. When I saw that it was Brick, I went “Yes!!” I liked his character and couldn’t wait to see who he fell in love with.

I thought that the bet that Brick made with his teammates was immature. I didn’t like that he could potentially be playing with someone’s feelings. So, I was a little “eh” when he went on the first couple of dates with her. I figured that everything that happened on those dates was karma for the bet. Then Brick did something that surprised me. He told Olivia about the bet. He did it early on in the book. I thought it was awesome. Olivia did react the way I figured she would (who wouldn’t have). Then, in another move that surprised me, she decided to help Brick win the bet. I was like “no way“.

Let’s talk about the first two dates they had. I thought that the location of the first one was original and made me wonder if there is such a thing. It is a great way of getting to know someone. Take them and play a board game. I did feel bad for Olivia and Brick after the date. I have been on a lot of dates Not lately, though. Been in a relationship for 15 years. I have never had someone get sick at the end of the date. I also have never gotten sick at the end of a date. I am glad that Olivia did the right thing and let Brick stay at her condo. Poor guy would have been puking all over the Uber home. The second date went about as well as the first. A walking tour of Chicago and then dinner. What happens. Brick somehow ends up cracking his head on the floor and then Olivia dumps her drink in his crotch. For the record, I have had the drink dumping happen to me. Poor Brick…lol. The ribbing he took from the guys the next day made me die laughing in bed.

I liked Olivia but she did get kind of annoying after a while. She kept bringing up that she never felt that she measured up to her brother and sister. Which caused issues with her self confidence. While I understood it hurt, it did get old after a while. I did think that her work at her nonprofit was fascinating. I wish that it was featured a bit more than a couple of scenes at her office and the celebrity appearance Brick made.

I liked Brick. I liked that he was honest with Olivia. I liked that he made sure she knew that feelings were out of the question for him. I liked that he was a goofball. But he did annoy me towards the end of the book. He handled the situation with Olivia badly. I do wish that the Ashley substory was explained earlier in the book. Because, until it was, Brick looked like a huge jerk. After that explanation, I went “Well, no wonder he didn’t seriously date anyone.” I wouldn’t have if I had been put through that.

The sexual attraction and chemistry that Olivia and Brick had. It was off the charts hot. I loved that the author kept amping it up. I also liked that Olivia and Brick didn’t have sex right away. So, when they did, that first sex scene was smoking hot.

Speaking of sex scenes, the author kept the heat on with them. I loved it. I loved that Olivia was a bit wilder than the other girls in bed. Plus the lingerie she wore. Fantastic!!

The end of the book was bittersweet. I am not going to get into it but I had tears in my eyes. The author did a great job of bringing each character in the previous books and highlighting them. What got me was what Nick said to his brother Aleks. I was also sad that this was going to be the last book in this series.


I would give Game On an Adult rating. There is explicit sex. There is mild violence. There is language. There are triggers. They would be mental illness.

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


I would like to thank the publisher, the author, and NetGalley for allowing me to read and review Game On.

All opinions stated in this review of Game On are mine.

The Perfect Liar by Thomas Christopher Greene

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2 Stars

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Date of publication: January 15th, 2019

Genre: mystery, thriller

Where you can find The Perfect Liar: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Goodreads synopsis:

A seemingly perfect marriage is threatened by the deadly secrets husband and wife keep from each other, for fans of B.A. Paris and Paula Hawkins.

Susannah, a young widow, and single mother has remarried well: to Max, a charismatic artist and popular speaker whose career took her and her fifteen-year-old son out of New York City and to a quiet Vermont university town. Strong-willed and attractive, Susannah expects that her life is perfectly in place again. Then one quiet morning she finds a note on her door: I KNOW WHO YOU ARE. 

Max dismisses the note as a prank. But days after a neighborhood couple comes to dinner, the husband mysteriously dies in a tragic accident while on a run with Max. Soon thereafter, a second note appears on their door: DID YOU GET AWAY WITH IT?

Both Susannah and Max are keeping secrets from the world and from each other —secrets that could destroy their family and everything they have built. The Perfect Liar is a thrilling novel told through the alternating perspectives of Susannah and Max with a shocking climax that no one will expect, from the bestselling author of The Headmaster’s Wife.


My review

Susannah was a young widow living in New York City. Raising her son alone after her husband passed away, Susannah is not looking for love. Then she meets Max. Max, an up and coming artist, sweeps Susannah off her feet. They move from NYC to a quiet college town in Vermont. Life is good until Susannah finds a note. A not that says “I Know Who You Are“. That note starts off a series of events that will rock Susannah and Max’s lives. Secrets, long buried, will be revealed. Relationships will be changed.  Who is sending the notes? Why is that person sending them? 


I don’t like leaving negative reviews. I usually try to find something good to say about the book I am reviewing, even if I don’t like it. But there are some books that I have read that I can’t find anything nice to say about it. The Perfect Liar is such a book. Which is sad, because I was excited to read this book. It had all the earmarks of a book that I would enjoy.

I could not connect with either of the main characters. There were no endearing traits or quirks for me to focus on. Nothing that made me feel bad for the characters. They felt flat. They were also unlikeable. I couldn’t stand both Max and Susannah. They were both self-centered people who thought that they could get away with horrible things.

The plotlines dragged in The Perfect Liar also. The book started off fast enough but it started lagging by the middle of the book. There was almost a stall in the storyline towards the end of the book. I almost DNF’d the book at that point. But, I was so close to the end. So, I soldiered on.

The end of the book was anticlimactic. There were points where I was asking myself “When is the other shoe going to drop“. I was surprised at who was writing the notes. It was the last person I thought it was going to be. Why that person sent the notes was a surprise also. I was expecting what happened at the end of the book to happen. I was surprised by who. I was also surprised by who helped after the fact.

I want to end the review saying that I do think that this book has potential. I thought that the story was interesting (when stripped down to the bare bones).  I couldn’t move past the characters.


I gave The Perfect Liar a 2-star rating. I didn’t like this book. I could not connect with the characters. I thought the plotlines dragged. I thought the end of the book was anticlimactic and understated. What saved this book from being a 1-star review is that I thought the book had potential. I thought that the story was interesting.

I would give The Perfect Liar an Adult rating. There is sex. There is violence. There is language. There are triggers. They would be abuse by an authority figure, mental illness and murder. I would reccomend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

I would not reread The Perfect Liar. I would not reccomend this book to family and friends.


I would like to thank St. Martin’s Press and NetGalley for allowing me to read and review The Perfect Liar.

All opinions stated in this review of The Perfect Liar are mine.

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


Have you read The Perfect Liar?

Love it? 

Hate it?

Meh about it?

Let me know!!!

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