Stolen Bloodlines (Steam and Shadow: Book 4) by L.G. Rollins


4 Stars

Publisher: Amazon Digital Services

Date of publication: August 20th, 2019

Genre: Romance, Steampunk, Paranormal

Series: Steam and Shadow

Masked by Moonlight—Book 0.5

Buried in Blue—Book 1

Waltz of Crows—Book 2 (review here)

Clockwork Image—Book 3 (review here)

Stolen Bloodlines—Book 4

Where you can find Stolen Bloodlines: Amazon | BookBub

Book Synopsis:

The heritage she never knew was hers. The future he never believed could be. 

Jasper Wimple’s art is gaining popularity and life is falling into place for him at last. After meeting the Ambassador from China, a relationship that could propel him forward, Jasper’s street smarts tell him to steer clear of the man. But nothing could have prepared Jasper for a ghostly visit from one of the ambassador’s murdered victims, or taught him what to do when the ghost demands Jasper help protect his surviving wife and daughter.

Ju is done mourning a father she never knew for the entirety of Ghost Month, despite her mother’s insistence that they continue the tradition. Instead, Ju focuses on her upcoming audition—her one chance to enter London’s most prestigious dance school.

But then her mother’s life is threatened, and Ju sets everything else aside. Working together as new friends and unexpected allies, Jasper and Ju struggle to protect Ju’s mother and each other. With their own lives, the lives of those they care most about, and a budding romance all on the line, will they bring one of the most powerful men in England to justice before he silences them for good?

First Line:

Zhi Liling slipped in through the door and tip-toed up behind her husband, Ju-Long.

Stolen Bloodlines by L.G. Rollins

My Review:

The blurb for Stolen Bloodline caught my attention. Not only because it was Jasper’s story but because of Ju. Those two paragraphs made me want to read Stolen Bloodline. I wanted to see who the lucky lady was that caught (and held) Jasper’s attention. I also wanted to see if his story was as good as Tressa. I was pleased with both.

Stolen Bloodline has an exciting couple of plot lines. Jasper is an artist who is starting to become famous. The Chinese Ambassador, Leng, approaches Jasper at one of his showings. Leng wants Jasper to steal something for him. In turn, Leng will guarantee that Jasper’s career as an artist will explode. Jasper declines, and he is visited by Leng’s associated later on that night. Jasper must choose, does he do what Leng wants and become famous, or will he risk losing everything he loves.

I loved Ju. From the minute she was introduced in the book, I knew that she was going to be unique. I did raise an eyebrow when she had the talk with her mother about not doing Ghost Month. I did think it was a little disrespectful for her not to honor the ancestors like her mother. But, then I got to thinking. If I was the daughter of an immigrant, would I have acted the same way? Yes. I also liked how Ju concluded that honoring her ancestors wasn’t bad. It was refreshing to read.

I also liked how Ju tackled her race in Stolen Bloodline. She was aware that she was different. Ju knew that there wasn’t a lot of girls/women who looked like her auditioning at the school. She still went and did it. Again, it was refreshing to read.

I loved Jasper in Stolen Bloodlines. He took being approached by Ju-Long in ghost form very well. But then again, he had dealt with a vampire in the last book, so nothing phased him. I liked that he knew how he felt about Ju. I also liked that he was awkward when trying to explain how he felt about her. There was another thing that made me love him. Unfortunately, it is part of the end of the book, so I can’t say what it is.

The paranormal angle of the book was terrific. The author had the werewolves back in this book, which I loved. But, she also had ghosts. I hope that she expands on how they interact with people. Because it was interesting!!

The romance angle of the book was subtle. It did take some time to get moving. It did get frustrating at times, but at the same time, I loved watching the dance they did.

I want to add that while Stolen Bloodlines is the 4th book in the Steam and Shadow series, it can be read as a stand-alone.

The end of Stolen Bloodlines was action-packed. I was happy that things got resolved the way they did. Leng deserved everything that happened to him. I thought what Jaspar did to call attention to Leng was ingenious. I loved that Ju and Jasper got their HEA. I am wondering if there will be a book 5 and who will it be?

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

I would reread Stolen Bloodline. I would recommend it to family and friends.

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

Dirty Cooking by Carley Mercedes


4 Stars

Publisher: Literary Wanderlust

Date of Publication: July 1st, 2019

Genre: Romance

Where you can find Dirty Cooking: Barnes and Noble | Amazon

Trigger Warning: Talk of past physical and sexual abuse

Book synopsis:

Melanie is a broken-hearted chef who has a passion for fine food, but without any other job prospects, she’s stuck at the Jivin’ Diner, where grease is the main ingredient on the menu. She’s desperate to get a new job so she can start cooking the food of her dreams, and when her best friend calls her about an opportunity as a live-in chef, Melanie jumps at the chance. Not once did she consider that her boss would be hotter than her oven.

Growing up in foster care, Erik had a rough start. He escaped to Arizona to save himself and his foster brother from their abusive foster father. Now the owner of a successful app development company, Erik has more money than he knows what to do with. He has a huge home, fast cars, and even faster relationships. His life seemed perfect, but something was missing. That is…until he hires Melanie. This little chef makes Erik’s blood sizzle more than the oil in her frying pan.

The fire between them burns hot, and though they try to resist the delicious temptation, the attraction proves to be too much. Emotions flare up, but the past hangs around like the smell of burnt popcorn, and neither can fully trust the other. Will Melanie and Erik overcome their past fears and embrace what is bubbling up between them? Or will their romance flop like a ruined soufflé?

First Line:

“Did you find me a job that looks good?” Melanie asked her friend, Shelia, over the phone.

Dirty Cooking by Carley Mercedes

My Review:

When I read the blurb for Dirty Cooking, I was intrigued. Dirty Cooking is the second book that featured a live-in chef turned lover that I have read. I wanted to see if the book lived up to the promising blurb. It did.

Dirty Cooking’s plotline was straightforward. Melanie wants to do more than work at a greasy diner. Her best friend tells her about a live-in chef position and she interviews for it. Sparks fly between Eric and Melanie. They try to keep their relationship professional, but it spirals into a sexual relationship. But Eric has secrets. These secrets have the power to tear their relationship apart.

I didn’t like Melanie, but I understood why she acted the way she did. Her ex hurt her bad. She was afraid even to try dating again. Her attraction to Eric scared her, and she used food and sarcasm to cover it up. I did think that Melanie was immature at times. Like when she found out about Eric’s past. I understood that there was a “no secrets” part of the relationship but seriously? They were dating for two weeks!!! He didn’t know her enough to trust her.

I did like Eric, and I did feel bad for him. I couldn’t imagine growing up as a foster child and not having a permanent home. He did the absolute right thing in taking Hunter and running. I did think he was a little over the top during Melanie’s interview. I also believe that he was in the right for not telling Melanie about his past. Like I said above, they had been dating for two weeks. That is nowhere enough time to get into that stuff.

My mouth watered while reading this book. I wanted to eat Melanie’s cooking for myself. Everything she made sounded so good.

The sexual tension was through the roof. The author did a great job of keeping that sexual tension at such a high level. Same with the sexual attraction. When Melanie and Eric finally did have sex, it was one of the hottest scenes I have read to date.

I want to mention the storyline with Eric and his past. My heart broke for him. He was only seven years old!!! All I have to say about that.

The end of Dirty Cooking was your typical romance HEA. Everything ended with no dropped storylines. There was no lag in the plotline, and all the characters stayed in the book. No one went poof.

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

I would reread Dirty Cooking. I would recommend it to family and friends.

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

The Truth Behind the Lie (Kouplan: Book 1) by Sara Lovestam


4 Stars

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press, Minotaur Books

Date of publication: August 27th, 2019

Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Suspense

Series: Kouplan

The Truth Behind the Lie—Book 1

Where you can find The Truth Behind the Lie: Barnes and Noble | Amazon | BookBub

Book Synopsis:

The Truth Behind The Lie is Sara Lövestam’s award-winning and gripping novel about blurred lines, second chances, and the lengths one will go to for the truth.

When a six-year-old girl disappears and calling the police isn’t an option, her desperate mother Pernilla turns to an unlikely source for help. She finds a cryptic ad online for a private investigator:
“Need help, but can’t contact the police?”

That’s where Kouplan comes in. He’s an Iranian refugee living in hiding. He and his brother were forced to leave Iran after their involvement with a radical newspaper hated by the regime was discovered. Kouplan’s brother disappeared, and he hasn’t seen him in four years. He makes a living as a P.I. working under the radar, waiting for the day he can legally apply for asylum.

Pernilla’s daughter has vanished without a trace, and Kouplan is an expert at living and working off the grid. He’s the perfect PI to help… but something in Pernilla’s story doesn’t add up. She might need help that he can’t offer…and a little girl’s life hangs in the balance.

First Line

The rain was so strange the day they took Julia.

The Truth Behind the Lie by Sara Lovestram

My Review:

I made a mistake before I started reading The Truth Behind the Lie. I read the reviews before I read the book. This is something that I usually don’t do. I had scrolled down on Goodreads, and one review caught my eye. You all know how that goes. You can’t read one. I got sucked down a rabbit hole of enthusiastic reviews, awful reviews, and mediocre reviews. By the time I emerged, my opinion of the book wasn’t that great. Then I read The Truth Behind the Lie; I can say for sure that my opinion of the book was changed for better.

One thing that caught my attention of The Truth Behind the Lie was that it was set in Sweden. Over the last year, I have noticed that most of the thrillers I read have taken place in those northern European countries. But what set this book apart for the other books was that Kouplan was not native to Sweden. Instead, he was an Iranian illegal immigrant. It was interesting to see Sweden through an immigrant’s eyes.

Kouplan caught my attention right from the beginning. His backstory was sad. He escaped from Iran after his older brother, who ran a radical newspaper, went missing. He was in the country illegally after his bid for citizenship was denied. The tension from that and from not seeing his family were well written. The only way he was surviving was working odd jobs and hoping someone answered his PI ad in the paper.

When Pernilla answered his ad, he thought that he had an easy case. He believed that Julia was taken in a custody dispute. That all he would have to do is find the father, and it would be over with. But, the case ended up being one of the hardest things he ever had to work on. The case was one of the best things about the book. Even when I felt that it was getting nowhere, I knew that something was happening. That Kouplan would break the case and find Julia. There was a break, but it wasn’t what I thought it would be.

There were a couple of considerable twists in the case that took me by surprise. One involved Pernilla, Julia, and the girl in the room. The other involved Kouplan. Neither I saw coming. Both almost made me lose my shit when they were revealed.

I did learn some interesting facts when reading The Truth Behind the Lie. I learned that mental health in Sweden was managed as well as the rest of the country. What surprised me was that the government took children away from parents if the parent had a mental illness. I was not expecting that. I also was surprised to learn that the children needed to be registered with the government. These two things I mentioned are huge in this book, so keep them in mind when reading this book.

The end of The Truth Behind the Lie was exciting. Remember the twists I mentioned above? They are both revealed in the last chapters. I loved how Pernilla, Julia, and the girl in the room was revealed. I got chills up and down my spine when I read it. The twist involving Kouplan came out of left field. I was NOT expecting what was revealed to be revealed. After I got over my shock, I loved it!!

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

I would reread The Truth Behind the Lie. I would recommend it to family and friends.

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

Small Spaces (Small Spaces: Book 1) by Katherine Arden


3 Stars

Publisher: Penguin Group, Penguin Young Readers Group, G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers

Date of publication: September 25th, 2018

Genre: Horror, Middle Grade

Series: Small Spaces

Small Spaces—Book 1

Dead Voices—Book 2 (expected publication: August 27th, 2019)

Where you can find Small Spaces: Barnes and Noble | Amazon | BookBub

Book Synopsis:

Bestselling adult author of The Bear and the Nightingale makes her middle grade debut with a creepy, spellbinding ghost story destined to become a classic

After suffering a tragic loss, eleven-year-old Ollie only finds solace in books. So when she happens upon a crazed woman at the river threatening to throw a book into the water, Ollie doesn’t think–she just acts, stealing the book and running away. As she begins to read the slender volume, Ollie discovers a chilling story about a girl named Beth, the two brothers who both loved her, and a peculiar deal made with “the smiling man,” a sinister specter who grants your most tightly held wish, but only for the ultimate price. 

Ollie is captivated by the tale until her school trip the next day to Smoke Hollow, a local farm with a haunting history all its own. There she stumbles upon the graves of the very people she’s been reading about. Could it be the story about the smiling man is true? Ollie doesn’t have too long to think about the answer to that. On the way home, the school bus breaks down, sending their teacher back to the farm for help. But the strange bus driver has some advice for the kids left behind in his care: “Best get moving. At nightfall they’ll come for the rest of you.” Nightfall is, indeed, fast descending when Ollie’s previously broken digital wristwatch, a keepsake reminder of better times, begins a startling countdown and delivers a terrifying message: RUN. 

Only Ollie and two of her classmates heed the bus driver’s warning. As the trio head out into the woods–bordered by a field of scarecrows that seem to be watching them–the bus driver has just one final piece of advice for Ollie and her friends: “Avoid large places. Keep to small.” 

And with that, a deliciously creepy and hair-raising adventure begins.

First Line:

October in East Evansburg, and the last warm sun of the year, slanted red through the sugar maples.

Small Spaces by Katherine Arden

My Review:

When I saw that Katherine Arden wrote Small Spaces, I knew I had to read it. I was a massive fan of the Winternight Trilogy, and I had high expectations of Small Spaces. Unfortunately, it fell short for me.

Ollie is an eleven-year-old who suffered a tragic loss. Refusing to talk about what happened, Ollie shut herself from the world. Her only solace was reading. After defending a new student from bullies, Ollie goes to her secret reading area. There she meets a deranged woman about to throw a book in a stream. Stealing the book, Ollie reads a story about a girl named Beth, the two brothers who loved her, and the smiling man. The next day, Ollie takes a field trip to Smoke Hollow, where she notices something strange about the scarecrows. When the bus breaks down on the way home, Ollie’s teacher goes back to the farm to get help. The bus driver warns Ollie and her friends to start running. Then he says, “Avoid large places, keep to small.” After that, her watch, the last physical thing her mother was wearing the day she died, spells out the word “Run.” That’s when the adventure begins. What will happen to Ollie and her friends? Who is the smiling man? How is he connected to what was happening to Ollie? And what exactly does the bus driver mean?

I thought Small Spaces storyline was fantastic. It was creepy enough for upper elementary/middle school-aged children.

I did like the characters, but I felt that there was not a lot of depth to them. Ollie was the loner with a tragic past, Brian was the jock who had a hidden side to him, and Coco was the new girl who was trying too hard to fit in. The author did try to make them more fleshed out. Brian quoting Alice in Wonderland did surprise me. As did Coco revealing that she used to rock climb before she moved to Evansburg. But other than that, I didn’t get a connection with them.

Revealing Ollie’s tragic past sooner would have been an asset to the book. I did guess at what happened early on in the book, but it took forever for it come out. I wanted to reach into the book and hug her.

I did have an issue with the formatting what reading Small Spaces. I would be reading a paragraph, and then random numbers would appear (example: running in the 1. woods). It made it hard for me to read the book and did take away from my enjoyment of it. It also affected my rating.

I also thought that paranormal/horror angle of the book was almost too understated for me. I am an adult and used to more scares. But, as I said above, this would be a perfect book for middle-grade kids. But for adults, no.

The end of the book left me feeling unfulfilled. While I liked what Ollie did, I was left wanting more. There is a book 2, which I would like to read.

I would give Small Spaces a Tween rating. There is no sex. There is no language. There is mild violence. I would recommend that no one under the age of 13 read this book.

I would reread Small Spaces. I would recommend it to family and friends.

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

Look for Me Under the Rainbow by Bernard Jan


5 Stars

Publisher: Self Published

Date of publication: April 15th, 2018

Genre: Middle Grade

Where you can find Look For Me Under the Rainbow: Barnes and Noble | Amazon | BookBub

Book Synopsis:

Sometimes all you need is a big heart and burning desire.

Danny, a curious harp seal pup, has soft white fur and black innocent eyes. Helen is an environmentalist and member of a young activist crew of the Rainbow Warriors. Their mission is to save animals.

As winter turns into spring, a new generation of seal pups comes to life. A few weeks later, the killing begins. Against a spectacular backdrop of ice and snow, Helen prepares to look horrific human cruelty in the face.

I do not doubt I have a big heart and burning desire, but is that enough for a person to become a Rainbow Warrior, or is there something better? Something only some of us manage to turn into what we have long missed—humanity.

In the race against time and clubs, will Helen save Danny before the hunt begins and the ice turns red?

Though written for younger readers, Look for Me Under the Rainbow will appeal to anyone who cherishes our beautiful planet and wishes to protect its treasures.

Buy this book by Bernard Jan, the author of A World Without Color, and experience another emotional journey.

First Line:

What is man, Mom?

Look for Me Under the Rainbow by Bernard Jan

My Review:

When I read the blurb for Look for Me Under the Rainbow, it caught my interest. I wasn’t expecting the feelings that this book evoked. I felt everything from joy to horror to sadness.

I will admit, I went into Look for Me Under the Rainbow with a certain mindset. I thought that it was going to be a children’s book about a young seal pup named Danny and his adventures. Well, that isn’t the case. Instead, I got a book that showed exactly how hard a harp seal’s life is and the dangers they face.

Danny was a great main character. His curiosity and innocence were what I expected from a harp seal pup. The questions he asked were what I expected a child to ask. But, like all children, Danny disobeys his mother, and there are consequences.

The harp seal pups slaughter was horrifying. I had thought that clubbing them to death had ended. The other horrors that the author described (being skinned alive and left to die) made me sick to my stomach. I kept thinking to myself, “How is that humane??? They are babies!!!” I cannot believe that this is allowed. That is when my horror turned to outrage.

The author also showed what the seals went through if they survived the slaughter. Everything from natural enemies (killer whales and polar bears) to human-made hazards (oil spills to nets left floating in the ocean). It was heartbreaking.

I liked that the author showed that people are trying to do the right thing. The Rainbow Warriors and Helen tried to stop the slaughter. How they did it was smart. I wouldn’t have thought to do that!! But those activists are only a small handful of people. More people need to help.

Look for Me Under the Rainbow is a short book, actually a novella. Marketed towards children, I was a little iffy about the age range on this. I decided on Tween because I felt that the younger kids could be traumatized by the descriptions of the seal pup slaughter.

The end of Look for Me Under the Rainbow wasn’t a happy one. But it wasn’t a sad one either. It was an eye opening one.

I would give Look for Me Under the Rainbow a Tween rating. There is no sex. There is no language. There is violence. I would recommend that no one under the age of 10 read this book.

I would reread Look for Me Under the Rainbow. I would recommend it to family and friends.

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

The Year I Left by Christine Brae


3 Stars

Publisher: Vesuvian Books

Date of publication: August 20th, 2019

Genre: Women’s Fiction

Where you can find The Year I Left: Amazon | BookBub

Book Synopsis:

Carin Frost doesn’t understand what’s happening to her. A confident businesswoman, wife, and mother, she begins to resent everything about her life. Nothing makes sense. Nothing makes her feel. Maybe it’s the recent loss of her mother in a tragic accident. Or maybe she’s just losing her mind. 

Enter Matias Torres. As their new business partnership thrives, so does their friendship—and his interest in her. Carin is determined to keep her distance, until a work assignment sends them to Southeast Asia where a storm is brewing on the island. In the midst of the chaos, Matias asks her to do something unimaginable, exhilarating, BOLD. Carin knows the consequences could be dire, but it may be the only way to save herself. 

An honest look at love and marriage and the frailties of the human heart, this is a story of a woman’s loss of self and purpose and the journey she takes to find her way back.

First Line

Sometime in the late summer when the air began to tingle and the leaves started to fall, I opened my eyes one morning and my view of the world changed.

The Year I Left by Christine Brae

When I read the blurb for The Year I Left, I was intrigued. A woman suffering from the loss of her mother meets a younger man who sweeps her off her feet. That meeting sets off a series of events that turn her world upside down. That made me go “Hrmmm” and decide to read the book.

I was disappointed by The Year I Left. The book did deliver on what the blurb promised. But, it was the characters that didn’t do it for me.

I did enjoy how The Year I Left was written. It was told in 2nd person and 1st person. I have read a few books where 2nd person was used successfully. The Year I Left was one of those books. Carin’s story was written as journal entries to Matias for the year they spent together. The 1st person part of the book was told from Matias’s point of view after that year had ended. It made The Year I Left a compelling read for me.

Along with how the book was written, I did like the plotline. It was simple and to the point. The author didn’t add drama to spice the plotline up. What Carin and Matias did was enough.

The author was able to keep the plotline’s pace for the entire book. There was no lag or slowing down of plotline. There were a few minor plotlines that were merged into the main plotline throughout the book.

As much as I saw promise and like the plotline, I couldn’t stand the main characters. Unfortunately, that colored my perspective of the book.

Let’s start with Carin. I could not stand her. I understand that her mother’s death and then her dog’s death a few months later scarred her mentally. I could understand her falling into a deep depression. Heck, I could even understand her not paying her bills and ruining her credit. But what I couldn’t understand is how she checked out on her son and husband. The scenes she had with them, she barely interacted with them. When Matias came into the scene, she was all about him. When he showed up on Carin’s mother/son trip to England, she ignored her son and showered Matias with her attention. When she decided to disappear with Matias, she didn’t think about how it would affect her son. As a mother, it made me sick.

I couldn’t stand Matias either. He knew that Carin was married and he still pursued her. If it were only that, I would have been OK with him. But he border lined stalked her. He texted and called her nonstop. Even after she asked him to stop. But it was when they decided to disappear that my annoyance with him morphed into dislike. He could see how much Carin missed her son. Instead of being compassionate and urging her to contact him, he threw a fit like a toddler. I also forgot to mention that he cheated on his fiancee with Carin. All that stuff together made me not like him.

The end of the book was interesting. But, because of what I thought about Matias and Carin, I couldn’t enjoy it. Matias also started acting like he did at the beginning of the book. Again, strong stalker vibes going on. Also, the epilogue didn’t do it for me. I didn’t believe it.

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

I don’t know if I would reread The Year I Left. I do not know if I would recommend it to family and friends.

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

The Warehouse by Rob Hart


4 Stars

Publisher: Crown Publishing, Crown

Date of publication: August 20th, 2019

Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Suspense, Dystopia

Where you can find The Warehouse: Barnes and Noble | Amazon | BookBub

Book Synopsis:

Gun violence, climate change and unemployment have ravaged the United States beyond recognition.

Amidst the wreckage, an online retail giant named Cloud reigns supreme. Cloud brands itself not just as an online storefront, but as a global saviour. Yet, beneath the sunny exterior, lurks something far more sinister.

Paxton never thought he’d be working Security for the company that ruined his life, much less that he’d be moving into one of their sprawling live-work facilities. But compared to what’s left outside, perhaps Cloud isn’t so bad. Better still, through his work he meets Zinnia, who fills him with hope for their shared future.

Except that Zinnia is not what she seems. And Paxton, with his all-access security credentials, might just be her meal ticket.
As Paxton and Zinnia’s agendas place them on a collision course, they’re about to learn just how far the Cloud will go to make the world a better place. 

To beat the system, you have to be inside it.

First Line:

Well, I’m dying!

The Warehouse by Rob Hart

My Review:

Paxton didn’t want to work for Cloud. The superstore ruined his life and put him out of business. But he needs a job and Cloud is hiring. Zinnia is on a mission. She needs to infiltrate Cloud, and she can’t get caught. She meets Paxton, who has been selected to work for security. Soon, Paxton and Zinnia become embroiled in a scheme that will shake Cloud to its very foundation.

When I started reading The Warehouse, I was expecting it to be a book that explored how an online business ran with a dash of mystery thrown in. I was not expecting this book to suck me in from the first page. I finished this book within 2 hours. So yeah, it is a fast read. It also had a well-written plotline with almost no lag. There was a tiny bit of lag when Paxton and Zinnia took their trip, but the author was able to bring plotline back.

I liked Paxton. He seemed resigned to the fact that he was going to work for Cloud. He didn’t hold any resentment towards Cloud for making his business to go under. I thought that he was blind to Zinnia’s schemes. How could he not pick up that something wasn’t quite right with her? I mean, he walked in on her using the hospital computer after her accident!! That drove me nuts.

I didn’t quite like Zinnia, but I also didn’t dislike her either. Her reasons for infiltrating Cloud weren’t clear at first. I wasn’t happy that she was using Paxton, but if I were in her situation, I would have done the same thing. She was a strong individual, though. The beatdown that she gave that one guy was epic.

The mystery angle of the book was well written. While the middle of the book did Zinnia’s first part of her mission, there was a second part to it. The twist to that took me by surprise. I wasn’t expecting who it was!!

The dystopian angle of the book, I had no problem believing. I can picture what happened to the world in this book (climate change, gun violence, unemployment) happening in real life. I also have no issue seeing an online company (who I will not name) taking over the world.

I do want to add that I was grossed out about the burgers. I threw up a little in my mouth when it was revealed what they were made of. Talk about gross!!

The end of The Warehouse was pretty standard. There were no dropped storylines. But, I did wonder what happened to Zinnia. I was also thrilled for Paxton and a little mad. What happened to him was not right. I would have flipped my lid if that happened to me.

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

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

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

I Wanna Sext You Up (Let’s Talk About Sext: Book 2) by Evie Claire


2 Stars

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group, Loveswept

Date of publication: August 20, 2019

Genre: Romance

Series: Let’s Talk About Sext

Let’s Talk About Sext—Book 1 (review here)

I Wanna Sext You Up—Book 2

Where you can find I Wanna Sext You Up: Barnes and Noble | Amazon | BookBub

Book Synopsis:

Warning: Workplace flirtation may cause side effects.

Super-geek physician Sam Sherazi, M.D., is clueless about anything that can’t be learned from a textbook. Most people assume he’s an intellectual a-hole with a God complex, but Sam doesn’t need a sparkling bedside manner to treat his patients. Besides, he’d rather not encourage the countless women who are solely attracted to the two little letters at the end of his name—something that’s rubbed him the wrong way ever since he finished med school. But when Lorie Braddock walks into Sam’s office, he finds himself wanting to rub her all sorts of right.

At twenty-five, former beauty queen Lorie Braddock is finally living life on her terms. She’s moved to the big city, landed her dream job, and traded her titles and tiaras for power suits and promotions. But while Lorie’s sprinting up the corporate ladder, her dating life is guided by one simple rule: Don’t dip your pen in the company ink. Until Dr. Sam Sherazi starts invading her thoughts . . . and steaming up her phone with the kind of sexting that makes her want to rewrite all her rules.

Evie Clarie’s red-hot romances can be enjoyed together or separately:

First Line:

Dirty chai latte!

I Wanna Sext You Up by Evie Claire

My Review:

I have this thing about completing a series, even if I don’t like them, which is the case in this book. I had read Let’s Talk About Sext and loathed it. I was hoping that it wouldn’t be the case with I Wanna Sext You Up.

The plotline for I Wanna Sext You up was simple. Saam and Lorie have a working relationship. He is a doctor known for being icy cold and anti-social. She is a pharmaceutical rep who is trying to get Saam to try a new drug. What starts as business relationship turns into a sexual relationship. Saam and Lorie’s new relationship could cause a conflict of interest. Will they be able to overcome it? Or will their relationship fail before it starts to get going?

I wasn’t a massive fan of Lorie’s at the beginning of the book. My issue with her was that she was bland. She didn’t get super mad or super happy. I wish she did because it would have made a difference in this review.

Saam was alright. He was written to be like what a Dr would be in real life. I didn’t need to know that he was socially awkward all the time. It was interesting the first few times in the book. But after that, eh. I did like his passion for medicine and was hoping that there would be more scenes with him being a Dr in the book.

I got zero sense of any attraction between Saam and Lorie. Even the sexting scenes made me go, “Eh.” Now saying that their first sex scene was AHMAZING!! Unfortunately, it wasn’t repeated. The sex scenes became dull. It frustrated me because I saw what it could be like.

Even though I Wanna Sext You Up is the second book in the Let’s Talk About Sex series, it can be read separately. The characters from the first book do make an appearance in I Wanna Sext You Up, but the author kept it at that, an appearance. Which I was thankful for because I couldn’t stand Phebe.

The end of I Wanna Sext You Up was your typical romance novel ending. Lorie and Saam got their HEA. I am wondering who book three is going to be about. There are a couple of candidates. Guess I will have to see.

I would give Let’s Talk About Sext an Adult rating. There is no sex. There is language. There is no violence. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

I would reread Let’s Talk About Sext. I would recommend it to family and friends.

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

Song for a Lost Kingdom (Book 1) by Steve Moretti @morettisteve @Shalini_G26


4 Stars

Publisher: DWA Media

Date of publication: July 16th 2018

Genre: Romance, Fantasy, Time Travel

Series: Song for a Lost Kingdom

Song for a Lost Kingdom—Book 1

Song for a Lost Kingdom—Book 2

Where you can find Song for a Lost Kingdom: Barnes and Noble | Amazon | BookBub

Book Synopsis:

It would take two women separated by time to complete music with the power to change history. But will it be enough to save the man they care about most? 

Adeena Stuart and Katharine Carnegie were born nearly three centuries apart. Yet their music and an ancient cello connect them to each other and to a man doomed by the Battle of Culloden. 

In Book I of the Song for A Lost Kingdom series, Adeena receives an untitled musical score from her dying grandmother in Scotland. The music was hidden away for over two hundred and seventy years, as part of a violent family battle between siblings on different sides of the Jacobite rising of 1745. 

When the score is played on the oldest surviving cello ever made in the UK, the music connects Adeena directly to the past as Katharine, struggling to find words to complete her symphonic tour-de-force in the midst of 18th Century political rebellion that is threatening to tear apart Scotland and England. 

But Adeena is not a scientist or historian. What she wants more than anything is to compose music and to join the National Arts Centre Orchestra in Ottawa. Just as she is about to realize her wish, she’s lifted away, out of her control, and immersed in her ancient family history. As she is buffeted back and forth between the worlds, she grows to want more of the past, even though the promise of her most yearned-for musician dreams is coming true. 

Not even her passionate boyfriend can keep her rooted in the present, especially when another man from the past falls for her and her music. Although unsure whether her time travel is a hallucination, she’s willing to steal a five million dollar cello to get back to the 1700’s. 

With a clear voice that sets us in modern day Ottawa and old world Scotland, Song for a Lost Kingdom, Book I, begins a journey of discovery between two women who share the same musical soul and love for the same doomed man.

First Line:

Adeena Stuart tried to adjust her eyes against the blinding spotlights.

Song for a Lost Kingdom (Book One) by Steve Moretti

My Review:

When I read the blurb for Song for a Lost Kingdom, I knew that I had to read this book. Not only was this book set in 18th century Scotland, but it was a time travel/love story. So, I dove right in. I am glad that I read the book, but I wish that Adeena was more likable. I will explain in my review why I said that.

Song for a Lost Kingdom starts slowly. The author chose to focus on building the backstories of the main characters. After establishing those backstories, then the main storyline (well the dual main storylines) took off. I loved it!!

There were times in the book where I wanted to throttle Adeena. Yes, I liked, and yes, I thought she was a strong, capable woman. But she was also self-centered and selfish. She put her obsession with the cello ahead of everything else. If someone other than Lang had noticed that the cello on display wasn’t the real one, Tara would have lost her job. I couldn’t connect to her after that.

I did like the time travel angle of the book. It was different having Adeena go back in time while playing the cello. Her physical body stayed in Ottawa. I liked that the author showed what was happening while she was gone. I liked the contrast. I also liked that it took more effort to pull her back to the present day.

The author was very knowledgeable about the musical angle of the book. There was never a time where I was doubting that he knew what he was talking about.

The 18th-century angle of the book was amazing to read. The research that the author did about Bonnie Prince Charlie, and the events leading up to the battle of Culloden was terrific. Like with the musical angle of the book, I didn’t doubt anything that happened. I also had no problem placing Katharine/Adeena at that time.

The romance between Adeena and Phillipe didn’t give me goosebumps. I could tell, even at the beginning of the book, that they weren’t going to last. I also foretold who Phillipe was going to end up with. Now, the romance between Katharine/Adeena and James gave me goosebumps. Not often that a book can do that to me.

The end of Song for a Lost Kingdom drove me nuts. It ended on a cliffhanger. I had so many questions that went unanswered. Guess I’ll have to read book 2!!

I would give Song for a Lost Kingdom an Adult rating. There is sex. There is language. There is violence. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

I would reread Song for a Lost Kingdom. I would recommend it to family and friends.

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

Aelia by Jonathan Soler


4 Stars


Date of publication: May 28th, 2019

Genre: Fantasy

Where you can find Aelia: Amazon

Book Synopsis:

When the mysterious Aelia arrives in the Kingdom of Namos, she cons her way into the nobility and quickly finds herself caught up in the court’s violent and ruthless intrigue. Her recklessness will lead her to confront the most powerful characters of the kingdom. But will her cunning be enough to survive their murderous plots?

First Line:

After a harsh and merciless winter in which the weakest and most destitute didn’t survive, fine weather finally returned to the Kingdom of Namos.

Aelia by Jonathan Soler

My Review:

I am a huge fan of fantasy. I am also a massive fan of books that have strong woman figures carving out a name for themselves. So when I read the blurb for Aelia, my attention was caught. A fantasy with a strong woman? Count me in!! Aelia lived up to the blurb and then some. It was a fantastic read.

Aelia’s plotline was fast-paced. The author was able to keep the pace of the plotline for the entire book. There was zero lag, which was fantastic because I was expecting it. In a book with a fast-paced plotline like Aelia’s, there is some lag. Not here!!

There was a lot of violence in Aelia. I am not squeamish when it comes to violence in books. So the violence in Aelia didn’t bother me. But it might bother some readers.

There was also one scene where Aelia was sexually assaulted in a field. There were also scenes where Aelia used attempted rape as a reason why she killed people, even if they didn’t touch her. I wasn’t bothered by either. But there might be readers who will be triggered by that.

Aelia was amazing. I was a little suspicious of her at the beginning of the book. But, as the book went on, I started to admire her. She planned each of her endeavors meticulously. She didn’t hold back either. She did whatever it took to get to the next step in her plan. By the end of the book, I couldn’t even predict what she was going to do next.

The end of the book was wild but at the same time a bit anticlimactic. The final battle scene was epic. I did wonder if the author was setting up for a sequel with the way the book ended.

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

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

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

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