ARC · book review · NetGalley · Simon & Schuster

Limetown: The Prequel to the #1 Podcast by Zack Akers, Skip Bronkie, and Cote Smith

Limetown: The Prequel to the #1 Podcast

3 Stars

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Date of publication: November 13th, 2018

Genre: Mystery, Thriller

Where you can find Limetown: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Goodreads synopsis:

From the creators of the #1 podcast Limetown, an explosive prequel about a teenager who learns of a mysterious research facility where over three hundred people have disappeared—including her uncle—with clues that become the key to discovering the secrets of this strange town.

On a seemingly ordinary day, seventeen-year-old Lia Haddock hears the news that will change her life forever: three hundred men, women, and children living at a research facility in Limetown, Tennessee, have disappeared without a trace. Among the missing is Emile Haddock, Lia’s uncle.

What happened to the people of Limetown? It’s all anyone can talk about. Except for Lia’s parents, who refuse to discuss what might have happened there. They refuse, even, to discuss anything to do with Emile.

As a student journalist, Lia begins an investigation that will take her far from her home, discovering clues about Emile’s past that lead to a shocking secret—one with unimaginable implications not only for the people of Limetown but for Lia and her family. The only problem is…she’s not the only one looking for answers.

Zack Akers and Skip Bronkie are first-rate storytellers, in every medium. Critics called their podcast Limetown “creepy and otherworldly” (The New York Times) and “endlessly fun” (Vox), and their novel goes back to where it all began. Working with Cote Smith, a PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize Finalist, they’ve crafted an exhilarating mystery that asks big questions about what we owe to our families and what we owe to ourselves, about loss, discovery, and growth. Threaded throughout is Emile’s story—told in these pages for the first time.


My review:

Lia is a high school senior when she hears the news about Limetown. Limetown is a town where three hundred people disappeared without a trace. Among those who disappeared, Lia’s estranged uncle, Emile. Fueled by the need to find out what happened, Lia starts an investigation. What she finds during her investigation makes her question everything that she has been told. What happened at Limetown? Why is Emile at the center of it? How is her mother involved? Who can Lia trust? Where did those people go?

I was pretty excited to start reading Limetown. Even though I haven’t heard the podcast, I figured that I could follow the prequel easy enough. I mean, prequels give information that’s isn’t known in series that follows. Yeah, well that didn’t happen. While Limetown was an interesting read, it left me with more questions than answers.

I didn’t care for Lia. She came across as self-centered the entire book. I did admire her tenacity. She stuck with finding out with what happened to the people in Limetown and her uncle Emile. But her personality was awful. There are very few times where I don’t like the main character and this is one of them. I also didn’t get why she treated her mother the way she did when she found certain things out. She failed to see that everything her mother did was for her. Saying that I do wonder what she is like in the podcast.

I did like Emile. Actually, I pitied him for 75% of the book. His ability made him an outsider. Anytime he even got close to someone, they either got hurt or turned out to be not what he thought they would be. Even his relationship with Lia ended up badly and she was a baby. I did wonder what happened to him at Limetown at the beginning of the book. I can’t say what I thought by the end of the book because I will give away the ending. Let’s say that any pity I felt for Emile went out the window.

I did find the storylines well written. But they failed to hold my attention. My mind kept wandering off mid-paragraph and I had to force myself to focus on reading. Which, in turn, took away from my pleasure in reading the book.

The end of Limetown confused the heck out of me. This is where I wish I had listened to the podcast because I had zero clue what was going on. But, I did know that Lia’s foray to Limetown wasn’t going to end up well. I didn’t expect it to go that bad.


I have Limetown a 3-star rating. I thought the book was well written and an interesting read. But, it failed to hold my attention and left me with more questions than answers. Even though it is a prequel, I would recommend listening to the podcast first.

I would give Limetown an Adult rating. There is no sex. There is violence. There is language. There are triggers. They are child abuse, drug use, parental abandonment, the death of a parent, unsolved disappearances of the loved one. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21.

I am undecided if I would reread Limetown. I am also undecided if I would recommend this book to family and friends.


I would like to thank Simon & Schuster and NetGalley for allowing me to read and review Limetown.

All opinions stated in this review of Limetown are mine.

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


Have you read Limetown?

Love it? 

Hate it?

Meh about it?

Let me know!!!

Algonquin Young Readers · ARC · book review · Dragonfly Press · Loveswept · NetGalley · Non ARC · RABT Book Tours · Random House Publishing Group · Simon & Schuster · St. Martin's Paperbacks · St. Martin's Press

WWW Wednesday: November 7th, 2018

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WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Wars. So here what I have read/are reading/will be reading.

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?


What’s going on with me this past week:

Personal:

So, I am still sick. I ended up losing my voice Friday and Saturday, much to the delight of my kids. While I got my voice back on Sunday, I am still feeling yucky. I swear I am going to start spraying my kids down with Lysol as soon as they walk through the door. Saturday, we went to the Muggle Market in Charlotte. Even though I couldn’t talk, I had a blast. There were so many authors/vendors there I didn’t know where to turn. Besides that, they had food trucks, a medieval weapons tournament (the guy with the bow was a bit of a jerk to my son) and an exotic animal rehabilitator. Miss R and Miss B held a crocodile. Miss R and Mr. Z held a tiny turtle. Miss R held a 90 lb boa constrictor. I swear, that girl has no fear…lol.

Reading:

So I am behind on reading again. While I did write reviews over the weekend, I didn’t feel like reading. I couldn’t think with my head feeling like it was full of cotton. I did read a couple of books on Monday and Tuesday. I am hoping that I can catch a couple of hours over the weekend so I can catch up on my reading. But, I am not seeing that happening. Too much going on. Bleh. I


What I am currently reading:

Dragonfire (Dark Kings, #14)

click on the picture for Amazon link

Passion burns hot in Dragonfire, the next Dark Kings novel from New York Times bestseller Donna Grant. 

It was a soul-deep longing, one that got into his bones and settled there, sending whispers of desire through him. The need, the hunger, grew tenfold with every breath. . . .

As a Dragon King, Roman is sworn to protect all mortals–even though they no longer believe in dragons. But deep in the Carpathian Mountains, he discovers a beautiful and mysterious gypsy who possesses the power to see into his very soul. To reignite the fire in his heart. And to help him find the long-lost sword that could save the dragons forever…

Sabina remembers the stories her grandmother told her. Legends of dragons and kings, fire and ice. And she’s never forgotten the dark prophecy that filled her ancestors with fear–a fate they tried to prevent by stealing a Dragon King’s sword. Sabina knows that helping Roman is dangerous. He is a dragon betrayed, and more powerful than any man. He could destroy her in a single fiery embrace. But how can she resist the longing in his eyes–or the feelings in her heart–when their destinies are bound by desire?

I just started this book yesterday. When I mean started, I am on the second or third page. I am hoping that I like it. I liked Heat when I reviewed it. So we’ll see.


What I finished reading:

Spirit of Prophecy: Paranormal and Sci-Fi Crime

Click on the picture for Amazon link

What if your past came back to haunt you and stalked the present until it became your worst nightmare? What would you do if you discovered you’re engaged to a murderous psychopath about to go serial? 

J.J. Hughes explores the lengths to which we will go, to keep the past from overshadowing the present and destroying the future. Spirit of Prophecy is a highly original, cutting edge, metaphysical crime mystery with a breathtaking paranormal twist.

Years ago, a terrible atrocity occurred in Apache Indian territory in New Mexico, and now the players take up their positions to execute a horrific revenge. If you liked A.G. Riddle’s The Atlantis Gene you’ll love this . 

Evil awakens, and Rosetta Barrett, a psychic detective, must settle old scores and heal ancient wounds. She has the highest international security clearance with the Elite Paranormal Intelligence Services [EPIS], but she can’t tell her family or the courts what she really does. Divorce was hell. She lost custody of her children because of her paranormal beliefs, and now she’s fighting to get them back. 

Prominent American event rider, Juliet Jermaine, loses her Olympic horse, Gothic, and his rider, Isabella, also dies in a horrific unprovoked road rage attack. Barrett is investigating Isabella’s murder. She has a suspect but gathering sufficient evidence to nail a conviction is proving elusive. 

If Rosetta fails to convict the criminal and end the horrific cycle of revenge and retribution, the past is set to explode into the present with dire and explosive consequences.

Time is running out…

Read Spirit of Prophecy and get onboard a metaphysical rollercoaster from the future to the past and back!

Visit the author’s website and get to know J.J. Hughes and her work.
www.moneymagnet.global/booksbyjjhughes

I wasn’t expecting to like this book as much as I did. The author did a fantastic job with interweaving the metaphysical, paranormal and mystery together. Also, I loved that her characters were flawed. My review is here.


What I am reading next (click on the pictures for Amazon links):

An Unlikely Setup (Welcome to Otter Tail Book 1)

Maddie’s teenage crush humiliated her fifteen years ago. Now Quinn runs the Otter Tail pub that Maddie inherited and needs to sell. Too bad Maddie’s high school crush on Quinn is still alive and kicking. 

Quinn wants to buy the pub, but can’t afford Maddie’s price, so he plays dirty. His smile, bright blue eyes, and broad shoulders are just his initial bid. As they get reacquainted, they realize someone else has plans for the pub. Plans that endanger Maddie and Quinn – and the rest of Otter Tail. 

Can Maddie and Quinn save the pub? Can they put their past behind to create a future together?

I have reviewed Margaret Watson’s books before and she is a solid romance author. So, I am pretty excited to read this book!!

Dragon's Shadow

Royal twins ripped apart at birth become reluctant champions of good and evil.

Kylie, a teenage science geek, has no faith in people. Instead, she relies on what she trusts the most, the facts––what she can see, touch, and hear but never feel. With enough pain to deal with in her own world, she is thrust into another––a kingdom at war whose strange inhabitants fear one thing the most––the return of the dragon. All of this is illogical to Kylie, but even more so, when she discovers she belongs there. 

Her brother, Prince Jarlon, journeys to kill the dragon who has laid waste to his kingdom. His only hope for destroying the beast is help from his sister, whom he has never met. Will their paths cross before the beast’s malevolence infects Kylie and turns her into his creature or will Jarlon have to destroy her, too?

The blurb of this book made me accept it when RABT Book Tour’s approached me to review it. I am hoping that its good.

You Are The Everything

Can you want something—or someone—so badly that you change your destiny? Elyse Schmidt never would have believed it, until it happened to her. When Elyse and her not-so-secret crush, Josh Harris, are the sole survivors of a plane crash, tragedy binds them together. It’s as if their love story is meant to be. Everything is perfect, or as perfect as it can be when you’ve literally fallen out of the sky and landed hard on the side of a mountain—until suddenly it isn’t. And when the pieces of Elyse’s life stop fitting together, what is left?

The blurb reeled me in for this book. It seems like it will be a full box of Kleenex book. Another book that I am eagerly waiting to read.

Exposed Fury

Annie Fitch, a former police detective, struggles to make ends meet as a private investigator in the sleepy town of Leesburg, Virginia. On partial disability because of gunshot injuries, she’s relegated to doing surveillance gigs and background checks. But things are looking up, since her on-again, off-again relationship is back on and might stay that way. 

When Annie is hired by Laura Carlton to follow her husband to get evidence of cheating, Annie is certain the case won’t take long. Nick Carlton grew up with money and privilege and has a sex addiction dating back to his high school days. But things go sideways when Annie finds her target dead in an alley just a few blocks from her own home. 

Working with her former partner, Gunnar Jansson, Annie digs deeper into Carlton’s background, slowly excavating his past to reveal the multiple suspects and motives. The list includes his many lunch-hour-tryst partners, a local shop owner, and his business partner, among others. Layer by layer, Annie uncovers a truth that runs much deeper than anyone expected. 

This book was an instant yes when the author approached me to review it. I was drawn in by the blurb. I am hoping that this book is as good as I think it is.

Sleepover

A brand-new contemporary romance from the USA Today bestselling author of Head Over Heels.
 
The girl next door is the one that got away. He just doesn’t know it yet. . . .

Sawyer: After my wife died, I promised myself I’d never go through the pain of losing someone again. Now I keep my flings neat, tidy, and one-time-only. Besides, my son needs me more than ever. He’s miserable in our new town, so I’m pumped when he makes friends with the kid next door—until I recognize his mom from a one-night stand. Perky and upbeat, Elle Dunning is not my type for anything other than tearing up the sheets. So why do I keep letting myself get roped into game nights and get-togethers?

Elle: It so hasn’t been my year. That’s my first thought when I see my new next-door neighbor. I never would have hooked up with Sawyer Paulson if my husband hadn’t left me for his high-school sweetheart, but because our eight-year-old boys have become best friends, I’ve got to make nice with Mr. Tall, Dark, and Silent. Yet the more time we spend together, the more Sawyer opens up. We’ve both been hurt—badly. So it’s one thing to send the kids off to sleepaway camp together. It’s quite another to promise each other a lifetime of sleepovers. . . .

Sleepover is a standalone novel with no cheating, no cliffhangers, and a satisfying happily ever after.

This book has been on my TBR list for a while. I kept pushing it back due to me overscheduling myself. Now, no more pushing back. I can’t wait to read it. I have read and reviewed books by Serena Bell before. I have generally liked them. So, I have high hopes for this one.

Limetown: The Prequel to the #1 Podcast

From the creators of the #1 podcast Limetown, an explosive prequel about a teenager who learns of a mysterious research facility where over three hundred people have disappeared—including her uncle—with clues that become the key to discovering the secrets of this strange town.

On a seemingly ordinary day, seventeen-year-old Lia Haddock hears news that will change her life forever: three hundred men, women, and children living at a research facility in Limetown, Tennessee, have disappeared without a trace. Among the missing is Emile Haddock, Lia’s uncle. 

What happened to the people of Limetown? It’s all anyone can talk about. Except Lia’s parents, who refuse to discuss what might have happened there. They refuse, even, to discuss anything to do with Emile.

As a student journalist, Lia begins an investigation that will take her far from her home, discovering clues about Emile’s past that lead to a shocking secret—one with unimaginable implications not only for the people of Limetown, but for Lia and her family. The only problem is…she’s not the only one looking for answers. 

Zack Akers and Skip Bronkie are first-rate storytellers, in every medium. Critics called their podcast Limetown “creepy and otherworldly” (The New York Times) and “endlessly fun” (Vox), and their novel goes back to where it all began. Working with Cote Smith, a PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize Finalist, they’ve crafted an exhilarating mystery that asks big questions about what we owe to our families and what we owe to ourselves, about loss, discovery, and growth. Threaded throughout is Emile’s story—told in these pages for the first time ever. 

I was intrigued by the plot for this book. It has made me look up the podcast and I am toying with listening to it. Just to get some background information for the story. Again, another book I am looking forward to reading.

What About Us (Panic, #4)

Irresistible beats and tantalizing bodies heat up the night at South Beach’s most scandalous new club.

Alex: I hate doing business in clubs. Especially one like Duality. I’m here to seal a deal, not indulge in whatever hedonistic illusion they’re selling. Until, through all the skin and sex on display, I see her. Helen Blackwood. The girl who once filled my youthful fantasies, whose name is now synonymous with pain. Her father’s lies destroyed my family, leaving me with nothing to lose. And yet I can’t deny my electric response to her touch . . . or my urge to protect her when I see the bruise on her face.

Helen: Growing up, life prepared me for society galas and powerful men, not minimum-wage jobs or drunk exes with anger issues. But I’m a survivor. So here I am, practically naked, serving drinks at a Miami nightclub. I don’t mind the stares. Apparently, Alex Archer does. After twelve years, we aren’t exactly friends, but money is something we both understand. Something he knows I need. I’ll be his personal assistant, even if it means working with the man I hate . . . and the man I still want. 

No cheating. No cliffhangers. And no dress code.

Don’t miss Sidney Halston’s Panic series:
PULL ME CLOSE | MAKE ME STAY | KISS ME BACK | WHAT ABOUT US

I have read the first three books in the series and for the most part, enjoyed them. So when I saw that Sidney Halston had written a 4th book, I jumped on it. I can’t wait to read it!!


So that’s it. Be on the lookout for the reviews of all these books in the near future.

Have you read any of these books?

Let me know what you thought of them!!

ARC · Ballantine Books · book review · Crooked Lane Books · Forever · NetGalley · Random House Publishing Group · Simon & Schuster · St. Martin's Griffin · St. Martin's Press · Wednesday Books

Weekly Wrap Up: September 23rd through September 29th

Books I’ve Read (clicking on the picture will bring you to Goodreads page):

The Rain Watcher

A True Cowboy Christmas (Cold River Ranch, #1)

The Hangman's Secret (Victorian Mystery, #3)

A Spark of Light

 

Mr. Nice Guy

Books I’ve Reviewed (clicking on pictures will bring you to the Amazon page):

A True Cowboy Christmas—review coming October 31st, 2018

A True Cowboy Christmas (Cold River Ranch, #1)

The Hangman’s Secret—review coming January 9th, 2019

The Hangman's Secret (Victorian Mystery, #3)

The Christmas Wishing Tree—review here

Christmas on Mistletoe Lane—review here

The Ancient Nine—review here

The Ancient Nine

Mr. Nice Guy—review coming October 16th

Mr. Nice Guy

The Christmas Wishing Tree—review coming September 26th

The Christmas Wishing Tree (Eternity Springs, #15)

NetGalley Haul(clicking on the picture will bring you to the Goodreads page):

Limetown: The Prequel to the #1 Podcast

The Duke I Once Knew (Unlikely Duchesses, #1)

The Corner of Holly and Ivy: A feel-good Christmas romance

White Stag (Permafrost, #1)

The Girls at 17 Swann Street

Email Request (clicking on the picture will bring you to the Goodreads page):

Until We Are Free (Until #1)

Weekly Posts:

Weekly Wrap Up

Music Monday

WWW Wednesday

Throwback Thursday

Foodie Friday

Freebie Sunday

ARC · Graydon House · Harlequin-Graydon House Books · Loveswept · NetGalley · Painted Bling Publishing · Random House Publishing Group · Simon & Schuster · St. Martin's Paperbacks · St. Martin's Press

Mini-reviews

I have fallen very behind with my reviews. Not with reading the books but with posting the reviews on this site. My bad, I know. My troubles started in December and just snowballed. So, I am going to be doing a couple of posts with mini-reviews. Not my preferred way of doing things but I need to catch up.

So, here goes nothing:

The Recipe Box

The Recipe Box

4 Stars

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Date of publication: March 20th, 2018

Where you can find The Recipe Box: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

Growing up in northern Michigan, Samantha “Sam” Mullins felt trapped on her family’s orchard and in their pie shop, so she left with dreams of making her own mark in the world. But life as an overworked, undervalued sous chef at a reality star’s New York bakery is not what Sam dreamed.

When the chef embarrasses Sam, she quits and returns home. Unemployed, single, and defeated, she spends a summer working on her family’s orchard cooking and baking alongside the women in her life–including her mother, Deana, and grandmother, Willo. One beloved, flour-flecked, ink-smeared recipe at a time, Sam begins to learn about and understand the women in her life, her family’s history, and her passion for food through their treasured recipe box.

As Sam discovers what matters most she opens her heart to a man she left behind, but who now might be the key to her happiness.

Review:

The Recipe Box is a book that will make you cry. The characters were well written and had depth. I did get annoyed with Sam and her choices. I felt that she acted like a teenager up until Angelo left her on the bridge. The recipes at the end of each chapter were an added bonus and had me itching to make them. Also, starting the chapters with the recipe that was going to be featured at the end was great. Overall, a great book that I would recommend to family and friends.


Before I Let You Go

Before I Let You Go

4 Stars

Publisher: Harlequin – Graydon House (US & Canada), Graydon House

Date of publication: April 3rd, 2018

Where you can find Before I Let You Go: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

The 2:00 a.m. call is the first time Lexie Vidler has heard her sister’s voice in years. Annie is a drug addict, a thief, a liar—and in trouble, again. Lexie has always bailed Annie out, given her money, a place to sleep, sent her to every kind of rehab. But this time, she’s not just strung out—she’s pregnant and in premature labor. If she goes to the hospital, she’ll lose custody of her baby—maybe even go to prison. But the alternative is unthinkable.

As weeks unfold, Lexie finds herself caring for her fragile newborn niece while her carefully ordered life is collapsing around her. She’s in danger of losing her job, and her fiancé only has so much patience for Annie’s drama. In court-ordered rehab, Annie attempts to halt her downward spiral by confronting long-buried secrets from the sisters’ childhood, ghosts that Lexie doesn’t want to face. But will the journey heal Annie, or lead her down a darker path?

Both candid and compassionate, Before I Let You Go explores a hotly divisive topic and asks how far the ties of family love can be stretched before they finally break.

Review:

Before I Let You Go is a realistic look at addiction and how it affects the family. This book is not an easy read. I cried for most of the book. I cried for Annie and the trauma she endured. I cried for Lexie. I cried for the baby. I will warn that there are triggers in the book. They are sexual/physical abuse, drug use, newborn withdrawing from opioid addiction. I would recommend to family and friends but with a warning about the triggers. Overall, a good but hard read.


Darkest Night (Sons of Broad #1)

3 Stars

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

Date of publication: February 27th, 2018

Where you can find Darkest Night: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Book Synopsis (from Goodreads):

In this first novel in the explosive, brand-new romantic suspense Sons of Broad series from Tara Thomas comes a novel of deadly secrets and hidden danger. In the sultry streets of Charleston, one family, ruled by its powerful, take-no-prisoners sons, has risen to the top. But a merciless killer is out to destroy them…and everyone they hold close…

Exclusive bonus content available only in the print edition!

SHE THOUGHT SHE’D LOST HIM FOREVER
Tilly Brock has learned—the hard way—how to take care of herself. Once a pillar of Charleston society, her family lost everything in the wake of a shocking scandal. And then Tilly lost the only boy she ever loved.

BUT NOW THAT HE’S BACK IN HER LIFE
Keaton Benedict is Charleston’s most notorious bachelor. But in spite of all his advantages—the money, the women,the family name—he longs for more: the heart of the young woman he still can’t forget.

THE DANGER HAS JUST BEGUN…
When Keaton re-enters Tilly’s life, after all these years, she is torn between feelings of doubt and desire. Can they put the past behind them and learn to love again? Tilly is willing to try. But Keaton is afraid that a vengeful enemy is watching—and waiting to destroy them. Can the rekindled flame of their love defeat the deadliest rival and light their way forward in the darkest night?

Review:

I did like reading Darkest Night but it didn’t quite gel with me. I couldn’t connect with the main characters and felt that the story was a bit flat in places. I also felt that that the book raised more questions than it answered. Would I read it again? I don’t know.


The Lightning Stenography Machine

The Lightning Stenography Device

2 stars

Publisher: Painted Bling Publishing

Date of publication: March 19th, 2018

Where you can find The Lightning Stenography Device: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

The first marketable thought to text device is released for public consumption in 2031. That same year, author Cassius Wagner will have a seizure. At least, that is what the novel says: the novel to which he awakens in fragments one morning after a late night of writing. This novel. Terrified to have a prophetic manuscript unfurling at his heels, his desperation to evade his fate prevents him from considering that his lover and editrix, Katherine Beauvoir, might be wrestling with a destiny of her own. Told in four psychedelic parts which peak with the fable of a sublingual Huntress as she fights to save her King, THE LIGHTNING STENOGRAPHY DEVICE blurs the speculative fiction and fantasy genres to explore the fabric of literature, and the boundaries of reality.

Review:

When I started reading The Lightning Stenography Device, I thought it was a great premise for a book. But, as I kept reading, the more confusing the book became too me.  At one point, during Cassius’s chapters, I had to stop reading and I almost DNF’d. But, I have a personal vow to never stop reading a book and I picked it back up. I will say that the book was beautifully written and was very descriptive. I do think that the author should have stuck to two people to follow. It would have made the book less confusing. I would not recommend this book to family and friends and I would not reread.

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Blood Veil

Blood Veil (Mission, #2)

3 Stars

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group, Loveswept

Date of publication: April 3rd, 20108

Where you can find Blood Veil: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

Celia: Having never known my parents, I’ve always felt like an orphan. All I want is a normal life. But after I’m attacked in my bedroom by one vampire—and rescued by another—it’s about time to give up on “normal” once and for all. Idris, the second in command of the Gregorie vampire clan, has come to my aid, but his motives for saving me are unclear. And what surprises me most is my attraction to his heated gaze. . . .
Idris: Terror. Curiosity. Arousal. These are the natural impulses of a human female, not the spawn of the ruthless Valarian king. Is it possible that Celia is unaware of her bloodline—and the power coursing through her veins? As the daughter of my archenemy, she was supposed to be my ransom. But how quickly the heat of desire changes everything. Now the family Celia has always craved is trying to kill her, and it’s up to me to save her again—when all I really want to do is make her mine.

Review:

A good 2nd book in the Mission series. I did think that Celia was a little too trusting and compliant. If I had a man kidnap me and tell me what Idris told me, I would have been actively trying to escape. I also thought that Idris had a big chip on his shoulder. The sex scenes were steamy. I was shocked at the twist towards the end of the book and can’t wait to see what book 3 will bring.


Joanna’s Highlander

4 Stars

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group, Loveswept

Date of publication: April 10th, 2018

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

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

Haunted by lost love, Grant MacDara still dreams of tenth-century Scotland. Nothing can soothe his aching heart—until a sharp-tongued, redheaded beauty leads a tour of senior citizens through his family’s North Carolina theme park, Highland Life and Legends. Though she’s the polar opposite of the lass he left behind, Joanna Martin is the most irresistible woman Grant has ever met. But when he decides that she’s worth the risk of loving again, he tries so hard to hold her close that she nearly slips through his fingers.

Forced out of her job as a pharmaceutical sales rep by a conniving ex, Joanna is trying to make the best of her quiet new life. But one glimpse of Grant—who wields an ancient hammer like it’s just another appendage of his chiseled body—convinces Joanna not to give up on love. The one thing she can’t do is outrun her past as a loser magnet. And although Grant seems to be the last honorable man left on earth, this mouthwatering stud needs a crash course in twenty-first-century women before Joanna can trust him with her heart.

Review:

Great 2nd book in the Highlander Protector series. The chemistry between Joanna and Grant was electric. I did get annoyed by Joanna and her reluctance to let Grant in but once her past was revealed, I understood. I also got annoyed with Grant and his unwillingness to accept his role that the gods had for him. The sex was fantastic and I loved the ending.


Lost to a Spy

Lost to a Spy (All the Queen's Spies, #3)

4 Stars

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group, Loveswept

Date of publication: March 13th, 2018

Where you can find Lost to a Spy: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

Ladies in waiting can’t help noticing more than they let on. After so many years at the court of Mary, Queen of Scots, Emma Howard sees quite plainly that the royal couple is anything but happy. Reeling from a failed marriage herself, Emma sympathizes with her beloved queen. But the last thing she wants is for the king to be murdered, let alone to witness the shocking act herself. With her whole world turned upside-down, Emma is saved by the quick thinking of a lowly printer . . . who, unbeknownst to her, is one of England’s most daring spies.

At Queen Elizabeth’s behest, Tristan has been stirring discontent against the Scottish nobility. Now that the king is dead, his mission is even more critical. There’s only one complication: the exquisite courtier who’s unexpectedly fallen under Tristan’s protection. Emma rouses his body and his soul. But after she learns that he’s a traitor, the fate of two nations hangs on her response. Tristan’s prepared to risk his life in exchange for hers. Will Emma do the same for the man she’s come to love?

Review:

Fast paced romance that takes place in Tudor Era England. The chemistry between Tristian and Emma was off the charts. The sex was even better. The intrigue was suspenseful and I was literally on edge at the end of the book. Love this series and can’t wait to book 4!!


Kiss Me Back

Kiss Me Back (Panic, #3)

4 Stars

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group, Loveswept

Date of publication: March 27th, 2018

Where you can find Kiss Me Back: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

The only thing hotter than the Miami sun is the sexual tension at Panic, the South Beach nightclub where love knows no boundaries.

Lola: I’ve seen the way women in line behind the velvet rope look at William Fox, like he’s an Armani-clad St. Peter at the pearly gates. Except Panic isn’t heaven, and this bouncer is no saint. He’s been tempting me to sin ever since I started working here, but Fox’s slick smile and bad-boy swagger tell me everything I need to know about him. Still, a girl has needs. And Fox looks ready to fulfill every last one—at least for a night. . . .

Fox: I’m not used to being ignored—especially by women—but Lola Daye is different. The pretty bartender with the red lips and icy blue eyes seems perfectly happy pretending I don’t exist. Too bad, because the more she ignores me, the harder I fall. So I’m floored when she answers my drunken, flirty text with a yes. Lola claims she only wants a fling, but after one kiss, our bodies are speaking the same language. And I’m ready to prove that what we have could be forever.

No cheating. No cliffhangers. And no dress code.

Review:

Sizzling hot romance. I absolutely loved Fox and Lola together. My only issue with the book was that Lola gave off the impression that she was embarrassed about being deaf. Other than that, loved the book. The chemistry and sex between Fox and Lola were off the chart. Loved the ending. Can’t wait to read book 4!!!


School for Psychics

School for Psychics (School for Psychics, #1)

3 Stars

Publisher: Simon & Shuster

Date of publication: April 3rd, 2018

Where you can find School for Psychics: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

An entrancing new series starring a funny, impulsive, and sometimes self-congratulatory young woman who discovers she has psychic abilities—and then must decide whether she will use her skills for good or…not.

Teddy Cannon isn’t your typical twenty-something woman. She’s resourceful. She’s bright. She’s scrappy. She can also read people with uncanny precision. What she doesn’t realize: she’s actually psychic.

When a series of bad decisions leads Teddy to a run-in with the police, a mysterious stranger intervenes. He invites her to apply to the School for Psychics, a facility hidden off the coast of San Francisco where students are trained like Delta Force operatives: it’s competitive, cutthroat, and highly secretive. They’ll learn telepathy, telekinesis, investigative skills, and SWAT tactics. And if students survive their training, they go on to serve at the highest levels of government, using their skills to protect America, and the world.

In class, Teddy befriends Lucas, a rebel without a cause who can start and manipulate fire; Jillian, a hipster who can mediate communication between animals and humans; and Molly, a hacker who can apprehend the emotional state of another individual. But just as Teddy feels like she’s found where she might belong, strange things begin to happen: break-ins, missing students, and more. It leads Teddy to accept a dangerous mission that will ultimately cause her to question everything—her teachers, her friends, her family, and even herself.

Set in a world very much like our own, School for Psychics is the first book in a stay-up-all night series. 

Review:

Loved the storyline but didn’t like the main character. Teddy drove me crazy for almost the entire book. I didn’t like her and thought she was very abrasive and self-centered. I did start to like her at the very end of the book. I thought the storyline, while not original, was very well written. It kept me captivated. I did think that the book raised more questions than answered them. Saying that, I need to read book 2 to see if they are answered there.


Dirty Games

Dirty Games (Dirty, #2)

3 Stars

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group, Loveswept

Date of publication: March 20th, 2018

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

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

Sometimes, to get what you want in business or in love, you have to get your hands dirty. Luckily for Finn and Justin, dirty comes naturally.

Finn Drummond is the baby in a family of sharks—which means he’s worked twice as hard to make a name for himself. After learning the tricks of the trade from his brothers, Finn’s just as ruthless and dominant. Out in the field, his appetites are legendary: for success, for money, for women and men. But when supplies from Drummond Charities go missing, Finn has to partner up with the smoldering ex–Army grunt who’s always challenging his authority—or giving him mixed signals.

Justin Miller wanted his attraction to Finn to be mutual, but the cocky brat always had a girlfriend. Who could blame Justin for trying to move on? Despite their history, they’ve got to work together to figure out who’s been derailing their humanitarian work. But after Justin and Finn are thrown together against gunrunners and kidnappers, their simmering chemistry turns explosive. Turns out, Finn knows how to handle himself in a crisis—and in the sack. Justin only hopes that hot sex is enough to persuade this spoiled pretty boy to do the right thing.

Review:

As much as I liked the first book in the Dirty series, I couldn’t make myself like this book. It seemed rushed with Finn and Justin’s romance forced. I liked Finn fine, it was Justin that left me with a sour taste in my mouth. I thought, like Alec, that he was going through the Drummond brothers. I thought that the substory line was interesting and I was surprised at who the bad guy was. I am looking forward to reading book 3.


So that’s it. All caught up on my NetGalley reviews. Tomorrow, I have 3 author reviews that will be going up. Then I am done. And I have learned my lesson. No putting reviews off or you end up with a backlog….lol

ARC · book review · NetGalley · Simon & Schuster

The Rules of Magic (Practical Magic: Book 0) by Alice Hoffman

The Rules of Magic

Title: The Rules of Magic

Author: Alice Hoffman

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Date of publication: October 10th 2017

Genre: General Fiction, fantasy, paranormal, romance

Number of pages: 384

POV: 3rd person

Series: Practical Magic

The Rules of Magic – Book 0 (prequel)

Practical Magic – Book 1

Where you can find The Rules of Magic: Barnes and Noble | Amazon

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

Find your magic

For the Owens family, love is a curse that began in 1620, when Maria Owens was charged with witchery for loving the wrong man.

Hundreds of years later, in New York City at the cusp of the sixties, when the whole world is about to change, Susanna Owens knows that her three children are dangerously unique. Difficult Franny, with skin as pale as milk and blood-red hair, shy and beautiful Jet, who can read other people’s thoughts, and charismatic Vincent, who began looking for trouble on the day he could walk.

From the start, Susanna sets down rules for her children: No walking in the moonlight, no red shoes, no wearing black, no cats, no crows, no candles, no books about magic. And most importantly, never, ever, fall in love. But when her children visit their Aunt Isabelle, in the small Massachusetts town where the Owens family has been blamed for everything that has ever gone wrong, they uncover family secrets and begin to understand the truth of who they are. Back in New York City, each begins a risky journey as they try to escape the family curse.

The Owens children cannot escape love even if they try, just as they cannot escape the pains of the human heart. The two beautiful sisters will grow up to be the revered, and sometimes feared, aunts in Practical Magic, while Vincent, their beloved brother, will leave an unexpected legacy.

Trigger Warning: None

Continue reading “The Rules of Magic (Practical Magic: Book 0) by Alice Hoffman”