The Luck of the Bride (The Cavensham Heiress: Book 3) by Janna MacGregor

The Luck of the Bride (The Cavensham Heiresses #3)

4 Stars

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

Date of publication: May 1st, 2018

Genre: Romance

Series: The Cavensham Heiresses

The Bad Luck Bride – Book 1

The Bride Who Got Lucky – Book 2

The Luck of the Bride – Book 3

The Good, the Bad, and the Duke – Book 4 (expected publication date: December 4th, 2018)

Where you can find The Luck of the Bride: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

Family secrets, mistaken identities…love and money make people do crazy things in The Luck of the Bride, the third Cavensham Heiresses novel.

March Lawson has never had much luck, and in a desperate move to save her family, she’s been posing as the Marquess of McCalpin. But when she’s summoned to a meeting with the Marquess himself, March expects jail time…not to be bewitched by dark hair and sapphire eyes.

Michael Cavensham, the Marquess of McCalpin and heir to the Duke of Langham, finds himself drawn to March despite the judgments from his peers. He isn’t sure he can trust March, especially since Michael has a secret that could ruin him and his family.

But society conspires to keep March and Michael apart, and when March is accused of not being who she says she is, will Michael toss her aside or fight for the woman he’s come to love?

My review:

I went into reading The Luck of the Bride thinking that it would be a typical Regency era romance. I based my assumption on the blurb. So, wasn’t I surprised when the prologue set the tone for the entire book. I am not an emotional reader but this book made me ugly cry during most of it.

I had a lot of respect for March. She took over raising them after their parents died. Her sisters were preteens and her brother was an infant. She raised those children with no help and almost no money. When a damaged roof takes all the money that she had saved, March was driven to do something that she would have never considered. She embezzled money out of her dowry account. That money was going to the upkeep of the estate and more importantly, to keep food on the table.

I thought that March and McCalpin had chemistry from the beginning. So much heat came from a single glance. I did like that the author kept them from having sex until almost the end of the book. Even after that, the chemistry was still there.

The romance between March and McCalpin had me in tears during certain parts of the book. Theirs wasn’t a slow burn romance but it wasn’t Instalove either. They both had a lot of obstacles to overcome. Trust was a huge issue on either end. Mainly on McCalpin.

I liked McCalpin from the get-go. His secret, while not shocking, was painful for him. I could understand why but I didn’t understand why he didn’t tell his parents earlier. Pride and not wanting his father to think any less of him was a huge reason. I loved how March was the only one for him as soon as he met her. Even though they met because she embezzled money from him. Her money but still. He only had eyes for her.

I wanted to strangle Cousin Rupert. He was an awful, awful man. When he burst into the ball with his “evidence” of March being a bastard, I wanted to throat punch him. Before that, I wanted to kick him in the boy bits for lusting after Julia and being horrid to Faith. All I have to say is that he got what he deserved in the end.

The end of the book was fantastic. The author did a great job of bringing all the storylines to a close. There were no storylines left dangling or forgotten. The emotional scene between McCalpin and March had me sobbing. The epilogue was spot on!! I am hoping that there are more books in this series!!

What I liked about The Luck of the Bride:

A) Excellent romance

B) Fantastic storyline

C) 3D characters

What I disliked about The Luck of the Bride:

A) March resorting to embezzlement to keep a roof over her head.

B) Cousin Rupert. He disgusted me.

C) McAlpin’s secret

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

There are no trigger warnings in The Luck of the Bride.

I would recommend The Luck of the Bride to family and friends. I would reread this book.

I would like to thank St. Martin’s Paperbacks, St. Martin’s Press, and NetGalley for allowing me to read and review The Luck of the Bride.

All opinions stated in this review of The Luck of the Bride are mine.

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

The Crooked Staircase (Jane Hawk: Book 3) by Dean Koontz

The Crooked Staircase (Jane Hawk, #3)

5 Stars

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group – Ballantine, Bantam

Date of publication: May 8th, 2018

Genre: General Fiction, Mystery, Thriller, suspense

Series: Jane Hawk

The Silent Corner – Book 1 (review here)

The Whispering Room – Book 2 (review here)

The Crooked Staircase – Book 3

Where you can find The Crooked Staircase: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

“I could be dead tomorrow. Or something worse than dead.” 

Jane Hawk knows she may be living on borrowed time. But as long as she’s breathing, she’ll never cease her one-woman war against the terrifying conspiracy that threatens the freedom–and free will–of millions. Battling the strange epidemic of murder-suicides that claimed Jane’s husband, and is escalating across the country, has made the rogue FBI agent a wanted fugitive, relentlessly hunted not only by the government but by the secret cabal behind the plot. Deploying every resource their malign nexus of power and technology commands, Jane’s enemies are determined to see her dead . . . or make her wish she was.

Jane’s ruthless pursuers can’t stop her from drawing a bead on her prey: a cunning man with connections in high places, a twisted soul of unspeakable depths with an army of professional killers on call. Propelled by her righteous fury and implacable insistence on justice, Jane will make her way from southern California to the snow-swept slopes of Lake Tahoe to confront head-on the lethal forces arrayed against her. But nothing can prepare her for the chilling truth that awaits when she descends the crooked staircase to the dark and dreadful place where her long nightmare was born.

My review:

I have mentioned in other reviews how big of a Dean Koontz fan I am. So I am not going to bore you all with my gushing over his books. Let it be known that I love his books. The Crooked Staircase is no exception. I was on the edge of my seat while reading it. Very rarely does a book make me sit on the edge of my seat and keep me there the entire book.

The Crooked Staircase is the 3rd book in the Jane Hawk series. The plot is continuous from the other books in the series. Jane is tracking down the top member of the secret cabal that is orchestrating murder/suicides all over the country. She has tracked down the top two members of this cabal and she is determined to find out what started this. Meanwhile, Gavin and Jesse are still protecting Travis. But, the cabal has found out where he is hiding. It is a race to rehide Travis. With the cabal breathing down their necks, Gavin and Jesse hide in the last place that anyone would expect.

I like Jane. I thought she was pretty good at keeping two steps ahead of the cabal. She had what seemed like an endless supply of burner phones, identities, and cars that didn’t rely on GPS. I did liken her to Wonder Woman during the middle of the book. She didn’t quit. She also was like quicksilver. The cabal couldn’t catch her, even though she did have a few close calls.

Can something become even eviler? Because the cabal reached new heights of evilness in this book. I can’t even explain it because I am still reeling from some of the things that they did. I loved it. I also liked that the real figurehead, Anabel, was introduced. I am looking forward to seeing where her character is going and what she will do.

Travis, Gavin and Jesse’s storyline was as good as Jane’s. Gavin and Jesse were tough cookies. They were prepared for anything. I wasn’t ready for what happened in their storyline. I can’t get into it but I was pretty shocked by what happened.

The twins’ storyline confused me at first. While I was confused by the storyline, I was upset when it ended. Very upset because I thought the twins had a chance. But, there is also something in that storyline that made me go “Hmmm“. It was at that point where I understood why the author chose to include them in the book.

I did wonder where the characters from book 2 disappeared too. I thought that they would be mentioned. That drove me nuts. I hope that they are in the next book. Because I need closure.

The end of the book was great. Everything was left up in the air. The author left me wondering “What will happen now”

What I liked about The Crooked Staircase:

A) It is scary intense and action-filled

B) Well developed characters

C) Great plotlines

What I disliked about The Crooked Staircase:

A) The twins storyline. Didn’t get it at first

B) Booth’s revelations. I actually felt bad for him

C) The dropped storyline in the beginning.

I would give The Crooked Staircase a rating of Adult. There are graphic violence and language. I would not recommend anyone under the age of 21 reading this book.

There are trigger warnings in The Crooked Staircase. They are: talk of past child abuse, torture, and implication of rape. If you are triggered by those, I would recommend to not read the book.

I would recommend this book to family and friends. I would include a note about the triggers. This is a book that I will be rereading.

I would like to thank NetGalley, Random House – Ballantine, and Ballantine for allowing me to read and review The Crooked Staircase.

All opinions in this review of The Crooked Staircase are mine.

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

Raiden Out the Storm (An-Off-the-Rails Ice Era Chronicle: 2:15 a.m.) by C.M. Moore

Raiden Out the Storm (An Off-The-Rails Ice Era Chronicle: 2:15 a.m.)

3 Stars

Publisher: Troll River Publications

Date of publication: April 10th, 2018

Genre: dystopia, LGBTQIA, fantasy

Series: An-Off-the-Rails Ice Era Chronicle: 2:15 a.m.

1:05 a.m. – Book 1

2:05 a.m. – Book 2

Raiden Out the Storm – Book 3

Grinding My Gears – Book 4

Trigger Warning: Rape (M/M), talk of past rape, and talk of past domestic violence

Where you can find Raiden Out the Storm: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

In the kind of rough and tumble life they lead, Raiden knows there is no place for love…

Raiden refuses his connection to Ash Winsor. She’s mean. She insults him. And she carries a big gun. He won’t have her. He should get away from her, but how? As soon as they can find the man who tied their heartstrings together, they’ll go their separate ways. All they have to do is get to H.S.P.C. headquarters building and pay him off. Raiden hopes that once he’s free, he’ll be able to go back to trekking on the surface of the planet and sending money home to his dad. He should be able to forget all about Ash and her handsome shadow.

Love has kept Stone as Ash Winsor’s shadow for two years. He can’t bring himself to leave her even though the relationship is painful and going in circles. When he finds out that Ash is now tied to another man, Stone wants nothing more than to see Raiden gone. Together they will both follow King Winsor from train to train. Stone is hoping against hope that the rough and troubled harvester will one day choose him, and Raiden will no longer be at their side.

Lying has become as natural to Ashley Winsor as breathing. Ash had made sure Stone thinks she’s a man. She has also made sure Raiden doesn’t know how much she needs him. If Ash can just make the trek to the headquarters building, she will be free of the two men who want her more than anything. The only problem is, the closer she gets to her goal, the more she wonders if she wants them gone.

My Review:

When Troll River Publishing approached me to review Raiden Out The Storm, I almost said no. At the time, I was 10 books behind for writing reviews and I was beginning to feel burnt out by writing reviews. I decided to accept the request when I saw the cover. For some odd reason, I liked it. It called to me. Fortunately for me, a small mini-vacation happened where I caught up on my reviews. I also restructured my review schedule so I wouldn’t fall behind.

What I didn’t know when I accepted was that Raiden Out The Storm was book 3 in a series. Each book is the same storyline but told from different perspectives. So, you can’t pick this book up and start reading it. You need to read the first two books to find out exactly what is going on. I was a bit lost reading. There were references to the other characters and situations that I didn’t get. It did take away from me enjoying the book.

Ash interested me. She was tough on the outside but sweet on the inside. When it was revealed why she had to become so tough, my heart broke. It was that incident that shaped her into becoming the unofficial leader of the harvesters. I thought her masquerading as a man interesting. She knew that she wouldn’t get the respect from the men she “ruled” over so she became a man. A man would be respected. A man would be feared.

I was surprised that she got away with being a man for as long as she did. If people had doubts, her guns and toughness silenced them. Only a select few people knew that she was a woman. Understandably, she was reluctant to let Raiden know her secret. Besides having magic connecting them, I was surprised that she revealed that she was a woman to him. Then slept with him almost right afterward.

Stone annoyed me. Mainly because he lived with Ash and didn’t pick up on the clues that she was a woman. She didn’t grow facial hair and her voice didn’t change. He was in love with Ash. But he was in love with King Windsor, the man. Not Ash the woman. I kind of wanted to smack him upside the head for not paying attention enough. Also, I didn’t like how he treated Raiden at first. Raiden was bound to Ash, against his will. He had no control over what was going to happen. Which made me aggravated because Stone acted like a jealous twit for most of the book.

I thought Raiden was a pushover. He did show some spirit at the beginning of the book but it kind of fizzled. When his ex-person (I don’t know how to classify that person) started bullying him, he stood there and took it. He didn’t attempt to fight that person even when they dropped him out in the woods, naked. He didn’t defend himself against Stone either. He acted like a doormat. Then, at the end of the book, he did a 180. I sat there and thought to myself “Where the hell did this come from“.

With all the faults of the book (because I didn’t read the first two), I would have been fine with Raiden Out The Storm. I liked the plotline and, for the most part, the characters. But, then I read the rape scene. Since I read books that are a little more gritty, I wasn’t that shocked about it. It was the after the rape that left a bad taste in my mouth. While the rapist expressed remorse, the victim kept saying it wasn’t rape, I wanted it. I got mad when I read that. That person said no quite a few times and the rapist ignored him. I agreed with Ash’s reaction when she found out. But then, everything was alright between the rapist and the victim. Even more sexual encounters. I couldn’t wrap my head around it. It was like it never happened. It is that reason why I rated the book the way I did. Other than that, like I said above, I liked it.

The end of Raiden Out The Storm was different. The author did a great job of resolving the important storylines but he left the smaller ones open. The epilogue was good but I did wonder how Ash was going to do it and keep up her façade as a man.

What I liked about Raiden Out The Storm:

A) Intriguing storyline

B) Complex characters

C) Great world building

What I disliked about Raiden Out The Storm:

A) Not a standalone book. You need to read the other books before you read this one

B) Ash’s men. They annoyed me. She had more balls than they did.

C) The rape storyline. I don’t think that it needed to be in the book. It added nothing to it.

I would give Raiden Out The Storm an Adult rating. This is a book that I would recommend no one under the age of 21 read. There are explicit sex scenes. There is an explicit rape scene. There is explicit violence. There is explicit language.

There are triggers in Raiden Out The Storm. They would be: rape (M/M), talk of past rape, and talk of past domestic violence. If you are triggered by any of these, I suggest that you do not read this book.

I am on the fence about if I would recommend Raiden Out The Storm to family and friends. A warning about the triggers would be included if I did. I am on the fence if I would reread this book. But, I would read the other books in the series. I would also be open to reading anything else by the author.

Do you like to read books that have graphic scenes in them? Why or why not?

Picking up books mid-series? Like it or not?

I would like to thank Troll River Publication for allowing me to read and review Raiden Out The Storm.

All opinions stated in this review of Troll River Publication are mine.

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

Eight Simple Rules for Dating a Dragon (The Embraced: Book 3) by Kerrelyn Sparks

Eight Simple Rules for Dating a Dragon (The Embraced, #3)

4 Stars

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

Date of publication: March 27th, 2018

Genre: Fantasy, Romance

Series: The Embraced

How to Tame a Beast in 7 Days – Book 1

So I Married a Sorcerer – Book 2

Eight Simple Rules for Dating a Dragon – Book 3

Where you can find Eight Simple Rules for Dating a Dragon: Amazon | Barnes and Nobles

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

From the brilliant imagination of Kerrelyn Sparks comes a bold new fantasy romance series in which passion and magic collide. Behold the Embraced…

Gwennore has a talent. An Elf able to track down the cause of an illness and heal it, she’s a valuable asset to her people. When the kidnapping of a young girl thrusts Gwennore into the very heart of the realm of the dragons, she discovers not only a place of power and magic, but also a haunted land, plagued by an ancient curse that all but ensures extinction to the royal family. But when she meets the smoldering General Silas Dravenko, they strike a bargain—save the country from its cursed illness, and he will return the kidnapped girl. She’s been raised never to trust a dragon, but never did making a deal with the devil feel so good…

Silas has no way of curing the family he’s loyally served for years. But when a beautiful elf, long considered the enemy of the dragons, comes bursting into his world, Silas is awakened to passion and desire in a way he’s never felt before. But can he trust a sworn enemy to save the very existence he holds dear? And can their love survive those that threaten to tear them apart?

My review:

First off, I want to comment on the model for the cover of the book. Can we say “Yum?” He is what I pictured Silas would look like. Thank you to whoever had to good sense to choose this model. He will help boost sales on this book.

I had an “Oops, I did it again” type of hiccup when I signed up to review this book on NetGalley. Usually, if I get the hint that the book is part of series, I look it up on Goodreads and make my decision. As it turns out, I didn’t see the “A novel of the Embraced” on the blurb that NetGalley puts up. Or the series list that Goodreads has. I was distracted when accepting this book. I am glad I did. Eight Simple Rules for Dating a Dragon was a great read. I did get lost with some of the references made about the plotlines of the earlier books and the Chameleon.

The plotline for Eight Simple Rules for Dating a Dragon was interesting. Gwennore is an Elf who was raised on a secret island with 4 other girls. They all have had the misfortune of being born when the two moons of their world eclipse. Any child who is born when that happens is born with a magical power.

Gwennore was watching her adopted sister’s 3-year-old daughter when a dragon suddenly appears and snatches the toddler up. Gwennore clings to the dragon in a desperate attempt to rescue her. After being thrown from the dragon and being caught by another, Gwennore is brought to the land of Novreshka. A land that is dangerous. A land that Gwennore will fight for her life, to get to the bottom of an ancient curse, to heal the people of Novreshka, and for the love of a man who has many secrets. What Gwennore doesn’t know is that her secrets, secrets that have been hidden from her, could be the undoing of everything that she has fought so hard for.

I liked Gwennore even though I felt bad for her. She was not accepted outside of her sisters because she was an Elf. That whole scene with those Lords made me mad. She was too sweet to even stick up for herself and she refused to let Brody shift and bite them. I did think that when she spoke Novreshkaish, it was a little odd. But when she told Silas where she learned it from, I laughed. She was speaking like they did centuries before. I liked that she was willing to do anything to find a cure for the curse that was affecting Novreshka. I figured out her parentage fairly early in the book. I did think it took her a little longer to figure out the connection between Puff and Silas. I figured it out before her…lol.

I loved Silas. I thought he was awesome the entire book. He would do anything for his family. But if it crossed a line, which kidnapping Gwennore’s niece did, he was willing to right the wrong. He was such a mystery in the first half of the book. I liked how the author gradually leaked his background. His biggest secret, though, I guessed halfway through the book. I like it when the main character can make me laugh. Silas certainly did. He was a cheeky bugger.

There is Instalove in Eight Simple Rules for Dating a Dragon. I don’t like Instalove. I know most people do but I like a believable romance. One where the love is built up. Not one where all it takes is one look and bam, you are in love. Strangely, it does work in Eight Simple Rules for Dating a Dragon. But just because it works, doesn’t mean I will start liking Instalove.

The chemistry between Gwennore and Silas was off the charts off. The author did a great job of maintaining that spark between them until they had sex. And let me tell you about the sex. Holy crap was it good. Silas couldn’t have picked a better place to deflower Gwennore. At their version of the North Pole, under the Northern lights. It was beautiful and unbelievably sexy.

What I didn’t like was that past books were referenced. While the author did a great job of following up with an explanation about what the characters were talking about, I still felt that I was out of the loop.

I loved how the author kept the secret of the dragons a secret until almost the end of the book. Saying that I did guess the secret halfway through the book. I also liked how the author connected that secret to the issues that had befallen the kings and queens. It made for a very interesting read.

The end of the book was not what I expected. It was a bittersweet ending. Silas’s happiness was tempered by something that happened towards the end of the book. The author ended Silas and Gwennore’s romance in a way that satisfied me. But she didn’t end all the storylines. She left enough leeway that you know there will be a book 4. I am wondering if it will be Maeve or Sorcha???

What I liked about Eight Simple Rules for Dating a Dragon:

A) Fun, flirty storyline

B) Gwennore and Silas’s romance

C) Plot twists were kept secret until they were revealed

What I didn’t like about Eight Simple Rules for Dating a Dragon:

A) 3rd book in a series

B) Instalove

C) Past books were referenced and leaving me confused

I would give Eight Simple Rules for Dating a Dragon an Adult rating. This is a book that I wouldn’t let anyone under the age of 21 read. There are explicit sex and violence. No language. There is one scene where a man is pushed into a boiling hot spring and boiled alive. I didn’t easily get that scene out of my mind.

There are trigger warnings in this book. They would be: kidnapping, murder and attempted murder. If you are triggered by any of these, I would suggest not to read the book.

I would recommend Eight Simple Rules for Dating a Dragon to family and friends. I would include a warning about the triggers. I would reread this book and I would happily read the rest of the series.

I would like to thank St. Martin’s Paperbacks, St. Martin’s Press, and NetGalley for allowing me to read and review Eight Simple Rules for Dating a Dragon.

All opinions stated in this review of Eight Simple Rules for Dating a Dragon are mine.

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

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

The Silenced Tale (The Accidental Turn: Book 4) by J. M. Frey

The Silenced Tale (The Accidental Turn, #3)

5 Stars

Publisher: 

Date of publication: December 12th, 2017

Genre: Fantasy

Series: The Accidental Turn

Ghosts – Book 0.5 (review here)

The Untold Tale – Book 1 (review here)

The Forgotten Tale – Book 2 (review here)

Arrivals – Book 2.5 (review here)

The Silenced Tale – Book 3

Where you can find The Silenced Tale: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

Forsyth Turn never wanted to be a hero. And yet, even in the Overrealm, a hero is what he’ll be.

After their last adventure in Hain, Forsyth expected to return to the life he’d built with Pip and Alis, his days of magic and heroics behind him. But then Pip starts suffering night terrors laced with images of glowing ivy and Elgar Reed calls with fears of bizarre threats and a man garbed all in black.

But there is no magic in the Overrealm. Forsyth refuses to believe that anything other than mundane coincidence is at work—until Elgar’s stalker leaves him a message too eerie and specific to ignore. Now, he has to face the possibility that Pip’s dreams and Elgar’s fears are connected . . . and that maybe they weren’t the only ones to escape the pages of The Tales of Kintyre Turn.

And if that’s the case, it’s going to take more than a handful of heroes to save the day this time. It’s going to take an army. Luckily, Reed fans are legion.

A stunning conclusion to the series, The Silenced Tale is a genre-bending whirlwind that breathes life into the idea that the power of story lies not just with the creator, but with the fans who love it.

Trigger Warning: Stalking, talk of domestic violence

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Long Shot (Last Shot: Book 3) by Kelly Jamieson

Long Shot (Last Shot, #3)

3.5 Stars (rounded up to 4 for Amazon, Barnes and Noble, NetGalley and Goodreads)

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group, Loveswept

Date of publication: February 27th, 2018

Genre: Romance, Women’s Fiction

Series: Last Shot

Body Shot – Book 1

Hot Shot – Book 2 (review here)

Long Shot – Book 3

Where you can find Long Shot: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

A haunted beauty inspires a Navy SEAL turned playboy bar owner to change his ways in this tender and sensual novel from the bestselling author of Hot Shot and the Heller Brothers series.

Waitressing at a tequila bar on the beach in sunny San Diego may not be what Reece Kirkwell wants to do forever, but for now it’s perfect—other than the flashbacks to the tragedy she caused in Boston. And the fact that one of her bosses is a domineering, first-class manwhore who’s as stubborn as he is sexy. If he’d just listen to her, she could double his business. But it would also mean getting close to someone, and that’s a risk she can’t afford.
 
Cade Hardy’s partners at Conquistadors are like his brothers, but he’s the money man trying to keep them all afloat. To blow off steam, he’s been sleeping around a little. The last thing he needs is business advice from their crazy-hot new waitress. Cade can’t figure Reece out. She’s smarter than she lets on, and she doesn’t hide her disgust for his active sex life. But after he recognizes her PTSD symptoms, Cade is determined to save her . . . unless she saves him first.

Trigger Warning: references to mass shooting, PTSD

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