Against the Odds (North Oak: Book 7) by Ann Hunter

Publisher: Rebel House Ink

Date of publication: July 24th, 2019

Genre: Young Adult, Equestrian

Series: North Oak

Born to Run—book 1 (review here)

Yearling—book 2 (review here)

Morning Glory—book 3 (review here)

To Bottle Lightening—book 4 (review here)

Far Turn—book 5 (review here)

Dark Horse—book 6 (review here)

Against the Odds—book 7

Ride for Glory—book 8

Hard Boot—book 9

Purchase Links: Kindle

Goodreads Synopsis:

Alex’s racing career starts with Venus Nights, the filly she helped birth into the world, and a head case mare named Florescent Cheerio who Brooke has claimed.

When things go missing around the North Oak barns, Alex is sure she is being stalked. What’s more is Venus Galaxies has foaled twins, fighting for their lives to survive. Can they beat the odds?

First Line:

Sixteen-year-old Alexandra Anderson zipped her racing silks, tucking the tails into her bright white breeches.

Against the Odds by Ann Hunter

Alex is finally getting her life back in order and is ready to start racing. She is racing again and excitedly waiting for Venus Galaxy to foal. But, when Alex notices that her belongings are going missing, Alex immediately thinks she is being stalked. Then she has an accident while warming up a horse known for being unpredictable and is benched while her arm heals. During that time, Alex is confronted by the past she left behind and her soul horse giving birth to twins. Will Alex be able to face her past? Will the twin foals and Venus Galaxy survive?

When I started to get ready to read this book, I did some brush-up reading about horse racing, horse farms, and jockeys. What I read fascinated me. Women make up 27.2% of jockeys in horse racing (stated in this article), making it a male-dominated sport. So, to have a teenage girl (OK, woman) trying to break into this world was fascinating. What I read aligned with what the author portrayed (the sexist remarks made to Alex at the beginning of the book). That, along with a twist I genuinely didn’t see coming (even though the author warned me), made this book fantastic.

Against the Odds is the 7th book in the North Oak series. While this could be read as a stand-alone book, I recommend reading books 1-6 first. That way, you better understand Alex, her background, and the backstories of the other people in the book.

Against the Odds is a fast-paced book mostly set on a horse farm in Hamlin, Kentucky. I feel that the book’s pacing was perfect for it. It matched Alex’s energy and her whip-fast responses to people and situations. I had no issue following the storyline. There was no backtracking or me going, “Huh, what?” at any point in this book.

The main storyline of Against the Odds is focused on Alex, her continuing recovery from rape, her racing ambitions, her relationships (romantic and otherwise), and her love of horses. Against the Odds was a well-written storyline that kept me glued to the book. There was also a massive twist in the storyline that I didn’t see coming.

I liked Alex, but was she stubborn, like her being mad at her foster mother about something I can’t mention because of spoilers. That went on for more than half the book!! I worried about her health, mainly when she started skipping meals and throwing herself up. I worried about how it would affect her racing (which it did) and how the people in her life would help her. I also worried for her mental well-being and wondered (out loud, which earned a look from my SO). But the author addressed my worries and some in the book. I also loved her interactions with the horses. Her respect and love for these animals shone through the book.

I was thrilled when the author let Brooke have her chapters. It was nice to see Alex through someone else’s eyes. It was also nice to see the races/training of the racehorses through someone else other than Alex. I did laugh when she rescued Fluorescent Cheerio (the name alone made me giggle), but I didn’t laugh when I realized precisely what horse Flo was and how she was treated.

Alex’s relationships were still as messy as in the previous six books. She still had feelings for both Dejado and Carol. But, what was interesting, was that the author threw Brooke into the mix. Brooke had feelings for Dejado, which he didn’t return. While I want a resolution to the jumble, I like figuring out who will end up with whom.

The horses were still the main focus of the book. I was on pins and needles with Venus Galaxies foaling. That whole chapter had me biting my nails. I know that twin foals sometimes don’t survive birthing, and I wondered if that was how the author would go with the storyline. Also, Fluorescent Cheerio was a welcome distraction to the book. I loved her personality. She also came so far in the book. From an abused horse to one that was happy but had quirks. I loved it!!

I didn’t see the twist in this storyline coming. Honestly, I thought it was Brad stalking Alex. I didn’t expect what was revealed. My jaw dropped, and I had to put my Kindle down. After the shock wore off, I got very angry with North. This was something that Alex should have known way before she found out the way she did. But, at the same time, I was pretty excited to see how this twist will affect Alex.

The end of Against the Odds was interesting. It set the stage for book 8. There were no endings of storylines; everything was left in the air.

I recommend Against the Odds to anyone over 16. There is language, mild violence, and no sexual situations.

Many thanks to Ann Hunter for allowing me to read and review Against the Odds. All opinions stated in this review are mine.

If you enjoyed reading this review of Against the Odds, then you will enjoy reading these books:

Other books by Ann Hunter:

Shadowed Deliverance (The Guardians: Book 7) by Reily Garrett


Date of publication: May 19th, 2023

Genre: Paranormal, Romance, Suspense

Series: The Guardians

Shadowed Horizons—Book 1 (review here)

Shadowed Origins—Book 2 (review here)

Shadowed Passages—Book 3

Shadowed Spirits—Book 4 (review here)

Shadowed Intent—Book 5 (review here)

Shadowed Visions—Book 6 (review here)

Shadowed Deliverance—Book 7

Purchase Links: Kindle

Goodreads Synopsis:

The Channon legacy entails keeping a well-guarded secret safe until the time arrives to face the psychopath bent on imprisoning psychics, studying genetic mutations for the purpose of creating an army, and dominating the world.

The psychopath is Brianna’s brother, a psychic with a following of murderous spirits and trained mercenaries.

Through the years, Nicholai Semenov has overseen a group of psychics intent on ensuring safety and peace among their kind. After discovering one of his team is a shifter, the group expands to include the entire pack.

Join the warriors in this final chapter as they take on the Order of Assassins and warrior ghosts determined to control the fate of humanity.

First Line:

In a singular twist of luck, fate assisted Roth’s effort in preparing for the most romantic evening of his life.

Shadowed Deliverance by Reily Garrett

Brianna Channon has finally been reunited with her children after twenty years of forced separation due to her deranged brother, Roth. Brianna is ready to confront Roth for everything he has done to her family. But first, Brianna must recover an amulet that will help with their battle against Roth and his allies. This amulet can only be used by a chosen one, but who that chosen one could be is unknown to Brianna. And unfortunately, Roth has gotten his hands on the amulet and is using it to rally spirits to his cause. At her side, also, is Nicholai Semenov, a powerful psychic and group leader. He has gathered and protected her children from Roth and his allies. But, even with Nicholai’s help, the battle against Roth will be hard. He thinks he is guaranteed a win with the Order of Assassins, the amulet, and the spirits on his side. But is he? Can Brianna and her family (biological and found) defeat Roth? Or will they all fall to his mad and psychotic delusions? And who will wield the amulet?

I was happy and sad when I got the email from the author asking me to read/review Shadowed Deliverance. I was delighted because I had reviewed this series from the beginning and enjoyed reading it. I was sad because this is the last book in the series. The author explained that while the Channon family’s story ends, it doesn’t mean the other characters’ stories would. But still. I had grown attached to the characters and struggled with change.

Shadowed Deliverance is The Guardians series’ 7th (and last) book. This book cannot be read as a stand-alone book. You need to read books 1-6 to read this book. If you don’t, you will be lost. I didn’t read Logan’s story (book 3) and felt I missed a lot (I will be reading it as soon as possible, though).

Shadowed Deliverance is a fast-paced book that I couldn’t put down. The book started fast (it started right after the events of book 6) and slowed down at the end of the book.

The main storyline of Shadowed Deliverance focuses on Brianna, her children and their spouses, Casper, Nicholai, and Roth. This storyline was a well-written storyline that kept me glued to the book. While I was interested in Brianna and company, I was more interested in Roth and the amulet. He had been gone from the series for a while. The author did not disappoint (I will discuss him further in the review).

The storyline with the amulet was interesting. When Roth had it, he gave a good look into how it worked. But, I was more curious about who could wield it and what it could do once it was with the chosen person. When the author revealed who the chosen person was, I was surprised. It was someone I didn’t see coming. But, at the same time, it made sense.

I had figured that Brianna would have the last book in the series. Why? Her six children had found each other again (in Silver’s book), and there was no indication that the author ended the series. Plue, only Nicholai was left without a mate, so I took a guess and figured that Brianna would be the next book. I liked seeing the group from her POV and how the different dynamics worked out. I also liked seeing Roth from her POV. She went between hating him (he did kill their parents, forced Logan to kill Devon, and kidnapped/abused Ashlyn) and pitying him. The pitying part made me feel awful because she kept flashing back to when Roth was normal (not psychotic and murderous).

I was thrilled that Nicholai would be featured as a main character in this book. He was very mysterious during the series and used his psychic powers as they came to him (he could see into the future but also saw different paths). He was a guiding force with the Channon children and was like a second father to all of them. His relationship with Caspar was pretty funny, and I loved seeing him parent her (his reactions to her are what I have with my seventeen-year-old). I thought he and Brianna were perfect for each other (and I will discuss that more in the romance section).

The third main character in Shadowed Deliverance is Caspar. That girl had me rolling with her one-liners and made me tear up with her fierce devotion to her family. Her verbal sparring sessions with Roth were on point and truthful. She was the most powerful of any psychics there, which the author repeatedly showed. I also loved how she needled Dacien (it was a running theme throughout the series) and tried to get anyone to tell her about sex (those scenes had me in stitches). I do wish that the author had given more information about her background. Other than the nickname, Moon Pie, there was nothing. Not even her real name. The author said she will be featured in a new series, so I hope more information is given in those books. Out of all the characters, I will miss her the most.

The last main character in Shadowed Deliverance is Roth. It was interesting to see another side to Roth other than his usual psychotic/murderous one. What was also interesting was the catalyst for everything. It showed a different side of Roth that I wasn’t expecting and explained why he turned evil. But, ultimately, his pride and manipulating ways ended him. I wasn’t sad to see him go, but at the same time, I wondered what if (if you read the book, you know what I am talking about).

The paranormal angle was wonderfully written. I loved that the author incorporated psychics, shifters, and spirits into the storyline. The concept of evil spirits at Roth’s bidding was scary and wasn’t an enemy the group could easily fight. I’m not going to go into much detail, but I loved how the author handled the spirit storyline and the ending of it. It was scary and sad at the same time.

As with all of Reily’s books, romance is very much present. But in this book, it did take a backseat to everything else that was going on. I liked it that way. I liked that the author had Brianna need a moment to think about everything happening between her and Nicholai. She was worried about what her kids (and Caspar) would think. It was normal, and I loved it (spoiler, they could care less).

The end of Shadowed Deliverance seemed almost anti-climatic compared to the other books. I can’t get into much detail, but I was not expecting what happened to Roth. It was a twist that I should have seen coming. I will not go into much after this because there will be spoilers but be prepared to have tissues!! I was openly crying.

I recommend Shadowed Deliverance to anyone over 21. There are language, violence, and nongraphic sexual situations (the author faded to black after kissing).

Many thanks to Reily Garrett for allowing me to read and review Shadowed Deliverance. All opinions stated in this review are mine.

If you enjoyed this review of Shadowed Deliverance, then you will enjoy reading these books:

Other books by Reily Garrett:

Once a Killer (Blackhawk Security: Book 7) by Margaret Watson

Publisher: Dragonfly Press

Date of Publication: December 13th, 2022

Genre: Romance, Suspense, Thriller, Mystery

Series: Blackhawk Security

With One Breath—Book 1 (review here)

Once Removed—Book 2 (review here)

Once Burned—Book 3 (review here)

Fool Me Once—Book 4 (review here)

Just This Once—Book 5 (review here)

Once and Always—Book 6 (review here)

Once a Killer—Book 7

Trigger Warnings: stalking, PTSD, gun violence, general violence, mentions of severe depression (in a side character)

Purchase Links: Kindle

Goodreads Synopsis:

Bree Gordon looks nothing like a bodyguard. But the short, slender woman knows how to keep her principal safe. And one of her most potent weapons is her appearance. People see her and dismiss her. Their mistake.

Jameson Ford is a technical whiz who’s working on a program that’ll be a game changer. The military wants it. So does the CIA, along with some unsavory players. Someone close to him wants it, as well – one of the engineers in his lab.

When he reluctantly hires a bodyguard, he’s shocked when Bree shows up. But it doesn’t take long for him to appreciate her abilities. Will the attraction flaring between them be their salvation? Or will it be their downfall?

First Line:

Bree sat next to Alex Conway in the Blackhawk Security dining room, swirling pieces of pancake through the puddle of maple syrup on her plate.

Once a Killer by Margaret Watson

Once a Killer is the seventh book in the Blackhawk Security series. It can be read as a standalone novel. But I suggest reading the previous six to see who the previous characters were, their relationships, and how they fit into this storyline.

Bree Gordon doesn’t look like your typical bodyguard. She is short, slender, and can blend into the background. Bree is also as tough as nails, thanks to her military experience. So, in other words, she is perfect for personal security. Her newest client is Jameson Ford. He is working on a program that could change lives, making him a target. From the CIA to an engineer at his lab, someone wants to get their hands on it. The problem is Jameson doesn’t know who, and when the attempts start getting physical, he needs a bodyguard. Bree doesn’t know that her past is directly tied to what is happening to Jameson. Can she keep Jameson, the program, and her heart safe? Or will she end up losing all three?

I wasn’t a huge fan of Bree at the beginning of the book. She came across as kind of a jerk. But, the more the author revealed about her background, the more I understood why she acted the way she did. I did like her commitment to Jameson. She was committed to keeping him safe, and when her enemies started targeting him, the fury in her was pretty awesome to read.

What is it with clueless men in romance novels? While I liked Jameson, he embodied every clueless hero I read. How could you not know who at your lab was after your program? It wasn’t like he had a vast suspect pool there. He did score some brownie points with me over how he felt about Bree. He knew she was damaged (it was pretty apparent). He didn’t push her for anything; instead, he waited for her to tell him. Usually, it is the other way around (the woman waiting for the man), so it was refreshing to read. I liked that.

The main storyline in Once a Killer was Bree bodyguarding Jameson until they figured out who was after his program. I liked seeing the role reversal here. A small, thin woman guarding a grown man did bring a smile to my face. And Bree was the real deal. That woman showed, a few times, that she wasn’t one to be trifled with. The author didn’t draw this storyline out. Instead, she added Bree’s issues from the military towards the end of it. I wasn’t a big fan of that, but it did add a much-needed oomph to the storyline.

The romance in Once a Killer was scorching hot. It was a combination of forced proximity and Instalove (neither of which I like). Even with my dislike of those tropes, it was still a great love story. I liked that Jameson had to wait for Bree to open up instead of the other way around. It wasn’t an easy romance, with Bree running scared toward the end. But it did end up with a HEA.

The sex scenes were amazing. I would have been disappointed if the sex had fallen short. But it didn’t, and I loved it!! I do think that amazing sex scenes go hand in hand with these types of romances.

The mystery angle in Once a Killer was well written. I did figure out who was behind everything reasonably early in the book. That made me frustrated when Bree and Jameson couldn’t figure it out. I was yelling about who it was in my head. Of course, the culmination of this storyline ended with a huge bang and with me feeling very satisfied as a reader.

The trigger warnings in Once a Killer weren’t that bad. There was a lot of violence (gun, physical, and car). There were also some elements of stalking (mentioned and shown briefly) that Bree took care of quickly. Bree’s PTSD was mentioned, and she did explain to Jameson the events that led up to it. The severe depression in the side character was well written. My heart broke for that character, and I was slightly aggravated with Jameson for not seeing it sooner. But as soon as it was brought to his attention, Jameson got that person help. If any of these triggers you, I suggest not reading the book.

The end of Once a Killer was interesting. For one, I couldn’t figure out if there would be a new book. With the introduction of Bree’s enemies, I wonder if the author will start a new series and set it in the same universe as her other books. I liked that Bree and Jameson did get their HEA. As much as I complained about Bree, I feel Jameson will be good for her and help her overcome her issues.

I would recommend Once a Killer to anyone over 21. Besides the trigger warnings, there are also language and sexual situations.

Many thanks to Margaret Watson and Dragonfly Press for allowing me to read and review Once a Killer. All opinions expressed in this review are mine.

If you enjoyed reading this review of Once a Killer, then you will enjoy reading these books:

Own to Obey (Myth of Omega: Book 7) by Zoey Ellis

Own To Obey (Myth of Omega Book 7) by [Ellis, Zoey]

4 Stars

Publisher: Quill Ink Books

Date of publication: February 6th, 2019

Genre: Dark Fantasy, Romance

Series: Myth of Omega

Crave to Conquer—Book 1

Crave to Capture—Book 2

Crave to Claim—Book 3

Credence—Book 3.5

Reign to Ruin—Book 4

Reign to Ravage—Book 5

Reign to Rule—Book 6

Own to Obey—Book 7

Own to Obsess—Book 8 (expected publication date: April 25th, 2019)

Where to find Own to Obey: Bookbub| Amazon | Barnes and Noble


He obtained her – and now she must obey

The Alpha Prince

Brutality and tradition are a way of life for ferocious tribe leader, Kardos. Born different from the other princes, he strives to be the best–to earn his place and prove his worth.

After negotiating for a rare Omega not seen in his Land for over one hundred years, he is keen to present her to the High Chief and gain the recognition he deserves.

It doesn’t matter that she has mesmerizing beauty, or that her manner is too mild for his culture. It doesn’t matter that deep down, a craving burns strong to keep her for himself.

She must accept her fate – and so must he.

The Omega Gift

Sheltered all her life, Omega Shaya found joy in the gardens of her home, the protection of her sister, and the simplicity of her life.

But when the decision to save her sister suddenly puts her in the possession of a fierce tribal warrior, she begins to understand that life can be savage, and painful, and complex.

Alone, and with no way to protect herself, Shaya is determined to overcome the harsh treatment of a culture she doesn’t understand, but when she finds herself attracted to the Alpha’s dominance, she has to find a way to resist him so he doesn’t break her completely; body, mind, and heart.

Own To Obey is the first book in this couple’s story, but the seventh installment of the Myth of Omega series. This is a dark, steamy, Omegaverse romance. Cliff-hanger included. For fans of barbarian Alpha anti-heroes, sweet but savvy Omega heroines, epic fantasy worlds, and captive romances. Discover a magical kind of dark…

Own To Obey includes romance and situations of a dark nature. Some aspects of this story may be sensitive for some readers. For ages 18 and over

My review:

I am going to start off this book with a warning. There are situations in this book that will trigger people. There are situations that will make people upset. If you have triggers, then don’t read the book. If not and you can look past the beginning few chapters, then read it.

Now that is out of the way, let’s get onto the review!!

I enjoyed reading Own to Obey, even though it was the 7th book in the Myth of Omega series. I do not like picking up a book mid-series. 9 out of 10 times, I am left with a “WTH” feeling as I read. I did get a small sense of that when I started reading Own to Obey. I was confused with who the characters were and why Kardos needed an Omega. But, the author did a fantastic job of explaining everything.

I will admit that I wasn’t a fan of the first few sexual scenes of the book. The author did a great job of having Kardos explain why he did what he did. But still. It was hard to read. But, as Shaya’s feelings for Kardos grew, the sex scenes got hotter. By the time Shaya went into her Haze, the sex was steaming hot. I was a little confused about the knotting at first. But it was explained in the book and then it made sense. Survival of the fittest.

I did like Kardos even if I didn’t understand his reasoning sometimes. It drove me nuts. He should have talked to Rozalia sooner. If he did, some of the hurt that Shaya went through could have been avoided.

I felt awful for Shaya. She had been ripped away from everyone she loved and was given to a leader who was determined to make her into one of his people. She tried so hard those first days. As traumatized as she was, she tried. And what did she get? A shinno who’s way of teaching her things involved pain and a hurt shoulder. I would have acted the same way she did if in that situation. Except for the orgy she walked into. I would have noped right out of there instead of staying…lol.

The end of the book was interesting. It showed a lot more of Kardos’s peoples culture. It explained the hierarchy on the island and how an Omega was going to change everything. It explained Kardos’s role in that hierarchy. It showed the depth of feelings that Kardos had for Shaya. Those last scenes said it all. I can’t wait to read book 8!!

I would give Own to Obey an Adult rating. There is explicit sex. There is language. There is violence There are triggers. I am not going to say what they are because they are spoilers to the plot. I will say that I recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

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

I would like to thank the publisher and the author for allowing me to read and review Own to Obey.

All opinions stated in this review of Own to Obey are mine.

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

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Dark Alpha’s Awakening (Reaper: Book 7) by Donna Grant

4 Stars

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press, Swerve

Date of publication: February 5th, 2019

Genre: Romance, Paranormal, Fantasy

Series: Reaper

Dark Alpha’s Claim—Book 1

Dark Alpha’s Embrace—Book 2

Dark Alpha’s Demand—Book 3

Dark Alpha’s Lover—Book 4

Dark Alpha’s Night—Book 5

Dark Alpha’s Hunger—Book 6 (review here)

Dark Alpha’s Awakening—Book 7

Where you can find Dark Alpha’s Awakening: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Goodreads synopsis:

There is no escaping a Reaper. I am an elite assassin, part of a brotherhood that only answers to Death. And when Death says your time is up, I’m coming for you…

Serving Death and the Reapers has been my life for centuries. I’ve always put my duty before everything, even my yearning for Death. But now, she’s fading – our foe is bent on destroying her and he will stop at nothing until he does. Death holds the key to our survival. I will do everything in my power to stop her from disappearing. For her, I will ensure we have the best fighting chance. For her…I will cross the divide keeping us apart.

My review:

I was pretty stoked when I saw that there was going to be a book 7 in the Reapers series. I got even more excited when I started reading Dark Alpha’s Awakening. Why was I excited? Because it was Cael and Death (Erith’s) romance. The romance that I was waiting to read. It was also the romance that I didn’t think would happen. So, yes, I was thrilled.

I loved that I got to know more about Erith in this book. Her origins fascinated me. Her stint as Mistress of War and what started it fascinated me. As did why she stopped and formed the Reapers.

Erith brought it in this book. She was determined to find out what Bran was doing/using to drain her life essence. She was also going to end Bran, which was something that should have been done years ago. I loved it.

Cael was awesome in this book also. He was going to do whatever it took to save Erith from Bran. He was a great leader who was loyal to his Reapers. He was willing to do whatever it took to protect his Reapers, their women, and Erith. And oh boy, did he.

I liked how the author kept the sex scenes in Dark Alpha’s Awakening to a minimum. There were 2 or 3 scenes of Erith and Cael having sex. Those sex scenes were beyond hot. There was no build up of sexual tension in this book. But, Cael and Erith had 6 previous books to let it build and man, did it explode.

I enjoyed that the author had this world intertwined with The Dark Kings world. I didn’t quite catch on that they were in the same universe until the last Dark King book, Dragonfire. There was a certain point where Eoghan and Thea were mentioned. At that point, I was like “They are connected, WTH.”. That showed up even more so in this book. Bran, Balladyn, Rhi, Usaeil, and Xaneth were all featured in this book.

What surprised me the most about this book was the author was not afraid to let people die in this book. There were a couple of deaths that took me by surprise. One I was expecting but the other, well it blindsided me. That made me wonder who was going to be the next one to get killed. I have a good idea who but I am going to have to wait to see what happens in the next book.

I am also waiting to see if Erith takes the advice that was given to her and involve the Dragon Kings in the war that is going to happen. Guess I am going to need to keep reading the books to find out.

The end of the book was interesting. While some plotlines were tied up there were other ones that were left open. New plotlines were introduced near the end of the book. I am interested to see where the plotline with Xaneth is going to go. From what was written at the end of the book, it doesn’t look good.

I would give Dark Alpha’s Awakening an Adult rating. There is explicit sex. There is language. There is explicit violence. There are triggers. They are the death of a loved one and murder. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

I would reread Dark Alpha’s Awakening. I would also recommend this book to family and friends.

I would like to thank the author, the publisher, and NetGalley for allowing me to read and review Dark Alpha’s Awakening.

All opinions stated in this review of Dark Alpha’s Awakening are mine.

Forgiving Keven (The Kennedy Boys: Book 7) by Siobhan Davis

Forgiving Keven (The Kennedy Boys, #7)

4 Stars


Date of publication: January 7th, 2019

Genre: Romance

Series: The Kennedy Boys

Finding Kyler—Book 1

Losing Kyler—Book 2

Keeping Kyler—Book 3

The Irish Getaway—Book 3.5

Loving Kalvin—Book 4

Saving Brad—Book 5

Seducing Kaden—Book 6

Forgiving Keven—Book 7

Releasing Keanu—Book 8 (expected publication date: May 31st, 2019

Where you can find Forgiving Keven: Amazon

Goodreads synopsis:

A suspenseful, second-chance, new adult romance from the USA Today bestselling author of When Forever Changes and Inseparable.

She’s the one who got away. He’s the boy she can’t forget… 


They say you never forget your first love, but I’m determined to prove Keven Kennedy is just a random boy from my past. 

It’s not like I still think about him after all this time. Or daydream about how hot his kisses were and what it felt like to have his hands on my skin.

Nope, that’s not me. I’m in a happy place in my life. Engaged to a great man and finishing the last year of my photography degree. 

But since I returned to Massachusetts, everything reminds me of the boy who ripped my heart to shreds. Especially when my fiancé’s constant business trips, and dwindling attention, raises old fears to the surface.

And then the unthinkable happens—Keven saunters back into my life, turning it upside down once more. 

It’s ironic he thinks he’s protecting me when the only one I need protecting from is him.


They say you never forget your first love. In my case, it’s true. Most everyone in high school thought Cheryl and I were a match made in heaven and that nothing could tear us apart. Until I messed up spectacularly and lost the best thing to ever happen to me. 

Years have passed, girls have come and gone, but no one has laid claim to my heart in the way Cheryl did.

I thought she was lost to me forever when an unexpected encounter with an uptight FBI agent, and an intriguing proposition, brings the beautiful blonde back into my life. 

I didn’t hesitate to sign on the dotted line.

I let Cheryl down once before. I’m not going to fail her this time.

Forgiving Keven is a STANDALONE title in the Kennedy Boys world. No cliffhanger and a guaranteed HEA.

My review:

I love second chance romances. They make me smile. I like seeing two people reconnect after being apart. I like seeing them forge a new relationship. Which is why I liked Forgiving Keven so much.

What also sold me on the book was the location. Boston. I am from MA and I loved seeing cities that I grew up with and in being featured in the book. I actually lived in Chelsea for 4 years in my early to mid-’20s. So, yes, I loved it. I read the entire book with a Boston accent…lol.

The main plotline of Forgiving Keven was the plotline with Keven and Cheryl. It was well written and well researched. I liked that the author chose to highlight human trafficking. The scenes involving those girls were raw and gritty. I came close to tears a few times. Some of those children were around my kids’ ages. I couldn’t even imagine my daughter or my son being put through the hell that those girls were put through.

The secondary plotline was Cheryl and Keven’s relationship. I liked it because it was realistic. Everything that they went through, as teenagers and adults, was something that I could relate to. I loved that the author chose to have them go through some traumatic experiences when they were teenagers. I also loved the explanation that Keven gave Cheryl about what happened. Like I said earlier in the paragraph, the relationship was realistic.

The chemistry between Cheryl and Keven came off the pages. The author did a great job at amping up the chemistry/sexual attraction and keeping it up. Every single sex scene was explosive. Loved it!!

There were things that I didn’t like about Forgiving Keven. There were several scenes where women/girls were sexually abused. They weren’t graphic but it was enough for me to throw up a little in my mouth. I also didn’t like Keven’s triplet brothers. They came across as douche canoes the entire book. I wanted to smack all of them upside their heads. Also didn’t like, and this is a personal complaint, that Cheryl went from having bareback sex with Dan to having bareback sex with Keven. All I could think after the book ended, was “I hope she gets tested“.

The last half of Forgiving Keven was action-packed. Which also took me by surprise. I wasn’t too surprised by what happened to Cheryl’s fiance and his associates. Those guys had it coming to them. I did like that it was a HEA. If anyone deserved a happy ending, it was those two.

I would give Forgiving Keven an Adult rating. There is graphic sex. There is graphic violence. There is language. There are trigger warnings. They would be sexual assault, human trafficking, and drug use. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

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

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

All opinions stated in this review of Forgiving Keven are mine

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

Big Stick (Aces Hockey: Book 7) by Kelly Jamieson

Big Stick (Aces Hockey, #7)

4 Stars

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group, Loveswept

Date of publication: October 23rd, 2018

Genre: Romance

Series: Aces Hockey

Major Misconduct—Book 1

Off Limits—Book 1.5

Icing—Book 2

Top Shelf—Book 3

Back Check—Book 4

Slap Shot—Book 5–review here

Playing Hurt—Book 6–review here

Big Stick—Book 7

Game On—Book 8–expected publication date January 15th, 2019

Where you can find Big Stick: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Goodreads synopsis:

A brooding hockey hunk learns to embrace life—and love—from a single mom who takes the world one puck at a time.

Big move . . . Jodie’s motto is “Don’t wait for the perfect moment – take the moment and make it perfect.” And that’s just what she decides to do when she moves to Chicago with her two-year-old daughter. Now all Jodie needs is a place to live, and her best friend’s boyfriend has just the answer.

Big stick . . . Nick Balachov has zero interest in socializing, partying, or flirting now. It’s not that he doesn’t like women. He loves them. It’s just that hockey, casual hookups, and hanging out at home are enough for him these days. Now Nick has a big problem – because the woman living in his empty coach house is a major distraction.

Big deal? The more Nick tries to keep his distance, the more Jodie needs him – around the house, that is. First, he helps with the snowstorm, then the power outage. Nick even finds himself trying to impress her little girl. What the hell is wrong with him? Jodie represents everything Nick doesn’t want. But maybe she’s just what he needs. . . .

My review:

I want to clue you all in for my first paragraph. Usually, when I say that, it is because the book has made me bawl my eyes out or it sucks. Well, in this case, it is neither. This clue is about the timeline of the book. I am going to assume that most of you have read the earlier books in the Aces Hockey series. Big Stick’s plotline coincides with Playing Hurt’s. Actually, Big Stick starts off with what was mid-book for Playing Hurt. What clued me in? The party where Nick met Jodie was one of Chase and Jordyn’s first dates. Then little hints of their relationship showed up in Big Stick. Like when they broke up and Nick had that talk with Chase. It was mentioned in this book after it happened. So, if you are reading Big Stick and happen to see Chase and Jordyn’s names come up, don’t be “WTF“. The author chose to start Nick and Jodie’s story around the same time. It was also a smart move on the author’s part. That would make me look into buying the other books in the series.

Playing Hurt is Nick and Jodie’s story. Nick is a loner. He is a grouch. He hates little kids (his words, not mine). He wants to be left alone. Nick is still dealing with the death of his brother, 3 years later. A death that he feels responsible for. He figures that he is better off keeping to himself. Then he meets Jodie. Jodie is the complete opposite of Nick. She loves to socialize. She is the complete opposite of a grouch. She likes to surround herself with people. She also has a 2-year-old daughter. After a disastrous run-in at a party hosted by Hallsy and Kendra, Jodie is left with the wrong impression of Nick. When Jodie decides she is outstaying her welcome at Hallsy and Kendra’s apartment, Nick makes her an offer. Live in his coach house for minimal rent until she can get on her feet. What could happen? Well, hot monkey sex and falling in love. But can it last? Can Nick decide that he needs Jodie and her daughter in his life or will he let them go?

The two main characters, Nick and Jodie, were complete polar opposites. Since this is a romance novel, they were going to get together. But man, they were like night and day. Nick was serious and kept to himself. Jodie was not serious and loved to socialize. If this was going to be a real-life couple, I would say that their relationship wouldn’t have lasted for very long. But it did. The author, somehow, made them being opposites work in their favor. He was able to come around to being more social and she tried being a bit more serious.

I will say that I loved Jodie’s daughter. I wanted to reach through the screen and squeeze her. Her reaction to Nick was hilarious. “A big giant” was one of the best lines in the book. I also loved her “face fur” comment. That sounded like something one of my kids would have said about their father. I did feel bad for what happened to her in the book. I would have had the same reaction as Nick.

Jodie and Nick had some serious chemistry going on. Sparks flew when they first met. I had a mental bet going on with myself (so sad, huh) about how long it would take for them to start having sex. I lost the bet. They actually held out longer than I thought they would have. Speaking of sex, it was hot. So very hot. My only complaint is that they went bareback so soon after becoming “friends” (hint). I eye-rolled at that. Other than that, I enjoyed the sex scenes. The butt play scenes were my favorite. Only because few authors go there. It’s like its taboo to do it.

I like how the author chose to discuss Nick’s issues. Suicide and depression are hard to write about and I thought she did a great job at handling it. Aleks story was heartbreaking and Nick’s guilt over not being there for him was even more so. I liked seeing Nick coming to realize that to get on with his life, he needs to get over Aleks death.

The end of the book was great. I had thought that Nick was a jerk to end things the way he did with Jodie. I understood that he was scared to death but still, he could have had more finesse. I loved the talk that Hallsy had with him. Love, love, loved it. It was stuff that Nick needed to hear, no matter how hard it was to listen to. I am not going to talk about the end of the book. Let’s say that I was pretty happy with what happened. What Zyanna asked Nick in the epilogue made my heart melt.

I gave Big Stick a 4-star rating. This was a sexy, fun read with some serious topics discussed. The author handled the topics of depression and suicide tactfully. She handled the aftermath tactfully too. I loved the ending and the epilogue.

I would give Big Stick an Adult rating. There is explicit sex. There is language. There is mild violence. There are also trigger warnings. They would be suicide and depression. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 or who is triggered by the trigger warnings read this book.

I would reread Big Stick. I would also recommend this book to family and friends. I would give a heads up about the trigger warning.

If you or anyone you love is depressed or thinking of suicide, please don’t. Contact a friend, a doctor or call the National Suicide Hotline (1-800-273-8255). You matter your life matters.

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

All opinions stated in this review of Big Stick are mine.

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

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A Dream of Redemption (The Disgraced Lords: Book 8) by Bronwen Evans

A Dream of Redemption (The Disgraced Lords, #8)

4 Stars

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group, Loveswept

Date of publication: February 20th, 2018

Genre: Historical Fiction, Romance

Series: The Disgraced Lords

A Kiss of Lies – Book 1

A Promise of More – Book 2

A Touch of Passion – Book 3

A Whisper of Desire – Book 4

A Taste of Seduction – Book 5

A Night of Forever – Book 6 (review here)

A Love to Remember – Book 7 (review here)

A Dream of Redemption – Book 8

Where you can find A Dream of Redemption: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

A forbidden love and a chilling mystery tease the senses in this sensuous historical romance from the USA Today bestselling author of A Kiss of Lies and A Love to Remember.

Bookish and independent Lady Helen Hawkestone is expected to marry well. But, having grown up with warring parents, the institution holds little appeal. The trick, she realizes, is to marry for love—a task that’s easier said than done. Only while Helen is raising funds for her do-gooder sister’s orphanage does she meet a man who arouses her curiosity. Lowborn and yet so dignified that Helen can’t help but try to elicit a response, Clary Homeward is an enigma—a heart-stopping, body-stirring, forget-her-social-upbringing enigma.

A single offense against a noblewoman such as Lady Helen would ruin a man like Clary. Her sister, Marisa, rescued him from hellish poverty and employs him with her charity work. Try as he might to push her away, Helen tempts him to want things he could never have. But when girls from the orphanage start disappearing, destined for a grim fate Clary knows all too well, Helen insists on helping. And soon Clary wonders whether something more were not just possible but inevitable—even right.

Trigger Warning: talk of past sexual abuse, child trafficking

Continue reading “A Dream of Redemption (The Disgraced Lords: Book 8) by Bronwen Evans”

A Love to Remember (The Disgraced Lords: Book 7) by Bronwen Evans

A Love to Remember (The Disgraced Lords, #7)

Title: A Love to Remember

Author: Bronwen Evans

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group – Loveswept

Date of publication: August 29th, 2017

Genre: Historical Fiction, Romance

POV: 3rd person

Series: The Disgraced Lords

A Kiss of Lies – Book 1

A Promise of More – Book 2

A Touch of Passion – Book 3

A Whisper of Desire – Book 4

A Taste of Seduction – Book 5

A Night of Forever – Book 6 (review here)

A Love to Remember – Book 7

A Dream of Redemption – Book 8

Where you can find A Love to Remember: Barnes and Noble | Amazon

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

A fiercely independent duchess and a brooding, reclusive Earl are tested by the demands of desire in this unforgettable romance from the USA Today bestselling author of A Kiss of Lies and A Night of Forever.

For Rose Deverill, one husband was enough. As the wealthy widow of the Duke of Roxborough, she has cultivated an unsavory reputation meant to discourage wife hunters. Thanks to a string of steamy affairs, Rose is perfectly content to be known by polite society as the “Wicked Widow”—until she’s reunited with the man she fell in love with at age fifteen. Their bedroom encounters are scorching, but it breaks Rose’s heart to wonder whether her reckless behavior ruined her for Philip Flagstaff.

The second son of the Earl of Cumberland, Philip never wanted the title. But after Philip’s older brother, Robert, follows him into the Battle of Waterloo, his worst fears come to pass. Now Robert lies in a soldier’s grave, and Philip is determined never to pass on the inheritance to children of his own. Then Rose appears, soothing the pain with her delightful curves and passionate kisses. The notorious Duchess seems to want nothing from him—and yet Philip has never ached to give a woman more.

Trigger Warning: None

Continue reading “A Love to Remember (The Disgraced Lords: Book 7) by Bronwen Evans”

Playbook (Love Story: Book 7) by Tracy Ewens

Playbook (A Love Story #7)

Title: Playbook

Author: Tracy Ewens

Publisher: Self published

Date of publication: January 24th, 2017

Genre: Romance

Number of pages: 260

POV: 3rd person

Series: Love Story

Premiere – Book 1

Candidate – Book 2

Taste – Book 3

Reserved – Book 4

Stirred – Book 5

Vacancy – Book 6

Playbook – Book 7

Can be read out-of-order from series: Yes

Where you can find this book: Amazon

Goodreads synopsis:

If only life came with a script.

Anna Jeffries has spent the last thirty-two years blending in, content in her worn-out reading chair—her happy corner of the world—spinning romantic scenarios she’s certain reality can’t deliver. After three years of teaching Shakespeare at UC Berkeley, Anna is working toward full tenure. Her life in the classroom means everything and she can’t imagine wanting more… until she does.
Dane Sivac is in his second year as the wide receiver coach, and with new talent on the team this year, he’s beginning to think his future may hold a permanent position with Cal—as permanent as any coach can hope for. When his star receiver begins struggling on and off the field, the sports psychologist asks Dane for help. For Dane, emotions are best ignored, but his player’s seemingly uptight Shakespeare professor is driving Dane nuts… until she’s not.
Invested in the future of a student-athlete they’ve both come to care about, Dane and Anna are forced to work together. The attraction is undeniable, but opposing teams rarely get along. Right as Dane makes the type of romantic gesture Anna has only known in fiction, her career is threatened and she is reminded, playbook or not, she was never good at games.

My review:

I really enjoyed reading this book.  It was such a sweet romance and to be honest, after all the erotica and the wham-bam-thank you ma’am that I have read lately, I needed to read this. It was a balm to my brain.

I loved that the author chose to have Annabelle teaching Shakespeare at the University of Berkley. Shakespeare is my all time favorite playwright and to see his plays being taught in such a way that the students (even if it is fictional) were awesome.

I also liked the opposites attract theme. Annabelle and Dean couldn’t have been more different and to be honest, it works. They are just different enough that it keeps them both on their toes, relationship wise. The fact that they were first colleagues, then friends and then started their relationship was great. They didn’t jump right into bed with each other and when it did, it meant something to both of them.

I really connected with Annabelle. She was so passionate about what she teaches and it rubs off on her students. I just wish that she was more assertive earlier in the book. Because it would have gotten rid of a lot of her stress (read the book if you want to find out).

Speaking of that, and I truly don’t know this, is it normal for a committee to be so interested in an associate professor’s personal life when they are applying for tenure? Because even I lifted an eyebrow when they called Annabelle and questioned her about her kiss with Dean during the football game. Seemed a bit intrusive (and a lawsuit waiting to happen) to me.

Dean just melted my heart. He was such a nice guy and how hard he fell for Annabelle just melted my heart.

The secondary storyline of the tenure committee really ticked me off and I did a lot of eyerolls during Annabelle’s meetings with them. The other storyline of Trey was actually sad. But, I loved seeing him come out of his shell on the field and off. The talk that Dean had with Trey was perfect.

The end of the book was perfect. It was definitely a HEA!!!

How many stars will I give Playbook: 4

Why: I really enjoyed reading this book. It was a great read and it was something that I needed after reading a couple of eroticas.

Will I reread: Yes

Will I recommend to family and friends: Yes

Age range: Adult

Why: Sex, some language

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