The Disappearing Act by Catherine Steadman

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Publisher: Random House Publishing Group – Ballantine, Ballantine Books

Date of publication: June 8th, 2021

Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Suspense, Contemporary

Purchase Links: Amazon | Audible | B&N | WorldCat

Format Read: Unedited ARC

Received From: Publisher


Goodreads Synopsis:

A British actress discovers the dark side of Hollywood when she is the only witness to the sudden disappearance of a woman she meets at an audition in this psychological thriller from the New York Times bestselling author of Something in the Water and Mr. Nobody.

Once a year, actors from across the globe descend on the smog and sunshine of Los Angeles for pilot season. Every cable network and studio looking to fill the rosters of their new shows enticing a fresh batch of young hopefuls, anxious, desperate and willing to do whatever it takes to make it. Careers will be made, dreams will be realized, stars will be born. And some will be snuffed out.

British star Mia Eliot has landed leading roles in costume dramas in her native country, but now it’s time for Hollywood to take her to the next level. Mia flies across the Atlantic to join the hoard of talent scrambling for their big breaks. She’s a fish out of water in the ruthlessly competitive and faceless world of back-to-back auditioning. Then one day she meets Emily, another actress from out of town and a kindred spirit. Emily is friendly and genuine and reassuringly doesn’t seem to be taking any of it too seriously. She stands out in a conveyor-belt world of fellow auditionees. But a simple favor turns dark when Emily disappears and Mia realizes she was the last person to see her, and the woman who knocks on Mia’s door the following day claiming to be her new friend isn’t the woman Mia remembers at all.

All Mia has to go on is the memory of a girl she met only once . . . and the suffocating feeling that something terrible has happened. Worse still, the police don’t believe her when she claims the real Emily has gone missing. So Mia is forced to risk the role of a lifetime to try to uncover the truth about Emily, a gamble that will force her to question her own sanity as the truth goes beyond anything she could ever have imagined.

Actress and author Catherine Steadman has written a gripping thriller set in a world close to home that asks the question: In a city where dreams really do come true, how far would you go to make the unreal real?


First Line:

Have you ever asked yourself what kind of story the story of your life is?

I usually don’t read books that are written by famous actresses/actors. I have read a few books that have soured me on even picking books up by them. The books I have read were awful, and I felt that they were published because of the name associated with them and not because the book was good. So, I was surprised when I saw that Catherine Steadman had starred in two of my favorite British dramas: Downton Abbey and The Tudors. And that made me very apprehensive about reading The Disappearing Act.

I was surprised when I started reading The Disappearing Act, and I was enjoying it. It hit everything I like in a mystery/thriller/suspense novel. I won’t go as far as to say that Ms. Steadman changed my mind about reading books written by famous actresses/actors, but it has made me more open to trying them.

The Disappearing Act occurs mainly in L.A., briefly being set in London at the beginning and end of the book. I felt that the author captured the frantic pace and the darkness under the glittery facade perfectly.

The Disappearing Act is a medium-paced book for the first half of the book. The author spends a lot of time building up Mia’s backstory and her first week or so in L.A. It might get tedious, but it is well worth the wait. The second half of the book zips right along.

I liked Mia but felt she was very naive for someone in her profession. She was almost too nice at various points in the book. I mean, she kept a stranger’s keys and fed a meter for nearly two days. She was also too trusting. There were parts in the book where I just wanted to shake her and tell her to stay away from so and so. But I couldn’t, and I had to watch her get more and more involved in this mystery.

Speaking of mystery, the author did a great job of keeping what was going on under wraps until the end of the book. I was shocked when specific facts came out. And I was even more shocked with how the book ended. It was not what I expected at all.

There is a small romance introduced as the book’s plot started to take off. Again, I wasn’t sure where it was going, and I was surprised when it was mentioned at the end of the book.

The end of The Disappearing Act was interesting. I say interesting because it wasn’t how I expected the book to end. I thought that it was going to end like your typical mystery/thriller. I wasn’t upset by it, but it did confuse me.


I enjoyed reading The Disappearing Act. It took some time to get the plot going, but it was terrific once it did.

I would recommend The Disappearing Act to anyone over the age of 21. There is violence and mild language.

Fool Me Once (Blackhawk Security: Book 3) by Margaret Watson

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Fool Me Once by Margaret Watson

Publisher: Dragonfly Press

Date of publication: May 15th, 2021

Genre: Romance, Suspense, Contemporary

Series: Blackhawk Security Series

Once Removed—Book 1 (review here)

Once Burned—Book 2 (review here)

Fool Me Once—Book 3

Purchase Links: Amazon | B&N | Google Play

Format Read: Published Book

Received From: Author


Goodreads Synopsis:

When attorney Alexandra comes home early and overhears her husband Jerry hiring a hitman to kill her, she runs. Heads toward Seattle. After being a street kid there, she knows how to disappear.

But a man is following her. After she finds a tracking device, she wonders if tall, compelling Gideon is Jerry’s hired killer.

Alex and Gideon become stranded in a massive snowstorm. Snowed in at a tiny hotel, Alex isn’t sure which is more dangerous – her husband, who is likely coming after her? Or the dark stranger she’s trapped with? A man who’s clearly hiding secrets.


First Line:

Alex curled her fingers around the stem of the shallow glass as the loud, happy voices of her staff bounced off the restaurant’s walls.

Fool Me Once by Margaret Watson

I know that I have said this several times, but I love the romantic suspense genre. There is something about seeing a romance blossom while the main characters either fight for their lives or try to uncover a plot (or sometimes both) that makes me happy. So, it was a no-brainer for me when Margaret emailed me to let me know that book three was available for review.

Fool Me Once is the 3rd book in the Blackhawk Security series. This book can be read as a standalone novel. The characters from the previous books do make appearances, but they don’t take over the storyline, which I liked.

As with the previous two books, Fool Me Once is a fast-paced book. Right from the beginning, when Alex overhears her husband hiring a hitman to kill her, it was super fast. There was a small amount of lag once Gideon and Alex get to the Blackhawk Security compound, but the author could get the book back on track and keep the fast pace up until the end of the book.

Alex was a tough cookie with a backstory that broke my heart. At times, she came across as abrasive, and there were a few times where she was unlikable. But, in the end, I did like her and was rooting for her.

I wasn’t too sure what to think about Gideon. He came across as a bit stalkerish at the beginning of the book. His backstory wasn’t fully explained until they got stuck in the motel. Gideon’s backstory wasn’t as heartbreaking as Alex’s, but it was still sad.

The suspense angle of the book was well written. I liked that the author decided to go the Russian mafia/corrupt federal agent route. It made the book so much more interesting to read.

The romance angle of the book was well written also. I liked that the author didn’t have the characters jump right into bed with each other. Instead, there was a wait. There was InstaLove, but I did expect it.

I loved the end of Fool Me Once. I am not going to get into it, but there is a HEA. Plus, Alex’s ex-husband got what he deserved.


I enjoyed reading Fool Me Once. It was a fast-paced book with memorable characters. Plus, the romance was enjoyable to read.

I would recommend Fool Me Once to anyone over the age of 21. There is non-graphic violence, sex, and some mild language.

Diary of a Contemporary Woman by Lucy Pussett

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Diary of a Contemporary Woman by Lucy Pussett

Publisher: FreeLynx Books

Date of Publication: May 15th, 2021

Genre: Humor, Erotica, Contemporary

Purchase Links: Amazon

Format Read: ARC

Received From: Author


Goodreads Synopsis:

Having reached 34, Angelique Santoro finds herself feeling trapped and deeply unhappy within the constraints of traditional relationships.
Uneasy to perform the role of life partner or girlfriend in the way society has designed for all women.

Finally, she takes the courage to break free and becomes single for the first time in 15 years. Breaking away from the ties that bind us. Breaking away from the fear of being alone and lonely to become what she was always meant to be.

Diary of a contemporary woman follows Angelique in her new life, her adventures. Utterly compelling, beautiful, honest and bold.
Angelique will have you laughing and crying at the same time, willing her on to find happiness and that rare calm within.


First Line:

Hi. I’m Angelique. My father is Italian, originally from Amalfi, my mother is French, from Paris. I was born and raised in Brighton, England.

Diary of a Contemporary Woman by Lucy Pussett

I am a huge fan of reading little-known authors/unknown books. About 90% of the books waiting to be downloaded to my Kindle (I got a new one for Christmas and haven’t downloaded them all) are Indie Authors. I love picking up a book, reading it, and thinking, “Wow, this author is talented.” Of course, it does go the other way too, but for me, those are few and far between. I am happy to say that Diary of a Contemporary Woman was a massive hit for me. And its author, Lucy, has been an absolute doll.

Diary of a Contemporary Woman is a story about finding yourself and being comfortable with yourself once you do. Angelique is 34 and single for the first time in 15 years. This book follows the humorous and often crazy situations that Angelique finds herself in on her journey of self-discovery.

This book is set almost entirely in Brighton, England. I was intrigued by the author’s description of Brighton. So much so that I have it written down on my list of places to visit if I ever visit England.

It is full of English humor and sayings. It also clued me to a few things that I didn’t know. Like, Angelique ate her chips with garlic mayo instead of ketchup. I was intrigued, and if anyone has a garlic mayo recipe, please send it over. I don’t particularly appreciate dipping my fries (or chips) in ketchup and usually eat them plain.

Diary of a Contemporary Woman is a fast-paced book. However, the author did a great job of keeping the pace going as the book went on. A few times, it lagged (mainly around when Angelique’s mother made her announcement), but it picked back up.

I felt that the storyline was well written, and the flow of the book was great. The author was able to phase in and out of Angelique’s different situations without disrupting the book’s flow. That is critical for me because I tend to lose focus/interest quickly if that happens.

Angelique had a lot of sex in Diary of a Contemporary Woman. I wasn’t surprised by this, seeing that the book was billed as erotica. Some people might be turned off. But, seriously, don’t be. Sex is part of Angelique finding herself and is vital to the story.

I loved how Angelique’s relationships were portrayed. They were messy and drama-filled, which is how real-life relationships are. Heck, I even liked how her relationship with her parents and sister was realistic.

The end of Diary of a Contemporary was a little shocking. I was not expecting what happened to Angelique or its fallout. I also was not a fan of the cliffhanger. I hate them. But it did do its job, and I want to read the next book now.


I enjoyed reading Diary of a Contemporary Woman. I connected with the characters and loved how realistic they were.

I would recommend Diary of a Contemporary Woman for anyone over the age of 21. There is graphic sex. There is some mild violence. There is language.

Legacy by Nora Roberts

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Legacy by Nora Roberts

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Date of publication: May 25th, 2021

Genre: Romance, Suspense, Contemporary, Mystery, Women’s Fiction, Thriller

Purchase Links: Kindle | Audible | Barnes and Noble | WorldCat

Format Read: Unedited ARC

Received From: Publisher

Trigger Warnings: Violence


Goodreads Synopsis:

The #1 New York Times bestselling author presents a new novel of a mother and a daughter, of ambition and romance, and of a traumatic past reawakened by a terrifying threat…

Adrian Rizzo was seven when she met her father for the first time. That was the day he nearly killed her—before her mother, Lina, stepped in.

Soon after, Adrian was dropped off at her grandparents’ house in Maryland, where she spent a long summer drinking lemonade, playing with dogs, making a new best friend—and developing the stirrings of a crush on her friend’s ten-year-old brother. Lina, meanwhile, traveled the country promoting her fitness brand and turning it into a billion-dollar business. There was no point in dwelling on the past.

A decade later, Adrian has created her own line of yoga and workout videos, following in Lina’s footsteps but intent on maintaining creative control. And she’s just as cool-headed and ambitious as her mother. They aren’t close, but they’re cordial—as long as neither crosses the other.

But while Lina dismisses the death threats that Adrian starts getting as a routine part of her daughter’s growing celebrity, Adrian can’t help but find the vicious rhymes unsettling. Year after year, they keep arriving—the postmarks changing, but the menacing tone the same. They continue after she returns to Maryland and becomes reacquainted with Raylan, her childhood crush, all grown up and as gorgeously green-eyed as ever. Sometimes it even seems like the terrifying messages are indeed routine, like nothing will come of them. Until the murders start, and the escalation begins…


First Line:

The first time Adrian Rizzo met her father, he tried to kill her.

legacy by nora roberts

Review:

Nora Roberts is one of my favorite romance authors to read. I was first introduced to her work when I was in middle school, and the library had one of her books in stock (I don’t remember which one, that was thirty years ago). When my oldest daughter was born fifteen years ago, I stopped reading and didn’t pick up a book until she was four and my son was two. But, it took me until mid-March to pick up a Nora Roberts book. I am glad I did. I enjoyed reading Legacy!!

Legacy is a medium-paced book. The book’s pacing was medium-paced, but it ramped up quickly during the last few chapters of the book. There was some lag in the book’s middle (when Adrian and Raylan’s storyline came together), but it didn’t last for long.

There were two main points of view, with a third point of view added later in the book. I am not a big fan when an unexpected POV is added late in the book. But, in this case, considering who the POV belonged to, it made perfect sense.

I adored Adrian in Legacy. She was one of the more grounded characters that I have read in awhile. But, I did find it hard to connect to her during certain scenes. But overall, I read her scenes with a smile.

I liked and sympathized with Raylan’s character. His loss was one of the saddest that I have read. I liked that the author showed a realistic view of someone’s grieving process. I thought that he was a great father also. Plus, I like his dog…lol.

Speaking of the dogs in Legacy, they were fantastic. Sadie and Jasper made the book whenever they appeared. Sadie proved herself to be the true MVP at the end of the book (Jasper too).

I loved Raylan’s children, but I did think that they talked a little too grownup for a six and eight-year-old. I have a seven-year-old, and she doesn’t have the vocabulary that Mo did. But, that aside, they were adorable.

I was surprised at who The Poet was. For some reason, I thought it was going to someone else (the PI had mentioned another person).

The author built up the romance angle of the book slowly. Of course, I knew that Raylan and Adrian were going to get together. It was just a matter of when/where. When they did end up getting together, there was a feeling of “Finally.” I liked that the author had them dating before the events that led up to the end of the book. It made the ending so much better!!

The thriller/suspense angle of the book kept me on edge. I liked the mini-chapters where The Poet was featured. I got a better understanding of how this person was spiraling. When that person started escalating, I couldn’t read the book fast enough. I needed to see how this book played out with Adrian. And once the author revealed the connection to her, I was even more eager. Of course, there was poetic justice with how those scenes played out too!!

The end of Legacy was good. The author was able to wrap up the storylines in a way that satisfied me as a reader. There were no storylines left open/hanging. There were no questions about specific events that happened in the book.


Legacy was a great romantic suspense novel. The plotline was great and the characters made the book. Plus, I didn’t figure out who The Poet was until the reveal which surprised me.

I would recommend Legacy to everyone over the age of 21. There is sex, but it is not graphic. There is somewhat graphic violence. At the beginning of the book, Adrian’s father attacked Adrian, her mother, and her mother’s best friend/nanny.

The Death of Vivek Oji by Akwaeke Emezi

The Death of Vivek Oji
The Death of Vivek Ojo by Akwaeke Emezi

Publisher: Penguin Group Riverhead

Date of publication: August 4th 2020

Genre: Contemporary, Fiction, Queer, LGBT+, Africa

Purchase Links: Amazon | B&N | AbeBooks | Alibris | Powell’s | IndieBound | Indigo | Audible | Apple Books | Better World Books

Format read: eBook

Got book from: NetGalley as a Non Arc

Trigger Warnings: Homophobia, Transphobia, Domestic Violence, Rape, Incest, Violence, Drug Use, Alcohol Use, General Violence


Goodreads Synopsis:

What does it mean for a family to lose a child they never really knew?

One afternoon, in a town in southeastern Nigeria, a mother opens her front door to discover her son’s body, wrapped in colorful fabric, at her feet. What follows is the tumultuous, heart-wrenching story of one family’s struggle to understand a child whose spirit is both gentle and mysterious. Raised by a distant father and an understanding but overprotective mother, Vivek suffers disorienting blackouts, moments of disconnection between self and surroundings. As adolescence gives way to adulthood, Vivek finds solace in friendships with the warm, boisterous daughters of the Nigerwives, foreign-born women married to Nigerian men. But Vivek’s closest bond is with Osita, the worldly, high-spirited cousin whose teasing confidence masks a guarded private life. As their relationship deepens—and Osita struggles to understand Vivek’s escalating crisis—the mystery gives way to a heart-stopping act of violence in a moment of exhilarating freedom.

Propulsively readable, teeming with unforgettable characters, The Death of Vivek Oji is a novel of family and friendship that challenges expectations—a dramatic story of loss and transcendence that will move every reader.


First Line:

They burned down the market on the day Vivek Oji died.

The death of vivek oji by akwaeke emezi

The Death of Vivek Oji is one of the best books that I have read in the past six months (I would say year, but it is only February). I could not put the book down; that is how much I liked it.

I will admit that it took me a chapter or so to get into the book’s rhythm. But once I got the rhythm, the book went fast. There was no lag and no excess storyline. That made for a delightful read.

The Death of Vivek Oji is written mainly from the 1st person perspectives of Vivek and Osika. There are some 3rd person chapters written when describing the events around specific events in Vivek’s life (mainly their death and their mother’s meetings with the Nigerwives). Some people might have an issue with that, but I didn’t, which surprised me. I was quickly able to follow when the book switched perspectives and people.

The author did a great job of showing how repressed Nigerian culture was for gay/trans people. The main scenes that stand out to me were when Vivek grew their hair out, and their parent’s first response was to cut it. Vivek was not allowed out because of how they looked. Their aunt had a preacher beat them to “get the demons out.” It was heartbreaking to read.

I felt for Osita the entire book. He loved Vivek with his whole heart but couldn’t share that love with the world. Instead, the small group of friends Vivek and Osita had known. It must have been so tiring to live like that. My heart hurt for him.

There is sex in The Death of Vivek Oji. I won’t lie and say that it isn’t graphic because it is. 

The end of Vivek Oji’s death was one of the rawest that I have read to date. I am not going to get into it, but it was intense. I do like that Vivek’s parents finally understood their daughter and honored her. But, it was the final scene with Osita that made me cry. That poor, poor man!!


The Death of Vivek Oji was a fantastic book to read. It was fast paced and was able to deliver a heavy plotline with the grace that it was due. I am actively looking for other books by the same author to read!!!

After much thought, I will recommend The Death of Vivek Oji for anyone over the age of 21. There is a scene of attempted rape. There is talk of domestic violence. There is deadnaming. There is graphic sex.

Hidden Hollywood (Happy Endings Book Club: Book 1) by Kylie Gilmore

Hidden Hollywood (Happy Endings Book Club, #1)

Publisher: Extra Fancy Books

Date of publication: October 18th, 2016

Genre: Romance

Series: Happy Endings Book Club

Hidden Hollywood—Book 1

Inviting Trouble—Book 2

So Revealing—Book 3

Formal Arrangement—Book 4

Bad Boy Done Wrong—Book 5

Mess with Me—Book 6

Resisting Fate—Book 7

Chance of Romance—Book 8

Wicked Flirt—Book 9

An Inconvenient Plan—Book 10

A Happy Endings Wedding—Book 11

Purchase Links: Amazon | B&N | AbeBooks | Alibris | IndieBound | Indigo | Kobo | Better World Books

Format Read: eBook

Purchase From: Amazon as Free eBook (currently free on Amazon, B&N and Kobo)

Trigger Warning: Very Mild Violence

Goodreads synopsis:

A new standalone series from USA Today bestselling author Kylie Gilmore about the irresistibly sexy Campbell brothers (and a tomboy sister) who find love with the help of the matchmaking leader of the Happy Endings Book Club. Get your happy ending!

She’s on top…
When superstar actress Claire Jordan researched her role for the Fierce Trilogy movies, she never expected the bond she feels with the author and her romance book club aka The Happy Endings Book Club. Soon Claire finds herself confessing her secret longing for a regular guy—no more egocentric wealthy players—and the book club is all too ready to help. In disguise as a regular girl, she’s all set for a date with book-club-approved Josh Campbell.

He’s on top…
Billionaire tech CEO Jake Campbell is weary of gold-digging women, especially the glamorous superficial types. So when his identical twin Josh calls in a favor asking Jake to step in as him on a date, Jake figures one of Josh’s cute girl-next-door types might be just what he needs. One night of passion with the sweet girl-next-door leaves Jake wanting more, except she seems to have vanished.

Sometimes a Happy Ending is just the beginning.


First Line:

Claire Jordan went by a lot of names—hottest actress under thirty, sexiest woman alive, Duck Lips (that was her brother)–buy she’d yet to be called, um, slut.

HIdden Hollywood by Kylie Gilmore

Beginning of Book Impressions:

I was excited to read Hidden Hollywood for several reasons. First, I love contemporary romance. Second, the blurb for the book had me wanting to read it. And, the last reason, I needed a book that I didn’t have to concentrate on. The last couple of books I have read had complicated plotlines and characters. So, I needed a book that would refresh my brain.

What also attracted me to the book was the cover. I thought it was sweet and straightforward. I also figured that the book would reflect that. Let’s say that it did, and it didn’t.

Hidden Hollywood starts with Claire Jordan, America’s hottest actress, meeting with her book club. Claire is producing and starring in a movie based on the book written by one of the book club (which is why she got invited). At this point, I liked Claire. She was funny and sweet. She was also kind of desperate. She refused to date within Hollywood’s A list, and because of that, she hasn’t dated in a year. Add that the books she is making a movie out of having a cult following, and people believe that she and the leading man have a thing. Madison and Hailey come up with a great plan. Hailey has a single man friend, Madison’s brother, who will take Claire out on a date. All Claire has to do is show up in disguise and enjoy herself. Sounds so simple, right. Yeah.

Then the book introduces Jake Campbell, the billionaire owner of a tech company. He is disillusioned with dating women because, drumroll please, all they want is either his money or sperm (yup, I just said that!!). I should mention that Jake is the brother of the man going on the blind date with Claire. His identical twin brother. His brother, Josh, wants Jake to do a twin switch with him. Jake goes on the blind date with Claire and Josh goes on a friend date with Hailey (Hailey is blackmailing Josh into escorting her to weddings but that is another story). As I read that, I thought: “Well, this could go well.

Surprisingly it did. Jake and Claire hit it off. Claire was in disguise the entire time. I was surprised by that because they went paddleboarding. I mean, what if she fell off and got wet? Her cover would have been blown. Honestly, I was waiting for that to happen, but it didn’t. I enjoyed seeing Jake and Claire interact in those scenes. They were themselves and not the people that they had to become.

After Jake and Claire had sex, everything started to fall apart (in my eyes). Claire booked it, and Jake was left feeling used. He tried to find Claire, but because she used a fake name, he had no luck. Both Hailey and Madison were not talking either. On the other hand, Claire felt awful for leaving Jake but thought she had no other choice.


Mid-Book Impressions:

I wasn’t happy with how the middle of the book started. Claire and Jake find out that they both lied to each other. After that, it was like the characters had a personality shift. It was bewildering to read. Claire was this lovely, shy person in the first half of the book. To see her morph into someone self-centered and egocentric messed with my head. I felt the same way about Jake. It took me most of the book’s middle to get used to the “newClaire and Jake.

I did like that the rest of Jake’s family (biological and otherwise) were introduced. I could see the other ten books in the series being written when Jake talked about his brothers and friends. I got very excited to read the other books.

Jake and Claire’s relationship was rocky during this part of the book. Mainly because neither of them was willing to bend. I eye-rolled a lot during this part of the book. I also kept muttering, “Gonna lose him/her if you keep acting this way.

I did like seeing how a movie set was run. The addition of Blake as Claire’s evil co-star was perfect. He tried his best to undermine the movie’s production and acted like a man-child whenever he was in the picture. The only time he crossed the line was when he tried to bum rush, Claire. Thankfully, her bodyguard did his job.

The romance between Claire and Jake did seem nonexistent. I do think it was because they had to sneak around to go on dates. That took some of the oomph out of the romance for me.


End of Book Impressions:

The end of Hidden Hollywood seemed rushed. I say that because everything happened so fast. My head was spinning, and I had to go back and reread specific passages to make sure that I got everything right in my head.

Claire turned into a red carpet fairy godmother. Seriously, she did. She invited the book club to the premiere of her movie and handed dresses and shoes over to them. I giggled while reading those scenes. They were also super sweet, but they made me laugh. Why? Because no woman would give up a pair of shoes that are worth $3k. Just saying.

I wasn’t thrilled with how Claire and Jake’s relationship went from casual to serious within a few chapters. That just screamed Instalove to me. Plus, the way they went about saying “I love you” irked me. There was no passion. It was like, “Oh, BTW, I love you.” and they went on with their lives. I don’t know why it irked me, but it did.

The end of Hidden Hollywood was cute. I loved how the author wrapped up Claire and Jake’s love story. I’m not sure who the next book is going to be about. Either it is Hailey or Madi. Either way, I am sure it is going to be a cute story.


My Overall Thoughts on Hidden Hollywood:

I went back and forth with Hidden Hollywood. I loved the romance and thought the writing was excellent. Several humorous scenes made me laugh. At the same time, Jake was “meh,” and Claire rubbed me the wrong way. But, I was able to overlook those two things and enjoy the story. What I also liked is that the book didn’t go into graphic detail with the sex. There was detail, but nothing that would make someone uncomfortable.

I would recommend Hidden Hollywood for anyone over 21. There is sex, very mild violence, and some mild language.

Breathless (Jason and Azazel: Book 1) by V.J. Chambers

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Publisher: Punk Rawk Books

Date of publication: November 17, 2013

Genre: Paranormal, Fantasy, Young Adult, Paranormal Romance, Mystery, Suspense, Contemporary, Supernatural

Series: Jason and Azazel

Breathless—Book 1

Trembling—Book 2

Tortured—Book 3

Purchase Links: Amazon

Goodreads synopsis:

What if the messiah and the anti-christ fell in love? Azazel is seventeen and sexually frustrated. Her biggest issue is trying to figure out why her seemingly normal boyfriend won’t sleep with her. Then Jason races into her life. He won’t say where he came from or who’s chasing him. He’s a delicious puzzle, a boy who has no problem using his fists to solve arguments or quoting Plato to justify his actions. Azazel is drawn to him. She’s obsessed with finding out his secrets. What she doesn’t know is that Jason’s secrets are entwined with her own town’s secrets. Her friends and family have conspired to use her as a pawn in a violent scheme. Soon, she will have to choose between protecting Jason and staying loyal to everyone she’s ever trusted. A story about forbidden love, fate, and free will, Breathless is Rosemary’s Baby meets The Da Vinci Code.


My review:

What I liked about Breathless:

  1. It was fast-paced. Very fast paced. From the beginning when Jason showed up to the end. I liked books that don’t drag on.
  2. The romance between Azazel and Jason. Considering the circumstances, it was sweet, in its own way.
  3. The storyline with Azazel. To say I was stunned with the twist in the plot was an understatement.

What I disliked about Breathless:

  1. Azazel, at some points in the book. She comes across as a very horny teenager who crosses sexual lines with Todd, her boyfriend. She also came across as naive and too trusting.
  2. Jason, at some points in the book. He didn’t seem real. Handling a gun from 5? Trained to kill and sent on missions to do that by 17? Not real. And yes, I remember that this book isn’t real, but still.
  3. The whole subplot line and what happened to the characters. While they got what was coming to them, I didn’t agree with how it went about. You need to read the book to find out what I am referring to.

Someone to Believe In (O’Neil Family: Book 1) by Kathryn Shay

Book Cover

Publisher: Kathryn Shay

Date of publication: September 6th, 2005

Genre: Romance, Contemporary

Series: O’Neill Family

Someone to Believe In—Book 1

Close to You—Book 2

Taking the Heat—Book 3

High Stakes—Book 4

Always and Forever—Book 5

The Reckoning—Book 6

Purchase Links: Amazon


Goodreads synopsis:

Bailey O’Neil, aka, the Street Angel, has been the arch enemy of Senator Clay Wainwright since he was a district attorney and she a young, idealistic social worker. He put her in jail for harboring a teen offender and never looked back. Eleven years later, she’s a thorn in his side as an anti-gang specialist trying to get kids out of gangs. While Clay wants to put them in jail, Bailey is determined to help these troubled teenagers make good lives for themselves. But when Bailey and Clay are thrown together on the mayor’s task force, the impossible happens—they’re attracted to each other. Their passion erupts early on, and only grows stronger the further they get into a relationship. When they fall deeply in love, their conflicting views drive a wedge between them. Both the Street Angel and the Senator must find a way to deal with their differences in order to make a life together.


My review:

What I liked about Someone to Believe In

  1. Two words: Romance Novel. This wasn’t your typical romance. Bailey and Clay met when he put her in jail 11 years before. They are at odds because of their different views on kids in gangs. Bailey wants to try to rehabilitate them and Clay is the opposite. And of course, sparks fly.
  2. Speaking about sparks, once Bailey and Clay got into bed, it got hot and steamy.
  3. The brothers (for the most part). Having 3 brother’s myself, I sympathized with Bailey.
  4. The backstory about why Bailey started her organization. Not giving anything away but it was heartbreaking.

What I didn’t like about Someone to Believe In:

  1. The sub-story with Taz. Not that it wasn’t good, it pulled at my heartstrings. Taz’s home life was awful and her gang life was worse. The twist in this story actually made me cry for her.
  2. The ending seemed a little rushed to me. I wish the author had carried over Bailey and Clay’s relationship to another book. Because the relationship itself wasn’t typical.

Love in Bloom (Finding Mr. Right: Book #6) by Karen Rose Smith

Love in Bloom
Alternative cover here

Publisher: Unknown

Date of publication: February 25, 2011

Genre: Romance, Contemporary

Series: Finding Mr. Right

Kit and Kisses—Book 1

Forever After—Book 2

When Mom Meets Dad—Book 3

Falling For Her Boss—Book 4

Toys and Baby Wishes—Book 5

Love in Bloom—Book 6

Ribbons and Rainbows—Book 7

Wish on the Moon—Book 8

A Man Worth Loving—Book 9

Purchase Links: Amazon


Goodreads synopsis:

Dr. Paige Conrad needs Clay Reynolds’ help. However, he can’t give it because she and the rest of the town of Langley, Maryland, might discover his secret. Clay has no memory of the first 25 years of his life. The past and his father’s rejection is behind him. Digging it up brings back nightmare he has fought for ten years to control. After spending three years in underdeveloped countries following her parents vision of healing, Paige has come to Langley to gain perspective on her life and help an old friend with his medical practice. Learning Clay was involved in a rock climbing accident and went through the rehabilitation process, she wants him to share his experience with a trouble teenager to give the boy hope.
Paige and Clay are inexorably drawn to each other. But can Clay trust Paige and share his secret? Can Paige dare to follow her own dreams.


My review:

What I liked about Love in Bloom :

  1. The characters. There was so much depth to them that I expected Paige or Clay to come strolling into the room. Plus the chemistry was sizzling between Paige and Clay from day 1.
  2. The romance. All I have to say is O.M.G.  I’m not saying any more, you need to read the story.
  3. I actually liked everything about the book. It was one of those that grabbed you from the beginning and made you keep on reading. Because you wanted to find out what was going to happen.

What I disliked about Love in Bloom:

* The ending. While it was perfect for the book, it seemed a little rushed and too predictable for me.

* Paige’s background story. All I have to say is when it was revealed (during a conversation with Doc), I went (to myself) WTF and shook my head.

* Clay’s background and his trust issues. He went hot and cold with Paige at the worst times and to be honest if a guy did that to me, I would have been long gone.

**I voluntarily reviewed this book**

Shameless (Nashville Night’s: Book 1) by Cheryl Douglas

Shameless (Nashville Nights, #1)
Alternative cover here

Publisher: Unknown

Date of publication: March 8, 2012

Genre: Romance, Contemporary

Purchase Links: Amazon

Series: Nashville Nights

Shameless—Book 1

Fearless—Book 2

Ruthless—Book 3

Reckless—Book 4

Relentless—Book 5

Heartless—Book 6

Hopeless—Book 7

Careless—Book 8


Goodreads synopsis:

Trey Turner may be topping the country music charts but his life has been going downhill since his wife left him five years ago. He’s desperate to make amends for the mistakes he’s made and convince Sierra their love deserves a second chance.

Sierra Brooks is happy for the first time since her divorce. She has a career she loves and a fiancé who loves her. Unfortunately, her fiancé isn’t the only man professing his love. He may be able to offer her safety and security, but will she decide to risk everything for another chance with the man who broke her heart?

My review:

What I liked about Shameless:

  1. It was a quick, easy read. I was able to finish this book in 1 day.
  2. The author was able to bring the heartbreak of Sierra and Trey’s relationship to the front of the book and keep it there.
  3. Not a lot of books deal with preemies and death. The author did a great job of portraying Sierra and Trey’s different grieving styles.

What I disliked about Shameless:

  1. I didn’t like Trey. Not very often where I do not like a main, essential to the story, character but I did not like him. Something rubbed me the wrong way about him. Can’t put a finger on it.
  2. The storyline of Eric, Meagan, and Trey. That left a bad taste in my mouth (no spoilers here….more of a WTF)
  3. Sierra towards the end of the book. She became whiny to me.

**I voluntarily reviewed this book**