Beautifully Wounded (The Beaumont Brothers: Book 1) by Susan Griscom

Beautifully Wounded (The Beaumont Brothers Book 1) by [Susan Griscom]
Beautifully Wounded By Susan Griscom

Publisher: Amber Glow Books

Date of publication: April 9th, 2014

Genre: Romance

Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Audible

Series: The Beaumont Brothers

Beautifully Wounded—Book 1 (Previously published under The Fawn)

Beautifully Used—Book 2

Beautifully Undone—Book 3

Format read in: eBook

Trigger Warning: Spousal Abuse and Rape

Goodreads Synopsis:

Sometimes the only way to salvation… is to take a leap of faith.

What would you do if you had no place to go and no one you could trust?

“The lyrics are about you, Lena,” he confessed, and I watched his mouth as the tip of his tongue moistened his lips before he leaned his head down. Then those beautiful lips were on mine, soft, tender at first, then his tongue glided over my lips, breaking the seal. My pulse throbbed and quickened as his tongue swirled around mine. Taking and controlling, and… and I wanted this, needed his touch. I went limp in his embrace, and the heat rose under my skin, my body vibrated against his strong powerful one. Was this really happening?”

Jackson Beaumont prides himself on being a nature-loving, guitar-strumming, carefree sort of guy. When the mysterious Lena Benton walks into his bar looking scared and defeated, it’s not something he can ignore. He’s immediately consumed by concern for her and driven by his desire to help. She’s just so beautiful. So wounded.

After being shuffled from one foster home to another growing up, Lena Benton dreamt of finding her prince charming. When the captivating Troy Harington sweeps her off her feet shortly after high school graduation, she’s certain she’s found her happiness. Unfortunately, Troy’s true colors surface shortly after their marriage and things turn ugly. Lena only has one choice. She has to leave him. She has to run…

Lena’s escape has brought her to Jackson, and he clearly wants to be there for her, but can she trust anyone again after what she’s gone through? And will Jackson be able to help her heal without losing his heart?

18+ due to sexual content and mature subject matter.


First Line:

He opened the front door.

Beautifully Wounded by Susan Griscom

First Impressions:

I am going to start with the trigger warning to start this review. Usually, I will touch upon TW’s at the end of the book. But, because of how this book begins, I feel that it is appropriate to put it at the beginning.

I am not going to mince words. Beautifully Wounded starts with Lena being raped and beaten by her husband when the rape fails (because he loses his erection halfway through the rape). I won’t lie, it is very graphic. But, it set the pace and the mood for the first half of the book.

Lena’s flight from Troy was heartbreaking but empowering. I felt her terror and urgency as she fled. She was terrified that he would find her. She was terrified of what he would do. She did everything to throw him off her trail. She cut up credit cards, abandoned her car, used a fake ID that her best guy friend gave her, used cash to buy a new car, and drove as far as she could with her injuries. It was breathtaking and made my heart pound. I was on the edge of my seat that first couple of chapters because of the unknown.

Then Jackson was introduced. Not a lot was said about him except that he owned a local bar with his brother, Brodie. That was fine with me because all of my attention was on Lena and her flight from Troy. When Lena walked into the bar, her appearance caught Jackson (and eventually Brodie’s) attention. Jackson, who had a soft heart of injured animals and people, took one look at her and decided that she needed his help. He brought in an ex-Army medic/current firefighter to look at her. That is when the extent of her injuries was shown. Broken ribs, a concussion, bruises everywhere, and one eye was swollen completely shut. Even Doc (the firefighter) was horrified. I was fighting back the tears during that scene. I made these weird snuffly noises that my husband took notice of and asked if I needed a tissue.

I liked that Lena was learning to trust Jackson. What I loved was her instant connection to Rufus (his hound). She spilled her secret to him, unaware that Jackson was listening outside her door. It was a heartwarming scene that again made me fight back the tears. That poor girl.

By the middle of the book, though, Jackson did start to creep me out. He began to become obsessed with Lena. I understand wanting to help. He helped so much and in so many ways. He set it up so Lena could file for divorce without disclosing her location. He helped file for a restraining order (including taking her pictures). He got her clothing and someone to dye her hair. He. Was. Always. There. When he started falling for her, I was like, “Oh no honey, please. Wait until she’s healed.” But he didn’t.


Mid-Book Impressions:

The middle of Beautifully Wounded focused on Lena’s healing process and her emerging relationship with Jackson. I liked seeing her regain her self confidence and self-worth. The little tidbits of her life with Troy left me shaking my head. What made me shake my head, even more, was that she witnessed her mother being abused and then killed by her abuser while she was growing up. Lena thought she knew what she was looking out for, but instead, she got blindsided. I truly felt awful for her.

I liked seeing her and Jackson connect on a deeper level. Seeing her fall for Jackson was sweet, but at the same time, I felt that she didn’t need to fall into another relationship. But, thankfully, Jackson took it super slow and allowed Lena to call the shots.

Their relationship did heat up during this part of the book. But nothing happened until after Lena received her divorce papers.

Jackson was still acting creepy. He had this whole “I’ll let her come to me” vibe, but he moved her into his and Brodie’s house and spent all of his time with Lena. And, again, I didn’t blame Brodie for blowing up at Jackson. I did feel bad that Lena had to overhear it, though. Brodie did apologize, and Lena did tell Brodie that she was sorry, even though it was Jackson’s fault.

There was an undercurrent of anticipation regarding Troy. And it wasn’t the right kind. I kept wondering when he would turn up. I didn’t blame Lena for wanting to run. She was terrified that Troy would hunt her down and kill her.


End of Book Impressions:

The last half of Beautifully Wounded was insane. So much went on in a few short chapters. I couldn’t read it fast enough.

Jackson and Lena’s relationship went to the next step, which wasn’t awful in the grand scheme of things. In book time, two months had gone by, and they spent everyday together. So, when they had sex, I wasn’t grossed out. I was still a little skeeved by Jackson, but even that went away. You could tell that he cherished Lena.

Lena’s worse nightmares were realized when one of her best friends (pre-Troy) came to the bar and let her know that Troy knew where she was. Then it was a waiting game as to when he would show up.

And yes, Troy did show up. My heart was pounding for Lena during those scenes because of what he was saying to her, where he was taking her and what he would do to her (implied). I will say that Rufus was the real MVP during this part of the book. That nice, sweet dog lost his SHIT when Lena was taken. And I ugly cried when Jackson caught up to Lena and Troy, and he saw what happened to Rufus.

Of course, there was a confrontation between Jackson and Troy. In my mind, I called it the battle between Good and Evil (because it was). There was a point where I was concerned for Jackson and a little WTF. Jackson was an ex-cop. He should have known how to take someone down. Yet, he didn’t, and it frustrated me. It was who took Troy down that took me by surprise. It also took Brodie by surprise (he was way too late).

The epilogue was fantastic. I liked seeing where Lena and Jackson were a year later. Oh, and Rufus’s fate was disclosed!! I also loved the lead into Brodie/Gabby’s story.


My Overall Thoughts on Beautifully Wounded:

I enjoyed reading Beautifully Wounded. It had a fast plotline with characters that will stay with you after the book is finished. I will warn that there are parts of the book that are hard to swallow. Some parts are unrealistic. But, it didn’t affect me. Instead, it made the book more enjoyable to read.

I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book. There is graphic violence. There is a rape scene at the beginning of the book that is graphic. There is sex, but that is not graphic.

Weekly Wrap Up: July 19th through July 25th 2020

Books I’ve Read:

Survive

Crossroads

Arrival of the Traveler

Of Lords and Commoners

Smolder

From This Moment On

Free Falling

The Cinderella Arrangement

True Light


Weekly Posts:

Its Monday! What Are You Reading

Top Ten Tuesday

WWW Wednesday


Reviews I did this week:

Of Lords and Commoners (review here)

WWW Wednesday: July 22nd 2020

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WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words.

The Three Ws are:

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


What I am currently reading:

Of Lords and Commoners (Lords and Commoners #1)

Humans Have Always Had to Fight Plagues …

“This book was exactly what I was looking for. A breath of fresh air, as it tells the tale of a commoner thrust into a world of lords and vampires. It spans many years with many historical events, times, and places not like your average twilight telling in a high school back ground. I would recommend this book to anyone.”
— Sanders

The only future Vallachia could have imagined, as well as her wonderfully simple life disappears when she finds herself in a struggle to figure out the rules of a strange new world.

She longs for her old life and the one she truly loves remains out of reach, as she embarks on an inconceivable journey.

Vallachia quickly finds herself on the wrong side of a brewing battle for vampire domination. Not knowing who to trust could have fatal consequences … for millions of people.

Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes and Noble | IndieBound


I recently finished reading:

Arrival of the Traveler (Waldgrave #1)

Portraits have been removed from the walls, and areas of the house are off limits. Some rooms even seem to have been walled off completely. No one will talk to her.

It’s been a difficult year for Abilene Collins. Since her father’s death, her whirlwind life of adventure and travel has come to an end.

Now, she’s living with her mysterious uncle. He’s a man with secrets, living almost alone in a ridiculously large mansion that he doesn’t own. He doesn’t like questions, and when Lena starts asking about his job, it isn’t hard to tell that he’s keeping some family secrets from her.

The young and ambitious groundskeeper has become her only friend, and one day he tells her that she was stolen from her mother years before. Lena’s family are all telepathic, and that isn’t all…they’re a religious pillar of the Silenti society. Her grandfather has used his standing to gain political power, decimating his rivals along with anyone who gets in his way.

Suddenly thrust into a life of political plots and religious fanatics, Lena finds herself struggling to navigate her own life. Some people aren’t fond of the Darays, and the family has nearly died out through assassination.

It appears Lena is the latest target.

Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Walmart eBooks


What books I think I’ll read next:

Smolder by [Desiree Douglas]

Scarlett Barrington left the small town of Greenshade behind forever, along with unspeakable emotional wounds. She is preparing to begin her dream job when she’s called home to help her estranged mother, a hoarder, clean out her mess or risk losing her house.

Reluctantly returning home, nothing prepares her for the shock of coming face to face with her first love. Brody Finch may have been Greenshade’s glorious football legend, but he is also the man who deserted her a decade ago, when she needed him the most.

As Scarlett attempts to handle her combative mother, she’s forced to come to terms with airing her family’s dirty laundry on the reality TV show, Packrats. Community members with agendas of their own rally to help, harm, or just plain gawk.

Unexpectedly, the cold case murder of her sister comes back into focus, and Scarlett finds her own life in danger as she struggles to discover the truth about what happened so long ago. In the midst of this chaos, a serial arsonist brings the small town to its knees.

Where there’s smoke, there’s fire. Can Scarlett and Finch find the love they once shared and lost? And if they do, will she live through the process?

Purchase Links: Amazon

From This Moment On (Windswept Bay Book 1) by [Debra Clopton]

Hurt by her failed marriage and dashed dreams, Cali Sinclair returns home to Windswept Bay with her heart wary and closed to the dreams of true love she so desperately wanted. Determined to never again risk her heart, she throws herself into running the family’s small boutique resort on the Florida coast, a place so full of romance that it’s a reminder every day of what she’ll never have. But when renowned artist Grant Ellington shows up to paint a mural on the wall of the resort, she’s swept away by her response to the artist. Suddenly, every time he looks at her, Cali finds it harder than she ever thought possible to keep her heart protected.

Grant Ellington loves his ranch, his horses, and his life as a sought-after artist. But after walking away from a plane crash that killed his best friend and the young pilot, he’s still struggling with survivor’s guilt as he heads to Windswept Bay. Painting a sea life mural at the resort started out as a favor to his neighbor, but one meeting with the beautiful Cali and he feels alive again—and determined to spend time on the moonlit beaches with her in his arms…

But, like him, Cali has her own emotional scars—can they learn to trust the love that sparks between them and move forward from this moment on?

Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes and Noble | IndieBound | Walmart eBooks

Free Falling: Book 1 of the Irish End Games by [Susan Kiernan-Lewis]

When David and Sarah Woodson take a much-needed vacation with their ten-year old son, John, their intention is to find a relaxing, remote spot to take a break from the artificial stimulation of their busy world back in Jacksonville, Florida. What happens within hours of settling in to their rural, rustic little cottage in a far-flung spot on the coast of Ireland is an international incident that leaves the family stranded and dependent on themselves for their survival. Facing starvation, as well as looters and opportunists, they learn the hard way the important things in life. Can a family skilled only in modern day suburbia and corporate workplaces learn to survive when the world is flung back a hundred years? When there is no internet, no telephones, no electricity and no cars? And when every person near them is desperate to survive at any cost?

Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Audible | Walmart eBooks

The Cinderella Arrangement by [Vanessa Waltz]

Fake Cinderella. Real Romance.

Luke Pardini is many things: playboy, tabloid fodder, ridiculously attractive billionaire. He’s the Prince Charming every woman dreams of.

And he wants me to be his fake girlfriend.

I don’t want a relationship, even a make-believe one, but I do need the money. Writing isn’t paying the bills, and I hardly have time for a second job, let alone a romance. But he’s offering me a dream-come true.

I’ll get the fancy dresses, the formal dinners, the full Luke Pardini experience. I get to be Cinderella for a few weeks, then I’ll trade in the shoes. No problem, right?

Except I don’t have to pretend when he touches me, but he’s made it clear I only get to play his girlfriend for a few weeks. When midnight strikes, our Cinderella Arrangement is over.

He promised the arrangement would be simple.

I promised I wouldn’t fall in love.

Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes and Noble | AbeBooks.com | Alibris | IndieBound | Audible | Walmart eBooks

True Light (From the Stars Book 1) by [G. Bailey]

Aura Scott didn’t want to move house, but her father didn’t give her a choice when he wanted an escape after the car accident that nearly killed them both. Trying to survive in a literal ghost town is never fun, but add in the neighbours from hell, well it’s becoming a nightmare.
Maxx and his brother have dark secrets, and Aura might want to run when she finds out the truth.
When two strangers move into Maxx’s house across the street, Aura finds out there is more than just secrets to be frightened of.

When light appears, so does darkness…

Purchase Links: Amazon | IndieBound

Alice Isn't Well (Death Herself, #1)

“There are lots of demons in the sky above London. The problem is, this one came crashing down to earth.”

Ten years ago, Alice Warner was attacked and disfigured by an attacker in her own home. She remembers nothing of the attack, and she has been in a psychiatric hospital ever since. When she’s finally released, however, she starts working as a security guard at an abandoned shopping mall. And that’s when she starts to realize that something is haunting her, keeping just one step out of sight at all times… Meanwhile, seventy years earlier, a little girl named Wendy is left orphaned after a World War 2 fighter plane crashes onto her house. Taken to a monastery, Wendy is quickly singled out by the nuns for special attention. They say she has been possessed by a demon, and that there’s only one way to save her soul. Fortunately for Wendy, however, there’s someone else who seems to know far more about the situation. What is the shocking connection between Alice and Wendy, reaching out across the years? Does a demon really lurk in the girl’s soul? And who is Hannah, the mysterious figure who tries to help Wendy, and who seventy years later begins to make her influence felt in Alice’s life too?

Alice Isn’t Well is the first book in the Death Herself series, about a dark figure who arrives in the night, promising to help deal with the forces of evil whenever they appear.

Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes and Noble | IndieBound

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? (July 20th 2020)

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It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? a place to meet up and share what you have been, and are about to be reading over the week. It’s a great post to organise yourself. It’s an opportunity to visit and comment and er… add to your groaning TBR pile! So welcome in everyone. This meme started on J Kaye’s blog and then was hosted by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn here at The Book Date.


What I Read this past week:

Qualify (The Atlantis Grail, #1)

You have two options. You die, or you Qualify.

The year is 2047. An extinction-level asteroid is hurtling toward Earth, and the descendants of ancient Atlantis have returned from the stars in their silver ships to offer humanity help.

But there’s a catch.

They can only take a tiny percent of the Earth’s population back to the colony planet Atlantis. And in order to be chosen, you must be a teen, you must be bright, talented, and athletic, and you must Qualify.

Sixteen-year-old Gwenevere Lark is determined not only to Qualify but to rescue her entire family.

Because there’s a loophole.

If you are good enough to Qualify, you are eligible to compete in the brutal games of the Atlantis Grail, which grants all winners the laurels, high tech luxuries, and full privileges of Atlantis Citizenship. And if you are in the Top Ten, then all your wildest wishes are granted… Such as curing your mother’s cancer.

There is only one problem.

Gwen Lark is known as a klutz and a nerd. While she’s a hotshot in classics, history, science, and languages, the closest she’s come to sports is a backyard pool and a skateboard.

This time she is in over her head, and in for a fight of her life, against impossible odds and world-class competition–including Logan Sangre, the most amazing guy in her school, the one she’s been crushing on, and who doesn’t seem to know she exists.

Because every other teen on Earth has the same idea.

You Qualify or you die .

Compete (The Atlantis Grail, #2)

It’s one thing to Qualify…
But do you have what it takes to Compete?

With Earth about to be destroyed by an extinction level asteroid, teenage nerd, geek, and awkward smart girl Gwen Lark, and a few of her friends and loved ones, barely Qualified for rescue onboard one of the thousands of ark-ships headed to the ancient colony planet Atlantis.

Now faced with a year-long journey in space, life in a wondrously alien environment, and many tough life choices, Gwen must decide who or what she will become. Fleet Cadet or Civilian? Friend or lover? Average or extraordinary?

Can she make new friends? Can she trust the old ones, such as Logan Sangre, her sexy high school crush and an Earth special operative?

Time and time again, Gwen’s uncanny ability to come up with the best answer in a crisis saves her life and others. And now, her unique Logos voice makes her an extremely valuable commodity to the Atlanteans — so much so that her enigmatic commanding officer Aeson Kassiopei, who is also the Imperial Prince of Atlantis, has taken an increasingly personal interest in her.

Before the end of the journey, Gwen must convince him that she has what it takes to compete in the deadly Games of the Atlantis Grail.

It’s becoming apparent — the life of her family and all of Earth depends on it.

Win (The Atlantis Grail #3)

The Games are Forever!


It’s one thing to Qualify and Compete…

Now she must Win.


Gwen Lark, nerd, geek, and awkward smart girl, is among the lucky ones. She’s one of several million teenage refugees to escape the extinction-level asteroid barreling towards Earth and reach the ancient colony planet of Atlantis.


But Atlantis is a strange new world with higher gravity and a blazing white sun, where nothing is as expected. The new arrivals from Earth will now belong to the majority class of non-citizens who face a lifetime of hard work and limited rights.


To make matters worse, Gwen’s rare and powerful talent, her Logos voice, is viewed as a potential weapon to be exploited by the Imperator, as well as a threat to the Kassiopei Imperial Dynasty and its uncompromising control over the people of Atlantis.


A last-minute heartbreak prior to arrival turns to joy, when Gwen receives a declaration of love from an unexpected source. The Wedding date is set, but before she can be joined with her true love, she is forced to compete in the brutal and deadly Games of the Atlantis Grail to save herself, her family, friends, and everything she cares about. Once again, her intelligence, quick thinking skills, resilience, and creativity are challenged to the breaking point.


The Games are monumental, intricate, lethal . . . and the Games are Forever.


This time Gwen must fight and figure her way through the most difficult and sophisticated contest she has ever faced. Terrifying Ordeals and impossible Challenges, ruthless skilled Competitors, vicious secret assassins, and dubious teammates she must work with but cannot trust, are just the beginning. . . .


Meanwhile, as the Games rage, the fate of two worlds is at stake as a new alien threat looms over Earth and Atlantis.


But Gwen Lark has a secret weapon of her own. It’s not her Logos voice and its untapped power to control orichalcum technology and perpetuate change.


It is Gwen herself.

Survive (The Atlantis Grail, #4)

The End is Here, in a Fiery Cosmic Apocalypse!

Gwen Lark knows how to Qualify, Compete, and Win…
The time has come to Survive.

The Games of the Atlantis Grail have come to a ground-shaking halt and Gwen Lark, nerd, geek, and awkward smart girl, survived the remarkable ordeal, for the time being.

But the worst is yet to come!

Now, both the colony planet Atlantis and Earth are under a threat of annihilation, and everything is up in the air, including dire and stunning wonders in the Atlantean skies.

Will there be a Wedding? Will there be a future for Gwen Lark, her beloved, and all their families, friends, and loved ones?

Is Gwen’s rare and powerful talent, the Logos voice of creation, enough to resolve the greatest mystery of the Kassiopei Imperial Dynasty and its role in the events of deepest antiquity since the dawn of time?

The fate of the entire human species is at stake, and now there can be no respite, not a moment to lose. The final battle is here, and Gwen, and everyone she knows and loves, are in for the greatest fight of their lives.

It is time to survive.


What I am reading now:

Crossroads (The Corax Chronicles Book 1)

The mythological god Raven, the living embodiment of the cautionary tale, is a veteran trickster with a charismatic-yet-erratic style all his own. As Raven has lived firsthand throughout the ages of mankind, he has a great deal of experience in getting into trouble, whether messing about with gods in Ancient Greece or racing across the American countryside on a stolen motorcycle. But when an enemy steals a power that Raven’s been guarding for thousands of years, Raven and his daughter Dora are abruptly thrust into a journey filled with magic, ghosts, gods, and seers in order to recover the irreplaceable thing he has lost.

At the same time, in the wake of three terrible hurricanes that struck the Mississippi River basin, a young shaman named Daniel begins a spirit quest for his lost medicine pouch, stolen from him on the worst night of the storms. When Daniel meets trouble on the road in the form of a woman named Vengeance, the two of them will have to work together to right the wrongs that set them on their shared path.

For all four of them, as they become steadily intertwined by power and circumstance, they are each driven towards a final crossroads that will change all of their lives forevermore.


What Am I Reading Next?

Arrival of the Traveler (Waldgrave #1)

Portraits have been removed from the walls, and areas of the house are off limits. Some rooms even seem to have been walled off completely. No one will talk to her.

It’s been a difficult year for Abilene Collins. Since her father’s death, her whirlwind life of adventure and travel has come to an end.

Now, she’s living with her mysterious uncle. He’s a man with secrets, living almost alone in a ridiculously large mansion that he doesn’t own. He doesn’t like questions, and when Lena starts asking about his job, it isn’t hard to tell that he’s keeping some family secrets from her.

The young and ambitious groundskeeper has become her only friend, and one day he tells her that she was stolen from her mother years before. Lena’s family are all telepathic, and that isn’t all…they’re a religious pillar of the Silenti society. Her grandfather has used his standing to gain political power, decimating his rivals along with anyone who gets in his way.

Suddenly thrust into a life of political plots and religious fanatics, Lena finds herself struggling to navigate her own life. Some people aren’t fond of the Darays, and the family has nearly died out through assassination.

It appears Lena is the latest target.

Of Lords and Commoners (Lords and Commoners #1)

Humans Have Always Had to Fight Plagues …

The only future Vallachia could have imagined, as well as her wonderfully simple life disappears when she finds herself in a struggle to figure out the rules of a strange new world.

She longs for her old life and the one she truly loves remains out of reach, as she embarks on an inconceivable journey.

Vallachia quickly finds herself on the wrong side of a brewing battle for vampire domination. Not knowing who to trust could have fatal consequences … for millions of people.

Smolder

Scarlett Barrington left the small town of Greenshade behind forever, along with unspeakable emotional wounds. She is preparing to begin her dream job when she’s called home to help her estranged mother, a hoarder, clean out her mess or risk losing her house.

Reluctantly returning home, nothing prepares her for the shock of coming face to face with her first love. Brody Finch may have been Greenshade’s glorious football legend, but he is also the man who deserted her a decade ago, when she needed him the most.

As Scarlett attempts to handle her combative mother, she’s forced to come to terms with airing her family’s dirty laundry on the reality TV show, Packrats. Community members with agendas of their own rally to help, harm, or just plain gawk.

Unexpectedly, the cold case murder of her sister comes back into focus, and Scarlett finds her own life in danger as she struggles to discover the truth about what happened so long ago. In the midst of this chaos, a serial arsonist brings the small town to its knees.

Where there’s smoke, there’s fire. Can Scarlett and Finch find the love they once shared and lost? And if they do, will she live through the process?

WWW Wednesday: July 8th 2020

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WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words.

The Three Ws are:

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


What I am currently reading:

Control Freakz (Control Freakz, #1)

Memories will haunt you.

Natalie has lost everything but herself, and she’s just one of thousands. After Protocol 00 is enacted, Natalie’s family is taken by the government, along with the families of her two best friends, Hunter and Ethan. With nothing to lose and the threat of government hitmen kidnapping them at any moment, the three must battle to survive in a horrid, post-apocalyptic world run by President Ash and his invasive government.

Risking ruthless leaders, attempted mind control, and her very existence on the planet, Natalie, along with Hunter and Ethan, will stop at nothing in their quest to regain everything they’ve ever known. But there are unrivaled powers working against them, and with impending doom looming at any moment, there is no one to trust and nowhere to hide. In a life devoid of hope, happiness, and safety, Natalie must battle both the darkness lurking inside and out of her in order to regain one fleeting memory of her past that has all but fallen away for good, but it might already be too late.


I recently finished reading:

Blackbird

Miguel was there when the girl that he loved was abducted.

It happened in broad daylight, less than a mile from her home, sixteen years from the day she was born. Left beaten and bloodied, all he could do was watch as the thugs drove away, her hands pressed against the back window, her mouth open in a soundless scream. When the local authorities, her friends, and her family give up on her, he sets off alone on a journey that takes him across the globe.

But Human Trafficking is an industry as old as the human race, built by the most dangerous and merciless of people. And he quickly finds himself swept up in a world that threatens to swallow him whole, where sometimes even death can be a blessing.

In a hole in Mexico City, Adrian Rucker lives out his meager existence, a shell of the man that he once was. An ex-British agent, discarded by his government and long past his prime, he struggles to find meaning in his life, while battling inner demons that conspire to destroy him. Then a teenage boy walks into the bar below his apartment, reeking of desperation and carrying a revolver. For better or worse, from that moment, their lives are linked.

Together, Miguel and Rucker will attempt to do the impossible and track down a single missing girl in a domain where the victims are never found. Together, they will brave the darkness and the monsters within, clinging to the hope that they will still recognize themselves when they emerge, if they emerge at all.

Shallow Graves (The Haunted #1)

Not all houses are made of brick and stone… Robert Watts is having the worst day of his entire life: first he’s laid off, then he finds out that his wife is having an affair… with his boss no less. And that’s only the beginning.

Before the month is out, Robert finds himself alone to raise his daughter with no money, no job, and a house that is minutes from being repossessed. Just when he hits rock bottom, a strange visitor arrives at the doorstep of his soon to be foreclosed house with a letter from an Aunt he didn’t know existed.

The offer is simple: look after Aunt Ruth during her dying days, and in return Robert will be bequeathed the Harlop Estate in which she currently resides. It’s a no brainer and Robert jumps at the opportunity, equally motivated by the prospect of financial security as he is for a fresh start.

Problem is, it only takes a few nights in the Harlop Estate before he begins to question Aunt Ruth’s claims that they are the home’s only inhabitants…

It’s the scratching he hears during the night, the voices that he can barely make out over the constant rain, and then there’s the girl with the rat…

With their house foreclosed and their bank accounts liquidated, Robert and his daughter Amy desperately need a place to live. But the question Robert soon finds himself struggling with is whether living in the Harlop Estate is worth it… and if he can survive until Aunt Ruth passes to collect his inheritance.

Shallow Graves is the first book in the Haunted Series, chilling, gruesome, and truly haunting tales with a twist that you will never see coming.

The Draig's Woman (Draig Clan, #1)

Rescuing the man tied to a tree seemed like a rational decision. Claire is a smart, capable bookkeeper who happens to work at a martial arts academy. She has no idea the door she walked through to save the bound man would leave her trapped in 13th century Scotland. She is unable to regret the night of passion shared with Ian, even though it happened with the threat of death just outside the door. She pretends to be content with Ian’s friendship, knowing his people must come first. Compelled by honor and tormented by desire, is being his woman, while he marries another, enough?

Ian, Laird of the Draig Clan, is a man trapped by fate. Forced by necessity to marry a woman he has never met, her dowry is essential to save his clan. However, he is in love with the woman who saved his life and then spent one night in his arms. Duty prevents Ian from being able to marry Claire as custom, honor, and his heart demand. Drawn to her, believing they share the same desires and dreams in life, he finally offers her the only option available, a place by his side and in his bed.

Claire and Ian are bound together in love and then ripped apart by deception and a plot to destroy the Draig clan. Facing the final battle alone and unarmed, Claire saves them all. The ultimate challenge is forgiving Ian for sending her away.


What books I think I’ll read next:

What Haunts Me - Ghost Killer - Book 1

The ghosts that wander among the living do not haunt in the traditional sense; instead, they plague the innocent with disease, deformity and addiction. And once a ghost finds its victim, it will haunt them for a lifetime… or kill them quickly.

After George gets ill, the dreams begin. Suppressed memories are triggered, allowing him to see ghosts, and a deeply buried instinct emerges. George finds out he can kill these monsters, and heal their victims. The ability to save lives is something George cannot ignore, but it soon becomes an obsession and begins to eat away at his sanity.

His quest for understanding leads him to new friends and allies, and exposes him to enemies he could have never imagined. In the end, can you really ever kill something that’s already dead?

The Grid 1: Fall of Justice (The Grid Trilogy, #1)

A fortress city. A terrifying prison. A survivor determined to beat the odds.

Joe Parsons’ father has just disappeared. Growing up in a post-plague world, he knows that justice is in short supply, but he craves answers. He hacks into the sinister Fortrillium network, but when he’s caught red-handed, he’s in for the shock of his life.

Joe is thrown into The Grid, a prison lined with inhumane cages where the only hope of a trial comes from surviving a series of terrifying challenges. Only one person has ever escaped the deadly, gamified colosseum. Hunted by his enemies and in constant danger, Joe must find a way to survive. What he discovers along the way will change his life forever… if he can manage to escape.

Fall of Justice is a gripping work of dystopian sci-fi. If you like tension-filled suspense, fascinating apocalyptic futures, and characters who come to life, then you’ll love the first book in Paul Teague’s The Grid Trilogy.

Beware the Ranger

Twelve years ago, Kaitlyn Russell had a dream: living happily ever after with Clay Morgan. Except her grandmother had bigger plans for her beloved granddaughter and they didn’t include life in the small town of McKenna Springs as the wife of a young, poor deputy. Kaitlyn’s heart was broken when Clay and her grandmother convinced her to pursue her second love, Broadway stardom.

Texas Ranger Clay Morgan is a widower with a young son to raise. A dozen years before, he had to make the most difficult decision of his life when he agreed to let go of the only woman he’d ever loved so that she could pursue her dreams.

Now, fate and an old woman’s guilty conscience conspire to bring Clay and Kaitlyn back together once more. Will they be able to lay the past to rest and rekindle their love from the ashes?

Qualify (The Atlantis Grail, #1)

You have two options. You die, or you Qualify.

The year is 2047. An extinction-level asteroid is hurtling toward Earth, and the descendents of ancient Atlantis have returned from the stars in their silver ships to offer humanity help.

But there’s a catch.

They can only take a tiny percent of the Earth’s population back to the colony planet Atlantis. And in order to be chosen, you must be a teen, you must be bright, talented, and athletic, and you must Qualify.

Sixteen-year-old Gwenevere Lark is determined not only to Qualify but to rescue her entire family.

Because there’s a loophole.

If you are good enough to Qualify, you are eligible to compete in the brutal games of the Atlantis Grail, which grants all winners the laurels, high tech luxuries, and full privileges of Atlantis Citizenship. And if you are in the Top Ten, then all your wildest wishes are granted… Such as curing your mother’s cancer.

There is only one problem.

Gwen Lark is known as a klutz and a nerd. While she’s a hotshot in classics, history, science, and languages, the closest she’s come to sports is a backyard pool and a skateboard.

This time she is in over her head, and in for a fight of her life, against impossible odds and world-class competition—including Logan Sangre, the most amazing guy in her class, the one she’s been crushing on, and who doesn’t seem to know she exists.

Because every other teen on Earth has the same idea.

You Qualify or you die.

Crossroads (The Corax Chronicles Book 1)

The mythological god Raven, the living embodiment of the cautionary tale, is a veteran trickster with a charismatic-yet-erratic style all his own. As Raven has lived firsthand throughout the ages of mankind, he has a great deal of experience in getting into trouble, whether messing about with gods in Ancient Greece or racing across the American countryside on a stolen motorcycle. But when an enemy steals a power that Raven’s been guarding for thousands of years, Raven and his daughter Dora are abruptly thrust into a journey filled with magic, ghosts, gods, and seers in order to recover the irreplaceable thing he has lost.

At the same time, in the wake of three terrible hurricanes that struck the Mississippi River basin, a young shaman named Daniel begins a spirit quest for his lost medicine pouch, stolen from him on the worst night of the storms. When Daniel meets trouble on the road in the form of a woman named Vengeance, the two of them will have to work together to right the wrongs that set them on their shared path.

For all four of them, as they become steadily intertwined by power and circumstance, they are each driven towards a final crossroads that will change all of their lives forevermore.

a noble affair by jennie goutet

A Noble Affair by [Jennie Goutet]
A Noble Affair by Jennie Goutet

Publisher:

Date of publication: April 28th, 2016

Genre: Romance

Purchase Links: Kindle | Barnes and Noble | IndieBound |

Format read in: eBook

Goodreads synopsis:

Is there such a thing as Prince Charming?

Chastity didn’t take a teaching job in France to find hers, but a woman can dream, n’est ce pas?

If the father of one of her students—the Viscount Charles Jean Anne Monorie de Brase—is the best local example of princes, Charming or Otherwise, Chastity is ready to put aside any thought of falling in love again.

As much as she would prefer him to keep his distance, it seems there is no avoiding each other. With the ongoing pressure of a repentant ex-boyfriend, a nefarious drug dealer, and an art heist that spans the decades, Chastity and the viscount are thrown together by circumstances she would soon rather forget.

As the intimacy between Charles and Chastity deepens, they must decide if their love is enough to bridge the gap between their disparate worlds, and if happily ever after can exist outside of fairy tales.


First Impressions:

I was pretty excited to start reading A Noble Affair. I have had it sitting on my TBR since October 2018, and I figured that it was time to read it. Plus, the blurb got my interest. Well, I have to say I wasn’t impressed by the first half of the book. There were zero sparks of romance between Charles and Chastity. Instead, it went the exact opposite direction. There was so much animosity between the two that I was taken aback by it.

Chastity’s job as a school teacher was fascinating, but there was little focus on it. Instead, there were a couple of student/teacher meetings, where she accused Charles’s son of doing drugs. Her proof, a whiff of marijuana here and there. I hardcore eye-rolled at that. Frankly, I found her annoying that first half of the book. She led her baby daddy on about being in a relationship. The only thing that I remotely agreed with was that she allowed him to meet their son.

I didn’t care for Charles either. He was an absent parent who couldn’t (or wouldn’t) talk to his son about his slipping grades. Instead, he was focused on his work, appeasing his mother and his girlfriend. There was no mention of what he did for work during the first half of the book. This is important come the middle of the book.

Louis, Charles’s son, was also introduced. I was “meh” about him. I understood why he acted the way he did, but at the same time, I wanted to shake some sense into him. Things got a bit dicey towards the end of the first half of the book.

There were a bunch of secondary characters thrown in during the first half of the book also. I had issues keeping track of them because of how the chapters were written. There was no lead in the next character. Just, bam, here it is. At times, it made no sense. Also, clue in that secondary storyline was introduced while this all happened, and my head was spinning.


Mid-Book Impressions

Chastity and Charles’s romance (or lack of one) was still going strong by the book’s middle. She thought he was an uptight idiot, and he returned the favor. It was kind of amusing to read, though. Their interactions were painful to read. I kept thinking to myself, “And where is this romance?” because there was ZERO.

Instead of the book picking up speed, it faltered, big time. I kept waiting for something to get the book moving. It did happen, but it took forever for it to happen. There were points where I was going to put the book down.

Louis’s storyline because more interesting. There was some intrigue about his dealing, his schoolwork, and him owing the dealer money. I did feel bad for the poor kid because he was in over his head. He was willing to do anything to pay back the money.

The storyline about the art heist was interesting too, but there were some flaws in it. Add in that Louis’s dealer is also the person behind the new heist, which made me go “Hmmm.” Only a couple of chapters sprinkled in the middle of the book explained what happened there.


End of Book Impressions

Chastity and Charles’s romance finally picked up. But weirdly, it was after her son was hit by a car and put in a coma. Guess who his neurosurgeon was? Charles. I was just as surprised as Chastity was when that was revealed. Like I mentioned above, I thought he lived off a trust fund or something like that.

There was still no sparks between Chastity and Charles. The author did try, but their romance didn’t come across as believable. Even the kiss that they shared was “meh.”

The storyline with Louis and his drug use finally came to ahead. Charles finally talked to him about it. I don’t know who was more relieved, Louis or me. It took an entire book for Charles to get around to doing it. It was a lovely scene but long overdue in coming.

The secondary storyline about the art heist ended excitingly. There was a neat twist to that plotline that made me go “No way.


My Overall Thoughts on A Royal Affair

I wasn’t a huge fan of this book. As a romance, there should have been at least some sort of spark between the main characters. There wasn’t, and it felt fake at the end of the book. It wasn’t believable.

The book’s drug use angle was ridiculous, but I liked how the author chose to show Louis battling through the situation he got himself in. When Louis found himself getting in too deep, he turned to his father. The same father should have been more present in his life.

I loved the art heist storyline. I was shocked at who was behind the heist. I knew that it was the same person supplying Louis his drugs, but I didn’t know his identity. I had a holy crap moment when that happened. Talk about a surprise.

I would recommend that no one under the age of 16 read A Noble Affair. It is a clean book. There is no sex and a couple of brief kissing scenes. Several scenes got violent, and a couple where Louis is high. But nothing explicit.

WWW Wednesday: July 1st, 2020

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WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words.

The Three Ws are:

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


What I am currently reading:

A Letter From America

It is the late 60’s in Tullamore, County Offaly, and life is full of exciting possibilities for Fiona Tracey, as she prepares to leave Ireland to work for a wealthy family in New York.

Fiona’s parents have the local shop and bar, and her younger sisters are already leading independent lives. Bridget is at a convent school preparing to be a nun and Angela has led a life of her own since she was hospitalised up in Dublin for years with childhood polio.

Then, sudden tragedy forces Fiona to postpone her departure for New York. As her mother sinks into illness and depression, her responsibilities mount. When help is offered by her aunt and cousin, Fiona is mystified by her mother’s animosity towards them.

As summer approaches, an American architect, Michael O’Sullivan, takes a room above the bar. Within a short time Fiona finds herself involved in an unexpected and passionate affair.

Then, as a surprising incident threatens Bridget’s vocation, Angela uncovers information which explodes old family secrets.

Before Fiona can embark on an independent life again, perhaps in New York, she must find a new understanding of her family – and of herself.


I recently finished reading:

Immortal Blood (Guardians of the Grail Book 1) by [Stella Wilkinson]

A beautiful witch. A warrior vampire. A journey of desire and danger…

When Lachlan Thorn is entrusted with the task of relocating the Holy Grail, he’d rather work alone. Unfortunately, he requires magical assistance and the only option is Ivy, a gorgeous and feisty witch whose ability to distract him might prove fatal for them both.

Ivy Meadows is new to her inherited magic and had no idea it would draw the attention of vampires. Especially not one who’s a red hot Highlander. She soon learns that while her spells are essential to the protection of the Grail, the success of Lachlan’s mission might be the key to protecting all mankind.

With a horde of enemies literally snapping at their necks, the duo embark on a quest to the mists of Scotland. As passion and peril collide, Ivy is forced back in time, where she connects with Lachlan in the past and discovers the truth about their bond. But Lachlan is tested with an impossible choice. Can he stay resolute in his duty to the Grail even if it means losing the only woman he’s ever truly loved?


What books I think I’ll read next:

A Noble Affair by [Jennie Goutet]

Is there such a thing as Prince Charming?

Chastity didn’t take a teaching job in France to find hers, but a woman can dream, n’est ce pas?

If the father of one of her students—the Viscount Charles Jean Anne Monorie de Brase—is the best local example of princes, Charming or Otherwise, Chastity is ready to put aside any thought of falling in love again.

As much as she would prefer him to keep his distance, it seems there is no avoiding each other. With the ongoing pressure of a repentant ex-boyfriend, a nefarious drug dealer, and an art heist that spans the decades, Chastity and the viscount are thrown together by circumstances she would soon rather forget.

As the intimacy between Charles and Chastity deepens, they must decide if their love is enough to bridge the gap between their disparate worlds, and if happily ever after can exist outside of fairy tales.

Pretty Reckless: A Roommates to Lovers, Tortured Hero Standalone by [Jane Anthony]

I didn’t ask Chase to take me in when my life fell apart. Turns out my BFF has some kind of sick white-knight complex I can’t wrap my head around. He told me I could stay with him under one condition: Absolutely no drugs or booze.

What a killjoy, right?

Despite his bad-boy exterior, Chase has always been my safe haven. The tattooed antidote to my life of crazy. Moving in with him seemed like a great idea but I never expected to start thinking about him the way I have been.

Fantasizing. Lusting. Wondering.

Until a moment of weakness lands him in my bed.

One night of toe-curling, back-bowing passion I’ll never forget. And I’ve tried. It’s impossible.

Chase didn’t fight like hell to get clean and sober just to toss it away on a hot mess like me. I’m a lost cause. Yet, it’s a reckless risk he seems willing to take… even if my salvation means his ruin.

From USA Today bestselling author, Jane Anthony, comes a stunning, standalone masterpiece about addiction, recovery, and reckless, ugly, never-ending love.

**this story is now a full-length standalone

Fatal Desires (Fatal Cross Live! Book 1) by [Theresa Hissong]

Fatal Desires


Fatal Cross Live!


Book 1


For years, I have worked behind the scenes for my cousin’s band, living my life as simply as possible. Running the inner workings of a rock band is the only thing I know to do. My only saving grace is a long vacation soaking up the sun in some exotic locations around the world between tours.


One steamy night on an island with Taylor Vaughn, the guitarist for the rock band Fatal Cross, and my world is turned upside down. When he doesn’t return my calls, I end up going through hell alone. Little do I know, he’s fighting his own personal demons.


When he fills in on my cousin’s tour for a few weeks, I am forced to work with the man who stole my heart months before on a private island. It isn’t easy being around him, but I am determined to keep my head low and pray this tour ends soon, but does anything ever go as planned?

The Recruit: Book One (The Recruit Series: Book 1) by Elizabeth Kelly


The Recruit: Book One (The Recruit Series 1) by [Elizabeth Kelly]

Publisher:

Date of publication: February 19th, 2014

Series: The Recruit

The Recruit: Book One

The Recruit: Book Two

The Recruit: Book Three

The Recruit: Book Four

The Recruit: Book Five

Genre: Paranormal, Romance, Fantasy

Purchase Links: Walmart eBooks | Amazon

Format Read in: ebook

Goodreads Synopsis:

Hannah Torrington lives a perfectly normal and ordinary life until the night her sister is murdered by vampires.

Saved by a Lycan named Will and thrust into a world she never knew existed, Hannah is taken to a secret facility that trains men and women to hunt vampires.

Determined to take her revenge for her sister’s death, Hannah joins the recruit program. As she is pushed to the brink of physical and mental exhaustion by the intense training, she fights her forbidden attraction to her instructor Will and struggles to adjust to her new life.

Please Note: This is book one of a trilogy and contains a cliff-hanger ending.


First Impressions:

I wasn’t very impressed with The Recruit when I first started reading it. That first chapter made me think that this was going to be a hot and heavy romance between Will and Hannah with the hunter recruit program somewhat in the background. I did the one thing that I try not to do when reading books. I judged by the first chapter….sigh.

The feelers for the romance between Hannah and Will were laid out there too. Nothing happened though. A couple encounters that raised their sexual tension by almost 100%. But no sex. I was almost glad that they didn’t do anything that first half of the book and I am glad that the author deliberately kept Will being a Lycan a secret (well not exactly a secret, its kind of hard to explain).


Mid Book Impressions:

Remember how I mentioned that I thought that The Recruit was going to be hot and heavy supernatural romance with a secondary plotline about the hunter recruit program? Well, it wasn’t quite like that. The hunter recruit program became the focal point of the book after Hannah joined it. What I liked is that the author didn’t gloss over the training. Instead, she made Hannah suffer through it. My body ached for her during certain scenes. But, Hannah held on and I was happy about that.

Will and Hannah do have sex a few times. Each time was insanely hot. The first time in the training room took me by surprise. I wasn’t expecting it to be so emotional and caring. They were found out after an encounter during a full moon and they were forced to seperate. That is when the author revealed the full scope of both Will and Hannah’s feelings. My heart broke for the both of them.

There was a storyline added late in the book that evolved around the mole in the facility. It started after the “babies” (the recruits) were attacked at a bar. What I liked is that the mole was mentioned a few times but no real details were given.

Also, and I found this was interesting, was the amount of hate that Lycans got in this book. The “babies” were horrified to learn that Will was a Lycan. When it was found out that Hannah was sleeping with him, she was shunned. Even the instructors carried that hate with them. And it wasn’t just a human versus Lycan type deal. It was Lycan versus human too.


End of Book Impressions

If I wasn’t a fan of the beginning of the book, I absolutely loved the end. I loved Hannah’s character development. She went from being a loner who didn’t like anyone in her personal space to this kick ass warrior who wasn’t afraid to get into other people’s personal spaces. I was 100% Team Hannah at the end of the book. I do wish that more of her training with Chen was highlighted but hey, beggars can’t be choosers.

Will and Hannah’s relationship ran into a huge wall by the end of the book. I am not going to say what but I will say that I wasn’t surprised. I did think that Will approaching Chen in wolf form was a bit much, though. But I understood why what happened happened. My heart broke for Hannah, though. She was truly the loser in that situation. But, I am rooting for them.

OMG, the fight scenes were out of this world!!! If you don’t like blood and gore, than this isn’t the book for you. Because it is bloody and violent.

The book does end on a cliffhanger. I am not a fan of cliffhangers. I would rather my books end resolved than have everything up in the air. But, they do make me want to read the next book. Will I read book 2? Probably.


My Overall Thoughts on The Recruit: Book One

This is a book that I would reread and a series that I could easily get lost in. It has everything that I liked in these types of books: sex, action and danger. The book didn’t truly get started until after Hannah joined the training facility and it gained momentum from there. Will and Hannah’s sexual tension and sex scenes were fantastic, as were the action scenes. I did figure out who the mole was about halfway through (it was obvious). This was a book that I enjoyed reading and, like I said in the first paragraph, one that I badly misjudged.

I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book. The sex scenes and the fight scenes were graphic.

Highland Sword (Royal Highlander: Book 3) by May McGoldrick

Highland Sword: A Royal Highlander Novel by [McGoldrick, May]

3 Stars

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

Date of publication: March 31st, 2020

Genre: Romance

Series: Royal Highlander

Highland Crown—Book 1 (Review Here)

Highland Jewel—Book 2 (Review Here)

Highland Sword—Book 3

Where you can find Highland Sword: Barnes and Noble | Amazon | BookBub

Book Synopsis:

A VOW FOR VENGEANCE
Fleeing to the Highlands after her father’s murder, fiery Morrigan Drummond has a score to settle with Sir Rupert Burney, the English spymaster responsible for his death. Trained to fight alongside the other rebels determined to break Britain’s hold on Scotland, she swears to avenge her father’s death—until a chance encounter with a barrister as proud and principled as she is presents her with a hard choice…and a bittersweet temptation.

A PLEA FOR PASSION
Aidan Grant has never encountered another woman like dangerous beauty Morrigan—and he has the bruises to prove it. Yet she could be the key to defending two innocent men, as well as striking a death blow to the reprehensible Burney. Convincing Morrigan to help him will take time, but Aidan is willing to wait if it means victory over corrupt government forces and freedom for his people…and Morrigan’s hand in marriage. Can two warriors committed to a cause stand down long enough to open their hearts to a love fierce enough to last…forever?


First Line:

The afternoon sun cast a golden glow over the high walled garden beside the keep.

Highland Sword by May McGoldrick

My Review:

I was excited to read Highland Sword. I was excited because this is Morrigan’s book. I wanted to see who would be brave enough to tame her. I also wanted to know more about her. She was rarely mentioned in Highland Crown. In Highland Jewel, she was mentioned, and she did have a couple of scenes that showed how strong she was. Highland Sword more than delivered on that.

Highland Sword is the 3rd book in the Royal Highlander series. It cannot be read as a stand-alone book. You do need to read Highland Crown and Highland Jewel to understand the different backstories in the book. Also, Cinead’s story is fully explained in the first book. The author does explain it here, but it goes more into depth in Highland Crown.

Highland Sword has two, sometimes 3, POVs’. The book is split between Morrigan and Aidan, with Cinead and sometimes his mother’s POV thrown in. The transition between Morrigan and Aidan’s POV’s was wonderfully written. I had no issue following the book went it went back and forth between them.

I loved Morrigan, but I did wonder why she was so standoffish with people. I liked that she didn’t care about going against what was considered the norm for that era. She was independent, and she was handy with just about any weapons, including her fists. I wondered what made her that way. I got my answer and I was horrified. It was then that I understood why she was the way she was.

I liked Aidan. I wished there was more focus on him being a barrister. Seeing how the law worked back then fascinated me. I wanted to know more!! There were points in the book where I thought he was a pushover, but, in hindsight, he wasn’t. He allowed Morrigan to do what she wanted (well, except the last thing she did), and he made sure she was safe.

I wasn’t a fan of how Aidan and Morrigan met. But I wouldn’t say I liked how it was escalated. A knockdown fight between a man and a woman? Nope, not my cup of tea. The romance angle of the book was super slow in getting started. And even after that, I was left halfway wondering if they would break out into a fight again.

I was disappointed to read that Highland Sword was going to be the last book in the Royal Highlander series. There were a few people who I wanted to see get their happy ever afters. But, in the author’s note, there was a hint about more books in that world. I will be anxiously awaiting those.

The end of Highland Sword was sweet. I liked that Aidan and Morrigan got their happily ever after. The epilogue also saddened me.


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

I would reread Highland Sword. I would recommend it to family and friends.

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

Hometown Girl (Into the Storm: Book 6)by Margaret Watson

Hometown Girl (Into the Storm Book 6) by [Watson, Margaret]

4 Stars

Publisher: Dragonfly Press

Date of Publication: January 14th, 2020

Genre: Romance

Series: Into the Storm

To Save His Child—Book 1 (Review Here)

An Innocent Man—Book 2 (Review Here)

An Honorable Man—Book 3 (Review Here)

The Dark Side of the Moon—Book 4 (Review Here)

Family on the Run—Book 5 (Review Here)

Hometown Girl—Book 6

Where you can find Hometown Girl: BookBub | Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Book Synopsis:

To escape from her hometown, Claire Kendall had to leave her past — and her sister — behind…

Now her sister’s sudden death has Claire going home to confront her past and her orphaned nephew — who blames her for saving herself and not his mother. Complicating matters is Tucker Hall, a man who seems to have a genius for getting in the way when it comes to parenting Nick.

Claire know she’ll be happy only once the town of Monroe is a speck in her rearview mirror, but she can’t go before Nick is ready. In the meantime, she’ll have to see a lot of Tucker and hope that he doesn’t give her any reason to stay…


First Line:

Tucker Hall leaned against the wall of the Blackhawk helicopter and pretended to stare out the window.

Hometown Girl by Margaret Watson

My Review:

I have been burnt out on reading lately. I have been finding myself making excuses not to read books, even if they are my favorite author. This reason is why I kept putting off Hometown Girl. I couldn’t bring myself to read it. Well, I decided to revamp my reading schedule. From Friday night to Sunday night, I do not touch my Kindle. I rarely check on how my blog is doing (other than making sure specific posts go live), and I don’t worry about deadlines, overdue books, …etc. Let me tell you all; it has made an enormous difference. When I got to Hometown Girl, I was excited to read it.

Hometown Girl is book 6 in the Into the Storm series. It can be read as a stand-alone book. The prologue in each book is a different take on a covert Afghanistan terrorist raid gone wrong, which is perfect. The author goes over the backstory, and the rest of the book is focused on the romance.

Hometown Girl had a medium paced plotline. Because it was somewhat of a mystery/suspense, I did expect the book to go a bit faster. But, instead, the pacing of the plotline ended up being perfect. There were no dropped storylines or characters either.

I wish that Claire’s backstory had been gone into a bit more. But, at the same time, I am glad that the author kept it a little vague. The abuse she suffered as a child/teen/young adult ended up having more of a wallop, then having it spelled out.

I did think that Claire had a massive chip on her shoulder when it came to her hometown. I understood the awful memories associated with it. I would have been the same way. Her feelings were justified in the beginning/early middle of the book. But by the end, I was over it. The people in the town were not the same people that were there when she was growing up. I felt that she only agreed to stay because Nick wanted her too. And because of her feelings for Tucker.

I loved Tucker. I liked that he found his calling after the cluster that happened in Afghanistan. He took that experience and turned it into something that he used to help kids. I loved reading his coaching scenes. He lifted the kids instead of putting them down. He didn’t take crap from them (or the parents either). He was ethical. That scene where the parents asked him to teach their kids how to cheat (after losing four games in a row) made me mad. Tucker’s response was perfect!!

I liked Nick and man, did I feel for him. His whole world was turned inside out. I didn’t blame him for lashing out at Claire either. His mother just died, and her estranged sister shows up and takes custody of him. I would have been mad too. I loved seeing his gradual acceptance of Claire. It wasn’t overt, but there were little things, like not being sarcastic or showing a childlike enthusiasm for something as simple as a cat.

I liked Claire and Tucker’s romance. It wasn’t a fast-paced, burning hot romance. But, it also wasn’t a romance where you couldn’t see the passion. It was comfortably in the middle. They did have sexual tension and chemistry. The sex scenes weren’t graphic, which was enjoyable. I like an explicit sex scene as much as the next person. But, lately, I have found myself enjoying non-graphic sex scenes.

The plotline that centered around Claire and her sister’s death was interesting. I had a feeling it was going to go the route it did. I also got a feel for at least one of the bad guys halfway through the book. The identity of the killer did surprise me. Looking back, I should have known it was that person. Actions speak louder than words!!

The plotline that involved Claire, her ex-husband, and his wife was well written. I loved how Claire handled her ex. I laughed when she called his bluff about Nick’s father. I did think Claire was a bit stalkerish when it came to his wife. Considering that Claire had been married to him and knew what life was like with him, she was right to approach her.

The end of Hometown Girl was your typical romance HEA. I loved that Tucker was finally able to come clean to Claire about his past. Honestly, I thought it was going to be worse than it was when it was revealed. I also loved the scene with Nick. It showed how far he had come!!


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

I would reread Hometown Girl. I would recommend it to family and friends.

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