Tuesday, May 23, 2017

The Darkest Corner by Liliana Hart

Title: The Darkest Corner
Author: Liliana Hart
My Rating: B+

Genre: Romantic Suspense
Series: Gravediggers #1
Main Characters: Deacon and Tess
Release Date: May 2017
Publisher:  Pocket Books
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: spicy

Story Overview:
New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author Liliana Hart’s first book in her suspenseful Gravediggers series, featuring an elite group of mysterious men who might be dead to the world, but are also tasked with saving it—and no one can ever know.

The Gravediggers aren’t exactly what they seem. They’re the most elite of the world’s fighting forces—and all they have in common is that they’ve been betrayed by the countries they’ve died for. Because they are dead. To their country, their military, and their families.

Sometimes the dead do rise...

Solomon Lange is a dead man walking. A former black ops agent, he was disavowed and stripped of all honor before being recruited as a Gravedigger. But his honor and good name no longer matter, because no one knows he’s alive, and he’ll never get the recognition he deserves. His mission is simple: save the world or die trying. And for God’s sake, don’t ever fall in love. That’s a rule punishable by death. The kind of death a man can’t be brought back from.

Tess Sherman is the only mortician in Last Stop, Texas. She has no idea how Solomon Lange ended up in her funeral home, but she’ll eat her hat if he’s only a funeral home assistant. Solomon is dangerous, deadly, and gorgeous. And she knows her attraction to him can only end in heartache.

Solomon is on a mission to stop the most fatal terror attack the world has ever known—what’s known as The Day of Destiny—a terrorist’s dream. But when he discovers Tess has skills he can use to stop them, he has to decide if he can trust her with secrets worth dying for. And, most important, he has to decide if he can trust her with his heart.

My Review:
This is the first in a new romantic suspense series by Liliana Hart. I thoroughly enjoyed this first book. It's about the Gravediggers. They are a group of 5-6 guys who have been "brought back to life" after being condemned as rogue agents. They are part of a shadow operation to bring down terrorism throughout the world. They just happen to run their operation from the mortuary in this tiny Texas town outside Dallas. 

Okay, straight up...you're going to have to suspend some disbelief on this one. Five burly guys working in a mortuary in a town of 3500 people...yeah, that's not suspicious at all. LOL. So...go into it knowing that some of the details aren't quite realistic.

This first book features Deacon. He was the first gravedigger brought back to life, and Tess, the woman who runs the mortuary. Although these guys have been part of her mortuary operation for two years, Deacon has never given any hint that he wants more. And Tess hasn't really become suspicious until one night an unknown dead body shows up on her embalming table. Suddenly everything is thrown into upheaval. Tess has to be brought into the "know" or else she's become expendable. Something that none of the guys are okay with. Deacon claims her as his to protect and bring in.

The book was interesting and entertaining. There was enough going on in this first book to keep it moving, even though a lot of the story was the complex set-up of how all this organization works. I'm anxious to see how the series plays out. I really like the entire group of guys. They come from all over the world and many different special ops groups. Like I said...interesting and a good start. I'm ready to read more and would definitely recommend this one.

I received a complimentary copy of this book in return for an honest review.

Buns by Alice Clayton

Title: Buns
Author: Alice Clayton
My Rating: A

Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Hudson Valley #3
Main Characters: Clara and Archie
Release Date: May 2017
Publisher:  Gallery
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: spicy

Story Description:
Clara Morgan is living the dream, if you can call rebranding hotels that are desperate for a new life and running any kind of marathon a dream. Which she does. But the career she loves and the endurance races that keep her adrenaline pumping have kept her too busy to put down any roots. Growing up in foster care, she’s never been able to establish traditions of her own, which may be why she’s fascinated by the rituals that generations-old family resorts are known for. She’s especially interested in the Bryant Mountain House, and not just for their secret recipe for the yummy, gooey, can’t-get-enough-of Hot Cross Buns….

Archie Bryant, the man with the Buns, is fifth generation and one-day-owner of the charming yet run-down Bryant Mountain House in Bailey Falls, New York. He’s determined to save his family’s legacy from the wrecking ball the old-fashioned way—by gritting his teeth and doing what needs to be done. There’s no way Archie will be influenced by the new hotel branding expert his father brought in to turn one hundred and fifty years of tradition on its head just to attract a faster, younger, slicker crowd. But when some of Clara’s ideas start bringing in new, paying customers, Archie can’t deny that she may have just given him a shot at keeping his resort open.

It’s sticky, it’s messy, it’s sweet, it’s Buns.

My Review:
First takeaway from this book...I really want to go to upstate New York and visit an inn like this one. Even with all the issues at the Bryant Mountain House, I still fell in love with it. I loved the author's descriptions of the inn and the entire area. It sounded like heaven. 

Clara has been brought in by the Bryant patriarch to breathe new life into the 150 year old family inn which has been in decline for the last few decades. Clara immediately falls in love with the area and the inn and is brimming with ideas. But there's one HUGE problem...the owner's son, Archie. 

Archie is completely resistant to everything Clara suggests. He's paranoid that she wants to change the very things that make the Bryant Mountain House the independent, unique inn it is. He doesn't want to become like every other chain hotel out there and refuses to hear when Clara assures him that that isn't her goal either. 

This story very much starts out as an enemies to lovers story. From the moment Clara comes onto the scene, Archie fights her. He doesn't want her there and he doesn't do a thing to hide the fact. This book very much fits into the style that Alice Clayton is known for, but the setting really made this book. I loved it all so much...from the inn to the lake to the mountain to the historic details. It's all so good and makes it so much fun to get to visit this setting via the romance. 

The romance is a slow burn and build. These two really are at odds when the story begins, but gradually they begin to realize that maybe the other person isn't the enemy they thought they were. I liked both of them. They really are striving toward the same goal although they don't see that at the beginning. The chemistry was awesome (that's always one of the best things about enemies to lovers).

This entire series has been wonderful, but I think this was my favorite of the group. I truly fell in love with Archie and Clara and the Bryant Mountain House.

I received a complimentary copy of this book in return for an honest review.

Surrender the Dark by Tibby Armstrong

Title: Surrender the Dark
Author: Tibby Armstrong
My Rating: B+

Genre: Paranormal Romance (m/m)
Series: Dark #1
Main Characters: Benjamin and Tzadkiel
Release Date: May 2017
Publisher:  Loveswept
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: spicy


Story Overview:
As a provocative series of paranormal temptation begins, a vampire king seduces the supernaturally gifted man hunting him. But when the stakes are literally life or death, their struggle for control is no game.

Benjamin Fuller is a hunter, born and bred. Blinded as a child by the vampire who slaughtered his family, he’s blessed with a second sight that allows him to catch and kill his quarry. What his gift can’t help him see coming is his fierce, almost carnal attraction to the mystery man who claims to be a fellow hunter and whose touch triggers both lust and revulsion. When he gains the upper hand, Benjamin vows to bring his enemy to his knees.

After many years spent in exile, the only one who can help restore Tzadkiel Dragoumanos to his rightful place as War King is a blind hunter with golden curls, a lithe dancer’s physique, and distinctive facial scars—scars Tzadkiel gave him two decades ago. The mere scent of Benjamin Fuller provokes an unwelcome rush of insatiable desire. Yet to win an all-out supernatural war, Tzadkiel must resist the ravenous hunger to possess his prey—for now.

My Review:
I wasn't sure what to expect from this book, but I liked it...a lot. 

The book starts when Benjamin was an 8 yo little boy, being trained by his family to be a vampire hunter. His training is beyond barbaric...both from the perspective of the little boy and the vampire. Those first few scenes are pretty rough. Then the book jumps ahead almost 20 years...and once again the vampire and the hunter are facing off, but both their lives have been greatly affected by what happened to them 20 years ago. 

They each see one another as the enemy, but they really don't know the other person, because they're both wrong. 

This is an interesting story and an interesting world. Of course there are vampires, but Benjamin as a hunter has a bit of paranormal abilities too. He's been blinded, but he can still see the glow of paranormal beings auras...that enables him to hunt. It was interesting because when Tzadkiel is around, his aura makes it so that Benjamin can actually see...even if it's by a purple glow. 

The whole conflict between Tzadkiel and Benjamin worked. They are so far on opposite sides, they can't even see that maybe they both need to adjust their way of thinking...until they have no choice. I liked how their relationship developed. It felt natural as things slowly turn around. I loved getting to experience their developing relationship with them. It was a totally engrossing, entertaining read. 

But there are also fae and witches who affect the story...and will definitely come into play in the rest of the series. It should be interesting. There is Benjamin's team in his vampire hunting. Lots of interesting stories happening with them. I'm honestly really excited about where this series could go. This was a great first book, and I'm ready for more...NOW!

I received a complimentary copy of this book in return for an honest review.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Pucked by Helena Fielding (audiobook)

Title:  Pucked
Author: Helena Hunting
My Rating: A
Narrator: Nathan Everett and Muffy Newton

Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Pucked #1
Main Characters: Violet and Alex
Release Date: February 2016 (audiobook)
Publisher: Audible Studios
Links to Purchase
Sexual Intensity: erotic

Story Overview:
Narrated by: Nathan Everett, Muffy Newtown
Length: 10 hrs and 48 mins
Unabridged Audiobook


The first standalone novel in The Pucked Series

With a famous NHL player for a stepbrother, Violet Hall is well acquainted with the playboy reputation of many a hockey star. So of course she isn't interested in legendary team captain Alex Waters or his pretty, beat-up face and rock-hard six-pack abs. But when Alex inadvertently obliterates Violet's misapprehension regarding the inferior intellect of hockey players, he becomes much more than just a hot body with the face to match. Suffering from a complete lapse in judgment, Violet discovers just how good Alex is with the hockey stick in his pants.

Violet believes her night of orgasmic magic with Alex is just that: one night. But Alex starts to call. And text. And email and send extravagant - and quirky - gifts. Suddenly he's too difficult to ignore and nearly impossible not to like. The problem is, the media portrays Alex as a total player, and Violet doesn't want to be part of the game.

My Review:
Overall: 4.5
Performance: 4.5
Story: 4.25

This was my first foray into the Pucked world and I liked it, even if Violet's character is sometimes a little hard to take because she's outspoken, irreverent, and so many times really inappropriate. But at her heart, she's not a bad person. She just loses control of her tongue sometimes. It's really very funny. 

Violet has absolutely NO intention of getting involved with a hockey player. Been there, done that, has the scars on her heart leftover from it. But then Alex comes into her life. He's charming, funny, and actually smart. He's so much more than she ever expected and she finds herself incredibly charmed and nowhere close to turned off. 

This book was so fun and sexy. I loved Alex. Despite his reputation, he's just simply a good guy and deserves to find some happiness...and Violet definitely makes him happy. 

I also really enjoyed the story as an audiobook. I'm so excited that I'm discovering the series now...when I can sit back and devour all the audiobooks back to back. I've already downloaded the second book onto my iPod and can't wait to get started on it. 

A short review, but this book has been very widely read, so I'm sure I can't add anything new to what others have read. Just know I did enjoy it...especially the audiobook version of it. Note: I really loved the male narrator's Canadian accent. 


Friday, May 19, 2017

Dangerously Distracted by Angela Evans

Title: Dangerously Distracted
Author: Angela Evans
My Rating: B

Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Barefoot Bay Kindle Worlds
Main Characters: Leslie and Michael
Release Date: May 2017
Publisher:  Kindle Worlds
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: spicy



Story Overview:
Leslie Manning made the mistake of falling in love once, and other than her two beautiful sons, she has nothing good to show from the experience. She doesn’t need another man in her life now, but being a single mother is anything but easy. When a celebrity wedding brings a hunky security specialist to Barefoot Bay, Leslie is determined to keep him at arm’s length. Except the more she gets to know him, the more she wants to pull him closer.

Michael Duncan has built a business and a career by never leaving anything to chance and never missing a single detail that could put his clients in danger. That legendary focus is threatened any time Leslie is nearby. All too quickly, the only thing he wants to focus on is getting to know the young widow and her two rambunctious boys. 

Michael relies on his skills to keep his clients safe, but no one’s record can be perfect. With all of Michael’s attention focused on keeping his celebrity client safe, and persuading Leslie to open her heart, Michael just might miss the one threat that matters the most.

My Review:
I've only read a few books that take place in the Barefoot Bay world. I like this small little Florida community. It's fun with an interesting tourist draw.

In this novella, we get to meet Michael, a security expert on the island making security preparations for his client's wedding and Leslie works in the bakery making the wedding cake. 

With the briefness of the book this relationship moves pretty quickly. It was a fun set up. Leslie is a single mother left with her two young boys after her first husband died. She doesn't plan on making the mistake of marrying again...but she also doesn't count on meeting and falling for Michael. 

All of this takes place over a few weeks although Michael is only on the island for a day or two at a time every few weeks. There are lots of things that add depth in the background...both Leslie and Michael's back stories which heavily influence how they got to this place. There's also this high profile wedding going on which is key to both of their careers. This isn't the best time to be distracted in any way. 

So, no, they aren't ready for a relationship...especially Leslie who was really unhappy with her first marriage. And that's before they even cross over the issues of the difficulties of having a relationship with their very different geographical locations.

This is a quick, fun read. It's easy and entertaining. There's a lot of story in a few words so the story moves quick, but that makes it simple to stay completely invested with everything that's happening. I liked both the main characters and the way that the story happened around them to keep it all interesting.

I received a complimentary copy of this book in return for an honest review.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Cover Reveal: A Promise Broken by Anissa Garcia

A First Look at A Promise Broken by Anissa Garcia!


In A PROMISE BROKEN, Hilary is in need of a distraction from her wounded heart, and that distraction comes in the form of Zach Collins. The only problem is, he’s her brother’s best friend. Readers will love this standalone contemporary romance, featuring characters seen in A PROMISE KEPT and A PROMISE MADE.

Add A PROMISE BROKEN to your TBR pile on Goodreads! Then keep reading to get a sneak peek at A PROMISE BROKEN  and to enter the giveaway for a $20 Amazon gift card!





Title: A Promise Broken
Author: Anissa Garcia
Genre: Contemporary Romance, New Adult
Release Date: July 10, 2017
Publisher: AG Romance Reads LLC
Series: The Promise Series
Format: Digital and Print
Digital ISBN: 978-0-9975430-5-6
Add it on Goodreads:
http://bit.ly/2qgTKc0



Synopsis:

After a relationship gone bad, Hilary Matthews felt unsure about where she belonged or what to do with her life. Cue Zach Collins, a love ‘em and leave ‘em, no strings attached type of guy. The perfect distraction for her wounded heart. Just one problem. Zach isn’t some random stranger. He’s her brother’s best friend, and more than that, he’s practically family.  And to complicate matters, just when things start to heat up between them, she learns there’s more to Zach than he let on.
Zach’s job as assistant to an A-list actor allows him the luxury of women, travel, freedom and fun. But things changed the moment Hilary made her move, completely altering his world. Hilary is his fantasy come to life, his dream woman in the flesh…and his best friend’s little sister. Stepping over the line with her would not only ruin his friendship, but possibly alienate him from the only family he’s ever known.
The pressure mounts as truths are exposed. Embroiled in betrayal, lies, guilt, and heartache, Hilary and Zach must decide if the biggest emotion of all is worth the turmoil. With so much at stake, the repercussions from a promise broken would cause the battle of their lives.

Enter to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card from Anissa Garcia! Three (3) runners-up will receive an eBook of A Promise Kept



A Promise Broken Excerpt
Copyright © 2017 Anissa Garcia
I didn’t say anything. Instead my eyes roamed down his body as he approached. His jeans and shirt were perfectly snug. He sat beside me grabbing the remote, and I was hyper aware of his proximity. He smelled like fabric softener and aftershave. It was familiar and comfortable.
            “Hilary,” his voice was soft as his eyes met mine. “Stop looking at me like that.” 
            “Like what?” I blinked at him with innocence.
            “Like you want me to make love to you,” he said breathlessly. 
            My heart skipped a beat. I fumbled with my hands. “Don’t flatter yourself, Collins.” His phone trilled from his pocket. He reached in to check it, looked at the screen and hit the end button. “Who’s Isabella?” 
He hesitated. “Uh, my chef.” 
I rolled my eyes. “Bullshit. You know I can tell when you’re lying.”  
            “I’m not lying,” he laughed. “She’s my chef.”
            “And your fuck buddy?” His eyes closed. Yup, he slept with her. His whole body tensed. “Do you like her?” 
            His eyes shot to mine. “No. I mean, yes, but…not in that way.”
            The pang of possessiveness that swept through me was familiar to when Graham said he was working late, and that his co-worker was just that. “Is she pretty?” I asked quietly. 
            He nodded. “Very.” 
            “Oh.” Ouch, that stung more than I wish it had. I snapped out of my pity party and stood. “Well, then? Why aren’t you answering her call? You could be with her now.” 
            His bewilderment was obvious as I rushed to the window. It was hot and I needed a draft, and he was right. Drinking around each other wasn’t a good idea. He watched as I yanked on edges of the glass, trying to pry the window open. 
“I told you I don’t care for her in that way.” 
            “So? You don’t have to care for her in that way in order to fuck. You did it already, didn’t you?” I struggled, but it wouldn’t budge. “Dammit, the window won’t open, and it’s so hot in here.” 
            “Only once,” he mumbled, as if reluctant. 
            “Spare me the details, Zachary.” I tugged, becoming breathless as I fought against it. My voice pitched higher as I hit the edges with my palms. "Stupid window.” 
            He drew up behind me, placing his hands over mine. I froze as his body pressed against me. We lingered, my back on his chest. Fast paced breaths escaped him. His mouth was near my ear, the humidity of his breathing caused me to tremble. 
            “Gently,” he spoke affectionately, drawing the window up. The crisp air didn’t make a difference when his warm body was near mine. His hands wrapped around my waist and he squeezed for only a second as his lips descended between my neck and shoulder. He gave the skin there a sweet kiss. His lips lingered longer than they should’ve. “You’re beautiful,” he whispered. His nose grazed over my neck as he pulled away. “Graham will regret letting you go for the rest of his life.” 
            Chills ran down my spine, all thoughts of Graham long vanished. My ringing body turned, needing more of Zach’s touch. His warm palms cupped my cheeks. I wanted more of him. All of him. He looked amazing tonight. I loved the way his emerald green eyes anchored on mine, promising me my darkest desires were a whisper away. His thick, dark hair swirled in waves I wanted to run my hands through. His strong touch had me reeling, and when he denied himself being a good man, instead of pushing me away, it only made feelings trickle in through the cracks of my heart. 
He backed off, headed to the stairs, escaping me, leaving me in complete need. Bitterness toward my brother was creeping over me. Zach wouldn’t lose his friend, his boss. I was a risk he wasn’t willing to take. I had to remember what Zach said when he left me that day. Hilary, this can’t ever happen. I was sure he’d stick by what he said. He was a good man, after all, and a good man didn’t break his promises, but maybe, just maybe, some promises were meant to be broken.    

Praise for The Promise Series

"Fall in love with Evan and Grace in A Promise Kept, an absolutely delicious debut from Anissa Garcia." - New York Times, USA Today Bestselling Author, J. Kenner on A PROMISE KEPT

"A super sweet, sexy romance that left me with the biggest smile on my face. I totally loved A Promise Kept!" - New York Times, USA Today Bestselling Author, AL Jackson on A PROMISE KEPT

"Anissa Garcia has the unique ability to draw out emotions that I didn't even know I had." - Devious Book Blog on A PROMISE KEPT

"This has to be the most beautifully and well written book that I have read this year!" - Danielle, Short and Sassy Reviews on A PROMISE KEPT

"A Promise Made was lovely, sweet, intriguing, and proved that true love can and will prevail. Five star contemporary romance." - Audrey Carlan,#1 NYT Bestselling Author on A PROMISE MADE

"Anissa Garcia delivers us another sexy romance with strong characters you can't help but fall in love with. She promises to be an author to watch out for and add to your must click list!" - Love Affair With Fiction on A PROMISE MADE
 

Other Books in The Promise Series

A PROMISE KEPT
A PROMISE MADE
A PROMISE IGNITED (a short story)
UNDERCOVER ATTRACTION (Coming soon!)


About Anissa Garcia
Anissa Garcia resides in Austin, Texas and earned her Bachelor's Degree in Speech Communications and English. She has held an array of jobs including Public Relationship Manager for Barnes and Noble. Wanting a change of pace, she moved to Los Angeles where she attended The American Academy of Dramatic Arts, and trained full-time in theatre. After working in Hollywood, she returned to Texas where she has written articles for Cosmopolitan and Lady Couture. When not writing stores, watching movies, or drinking a latte, she loves to daydream about romantic fictional men. You can find her online at  http://www.anissagarcia.com.                                                                          
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