Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Protector for Hire by Tawna Fenske

Title: Protector for Hire
Author: Tawna Fenske
My Rating: A

Genre: Romantic Suspense 
Series: Front and Center #4
Main Characters: Schwartz and Janelle
Release Date: June 2015
Publisher: Entangled
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: hot

Story Overview:
Keeping her safe is crucial. Guarding his heart is impossible. 

Haunted by his time in Iraq, former soldier Schwartz Patton goes off the grid, retreating deep into Montana’s untamed wilderness. Now, ten years into his self-imposed solitude, his brother tracks him down and asks for a favor. A woman is in danger, and she needs help...and Schwartz is the only one who can protect her.

Designer-loving city girls like Janelle Keebler don't belong in the wilderness. Unless, of course, they're witnesses to a murder by their psycho drug-trafficking ex-husbands. Still, Janelle can't help the immediate physical response she has to her sexy-as-sin protector that leaves her wanting more than she could have ever imagined. Even if he does make terrible coffee...

Every word, every touch, every kiss ignites a need Schwartz thought he’d lost forever. He can't stop the desperate attraction simmering between him and Janelle, even if he wanted to. Even if it means it could get them both killed.


My Review:
I loved this book and now I need to go back and read the first three because what I saw of this family, I LOVE!!

First and foremost, this book is about Schwartz. If there's ever been a hero that needs a hug it's this guy. My heart ached for him, because this is a guy who is so mentally wounded after a mission went wrong in Iraq. It went so wrong that he's spent the last 10 years living the life of a hermit as a way to punish himself (although he doesn't see that) for surviving when no one else did. But he's such a good guy and has spent that 10 years making sure his family knows that he hasn't abandoned them. Although only one of his siblings knows how to reach him, he's never missed a holiday, birthday, or event. His thoughts are constantly with them and he misses them dearly. And it's because of his family that he meets Janelle. She's his brothers sister in law and she's being hunted by her evil ex. The only place she can be safe is off the grid, with Schwartz. He's managed to stay hidden for 10 years...he can do the same for her.

Then there's Janelle. Wow, I loved her so much. Schwartz is anti-social and a bit scary, but she doesn't let him intimidate her in the least. Their back and forth kept me giggling all through reading this book. But at the same time, I could feel for her. She married a psychotic criminal and had no clue. As soon as she did, she got out, but now she doubts her ability to judge anyone and if they would be a good match for her. But she quickly recognizes Schwartz's amazing heart and soul and the book is just so good for it. 

This is an unusual set-up for a book. You don't find many hermits who make good heroes, but Tawna Fenske created an amazing one here. I loved that initial scene between Schwartz and his brother, Grant, and how Schwartz looks like the Unabomber. I also just really loved all the dialogue between Schwarz and Janelle. The book was sweet, fun, and a bit suspenseful. I loved every single moment of reading it and like I said when I started this review, now I need to go back and read the first three. I love this family and their war-themed ties...LOL. Their names alone are great and their mom is a spit-fire...no wonder her kids turned out so awesome!

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

Redemption Bay by RaeAnne Thayne

Title: Redemption By
Author: RaeAnne Thayne
My Rating: A

Genre: Contemporary Romance 
Series: Haven Point #2
Main Characters: McKenzie and Ben
Release Date: June 2015
Publisher: Harlequin
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: mild

Story Overview:
New York Times bestselling author RaeAnne Thayne brings you back to Haven Point—a place made for second chances…

McKenzie Shaw would do anything for her beloved hometown of Haven Point. It may be small and struggling, but it's never let her down…unlike gorgeous, infuriating Ben Kilpatrick. He was her childhood hero until he closed his family's factory, leaving the town's economy in shambles. Now he's back—his tech firm is considering opening a local facility. For Haven Point's sake, McKenzie has to grit her teeth and play nice.

What could a town filled with painful memories ever offer Ben? He left Haven Point behind years ago, for good reason. Yet seeing the town through the eyes of McKenzie—its fiery young mayor—he suddenly has his answer. If only he can resolve the animosity crackling between them, Ben may have found the place where he can build ties and find healing…a place where love arrives when it's least expected.
 

My Review:
This is the first time I've ever read this author and I was pleasantly impressed. I really thoroughly enjoyed this story and getting to know the little town of Haven Point. 

RaeAnne Thayne has expertly woven a story with two wonderfully deep characters with hidden scars that tie to this one small little town where they grew up. But their view on the town and those scars are very different. 

For McKenzie, she came to town at the age of ten after her single mother died. With no one to care for her, she came to the father who never knew she existed because he cheated on his wife. His wife let McKenzie into her home, but was never fully accepting of her. I can't imagine dealing with that situation as the wife, but she seemed extraordinarily cruel to take this grieving girl in and change her name. No, before that time, McKenzie was not her name. But McKenzie is an incredibly strong, positive person and she's always looked at that time as a blessing. Her stepmother may have been a trial, but she gained a loving father and sister out of the deal. And she got to move to Haven Point. 

Ben's story has threads of similarity. He grew up in this town in a loving family. But when he was ten years old, they found out his sister had cystic fibrosis and the resulting medical testing ruined his life. His loving father turned cruel to both him and his mother, and to a young boy, he couldn't understand why. When his sister died when he was 18, he left his hometown and never ever wanted to look back. He resents that his mother didn't stand up for him and still has no idea what he did to the man who used to love him. 

I loved the complexities of the story. McKenzie is the mayor of the town now. She wouldn't have chosen this job, but she wants only what's best for her small town and I loved her passion for doing her best. McKenzie has to deal with difficult citizens all the time, but her empathy knows no bounds. She can always see the pain below the complaints and manages to not take them to heart even when people are flat-out attacking her. She's so strong. She made for a great heroine! Ben has been tasked by the tech company he works for to find a new location for their latest endeavor and the owner of the company wants Haven Point considered. Ben hates that he has to come back to this small town. But I loved getting to see his views change as the book progresses. 

There are so many little details that were great about this book. I loved McKenzie and Ben's dogs and how they were instant friends. Their joint properties were gorgeous to visualize as well as Ben's antique wooden boat. I loved the characters that make up the town and just the overall atmosphere of the town and the scenes/events where the book took place. 

This author has found a new fan. Now, I'm excited because book #1 and #3 are both Christmas stories which are a favorite of mine. I plan to go back and read #1 since it's already out and am looking forward to #3 which comes out in September. I'll definitely be keeping my eyes out for this author in the future. I definitely recommend this one. And no worries, if you're like me and want to jump into this series with this book, it's perfection as a stand-alone. The characters from #1 are in this, but not once did I ever feel lost or like I was missing something by not having read that first book before this one. 

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

Monday, June 29, 2015

Buried Bodies by Kelly Apple

Title: Buried Bodies
Author: Kelly Apple
My Rating: A

Genre: New Adult Paranormal
Series: Anderson High Wolves #1
Main Characters: Jenny and Evan
Release Date: June 2015
Publisher: 
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: spicy

Story Overview:
Jenny Reynolds may be a mere human, but her life is anything but ordinary.

She’s juggling her senior year of high school, a sick mom, a brother who depends on her, and, oh yeah, there’s the matter of a body in the trunk of her car. As if that isn’t enough, the werewolf quarterback of her high school’s all-shifter football team has started sniffing around.

Evan Carmichael never noticed Jenny as more than the cute girl in his class until the day he smelled blood and death on her. Now she’s all he can think about. And when a werewolf becomes intrigued, he’ll do anything to keep the object of his fascination safe.

Even hide a body.

What’s a girl to do when the most beautiful boy in school wants to help her out of her jam? If she’s smart, she takes him up on the offer…


My Review:
This book has the best beginning I've read in a long time. Most teenage girls don't start out their high school day shuttling their little brother to school and thinking about their dead stepfather who they murdered the night before...who just happens to be in the trunk. Haha...yeah, this isn't your typical NA/YA, but it was so fun. 

Jenny has a lot on her plate and she's only 17. As a result, she has a great inner monologue. Make breakfast, dump the body, don't look at the cute quarterback...you know, just like every high school girl does. But the quarterback isn't exactly the normal guy either. He's Evan and he's an alpha werewolf...which means he can scent the lingering blood on Jenny and the body in her trunk.

This book is not very long, but it didn't skimp on story or details. I loved reading it. It was fun with a snarky edge of wit that kept me smiling. I love that despite everything going on, Jenny is still just a normal girl who can't believe that Evan could really be interested in her. He's the quarterback and an alpha...she's just a normal girl...who sometimes gets so angry as to murder people. Obviously she has a spine of steel...the girl is dealing with a lot and that makes her a perfect mate for this strong werewolf. But she's still young...and shy...and so sweet, you just want to wrap her up in your arms and protect her. Luckily, Evan is definitely up for the job. Rawr...he was hot, and protective, and so, so, so much about the mine aspect of the shifter society. Loved that!

It was a great book and gave the reader a good glimpse of this werewolf pack at the local high school. I'm hearing rumors that there are at least a couple more books to come in the series...YES! I can't wait. This book is the perfect amount of romance and shifter sexiness in one sweet little novella to entertain you for an hour or two.


Can't Fight This Feeling by Christie Ridgway

Title: Can't Fight This Feeling
Author: Christie Ridgway
My Rating: B

Genre: Contemporary Romance  
Series: Cabin Fever #3
Main Characters: Brett and Angelica
Release Date: June 2015
Publisher: Harlequin
Links to Purchase:


Sexual Intensity: spicy


Story Overview:
Welcome back to charming Blue Arrow Lake as temptation sizzles in a glittering new romance from USA Today bestselling author Christie Ridgway... 

Blue-collar landscaper Brett Walker has no interest in the Hollywood vacationers flocking to his hometown in the California mountains. But the scarred ex-soldier does have a duty to protect Blue Arrow Lake—and the family ski resort—from a serial burglar. So when he suspects a break-in, he takes action…and ends up catching sinfully tempting down-on-her-luck heiress Angelica Rodriguez. She reminds him of trouble, but he can't deny her a safe place to stay—in one of his cabins. 

Angelica has plenty of reasons to distrust—losing her money to her father's legal woes being one of them. Getting up close and naughty with rough, tough and sexy Brett tempts her out of her comfort zone and into the arms of a man who's not from her wealthy world. She's after safety and he's chasing justice, but the fire between them might reveal that all they want is each other.

My Review:
Overall, I've enjoyed this entire series. It's the story of four siblings who've inherited a mountain resort...this is my kind of setting. In this mountain community, the locals are leery of the flat-landers, which is what Angelica is.

Angelica is the pampered daughter of a man who's been convicted of financial crimes. Suddenly she finds herself locked out of her home, and her father has emptied out all her accounts of HER money that she earned modeling. Immediately, I felt empathy for her character. It doesn't take long before she's sleeping in her car, but she's willing to work. 

Brett doesn't trust Angelica...or anyone for that matter. He's upfront with all his women...one night...no more. But with her, he can sense that she needs help and his innate need to protect comes to the forefront, whether he wants it to or not. 

While I enjoyed this book and I really loved the setting, I wasn't riveted. Honestly my favorite part of the story was the mystery of Zan...I'm so ready for that book. I loved the glimpses of romance that we get to see between Mac and him. I also loved the side romance between Kyle and Grace...I really could have dealt with them as the main couple as there seemed to be a little more sexual tension to their story than we got with Brett and Angelica. But it's not that I didn't like their story. It just wasn't as suspense filled as it could have been. There's also a bit of a mystery to the story that was disappointing in that it was so obvious...at least to me...and I never figure out who did it or why.

The book was enjoyable. No, it wasn't the best in the series, but they can't all be that. I liked the story and the characters and the setting. And I loved getting to see the characters from the first story. Now, bring on Zan and Mac...I NEED to know more!

Note: Although I think that cover is beautiful, it's so not right for this story. This is a book set in the fall, on the cusp of winter. It's an issue because the heroine knows that if she's going to stay in town she has to get a new car for the coming snow. The cover should reflect that. 

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

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Wolf with Benefits by Shelly Laurenston (audiobook)

Title: Wolf with Benefits
Author: Shelly Laurenston
My Rating: A-
Narrator: Charlotte Kane

Genre: Paranormal Romance 
Series: Pride #8
Main Characters: Toni and Ricky 
Release Date: March 2014
Publisher: Tantor Audio
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: mild

Story Overview:
There's nothing like a good-ol'-boy wolf. And ace security expert Ricky Lee Reed serves, protects, and seduces with all the right moves . . . 

Sure, Toni Jean-Louis Parker has to be the responsible oldest sister to a crazy-brilliant clan of jackal siblings. But now she's cutting loose for some hot, sweaty, no-commitments fun--and the sexy, slow-talking, swift-moving predator assigned to keep her family safe is just the right thing to shapeshift her love life into overdrive. Trouble is, he's starting to get all obsessive wolf on her every time he looks in her direction. 


Getting serious about anyone isn't in Ricky Lee Reed's plans. Hell, even now he doesn't really have a plan--outside of catching whomever is threatening this dangerously brilliant family. But the more he sees of Toni, the more he's howling for her. And whatever it takes to convince her that what they have is everything, well, this wily wolf is down for the sizzling chase.
 

My Review:
Overall: 4.25
Performance: 4.0
Story:4.25

This is one of those series that I read the first book ages ago and LOVED it. But I can never find time to slide the books into my jam-packed read pile, although I think I own all of them. So when this audio came up on a special sale at some point in time, I snagged it knowing that it's sometimes easier for me to sneak in audio reading rather than print reading. 

I slid this one in out of order, but I enjoyed it thoroughly, nonetheless. Toni is an awesome character. She's the eldest of ten siblings and is the only one who is not a prodigy. But whether she is a prodigy or not, she is a superior organizer. She keeps the lives and schedules of her ten very talented, very busy, very demanding siblings organized. Unfortunately, those ten are pretty narcissistic...the same as their mother. So very few of them really appreciate the huge efforts Toni makes on their behalf. So far, her career has been her family. She wants and deserves more. I adore how she gets her job with the hockey team. She's just one of those no-nonsense characters who I truly fell in love with. And I could feel for her just because although she's incredibly resourceful and smart, being compared to her siblings constantly would drive down anyone's self-confidence. Yet, Toni still rises above all that...over and over again. She is so freaking smart.

Then there's Ricky Lee. His character was awesome through the audiobook, because the narrator nailed his laid back, southern charm and accent. That alone added so much to the story. He seems like he's almost lazy, but when it comes to his security firm and job, he is a serious take-charge guy. I loved that we got to see both sides of him. It made him an great character.

I haven't read a whole lot of Shelly Laurenston's books, but from what I have read, I love her snark and wit. Her books are laugh out loud fun and funny. So entertaining to read and this one definitely fell along that line, too. I constantly found myself giggling at the antics of the characters in the book, especially the males. But the kids are just as funny. Kyle...I can't imagine dealing with him in real life, but in the book, he was awesomely entertaining. The set-up is fabulously fun and you can't help but to admire Toni for her perseverance. But I also loved how Ricky loved to just sit back and watch her maneuver the world around her. He takes such pure joy from her skills and you could see that in the story. I loved the two of them together. They seem like an unlikely couple, but they work so brilliantly together. 

I truly enjoyed this book and the audio of it was absolutely fantastic. There are so many voices and Charlotte Kane was brilliant creating so many different ones. I highly recommend it.

Friday, June 26, 2015

A Matter of Time Vol 2 by Mary Calmes

Title: A Matter of Time Vol. 2
Author: Mary Calmes
My Rating: A

Genre: Romantic Suspense (m/m)
Series: A Matter of Time #3 and #4
Main Characters: Jory and Sam
Release Date: August 2010
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: hot



Story Overview:
Vol. 2 (Books Three and Four)

Three years ago, Jory Harcourt changed his name and shut the door on a past full of pain, only to emerge stronger on the other side. He has a new career, a great working partner, and a satisfying life—except for the hole in his chest left behind when police Detective Sam Kage walked out with his heart.



Now Sam's back and he knows what he wants... and what he wants is Jory. Jory, who doesn't know if he can survive another break up or losing Sam to his dangerous job, resists returning to the arms of the only man he has ever truly loved. But when a serial killer with a score to settle targets Jory, he will have to decide if love is worth the danger as he tries to solve the case and keep Sam safe.
My Review:

3 years?!? OMG, 3 years...you have got to be kidding me. *sob* Since the first volume in this series ended on a cliffhanger, I expected this one to pick up about where that one left off, but no...it started 3 years later. And OMG, those years for Sam and Jory have been spent apart. No!!!

Seriously, when I realized how much time had passed for these two guys, my heart simply broke. I love both of them, but I love them together. But their separation is not the only thing that's changed in that interim. The book starts with Dane's wedding. What?! Whoa, I did NOT see that one coming, but it was a great twist for his character. And there are a lot of twists for his character in this book...although I will admit to some disappointment that his character didn't seem quite as engaged in this book. No, this book was all about Sam and Jory.

And now I don't even know where to go in this review so that I don't give away spoilers. Sam left for a reason and on the surface Jory knew that, but that doesn't mean he's willing to forgive and forget or put himself out there ever again. But he's also had a serious boyfriend during that time too...Aaron. Seriously every single time I thought about Aaron and Jory and how serious they became while Sam was missing I wanted to rage and sob. (Can you tell how emotionally involved I am with these characters? sigh) But Jory is a realist. He knows that he's not the guy for Aaron. At this point in his life, he's pretty sure that he will never be that guy for anyone. So he drinks too much, sleeps around too easily, and never, ever commits. Sam's leaving broke him.

But Sam had his reasons and although I hated him for doing it, they (kind of) made sense. But this author is brilliant in that she put Jory in the same kind of headspace Sam was in when he left, so suddenly Jory understood why Sam had to do what he did, too. Watching Jory spiral in those days though was scary. There were a few "too stupid to live" moments that made me want to throw my book against the wall (Not that I could EVER do that to a book, but gah...)

The book was amazing and once again I fell in love with Sam and Jory. I love how gruff and scary Sam is compared to Jory's charm and personable personality. I especially loved Jory's tenacity and really amazing intelligence in being able to read people and think things through when Sam was endangered. He'd make an incredible investigator and I can't wait to see what the author does with his newfound skills in the following books. 

I have them all on order, although I probably won't get a chance to read them until halfway through the summer. I'm thinking they will be my vacation reads. Yay for a newfound amazing series and author.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

A Matter of Time Vol. 1 by Mary Calmes

Title: A Matter of Time Vol. 1
Author: Mary Calmes
My Rating: A

Genre: Romantic Suspense (m/m)
Series: A Matter of Time #1 and #2
Main Characters: Jory and Same
Release Date: August 2010
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: hot

Story Overview:
Vol. 1 (Books One and Two)

Jory Keyes leads a normal life as an architect’s assistant until he is witness to a brutal murder. Though initially saved by police Detective Sam Kage, Jory refuses protective custody—he has a life he loves that he won’t give up no matter who is after him. But Jory’s life is in real jeopardy, especially after he agrees to testify about what he saw.

While dealing with attempts on his life, well-meaning friends who want to see him happy, an overly protective boss, and a slowly unfolding mystery that is much more sinister than he could ever imagine, the young gay man finds himself getting involved with Sam, the conflicted and closeted detective. And though Jory may survive the danger, he may not survive a broken heart.
My Review:

I read and adored All Kinds of Tied Down, which is a follow up book to this series. I honestly had no idea that was a spin off book until some of my fellow Twitter readers let me know (I seriously love all my book friends on Twitter). 

This book is about Sam Kage (Miro and Ian's commander from AKoTD) when he met Jory. I love m/m stories where one of the heroes was previously straight. In this story that character is Sam and I loved watching him fall for Jory...and he fought it for a long time. Sam is a take-charge, seriously alpha police detective. He's big and tough and gruff...and a lot of the time really, really grumpy. Jory is the exact opposite. He's a party guy who takes life as it comes with a smile and charm. He's one of those people that everyone loves because he's just that nice and fun of a guy. And Sam can't resist him either. 

The problem is that Jory witnessed a murder and is now being hunted, but he refuses to give up his life and go into protective custody. So Sam has become a bit of a stalker. He doesn't want Jory to end up dead. I loved how Sam showed up every time Jory was out and somewhat of a mess. In fact, I loved everything about Sam and his gruff, but obvious, infatuation with Jory. 

But Jory isn't just the simple, good guy he appears to be. His backstory with his family broke my heart. He should be a messed up guy and he really is...he just hides it really well behind alcohol and party times with anonymous hook-ups. I love how that begins to change when Sam begins to show up and save him. But he's also not alone in this world like it seems at first. He has his boss, Dane. I loved how seeing that relationship emerge and morph throughout the story, too. Jory doesn't realize just how much of an affect he has on other people...this is especially true when it comes to Dane, who is almost as messed up as Jory. 

The entire book is told from Jory's point of view and I challenge you not to fall in love with him. But I fell in love with Sam, too. I love these two guys and can't wait to follow more of their love story in the next book. 

And you should also note that this book is also a suspense story. There is danger and intrigue and tons of action throughout the story that kept me on the edge of my seat. Loved this book!!

The whole book was amazing. But be warned...if you pick up this book, you need to have Vol 2 sitting in your TBR pile, because it ends on a serious, heartbreaking cliffhanger. 


Wednesday, June 24, 2015

The Deep of the Sound by Amy Lane

Title: The Deep of the Sound
Author: Amy Lane
My Rating: A

Genre: Contemporary Romance (m/m) 
Series: Bluewater Bay #8
Main Characters: Cal and Avery
Release Date: June 2015
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: hot

Story Overview:
Cal McCorkle has lived in Bluewater Bay his whole life. He works two jobs to support a brother with a laundry list of psychiatric diagnoses and a great uncle with Alzheimer’s, and his personal life amounts to impersonal hookups with his boss. He’s got no time, no ambition, and no hope. All he has is family, and they’re killing him one responsibility at a time.

Avery Kennedy left Los Angeles, his family, and his sleazy boyfriend to attend a Wolf’s Landing convention, and he has no plans to return. But when he finds himself broke and car-less in Bluewater Bay, he’s worried he’ll have to slink home with his tail between his legs. Then Cal McCorkle rides to his rescue, and his urge to run away dies a quick death.

Avery may seem helpless at first, but he can charm Cal’s fractious brother, so Cal can pretty much forgive him anything. Even being adorkable. And giving him hope. But Cal can only promise Avery “until we can’t”—and the cost of changing that to “until forever” might be too high, however much they both want it.

My Review:
There are books when I read them that move me with just the beauty of the writing. That doesn't happen very often, because I'm usually more concentrated on the quality of the story. But this book had both...quality of story and quality of writing and it was an absolutely gorgeous thing to read. 

This story is about Cal and Avery. These are two very different guys who have been brought together by a bizarre set of circumstances. Avery has just said 'goodbye' to his normal life...his cheating boyfriend, his blasé parents who can't accept he's gay...to move to the home of where his favorite show is filmed...Bluewater Bay. Avery is a writer. He works writing freelance articles and then spends his free time spinning fan-fiction for the show and chatting online with other fans as Scarecrow. His life has been a little fluffy, but he quickly has a wake-up call as his trip becomes one disaster after another. Avery is awkward and gawky, but he's so positive and happy, everyone falls in love with him...including me as a reader. 

Cal is the opposite side of the spectrum. He's been dragged down for years by his responsibilities. His parents died suddenly when he was a senior in high school. Suddenly his dreams of a future were swallowed up by the reality of being the sole caregiver for an elderly grandparent with Alzheimer's and a marginally psychotic and mentally ill brother. They are barely scraping by and Cal is having to work himself to the bone as a busboy at night and fisherman in the mornings simply to scrape by. They are one disaster away from homelessness. Cal is tired...both mentally and physically. He's lost hope and that reflects in all his other interactions in the world. There are several glimpses of him throughout the book and what a different person he used to be and it's heartbreaking because he's still so young...like only 24...way too young to be so hardened by life. 

Neither guy is having an easy time with life right now, but they both manage to find moments of happiness together and it's gorgeous. They would have these little moments that would leave me smiling at the same time that my heart was breaking for them, because it's so hard to see how they will make it work out in the end. Cal is drowning under his familial responsibilities and he doesn't want to drag Avery into that mess. 

There's a lot of symbolism and beauty within the writing of the book...especially within the water of the Sound...which is the only place that Cal can let go of his stresses. But as the book develops, Avery becomes a safe place for him too. Throughout the book, Cal calls Avery, Rescue Puppy. I loved that pet name especially when the tables began to turn and Avery was the one doing the rescuing. 

It was an absolutely gorgeous book and I loved and savored every single word while reading it. I definitely recommend this one.

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

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Wicked Ride by Rebecca Zanetti

Title: Wicked Ride
Author: Rebecca Zanetti
My Rating: B

Genre:  Paranormal Romance 
Series: Realm Enforcers #1 
Main Characters: Lex and Kell
Release Date: June 2015
Publisher: Lyrical Press
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: hot

Story Overview:
If you love the Dark Protectors, these wicked hot Realm Enforcers are for you!

Alexandra Monzelle is a hard-fighting, heat-packing Seattle vice cop, and she’s not much interested in being protected. Her short skirt and sex-kitten heels are tools to lure her suspects into talking about the deadly new drug hitting the streets. She can take care of herself and then some. Unfortunately, she can’t seem to get that through to Kellach Dunne.

Kellach is a fresh import from Dublin, and he’s landed at the heart of a vicious motorcycle club that deals in guns, narcotics, and mayhem. He’s all male, all rough power—and all interference in her damn investigation. Maybe he’s one of the good guys. Maybe not. Lex knows an affair with an immortal like him would risk everything. No matter how delicious he looks…
 


My Review:
Well, this was an interesting start to this new series. Although I own several of the Dark Protectors books, I've never actually read any of them, so this was my first introduction into this world. 

The premise is that there's a new drug on the streets of Seattle who make the user able to use fire...as a weapon. The downside, it can melt his insides. Lex is a cop trying to track it down. Kell is an enforcer from Ireland here with his brothers also trying to track it down, but they are doing that from within the local outlaw motorcycle club. 

There were several things I really enjoyed about this book:
*Kell with his Irish roots. Loved him and his brothers and the relationship they all share. 
*I also LOVED the two cousins who showed up who ate everything in sight, but were lovable and fun every single time they were on the page. Seriously these two stole the story every time they were in the scene. 
*The world is interesting with witches, vampires, and shifters. I liked the way it's all setting up. 
*I loved how the mating happened between Kell and Lex...I loved how it indicated they were both MUCH MORE involved than how they thought they were. 
*I liked the conflict between Lex and Kell...on the surface, he's on the wrong side of the law and that worked great for her and her job as a source of problems between them.
*I liked the back story for Lex with her father and how it all tied into the overall story. That worked for me... a lot. 

There were a few other things that didn't quite do it for me...
*some of the writing just seemed over the top. Part of that is because of the paranormal aspect. Kell harnesses fire so there were a lot of burning, electricity, heated loins type of phrasing. A few here and there would be okay, but it just got to be too much with about 8-10 sex scenes in the book. 
*Lex is a tough character, but she could go from steaming mad to giggling and giddy just from Kell's touch. *rolling my eyes here* Again...kind of like the above issue, it just got to be too much.

But overall, this is setting up to be a GREAT series. I loved Rebecca Zanetti's Sin Brothers series and foresee great things with this one. My slight issues won't keep me from jumping on the next in the series. I'm excited about it. 

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

Monday, June 22, 2015

True Devotion by Liora Blake

Title: True Devotion
Author: Liora Blake
My Rating: A

Genre: Contemporary Romance 
Series: True #2
Main Characters: Devon and Simon
Release Date: June 2015
Publisher: PocketStar
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: hot

Story Overview:
Find out if rock sensation Simon can break through tough-girl Devon’s steely exterior—if he can keep his head on straight, that is—in this second sizzling romance in the True series!

Devon Jenkins is a feisty blonde, and Simon Cole is the arrogant, sexy guitarist playing in her brother’s band. When they met for the first time, it went something like this: He hit on her, she shot him down, he made a lewd joke, she told him he was an idiot.

In the two years since then, not much has changed. From the way Simon flirts shamelessly with any set of ovaries within a 100-mile radius, Devon knows the smartest thing she can do is keep an impenetrable wall between them.

But sometimes the smart choice isn’t necessarily the right one…


My Review:
Okay, this is another winner, but I will admit to being doubtful for the first 15% of the book. For some reason, I had a hard time getting into this one, but once I hit that 15% point, I didn't want to put it down anymore. So the moral here...keep with this one...because the payoff is really, really worth it. OMG, I cannot tell you how much I love Simon...but I'm going to try.

The book is told entirely from Devon's point of view, but it's Simon who makes this book. For two years, Simon has been trying to get into Devon's panties. He's in her brother's band and is an unapologetic man-whore. According to Devon, he will bang anything with a vagina. But it soon becomes clear that Devon has some preconceived notions that are so, so wrong. 

I loved the way that the author wrote Simon. No, you never get to visit his mental state, but you see so much of what he's feeling just through what Devon observes...even when she doesn't see it. He comes across as this laid-back player, but he's so into Devon and wants her so much. She's never even considered him, but as the story develops, it becomes obvious that he's thought about her a LOT over the last two years. His interest in her is real...it's not just about sex and that's so freaking attractive. I loved Simon. 

But as more and more is revealed about Simon, Devon changes her tune about him. Now it's not that she doesn't want to get involved with a player, it's an issue that she's not good enough for him. I love that he seems like something so different from what he is. Simon has a ton of layers and each one makes him more and more attractive. 

I really, truly enjoyed the book. I hated what Devon did at the end (don't worry....no spoilers), but I wanted to cheer when Simon pointed out the reality of her actions. So, so true. I also loved the influence of the tattoos on the story. For both of these characters, their tattoos are a huge part of who they are and how they've gotten to where they're at and the visuals of them...both on their bodies and getting them were a great detail in the story. I also loved Devon's baking...her cookies and breads. There were just some great little details to this story.

I highly recommend this one!

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

Cruise Control by Kerry Adrienne (audiobook)

Title: Cruise Control
Author: Kerry Adrienne
My Rating: B-
Narrator: Jason P. Hilton

Genre: Contemporary Romance (m/m) 
Series: Unconditional Surrender
Main Characters: Blake and Parker
Release Date: March 2015
Publisher: Earthshine
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: spicy

Story Overview:
Retired soldier Blake Best drives hard—his car, his life, and his choices. Former Airman Parker Monteith is fighting to keep his life on cruise control so he doesn’t lose it all. 

One Maserati brings them together. Can Blake slow down enough to discover the important things aren't in the fast lane? 


My Review:
Overall: 3.25
Performance: 3.0
Story: 3.25

Sometimes stories really work for me in the audiobook format and sometimes they don't. This one didn't work for me. And I'm not sure how much of that was because of the story line and how much of it was because I really didn't enjoy the narrator on this audiobook. Honestly, I think a lot of my problem was in the narration. And it's not that the narrator is bad, he just used such a hick accent for Parker...I hated it and it made him seem like a stupider character than he really is. 

The other side of it is that I just didn't connect to these characters emotionally. This is a short book. It's just over 2 hours in audio format, so that means it's really short. That's just not much time to become emotionally invested in what's happening to them. The book basically takes place over a weekend and that's about the depth of my emotional investment in the story too. It was quick. It was an easy read. But that means it's also easily forgettable  For what it is though, it was fairly entertaining. Besides Blake's sister, I did enjoy what was there. I just don't think it's going to be something that will stick with my past next week. 

But if you're looking for a momentary audiobook diversion, this one may work for you.

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

Available at: Amazon | Audible | Goodreads




About Kerry Adrienne:

Kerry loves history and spends large amounts of time wondering about people who lived and walked on Earth in the past. She’s a mom to three daughters, six cats, and various small animals, including a panther chameleon. Her shoe horde will attest to her fine shopping skills.

In addition to writing, she’s a college instructor, artist, costumer, and editor. Her new love is her Mini Cooper Convertible, Sheldon, and they have already gone on many adventures.

Kerry is represented by Marisa Corvisiero.

Website | Facebook  | Twitter | Newsletter |  Goodreads