Friday, June 30, 2017

Magic Stars by Ilona Andrews (audiobook)

Title:  Magic Stars
Author: Ilona Andrews
My Rating: A
Narrator: Jeffrey Kafer

Genre: Urban Fantasy
Series: Grey #1
Main Characters: Derek and Julie
Release Date: February 2016 (audiobook)
Publisher: NYLA
Links to Purchase
Sexual Intensity: mild

Story Overview:
From award-winning author, Ilona Andrews, an original novella, set in the New York Times #1 bestselling Kate Daniels World and featuring fan-favorites, Derek, and Curran and Kate’s very independent ward, Julie. 

Scarred, solitary Derek Gaunt has separated from his Pack, and is truly a lone wolf. With no family he answers to no one; but is fiercely loyal to a chosen few. So, when several of those close to him are murdered, he’ll stop at nothing to hunt their killer through the magic-drenched streets of Atlanta. 

Never one to be left on the sidelines, equally determined—some might say stubborn—Julie Lennart-Olsen soon joins in his pursuit; and what began as revenge turns into a race to save the city. Their search pits them against powers they never imagined and magic so old, it predates history. It may cost Derek his life, but there are things for which even he would risk everything.

My Review:
Overall: 4.5
Performance: 4.75
Story: 4.25

Ooh, I cannot express just how excited about this novella. It promises good things to come in this world and I like the hints that are here. Derek and Julie....OMG, YES!!

This is a really short novella, but there is so much goodness throughout it. Hints at what might be to come. Derek is 20. Julie is 16. YES, I do like where this is going. If you are a fan of the Kate Daniels world and like me...sad about the upcoming end to that series...then you simply MUST read this one. That way you can be just as excited as me! 

Loved this...and it had an interesting story, too. Like I said...just a lot fit into really very few words. Fantastic!!

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Magic Shifts by Ilona Andrews (audiobook)

Title:  Magic Shifts
Author: Ilona Andrews
My Rating: B
Narrator: Renee Raudman

Genre: Urban Fantasy
Series: Kate Daniels #8
Main Characters: Kate and Curran
Release Date: August 2015 (audiobook)
Publisher: Brilliance Audio
Links to Purchase
Sexual Intensity: spicy

Story Overview:
In the latest Kate Daniels novel from #1 New York Times bestselling author Ilona Andrews, magic is coming and going in waves in post-Shift Atlanta—and each crest leaves danger in its wake…

After breaking from life with the Pack, mercenary Kate Daniels and her mate—former Beast Lord Curran Lennart—are adjusting to a very different pace. While they’re thrilled to escape all the infighting, Curran misses the constant challenges of leading the shapeshifters.

So when the Pack offers him its stake in the Mercenary Guild, Curran seizes the opportunity—too bad the Guild wants nothing to do with him and Kate. Luckily, as a veteran merc, Kate can take over any of the Guild’s unfinished jobs in order to bring in money and build their reputation. But what Kate and Curran don’t realize is that the odd jobs they’ve been working are all connected.

An ancient enemy has arisen, and Kate and Curran are the only ones who can stop it—before it takes their city apart piece by piece…

My Review:
Overall: 4.0
Performance: 3.75
Story: 4.25

It's been a while since I visited the Kate Daniels world. I'd forgotten how much I love it. I enjoyed this book, buy you know what? I enjoy them all. There are little hints that the end of the series is coming and while that makes me sad, I love how Curran and Kate have evolved and how their place in post-shift Atlanta has also evolved. 

This book found them battling an ancient, powerful djinn...some interesting interactions with Kate's father...and some epically hair-raising injuries for Kate. I'd planned to listen to the audiobook slowly, but then got caught up in the story and managed to listen to it all in three days rather than the ten I'd planned for. Yeah, it was pretty good. 

This is a series that I recommend you start from the beginning...and I do recommend you do that. It's a GREAT series! Two more books for me to read after this one, since it sounds like #10 is the end. 

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Dangerous Curves by Kelly Apple

Title: Dangerous Curves
Author: Kelly Apple
My Rating: A-

Genre: Paranormal Erotic Romance
Series: Wicked Pride #2
Main Characters: Sam and Luna
Release Date: June 2017
Links to Purchase
Sexual Intensity: erotic

Story Overview:
Samuel Delaney’s had a rough couple of months. Not only did he find out his mom works for the government in a job she stubbornly refuses to speak about, now he’s helping his alpha deal with a sudden influx of wolves after their alpha mated with one of the cats from his pride.

Most importantly, the leopardess he’s been half in love with his entire adult life is actively looking for a mate.

And Sam isn’t even a footnote on her list of potentials.

Convincing the lovely Luna North to give him a chance would be a hell of a lot easier if he didn’t get tongue tied whenever she was around. He’ll have to rely on his cat’s instinctive ability to land on its feet if he hopes to make any headway with the stubborn beauty.

Because when a lion chooses his mate, he doesn’t back down.


My Review:
This is one of those series...I'm loving it so much. Both of these characters were in the last book (although both books work beautifully as stand-alones), so we've had an introduction to them.

Luna and Sam have been acquaintances for years. She's never really paid him much mind. He was always just kind of there...and maybe a little bit awkward. He's known that she's his mate for years, but Sam is awkward. He's a mix of powerful, sexy shifter that never wanted to scare Luna off, but he's so overwhelmed by not wanting to do the wrong thing, he's always more stumbled his way through. As a result, Luna just thinks he's a dumb jock. And she's a pretty powerful personality so she just kind of rolls over him. 

That all changes in this book when one of Sam's friends mentions to him that Luna is getting serious about finding a mate. She's his. That is NOT going to happen...and suddenly Sam becomes his true self...alpha, bossy, protective, and dang sexy. I loved watching his transformation and Luna's shocked reaction to it. How did she overlook this really sexy cat for so many years? It made for a seriously fun and sexy book. While this one wasn't quite as sexy as the first, I still really, really enjoyed the uptick in the story line.

In fact, this whole series has been really fun. I can't wait for more to come!! I really like these cat shifters!! When they find their mate, the uncontrolled moments are really, really sexy.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Prom Queen by Katee Robert

Title: Prom Queen
Author: Katee Robert
My Rating: A

Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Bad Boy Homecoming #3
Main Characters: Jake and Jessica
Release Date: June 2017
Publisher: Trinkets and Tales, LLC
Links to Purchase
Sexual Intensity: hot

Story Overview:
A high school reunion is about to get down and dirty and a whole lot more complicated in this new erotic romance from NYT Bestselling Author Katee Robert.

Jake Davis had it all in high school—a scholarship to his college of choice, a promising football career, and the gorgeous prom queen for a girlfriend. And then he lost it all when he was injured right after graduation. Ten years later, he’s mostly made his peace with that, and now runs a company that provides women with dates for special events. Imagine his surprise when he discovers that the ex who left him in the dust needs a fake boyfriend for their high school reunion…

Jessica Jackson used to be the mean girl to end all mean girls. But life didn’t turn out like she’d thought it would, and now she’s twenty-eight, single, and works as an insurance agent to A-listers instead of being the A-lister like she’d always dreamed. She can’t go back to her home town and admit just how thoroughly she’s failed, so she lets her friends set her up with a fake date for the reunion.

The second Jessica realizes that her fake date is Jake, she tries to call the whole thing off. The problem is the chemistry between them is even hotter now than it was when they were teenagers. Against her better judgment she lets herself get drawn into Jake’s arms again—and into his bed. But time doesn’t heal all wounds—sometimes, it actually makes them worse—and if Jessica and Jake can’t learn to forgive each other, their second chance might not last the weekend.

My Review:
This book was so fun. I read one other mean girl story earlier in the year that is easily one of my favorite reads of the year, so I was super-excited to go into this book. Katee Robert did well with the trope...really well. I loved this book. 

Jessica wants to go to her 10 year high school reunion, but she really doesn't. She was the mean girl who left that small town and never went back, although she never forgot the boy she left behind in the dust after he got hurt, losing his chance at the NFL. She just can't imagine facing him again. Her girlfriends see all this and convince her that it will be easier to go if she has a man on her arm, so they hire her an escort. 

BUT the escort service they use just happens to be owned by the very same Jake who was her ex. When he sees Jessica's name on the request, he sees this as his perfect chance for a bit of revenge and he assigns himself to be her date for the whole weekend.

Let the awkwardness begin...

My heart bled for Jessica. Yes, she was awful in high school, but who doesn't have regrets from when they were young and stupid? She most definitely does. And the harder thing is...she had reasons why she was lashing out. She was a young girl who was viciously bullied at she took her frustrations out on others as only a teen girl can. Since then she's had a ton of therapy to work through those issues. She's a good person now and wants to prove that, but Jake has put her in an impossible situation. Those moments where her control cracked and her vulnerability broke through seriously broke my heart. 

I love good angsty reads like this. That's one reason why I love second chance at love stories...the depth of emotion is already there, under the surface just waiting to be brought back up. *happy sigh* It makes for a great romance story and this was a good one. 

When I requested this book for review, I had no idea there were 4 other books written during the same event...all second chance at love 4 other authors. I'm thinking now that I need to splurge and order the entire set in print, because this book was fun and all of the five authors writing this series are fabulous. It's a definite win/win.

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

Serenity Harbor by RaeAnne Thayne

Title: Serenity Harbor
Author: RaeAnne Thayne
My Rating: A

Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Harbor Point #6
Main Characters: Bowie and Kat
Release Date: June 2017
Publisher:  Harlequin Books
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: mild

Story Overview:
In the town of Haven Point, love can be just a wish—and one magical kiss—away…

Computer-tech millionaire Bowie Callahan is about the last person that schoolteacher Katrina Bailey wants to work for. As far as she can see, he's arrogant, entitled and not up to the task of caring for his young half brother, Milo. But Kat is, especially if it brings her closer to her goal of adopting an orphaned little girl. And as her kindness and patience work wonders with Milo, she realizes there's more to sexy, wary Bo than she'd ever realized.

Bo never imagined he'd be tasked with caring for a sibling he didn't know existed. Then again, he never pictured himself impulsively kissing vibrant, compassionate Katrina in the moonlight. Now he's ready to make her dream of family come true…and hoping there's room in it for him, too…
My Review:
I'll admit that I'm bad. I forget just how much I love this world that RaeAnne Thayne has created in between books, but when I start digging into my reading, I'm swept away. I love this little town and the employees of Caine Tech that now live there. 

Bowie is one of those transplants. Although he was one of the founding trio for Caine Tech, he has just recently moved to Harbor Point. Even more recently, he discovered he has a little brother...age 6 who has severe autism. He's completely non-vocal and Bowie has no idea how traumatic his little brother's life may have been up to this point, since their mother has died. All indications were that she wasn't any better with Milo than she was with Bowie, although Milo definitely needs more specialized care. Bowie has no idea how to handle his brother or provide him the safe environment he needs. He keeps hiring nannies and they all have quit, but Bowie has an extremely demanding job. He can't stay home with Milo. 

Kat is home for just a few weeks for her sister's wedding. For the last year she has lived in Colombia and is trying to adopt her own special needs child. Gabi is 4, living in an orphanage where she doesn't have access to the full care she needs as a child with Down's Syndrome. Kat is also a teacher who hopes to someday specialize in working with special needs children. She runs into Bowie and Milo at the grocery store where Milo is on the verge of a complete meltdown. She sees the signs and steps in to help the distraught boy. Bowie tries to hire her on the spot, for as many weeks as she's in town. Adopting Gabi is expensive, so eventually Kat agrees. 

This is such a sweet, wonderful story. Every single character in it melted my heart...Kat who's trying so hard to guard her heart and put Gabi first no matter what, Bowie who's overwhelmed and has no idea how to handle Milo or Kat, and Milo who watches the world silently, but needs so much love to pull him out of his shell. 

It's a beautiful story. And Kat's backstory is so rich with the details that made my heart just ache for her. Her conflict is so real. She's trying so hard to be a better person. She's made a lot of bad choices over the years and has had a hard time forgiving herself for that. It certainly doesn't help when her mother constantly belittles what she's doing...grr, that drove me mad. But she does have a good support system otherwise and I do love this little town. I can't wait to read the next book in the series...

I definitely recommend this one...and don't worry, while the characters from the other stories makes lots of appearances, this is a series that you can read out of order with no problems or confusion.

I received a complimentary copy of this book in return for an honest review, but I bought a print copy of the book for my keeper shelf.

Monday, June 26, 2017

No Reservations by Kelly Apple

Title: No Reservations
Author: Kelly Apple
My Rating: A

Genre: Erotic Romance
Series: Wicked Pride #1
Main Characters: Cami and Bran
Release Date: June 2017
Links to Purchase
Sexual Intensity: erotic

Story Overview:
Cami Patterson has the worst luck with men. Everyone in her pride knows it and they steer clear of her so they don't end up with a broken bone or two or, even worse, dead. Needless to say, when her best friend sets her up on a blind date with a werewolf visiting from out of town, she doesn't expect anything to come of it.

She certainly doesn't expect a night of non-stop excitement including thwarting a robbery, getting chased by the police, and almost causing an international incident. Who has time to enjoy themselves with all that going on? Or of hooking up with her sex-on-a-stick date?

Cami just might have met her match in the wolf who laughs in the face of danger and doesn't hesitate to jump in when there's a damsel in distress. Who knew it would take a wolf to brave this cat's run of bad relationships?
My Review:
Whew, that was...omg, so freaking hot. Wolf shifters for sexy times? OMG, yes please!! this book... Cami has developed somewhat of a black widow reputation locally as her last few dates have ended in unfortunate circumstances...and yes, one actual death. She's pretty much given up on guys, taking care of the job herself, but then her best friend offers to set her up on a blind date with a wolf shifter who's only in town for a few weeks. Cami decides to give it a go...and OMG, I was so, so happy that she did because even living vicariously through her reading this book was awesome!

I loved Cami and Bran together. Incendiary is the word that comes to mind. Seriously, there should have been steam coming off my kindle because there was so much chemistry between the two of them. It was incredibly sexy and fun to read...and that's before we even get to that special something that wolves have. Oh my...*fans self*. I love how out of control that Bran gets and he's so into Cami that he's completely okay with that...I was okay with it, was Cami. Dang when he got wolfy, it was so sexy.

So, yeah, this book completely and totally worked for me in all the ways. It was fun and sexy and entertaining and did I mention sexy? much that. I cannot wait to read the rest of the series.

Note to self: Do not read a Kelly Apple book on a Saturday afternoon when all the family is home which isn't conducive to *ahem*...alone time. Learn from my mistake...hehe.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

The Silent Waters by Brittainy C. Cherry (audiobook)

Title:  The Silent Waters
Author: Brittainy C. Cherry
My Rating: A+
Narrator: Joe Arden, Erin Mallon

Genre: New Adult Romance
Series: Elements #3
Main Characters: Brooks and Maggie
Release Date: December 2016 (audiobook)
Publisher: Audible
Links to Purchase
Sexual Intensity: spicy

Story Overview:

Our lives are a collection of moments. Some utterly painful and full of yesterday's hurts. Some beautifully hopeful and full of tomorrow's promises.

I’ve had many moments in my lifetime, moments that changed me, challenged me. Moments that scared me and engulfed me. However, the biggest ones—the most heartbreaking and breathtaking ones—all included him.

I was ten years old when I lost my voice. A piece of me was stolen away, and the only person who could truly hear my silence was Brooks Griffin. He was the light during my dark days, the promise of tomorrow, until tragedy found him. Tragedy that eventually drowned him in a sea of memories.

This is the story of a boy and girl who loved each other, but didn’t love themselves. A story of life and death. Of love and broken promises.

Of moments.
My Review:
Overall: 4.75
Performance: 4.5
Story: 4.75

Wow! This was my first time reading Brittainy C. Cherry so I didn't know what to expect. I was blown away by this book..and immediately got online to see which of her books I need to read next. This book was so good...almost perfection in every single way...almost. I had one tiny niggle about the story that I'll talk about in a moment.

Brooks and Maggie's story was the same time that it broke my heart. I love how long and deep their friendship and ties are. It hurts that they lost so much time together though. Everything about this story was amazing, and gorgeous, and romantic, and sweet, and heartbreaking. I loved this story.

NOTE...That niggle...there is a serious flaw in this entire plot. Such a big deal is made of Maggie's ritual every night to make sure she remembers the victim of the murder. With that, I find it impossible to believe that she never tells anyone about that night and what she saw. Yes, she was young and traumatized so I can understand at first, but this book covers years when she would have let the police know what happened and what she knew. I just can't believe anything matter her inability to talk. She could still write and communicate. And most importantly...she remembered every detail. 

For the sake of the book and because I loved it so much, I've just purely chosen to ignore all that ^^^ and suspended disbelief, but it's still a thing.

But without a doubt, I adored this book. It was fantastic! I highly, highly, highly recommend it. 

Friday, June 23, 2017

Promo Post: Deliciously Bitter by KB Jacobs

It's the final book in the series, and the reviewers are LOVING it...
Story Description:
Three years ago, my perfect life ended. I got trapped inside a burning Army MRAP and watched my friends die. I was the only one to survive, if you can call this survival. 

Now I’m the beast of nightmares. Horrific scars mean I don’t leave my house...ever. 

But my best friend made sure I continued to live when all I wanted was to give up. I owe him everything, and now he needs me for two weeks. 

Two weeks with strangers who I’ll never have to see again. I can do this. I can ignore the stares and revulsion.

But what I can’t ignore is the stunning beauty next door who sees past my scars. 

She’s Hollywood royalty. I’m a recluse, a hermit. Her life is glamour and paparazzi. My life is NOT. No matter how much I want her, I’m no good for her. 

Beauty and the beast was a romantic fairy tale, but this is real life and she deserves better...

This is the final installment to the Naked Brews trilogy.
1. Deliciously Smooth
2. Deliciously Thick
3. Deliciously Bitter
(and don't miss our free prequel novella, Desperately Unprepared, available via the KB Jacobs newsletter)
(special $.99 new release pricing...for a limited time only!)
The whole series is available:

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Uncommon Ground by Kelly Jensen

Title: Uncommon Ground (Aliens in New York #1)
Author: Kelly Jensen
My Rating: A

Genre: Sci Fi Romance (m/m)
Series: Memories with the Breakfast Club- Kindle Worlds
Main Characters: Lang and Dillon
Release Date: June 2017
Publisher: Kindle Worlds
Links to Purchase
Sexual Intensity: hot

Story Overview:
Dillon Lee’s grandfather was a conspiracy theorist. Every summer he’d take Dillon on a tour of New York City while entertaining him with tales of aliens. Fifteen years later, after a phone call from a lawyer, Dillon is carrying his grandfather’s ashes from landmark to landmark, paying a sort of tribute, and trying to figure out what to do with his unexpected legacy. When someone tries to steal the ashes, a guy Dillon has barely met leaps to the rescue, saving the urn and the day.
Steilang Skovgaard is a reclusive billionaire—and not human. He’s been living in Manhattan for over twenty years, working on a long-term plan to establish a safe haven for his people. For seven years, his reports have gone unanswered, however, and he is the only surviving member of his interstellar team. The connection he forms with Dillon soon after meeting him is something he’s missed, something he craves.
But after someone keeps trying to steal the ashes, it looks as though Dillon’s grandfather was involved in more than theories—and might not have been exactly who everyone thought he was. Steilang doesn’t know how close he can get to the truth without revealing himself, and Dillon is running out of people to trust. Can these two work out what’s going on before the thieves set their sights higher?
My Review:
OMG, this book was good. While it's listed as sci-fi...and totally is a sci-fi romance, the entire book takes place in the contemporary world, so it feels like a contemporary romance...with just super-creative details. And I kind of adore it for that. It's seriously the best of both worlds...and keeps the science in the story from bogging down with confusing details. 

So...this story...Dillon has just arrived in NYC. His grandfather, who's been missing for the last 15 years has died and left all his belongings to Dillon. While Dillon believes his grandfather was a complete nut because he believed that aliens really existed, Dillon loved him and those summers he got to spend with him. So he's grieving and trying to figure out what to do now. He's getting coffee when he runs into Lang. 

Lang is a bit of an eccentric, reclusive billionaire. While he doesn't like people all that much...especially crowds or standing out...he's drawn to Dillon and gets caught up in the mess as someone tries to steal Dillon's backpack. The backpack that just happens to have Dillon's grandfather's ashes inside. And things develop from there. 

There is so much to love about this book. Dillon has always felt a little bit of an outsider. He's a bit weird looking and awkward, but Lang is completely taken with him. He sees Dillon as sexy and perfect. Neither of these guys are the type to just take up with anyone, but their connection is immediate. I loved how perfectly they fit together. I loved both of them...they were incredible characters. Dillon has always been a bit of an outsider. Lang has been alone in this world for 20 years. I LOVED that they found one another. They deserved that happiness.

But in the midst of this developing relationship are all these attacks on Dillon...they have to have something to do with his grandfather, but neither Lang nor Dillon has any idea what's really going on. 

Like I said...the sci fi elements in this story are really well done. It has just the perfect amount of those other-world details, but in the middle of current day NYC. I loved this, so much. I'm ready for more to come... (I happen to like the idea of aliens living in NYC).

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

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Gone to Dust by Liliana Hart

Title: Gone to Dust
Author: Liliana Hart
My Rating: B+

Genre: Romantic Suspense
Series: Gravediggers #2
Main Characters: Miller and Elias
Release Date: June 2017
Publisher:  Pocket Books
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: hot

Story Overview:
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....

Miller Darling is one of the most popular romance novelists of her time. Not bad for a woman who doesn’t believe in romance. She’s as logical as they come, and she doesn’t believe in happily-ever-afters. What she does believe in is family, so when her brother disappears, she doesn’t think twice about packing her bag and her laptop and heading out to find him.

Elias Cole lived and breathed the life of a Navy SEAL. Now he’s “dead” and his hero’s honor tarnished. The only thing keeping him sane are the men who are like him—The Gravediggers—and the woman who makes his head spin. He’s never met anyone like Miller Darling. Her smart mouth and quick wit keep him on his toes, and damned if he doesn’t find that appealing.

When Miller receives a package from the brother who abandoned her asking for help, it’s clear she’s in over her head with the mess he’s gotten himself into. She needs a professional, and Elias is just the man for the job. Only her brother is a former SEAL—the man who left his team to die—and Elias is more interested in vengeance than saving his life.

My Review:
The best thing about this book was getting all these tiny glimpses into Miller's head. She's a romance writer and every single thing happening around her can be part of a story...and if it doesn't fit into her story, she can tie it back to a movie (someone else's story). She's a bit insane and I loved her for that. She's quirky, but doesn't ever back down from a challenge. She's well aware of her limitations, but isn't willing to back down when it comes to saving her brother. 

Elias is a dead man and he desperately wants Miller, but he knows that would never be fair to after a particularly heated night he stepped away at just the wrong moment. She can't forgive him for that and hates that she STILL wants him.

This book is a LOT like the movie Romancing the Stone. Miller is a romance author, trying to save her brother, rather than her sister like in the movie. Everything else pretty much is spot onto the movie...except we have SEALS rather than treasure hunters...although her brother is a treasure hunter and a SEAL. 

I enjoyed the book a lot. I loved the conflict between Elias and Miller. They have so much sexual tension, that translates into a lot of conflict for a lot of the book. Overall, it was a fun book to read if not particularly creative. I loved how Elias thought he had Miller pegged and then she just continued to prove she was so much tougher than he expected. 

I just have to comment though...that cover is so NOT right for this book, which takes place mostly in a rainy, hot jungle. And the title doesn't really work either. 

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