Saturday, September 29, 2018

A Day Makes by Mary Calmes (audiobook)


Title:  A Day Makes
Author: Mary Calmes
My Rating: B+
Narrator: Greg Tremblay

Genre: Romantic Suspense (m/m)
Series:The Vault #1
Main Characters: Ceaton
Release Date: June 2017 (audiobook)
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Links to Purchase
Sexual Intensity: hot


Story Overview:
Mob enforcer Ceaton Mercer has killed a lot of people in a lot of different ways - he stashed the last two bodies in a toolshed belonging to a sweetheart marine researcher in an idyllic island community - but he's really not such a bad guy. Over time he's found a home of sorts, and he even learns he's found a place in the hearts of the people he works with...at least enough so that they won't put a bullet in his head because he's outlived his usefulness to the boss.

But he never thought he'd find one day could change his life, and he's about to discover how wrong he is.

Because in a single day, he meets the man who looks to be the one, the love of his life. It's an improbable idea - a man who deals in death finding love - but it's like it's meant to be. That single day gets weirder and troubles pile up, forcing Ceaton to take a hard look at his dreary life and accept that one day canchange everything, especially himself. His future might be brighter than he expects - if he can stay alive long enough to find out.

Length: 6 hours 33 minutes
My Review:
Overall: 4.25
Performance: 4.5
Story: 4.0

This book is not your normal romance. In fact, it's very much not your normal romance novel. The first half of the book covers years of Ceaton's life, explaining how he gets to this place...first he's a sniper in the military where a mission went very wrong and he tried to fix it and then later in his life as a mob enforcer after he was forced out of the military. The first half of the book is all about the pure grittiness in Ceaton's life and the family he manages to build in his life despite of the truly awful circumstances. 

Then the second half of the book covers a single day and how that one day and the guy he's sent to protect is absolutely perfect for Ceaton. That guy brings a lightness to Ceaton's world that he's never had. He's well-aware of the extreme danger and trauma of everything happening around him, but because Ceaton is there...with him, then it's all okay. This new guy comes off as almost naive, but yet he's brilliant and smart and so completely and totally enamored with Ceaton. 

Ceaton couldn't help but be charmed by him and I had to agree. This guy was perfect. 

And this audiobook was fantastic. Greg Tremblay NAILED all the different accents and gave the new guy just the perfect innocence and devotion that made this highly unlikely story work. If someone had told me the whole premise before reading/listening to it, I never would have thought it possible for me to like this book as much as I did. But Mary Calmes did it and wrote it very well. 

I was charmed by both the characters and the story. Who knew? It was good!

Friday, September 28, 2018

Cover Reveal: Who We Were by Melissa Collins




Cover reveal for Who We Were by Melissa Collins A M/M contemporary romance coming 10/26/2018
Who We Were...
Two awkward teenagers - the loner and the nerd, trying to find our place in the world. Paired in wood shop, we knew nothing of each other, except that we wanted to know everything. Then one life altering moment changed it all and we were left with shattered dreams and broken hearts.
Who We Are...
Two grown men - braver and smarter than we used to be, trying to heal the damage from that irrevocable moment. Even though the past was behind us, dead and buried long ago, we found it impossible to move on without ripping open the scars of our deep wounds.
With twelve years of unanswered questions fueling our desperate need for the truth, we must figure out if who we were will destroy who we are.
Add to your TBR on Goodreads here.


Cover design: Sommer Stein at Perfect Pear Creative Covers
Photography: Wander Aguair at Wander Book Club
Models: Jacob Cooley and Tristan E.

Who We Were is now available for pre-order with the following retailers:

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Promo Post: New Release...THICK by Sarah Nego and Christi Snow

It's release day!
Well, re-release day anyway.
Thick is book #2 of the Naked Brews series that Sarah and I originally released under the KB Jacobs penname. We're rereleasing that original series of 3 full length books and the novella, Unprepared. Then in October and November, we'll be releasing two new full-length books in the Aspenridge, Colorado world. So, be on the lookout for the Bookstore Love duology...

Yep, for those of you keeping track, we'll be releasing series set around the same fictional small town. The first series, Naked Brews, is built around a craft brewery run by three women. The second series, Bookstore Love, is built around the local bookstore, Em-Dash. 


-->
Melissa
A tragic fire left Melissa Frye homeless and with nothing to her name except a single teacup from her massive collection and a box of clothes that don't fit. Her life isn't the raging success she thought it would be, but she refuses to go home and work for her uncle's CPA firm. She'd rather live out of her car than face that soul-sucking future. But with hardly any savings and months of couch surfing with friends in front of her, her car is looking more tempting by the day.

Anthony
Anthony Millett has spent years as the Bad Boy of Boarding, but his high life of snowboarding and non-stop parties is starting to catch up with him. After sustaining an injury while saving Melissa from the fire, his competition season is over and his sponsors aren't willing to put up with his bad boy persona anymore. He needs a quick reputation fix and the lovely Melissa could be just the answer.

The plot Thickens
Anthony has plenty of spare bedrooms in his mountainside mansion, and Melissa has the perfect innocent face to convince his sponsors he's a new man. Pretending to date her won't be hard. Not falling for her could be the real challenge.

This book was previously published as Deliciously Thick by KB Jacobs (a pseudonym used by Sarah Nego and Christi Snow).

Available at these retailers:
iBooks (should be live soon)


And if you missed the release of Smooth and the information about how to get the FREE novella, Unprepared, here is all that...

Naked Brews #1
(m/f New Adult romance)

Lake
The plan had always been finish college, move back to Colorado, and run Naked Brews with her dad. That plan fell apart when Lake's dad died and his ex-wife, AKA the absent maternal figure, inherited the brewery. Now Lake will have to convince her perfectionist mom not to sell the place, sweet talk the bank into a loan she has no credit for, and figure out how to turn the failing brewery into a success. No problem.

Walsh
The job should be simple. Pretend to be his millionaire best friend, buy a failing brewery, and honor their fallen brother-in-arms. But simple went down the drain the minute he met the sassy new brewery manager. Now he's stuck between a loud-mouth sarcasm factory and her mom. He'd prefer to be trapped between Lake and a soft bed, but he swore he wouldn't sleep with the brewery owner. Though technically she doesn't own the brewery...

Naked Brews
They both want to buy the same brewery and ignore the chemistry brewing between them. What could possibly go wrong?

This book was previously published as Deliciously Smooth by KB Jacobs (a pseudonym used by Sarah Nego and Christi Snow).

Purchase Links:
Amazon
Barnes and Noble
 
(which for some reason has my name as Christi Christi)
*****
Not sure yet?
Well, we have a FREE prequel novella
to introduce you to the characters, Unprepared.
You can pick it up HERE.





All great love stories start with Once Upon a Time. But what happened before the Upon a Time? The Before a Time? Once Upon the day before? Before the Time was Onced Upon? Nevermind.

The point is, there’s a lot of business happening before our characters reach Chapter One.

Bringing us to Unprepared. Before the Meet Cute, first kiss and HEA there were two people desperately living life, unprepared for the future. This is their story.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Tall Dark Cowboy Christmas by Maisey Yates

Title: A Tall, Dark Cowboy Christmas
Author: Maisey Yates
My Rating: A

Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Gold Valley #4
Main Characters: Grant and McKenna
Release Date: September 2018
Publisher: Harlequin
Links to Purchase
Sexual Intensity: hot

Story Overview:
It’s Christmas in Gold Valley, and this wounded widower is about to get another shot at love…

Grant Dodge didn’t expect to find a woman sleeping in an abandoned cabin on his family ranch. Or to find her so intriguing. Unlike every other woman in town, McKenna Tate doesn’t know Grant’s a widower. There’s no pity in the looks she gives him. McKenna wants him, and Grant has forgotten what it’s like to feel like a man. A no-strings fling for Christmas might be the kind of holiday cheer Grant needs…

With only a suitcase to her name, McKenna came to Gold Valley to confront her birth father. She didn’t plan to work at the Dodge ranch or fall for the gorgeous cowboy who keeps his heart roped off. But there’s no denying the way their broken pieces fit together. Hope brought her to Gold Valley—but will it be the gift that could finally heal Grant, and McKenna’s own wounded heart?

Also includes a bonus Gold Valley novella, Snowed in with the Cowboy!

My Review:
Finally we get Grant's story...and OMG, it did not disappoint. But what was surprising is that McKenna's story was so much more heartbreaking than even Grant's was. This book has so much emotion in it...and yes, I actually cried through one scene in this book...a sign of a good book in my opinion.

Grant has been the tragic figure throughout this entire story. He married his high school sweetheart, although she had cancer, but they had 8 years together before that happened. That was 8 years ago and since then Grant has pretty much stopped living too. He drinks too much and is the grumpy curmudgeon. Everywhere he goes he's reminded that he lost his wife (small town living) and he lives his life in a constant state of grief...and horniness. See, Grant may have been married for 8 years, but he's a 34 year old virgin. And when you live in the same small town where everyone sees you as the tragic, heroic widower, it's kind of hard to have a one-night stand...so he hasn't. And that's slowly killing him, too. 

McKenna entered the foster system when her mother voluntarily gave her up at the age of 2. She's been struggling ever since. Her only hope is to track down the guy that's listed on her birth certificate and hope that he can give her a leg up, because she's homeless. So, she heads to Gold Valley and is camping out in one of the Dodge's abandoned old cabins which is where Grant finds her. 

There were so many layers to this story and every single one of them worked for me. I loved McKenna's character. She's pretty straight forward about everything, even the things that hurt. I loved that about her. She definitely doesn't play games of any sort. I liked that she called Grant out on so much of his self-pity, because he isn't the only one who's had a hard life. She tells him constantly...life isn't fair. But she also brings a lightness to his world, because he can see that she's had a hard life, but she hasn't let it defeat her...something that Grant struggles with. 

And then there's the sex...seriously is there anything better than a virgin hero? That part of the story was just breathtaking. I loved the two of them together.

Overall this was a fantastic read. It was emotional and heartbreaking, but there's a whole thread about family with literary references to Anne of Green Gables and the Secret Garden that took my breath away. I loved reading this book. In fact, I bought a print copy of it so I can continue to reread it later. 

I highly recommend it!

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

Rocky Mountain Cowboy Christmas by Katie Ruggle

Title: Rocky Mountain Cowboy Christmas
Author: Katie Ruggle
My Rating: A

Genre: Romantic Suspense 
Series: Rocky Mountain Cowboys #1
Main Characters: Steve and Camile
Release Date: September 2018
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Links to Purchase
Sexual Intensity: hot

Story Overview:
In the heart of the Rockies
In the arms of a cowboy
One white Christmas can change everything.


When firefighter and single dad Steve Springfield moved his four kids to a Colorado Christmas tree ranch, he intended for it to be a safe haven. But he never expected danger to follow them to his childhood home...

Or that he would come face-to-face with the one girl he could never forget.

Folk artist Camille Brandt lives a quiet life. As the town's resident eccentric, she's used to being lonely--until Steve freaking Springfield changes everything. Brave and kind, he's always had a piece of her heart, and it doesn't take long before she's in danger of falling for him and his rambunctious kids. But as mysterious fires break out across the sleepy Colorado town, Steve and Camille will have to fight if they want their happy family to survive until Christmas...
 
My Review:
Aww, this book was really good. It's the start of a new series and takes place on the Springfield's picturesque Christmas tree farm/ranch. Seriously...this place was the perfect setting for a Christmas story. Picture it...a Christmas tree farm where one of four gorgeous brothers takes you out to cut down your tree and then they pull it back to the store via their horses...LOVE.

But even with all that perfection, it was the characters who weren't the brothers who made this story. It was all the other main characters...

I pretty much adored Camille (the heroine)...she's eccentric and anti-social and introverted...to the point that she's almost a hermit. Most of the town considers her to be extremely weird (which should probably worry me, since I related to her fear of people at a cellular level...LOL). 

But the hero, Steve, has 4 kids who were so incredibly written...
*Will...the oldest...outgoing, fun, and totally snarky
*Zoe...the inventor who's constantly blowing things up (which is a brilliant joke between the kids, Camille, and Steve throughout the entire book)
*Micah...who also hates people and is an artist...he and Camille bond and it's gorgeous
*Maya...the littlest with the biggest heart.

These kids made the story along with Camille. They're all characters that you can relate to and fall in love with so easily, just because they feel so real. Katie Ruggle did an incredible job with them. 

I loved this book...and Steve, too. I didn't talk too much about him. But he's such a great guy who's always worried that he's screwing up his kids. But the absolute best thing about him is that he's sees all these people in his life (and Camille) and sees that maybe they aren't like everyone else, but that makes them incredible in his eyes...and mine. This book was seriously just a joy to read. I kept laughing out loud and smiling as I read it. 

It was fantastic. I highly recommend it!

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher with no expectations of any sort. My review is totally voluntary.

Hot Winter Nights by Jill Shalvis

Title: Hot Winter Nights
Author: Jill Shalvis
My Rating: A
Genre: Contemporary Romance 
Series: Heartbreaker Bay #6
Main Characters: Molly and Lucas
Release Date: September 2018
Publisher: Avon
Links to Purchase
Sexual Intensity: hot


Story Overview:
Who needs mistletoe? 

Most people wouldn't think of a bad Santa case as the perfect Christmas gift. Then again, Molly Malone, office manager at Hunt Investigations, isn't most people, and she could really use a distraction from the fantasies she's been having since spending the night with her very secret crush, Lucas Knight. Nothing happened, not that Lucas knows that — but Molly just wants to enjoy being a little naughty for once...

Whiskey and pain meds for almost-healed bullet wounds don't mix. Lucas needs to remember that next time he's shot on the job, which may be sooner rather than later if Molly's brother, Joe, finds out about them. Lucas can't believe he's drawing a blank on his (supposedly) passionate tryst with Molly, who's the hottest, smartest, strongest woman he's ever known. Strong enough to kick his butt if she discovers he's been assigned to babysit her on her first case. And hot enough to melt his cold heart this Christmas.

My Review:
This installment into the Heartbreaker series definitely falls as one of my favorite books in the series. I loved Lucas and Molly together so much. Lucas is serious and staid and very poker-faced in every circumstance...until he's faced with Molly. Molly is sweet and fun and enthusiastic about everything. She's a go-getter which is why she wants a place on Archer's investigative team. 

But Lucas is teamed up with her to keep her under control. What he doesn't expect is to come to respect Molly's true ability to get the job done and done well. Lucas never saw that coming...or the fact that he wouldn't be able to resist Molly's immeasurable charms. 

The curmudgeon and the optimist...this pairing worked for me on so many levels. Lucas needed Molly in his life in the worst way. 

And honestly, my favorite thing about this book...simply the best meet-cute/start to a story ever. I LOVED that about it. Because it really just set the tone for the whole book.

It was interesting to follow the story of what exactly the two of them are investigating...this book almost had a bit of a romantic suspense element to it because of that Bad Santa investigation. It was really fun and entertaining. 

Overall it was just a fun book to read...and gah...HOT!!! There is so much scorching chemistry between the two main characters...something that Jill Shalvis has MASTERED.

I definitely loved this book. I had to go order it in print so I could reread it again later.

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

Season of Wonder by RaeAnne Thayne

Title: Season of Wonder
Author: RaeAnne Thayne
My Rating: B+

Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Haven Point #9
Main Characters: Dani and Ruben
Release Date: September 2018
Publisher: Harlequin 
Links to Purchase
Sexual Intensity: g-rated

Story Overview:
He’s giving her children a season of wonder…

Dani Capelli seized a chance to start over in a small town with her daughters. Now, facing her first Christmas in Haven Point, she wonders if leaving New York was a mistake. Dani loves working alongside veterinarian Dr. Morales, but her two children aren’t adjusting to small-town life. And then there’s Dr. Morales’s son, Ruben—Dani’s next-door neighbor. Gorgeous, muscled and dependable, the deputy sheriff is everything she secretly craves and can’t bear to risk loving…and losing.

Ruben never pictured himself falling for a big-city woman like Dani. But beneath her prickly facade, she’s caring and softhearted and she needs all the love and protection he can give. When Dani’s teenage daughter starts acting out, Ruben draws on family traditions to show the girls just how magical a Haven Point Christmas can be. But can he convince Dani that she’s found a home for the holidays—and forever—in his arms?

My Review:
Before I start this review, I got to see an early copy of this book and I already thought this cover was gorgeous, but y'all the hardback dustcover is STUNNING. It's glittery and wintery and so freaking beautiful and Christmasy. I plan on ordering the book because I want to be able to set it out for the holidays as a decorator piece...and I'm not even joking about that. Seriously...STUNNINGLY GORGEOUS!!!

And the good news is that the inside is just as fun and Christmasy (to the point where it really put me in the mood to decorate for Christmas...something my husband did not think was funny in September...LOL).

So...this book. It's about Dani and her two daughters...one who's six and the other who's thirteen. They just moved to Haven Point from the East Coast, so this small town is a very big adjustment for all of them. Dani hasn't had an easy life...grew up in foster care and an ex-husband who was trouble from day one. But she's done it...she's overcome. She's gotten her veterinary license and is well on her way to making the perfect home for her girls. But the 13 old isn't settling and for that matter, neither is Dani. Because of Dani's history, she has a real problem letting people in or trusting them. She has big walls and doesn't plan to change that. 

Dani's next door neighbor is Reuben. He's a deputy for the sheriff and his dad owns the vet clinic where Dani works. But despite all that, he can't get a good read on Dani. She intrigues him, but she's just so prickly. Until things come to a head with Dani's daughter and that puts the two of them in close proximity and it's the holidays...so community is a big thing. 

The story worked and i really did enjoy reading it. It's the perfect little story to fling you into the holidays with a huge dose of holiday spirit. 

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

Monday, September 24, 2018

Butterfly Ops by Jen Doyle

Title: Butterfly Ops
Author: Jen Doyle
My Rating: A

Genre: Urban Fantasy
Series: Butterfly Ops #1
Main Characters: Lyndsey and Ian
Release Date: September 2018
Publisher: NYLA
Links to Purchase
Sexual Intensity: hot


Story Overview:
What's a superheroine to do when her super soldier ex turns up alive after more than fifteen years? 

Lyndsey doesn't have much time to walk down memory lane before she and Ian find themselves thrown together to investigate the mysterious deaths of ten young men in the Canadian wilderness. How do such seemingly normal, healthy men's hearts just...stop? 

With the hint of an evil spirit in the wind--and a whole lot of butterflies--there's no telling what Lyndsey and Ian are dealing with, including their own extensive baggage. Though seventeen years is a lot of life to live, there's one thing they can't deny: their attraction is as intense as ever. But is it just a spark that will burn itself out, or is it true love bringing them back together? When the force they're hunting turns its sights on them, the leap of faith required far exceeds either of their powers. But worrying about their future might be premature because one wrong move and they might not make it out alive. 

Book One of three in an epic urban fantasy/love story. 

My Review:
I read Jen Doyle's first book and was blown away by her story telling ability. But that book (and every other book she's written since) was contemporary romance, so I had no idea how she would do writing Urban Fantasy/Superhero/Military/Romance. Spoiler alert...she NAILED IT!!

OMG, this book is so good. This world is a paranormal one, but it's unlike anything you've ever read. While there are threads that give it an urban fantasy feel, it definitely has more of a military romantic suspense vibe...you know if military romance had vampires, demons, and real life superheroes in it. Yeah, this book has all of that, but it NEVER has the ethereal quality that you get with most paranormal fiction. This is a world set in the nitty gritty of the military where the military guys have been exploiting and then hunting down the paranormals...like Lyndsey.

Lyndsey is a modern day superhero. Her roots are Amazonian so she's super-strong and super fast. Sixteen years ago, she was in college and completely in love with Ian, an Army guy who was in the same Study as her. They were in love and neither one of them had a clue about what the Study really was. When the reality of all that came out, it tore them apart. Since then, Lyndsey has lived with the reality that Ian died after they had broken up...something that really isn't a reality at all. 

In fact, as the story progresses, layers are revealed of what exactly happened then and in the interim and the depths of which both of them were mislead or made incorrect assumptions. 

This is a book with a ton of emotion. What's obvious from page one is the depth of feelings between these two. And as the reality of what they went through is revealed, my heart just broke for them over and over again. The hardest thing is that neither one can trust any more. While they're there and together to a certain point, they aren't all-in like they once were. Every revelation is another blow though and it hurts to read. Gah...it was so, so good. The emotion that the author wove into the story was brilliant. 

In fact, the whole story and world is brilliant. It's so creative. The author reveals bit by bit and I never once felt confused by this world, although there's so much that isn't explained except in bits and pieces. And every time one of those bits is revealed, it seems like it's a hit to one of the characters. They move forward one pace and then are blown back two more. It's crazy and so intriguing to read. Really an expertly and tightly woven story. 

And there's still so much that hasn't been revealed. They haven't even started their joint mission. I have a few suspicions about where the story might go, but I have even more questions about what all happened in the interim between the Study and present day. This first book in the series goes back and forth in time, but unlike a lot of books that have flashbacks, I never resented these for interrupting the story, because every single one gave a glimpse more into how these two people got to be here. 

This review is already long, and I haven't even talked about the sizzling hot chemistry between Ian and Lyndsey. I'll just leave it at this...Wow, they are so scorching hot together. 

This book was amazing! I NEED the other two books in the series NOW. I highly, highly, highly recommend this one. I LOVED IT!

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