Saturday, May 23, 2015

Review: Only for Her (Only #2) by Cristin Harber


First loves never die but Grayson Ford comes close. Bleeding out in a war zone, he barters with God. Bring him back alive, and he'll make it right with his girl.

All I want is Emma. I need her, and I fight for her memory. A story. A smile. Anything. But it's all blank .

Emma is not his girl anymore. Time has skipped by and life's been hard. She strips to pay the bills, waitresses to fill the hours between classes and her third job. All while working to be the best mama she can be to the little girl who will never know her daddy. Even though Grayson abandoned her, she mourned his death. Until he calls, and everything she knew was wrong.

It's him. The him that ruined my life. That made my life. That confused my mind to the point that I can't figure out if I've been destroyed or set free. The him that... is... dead.

He's back with one objective--Emma Kingsley--and she never sees it coming.



 



Emma Kingsley had her whole life ahead of her and tons of plans for it. At least until the day that Grayson unexpectedly left town, leaving her alone and pregnant. It's been three long years since Grayson left and Emma is the definition of a single mom. She works two paying jobs, has an internship on the side, goes to college and takes care of her daughter. Emma isn't one for hand outs and has a hard time accepting help from anyone. She's too pissed to fail. She will succeed and she'll show Grayson that she doesn't need him. Then the horrible day came when she learned of his death. She second guessed her anger towards him and mourned the death of her child's father. You'll never guessed how surprised she was when he pops back into her life. 

Only for Her is the perfect continuation of the first novel in this series, Only for Him. Before I picked this one up, I went and reread the first one because I wanted to make sure that I didn't forget anything and I'm glad that I did. Rereadings usually bring stuff to my attention that I missed the first time and I missed a couple of things ... I just devoured it so quickly. I was hoping that I could slow the heck down for this one so that I didn't miss one single thing. And that was really hard to do. I found Only for Her to pick up right where the previous novel left off and it felt like it was a part of the first book instead of just a continuation. And that's refreshing. I've read too many  novels where the second book reads just a tad differently because the author has honed their craft a little more and just becomes ... better. But that didn't happen this time and I think it's because Harber was already a force to be reckoned with in the literary world ... there wasn't really anything she needed to improve upon.

I really liked the characters still and I felt like I was able to get to know them just a tad better than I had before. The pull that Harber was able to create between two fictional people is just captivating. It felt like I was reading a true story about one of my friends. Everything was so real and raw and honest, I just really enjoyed it. The story followed a natural progression in the storyline and nothing felt forced or fake.

I'm excited to see what the third novella has in store for these characters. Harber knocked this one out of the park. Again.

* I received this novel in exchange for an honest review *



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Review: Baited, Full Series (Baited #1-3) by Ali Parker


Rebecca Martin has achieved most things one might hope to by thirty. She is a successful business owner, drives a nice car and is wrapping up the details on a custom built home on the lake. The only thing she is missing is someone to share her accomplishments with.

One man has never been far from her thoughts – Kade McMillian, but his return to town after far too many years of chasing his dreams couldn’t be more poorly timed.

With a younger man demanding Rebecca attention at the office, she has to decide between reconstructing a relationship from her past or diving in deep to something new and seemingly forbidden.



 



Usually I summarize the book before I get into my review but I'm not going to do that today. I just want to get to all of the deets and then get out. This is the second series that I've read by Ali Parker and probably my last. I've found that these books are just not written for me and are better suited to someone else. What kind of someone else? I have no clue, to be honest. Once again, this author has managed to irritate me with typos and (what I think is) a strange way of writing but I'll get into that in a little while.

From the very beginning of this series I was largely confused. I just read the series Jaded by Ali Parker and there was a character named Kade. Now this character didn't have a big part, it was super small but much to my surprise, there was a pretty big character in this one named Kade as well. In no way was it stated or hinted at the fact that these were the same person. No matching details were given about either character and I'm just not understanding why an author would use a name twice unless it was the same person but if it IS the same person, why wouldn't any of the personal details match up? It was very confusing and I found that this was quite distracting when you're trying to get into a book but instead you're analyzing every sentence trying to see if there is some connection that you're missing. 

I have one more tiny nitpick before I move on. I lived most of my life in Oklahoma City ... that's my hometown and it's not Southern Southern but it's Southern ... does that make sense? Well, almost 8 years ago, my husband and I moved our kiddos down to Houston. Now, Houston is Southern. A common word in our vernacular is the infamous Y'ALL. I've said this word (much to the horror of my mom (a teacher)) for pretty much my entire life but it is almost a religion down here in Houston. Anyhow ... y'all is a contraction of two words: you and all. I'm not going to get into the rules for contractions but the apostrophe (in most cases) goes where the letters are removed. It is y'all. Does it look weird, yes. Does it really matter that the author got it wrong? No ... but it was the typo that broke the camel's back.

On to the meat of the story ... basically, the story felt disjointed. This book had a pretty interesting blurb and I had such high hopes but unfortunately, it didn't deliver on hardly any level. The story felt shallow, if that makes sense. There wasn't any grit to it, I didn't feel like I knew the characters or their wants/needs/motivations, and it was a little boring. I expected some steamy romance but what I got instead was a tepid romance that took a backseat to the Parker sub-plot. And no, I don't mean the author ... there is a character named Parker. I won't get into the name thing again but it feels a tad familiar ... Anyway. This Parker sub-plot was an attention hog. I was completely confused as to why this character was taking up so much page space when I would have loved to have learned a little more about our main character and what the heck was going on with her. 

I'm going to just leave it at that. I won't be picking up another Ali Parker novel. Fool me once, shame on you ... fool me twice and I'm a damn idiot. Well, this idiot is on to another novel, y'all.

* I received this book in exchange for an honest review *



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Saturday, May 16, 2015

Review: Jaded, Full Series (Jaded #1-3) by Ali Parker


As a photographer for the New York Post, Kari Martin was used to seeing heartache and scandal up close. But one night at the club… her whole world changed.


Heartbroken and willing to call off her wedding, she decides a change is in order and moves from NYC to a small town in Maine, where the average age of the residents there is sixty (or thereabouts). She works to fit in perfectly, and tries like hell not to let anyone find out just how very jaded she’s recently become over the lie called love.


Jake Isaac left Texas quite a few years ago; his heart torn from his chest, and his mind set on being a bachelor forever. Maine would welcome him, give him land to explore and a community to belong to. Getting a job as the coach of the local junior high and serving on the fire department kept him busy — and labeled him a hometown hero — but the truth of his damaged heart was forever hidden.

No one would ever know just how jaded he was about love. That is… until he meets Kari.







Kari is out enjoying her bachelorette party with her girlfriends when the unthinkable happens. The next day, Kari decides to move away to a small town that she's never heard of and start a new life. Being in a new place isn't always easy, especially when fate keeps throwing the man of your dreams into your path even though you know you're not ready. Sometimes fate knows better than you do.

You know, I was excited about reading Jaded. I thought that it would be full of angst and turmoil and just ... feeling. But it wasn't as angsty as I had hoped it would be. With the kind of opening that the book had ... man ... I was expecting sparks to fly and maybe for my Kindle to catch on fire but that just never happened. Those first couple of chapters were amazing and then the story just tapered off for me. Some of the issues I had was that the story was just too convenient ... well, not the story, but things that happened in the story. The characters shouldn't always get the easy way out, there needs to be controversy in order to keep the story interesting and there just wasn't much of that. The story kind of fell flat and became long winded and uninteresting. I was skipping paragraphs just waiting for something (anything!) to happen that would move the story along.

I also found Jaded to be SUPER wordy. Things were just phrased so weirdly sometimes. Here's an example: "Kari came loose of her panties and bra". Ooookay ... OR you could say: Kari took her panties and bra off ... OR even: off came her undergarments. But Kari came loose of her panties and bra? Weird. No one tied her up in that shit, she took them off. Another one is: "... parking her small Honda in a covered garage and slipping out into the small space afforded her". OMG. Why say it that way?!? She stepped into the small space between the cars ... done. Anyway, I don't know. Is what was written grammatically correct? Sure. But it sounds weird as hell, no one says shit that way. Maybe I wouldn't be so irritated with the weird phrases if there weren't any typos. I can count on one hand the amount of times I've listed typos in a review because you know what, stuff happens. Especially with all of the indie books out there but this time, I was already irritated and seeing the phrase "me mumbled" just sent me over the edge. I mean, come on! This isn't that In Me Mom's Car Broom Broom vine that was going around, this is a piece of literature. Me mumbled seemed almost like an insult to the reader. Me didn't mumble but me is getting pissed.

Oh! And THEN the ending was a complete letdown. I was shocked that it just ended, I didn't feel like anything was truly buttoned up, there wasn't a completed feeling to it. It was like the story was getting good and then someone deleted the last 20 pages and wrote the end. It wasn't what I was expecting at all but again ... my irritation could be from the whole me mumbled debacle.

I guess the worst part of this whole ordeal is that this book had potential for me. I was really looking forward to it. So much so that I actually received two Ali Parker series before I had read anything by her. Yeah. Note to self: Only get one series by a new author that way you're sure you like their writing style. And in lieu of the wordiness and typos, I use the word style VERY loosely. I really hate not liking a book but it happens. On to the next one!

* I received this book in exchange for an honest review *



Available Now

Friday, May 15, 2015

Review: The List (College of Charleston, #1) by Kate L. Mary


The List. Twenty things every girl must do before she turns twenty. . .

Body piercing
Get drunk
First kiss


But thanks to her crazy, over-protective father, Annie Roth is way behind schedule. Good thing it’s her first semester of college, because Annie is more than ready to start checking off items. . .

Fake ID
Skinny dipping
Road trip!!!


Where it gets complicated? Ryan and Chris. Best friends. Both sweet, funny, totally hot, and totally into Annie.

But there are some things on The List that Annie only wants to do with Ryan. . .

Lose it
Get Heart Broken
Fall in love







Annie is heading to college on a mission. The first part of her mission was to get away from her super over-protective father and the next missions ... well ... they're on the list. Annie hasn't really experienced life because her father has kept her sheltered for too many years. While there is a good reason for him to be playing the overbearing father, Annie needs some breathing room and she's determined to get it many miles away in college.

The List is the first book I've read by Kate L. Mary but I've been interested in her stuff before ... I've just never had the opportunity to read one. When this one popped up, I knew I needed to jump on it and I'm glad that I did. The author has a way with characters that really makes you either love or hate them. There really isn't any in-between.

I don't really have anything to say other than the book does jump around a little bit ... there were parts where you're getting into the groove of the situation and then all the sudden it would change and something else was going on. It was almost as if things had just been edited out, which is why I gave it four stars instead of five. This was easily a five star book for me if it weren't for those weird changes. 

And holy sexual-frustration, Batman. I don't even have dude junk and I had some massive blue-balls from this one. There is a bit of a love triangle going on within these pages and while I enjoyed the suspense of what might or might not happen with which piece of man-candy, I did just want her to pick. Don't take that the wrong way ... it wasn't because the chase or whatever was boring ... it wasn't. I'm just impatient as hell and I wanted to know which one she was going to pick. But, I will tell you this ... she picked the right one ... the one I wanted her to pick. So I had a little celebratory dance in my head and maybe an eye-roll because of the intense suspense that I had to be put through. 

This is a great book if you're wanting something deep but not too deep or maybe a sweet little romance to break up your dystopian/sci-fi habit. I know I'll be reading this one again ... I just really loved the characters and I hope it's not the last we see of them. Oh! And I'm super interested to see what the rest of the series has in store for me ... I'll definitely be picking them up when they come out. 

* I received this book in exchange for an honest review *



Available: May 26th, 2015

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Review: Alive by Scott Sigler


A young woman awakes trapped in an enclosed space. She has no idea who she is or how she got there. With only her instincts to guide her, she escapes her own confinement—and finds she’s not alone. She frees the others in the room and leads them into a corridor filled with the remains of a war long past. The farther these survivors travel, the worse are the horrors they confront. And as they slowly come to understand what this prison is, they realize that the worst and strangest possibilities they could have imagined don’t even come close to the truth.



 



At the beginning of my reviews I like to write a little summary of my own and let people know what the book is about but I'm doing something different this time. I'm not going to do that. I have good reasons ... the biggest reason being that any minute detail I give you could give away some of the important things that happen in the book, I don't want to spoil what I like to call First Read Magic. First Read Magic is that amazing feeling you get when you read a new book ... all of the excitement and suspense and first impressions of characters and just getting totally immersed in a new world. This isn't something that you can get back or do over, it only happens that once. This book is a big one with that. There are just too many surprises that you could figure out with just a little nudge and since I didn't have that, I don't want you to either!

Oh, and I think it needs to be said that I've tried reading science fiction novels and lately, I just can't get into them. I end up reading about halfway through and I just can't stay focused on it. I don't know why that is ... Alive is the first science fiction I've read (and enjoyed immensely) in over a year ... maybe longer. Just keep that in mind if you're on the fence about this one since everything written about it is so mysterious.

So ... anyway ... Scott Sigler. I've never had the opportunity to read anything by him previously. He is a trip. Well, his writing is, anyway. You know how with some authors you sit there and wonder what kind of person has THAT kind of mind to think some crap up? Sigler is one of those. There were many times when I was just sitting here with my Kindle in my hand wondering how in the hell he came up with this stuff. But you know what? As strange or out there I might have thought it to be, Sigler can sure weave a beautiful story. It's weird to think of a science fiction story being beautiful but it was. While I did find that there were some spots where it was a little too detailed, it was that way for a reason: you're entering this different world, you're looking through the eyes of a girl who woke up in a confined space and didn't know what was going on. It only makes sense that you (the reader) would also have to look at things in a different light since you're experiencing it for the first time along with this girl. 

I enjoyed getting to know everyone in the novel. By the end, I felt that I really KNEW them. I knew what their motivations were, why they were the way they were and what their potential was for the future. Gosh ... I'm just skirting too closely to some things. So I'll stop there. I'll end by saying this: this book has been touted to be "in the vein of The Hunger Games, Divergent and The Maze Runner" and I would completely agree with that. If you like sci-fi and you enjoyed even one of those three books, you will probably enjoy this one. 

I was excited to find out that this is going to be a trilogy, the other two books following Alive are sure to be a trip. One I can't wait to go on!

* I received this book in exchange for writing an honest review *



Available: July 14th, 2015
 



Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Virtual Book Tour & Giveaway: Breaking Noah by Missy Johnson & Ashley Suzanne


In the off chance that you haven't heard of this book (but you totally should have, because it's awesome), I wanted to let you know a little bit about it before you go and purchase it (because I know you'll want to after this). I've paired up with Tasty Book Tours to bring a virtual book tour and giveaway (PLUS a bit about both of the authors AND an excerpt!!) to you for your reading pleasure! I hope that you like this book as much as I did!

Don't forget to enter the giveaway at the bottom of the page!




What happens when you start falling for your worst enemy? Fans of Abbi Glines and Monica Murphy will relish this addictive novel of smoking-hot seduction—and revenge gone so wrong, it’s right.

I wasn’t always this jaded. I had a clear head, things I wanted out of life, and a concise plan on how to get there. For being only twenty-one, I pretty much had it all figured out. Until the day my cousin died.

I spent months going over all the details surrounding her death, trying to figure out how I missed the signs, and the only thing I could come up with was she would still be alive if it wasn’t for one person: her professor. So I transferred to his college, enrolled in his class, and set my new plan in motion.

First I’ll seduce him. Then I’ll ruin him. I’ve just got to stay strong and not let his charm and my emotions get the best of me. Because someone has to pay for her death. If it’s the last thing I do, I’m going to break Noah.



“I’m serious, Zara. I can be your friend and your teacher.”
 
I hold back a snort. Does he even realize how bad that sounds? “I don’t even know what friends do, it’s been so long since I had one.” As the thoughts of Karly creep to the forefront of my memories, I shove them back down. Granted, she’s the reason I’m pursuing this in the first place; I need to foster the anger and push aside the sadness. It’s the only way I can make this work.

“We’ll start off easy,” he jokes. “What are you reading?”

Time to amp it up a little, get him outside his comfort zone.

“Right now, nothing, but earlier I was falling in love with Christian. There’s just something about the older, dominant man and the younger, na├»ve woman. And let’s not forget the mind-blowing intimate scenes. Have you read it, Mr. Bain?”

I can almost picture him—his Adam’s apple bobbing with his shocked gulp as he’s trying to swallow down what he really wants to say and let only the words that he should say come out of his mouth.

“Mr. Bain, are you there? Did I lose you?” I ask, already knowing that he’s still on the other end of the line . . . he’s breathing far too loudly for our phones to have been disconnected.

“I’m here,” he grumbles. “I didn’t know you were into those types of books. You caught me off guard.” I already knew that. It was kind of my plan.

“So you know what book I was talking about.” I giggle. “Anyway, I read all kinds of books. Sometimes when I’m just coming off a classic like what we were reading in class, I like to switch it up. Keeps me from getting bored.” I pause and bite my lip, wondering what he’s thinking right now. Is he imagining me handcuffed to a bed? Hands bound with a tie? My ass bright pink with the clear impression of his hand on my cheeks? Fuck, now I’m working myself up.

“I kept seeing that book all over the place and I know they’re making a movie. I was curious to see what all the hype is about. Not the greatest thing ever, but it kept me interested. And the actual story—I mean, the sex was great—some places had me all ‘wow.’ But the story behind it is what blew me away. It was amazing. And it’s worth reading just for the elevator scene.” I laugh.

“That’s . . . interesting.” His voice has a tremble to it and I can faintly hear him as he swallows. 

There’s no greater feeling than rendering him speechless. I ponder digging in a little more—weighing the pros and cons in my head—and conclude it’s now or never. I have to test the waters.

“Have you ever had great sex like that, Mr. Bain? I feel like I’m missing out. When I’m with Dillon, it isn’t terrible, but it feels like I’m missing something important.” I grin, my hand flying to my mouth. I cannot believe I’m saying this. “Like there’s supposed to be this earth- shattering moment that makes you forget about everything else and focus only on the present. I don’t get anything remotely close to that with him. I don’t even think he’s made me orgasm. Not without the help of my fingers, anyway.” I giggle again and wait for his response.

“Zara,” he breathes, trying to stop me. I wonder if he’s hard thinking of me coming using my fingers. I can’t lie and say that I’m not a little aroused right now, too.

“You did say we were friends, right? This is the kind of thing I would assume that friends talk about. Still want to be my friend, Mr. Bain?” I’ve never heard this octave of my voice before —deep, seductive, and packed full of flirtation I’m sure he’s picking up on.

He doesn’t respond, but I can still hear his fast-paced breathing, just like before. I’m starting to feel sorry for the guy. Or maybe I’m feeling powerful. Like I have the ability to mess with his train of thought this badly. It’s an extremely empowering feeling.

“I’m sorry, Mr. Bain. I’ll let you go. I didn’t mean to take up all of your time. Have a good night.”
 
“Zara, wait.” He cuts in. “We don’t have to get off the phone. You caught me off guard is all. I’m honestly not sure what to say. I’m not in the habit of discussing erotica novels with my friends,” he says. “And I wouldn’t want anyone to get the wrong idea about our relationship.”

“I don’t want to get you in any trouble.” I fib. “It’s just hard, you know? Not having anyone to talk to. I mean, I could talk to Dillon, but he’d just get really defensive and go out again, which would leave me in the same situation I am now . . . alone. Maybe I should just go back home. Things aren’t working out how I imagined.”

To be honest, they’re not exactly going to plan . . . they’re going much better.

Men are so easy to manipulate. Play around with the damsel-in-distress act long enough and they become putty in your hands. Just like this.




MISSY JOHNSON
Missy Johnson is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author who lives in a small town in Victoria, Australia, with her husband and her confused pets (a dog who thinks that she is a cat, a cat who thinks he is a dog . . . you get the picture). When she’s not writing, she can usually be found looking for something to read. 

Connect with Missy Johnson:


ASHLEY SUZANNE
 Ashley Suzanne has been writing for as long as she can remember. As a youngster, she was always creating stories and talking to her imaginary friends. Thankfully, her parents also carried this love of fiction, and helped her grow into the bestselling author she is today. When Ashley isn’t coming up with her next story, you'll most likely find her on the couch, telling her husband all about her new book boyfriend, or spending quality time with her two gremlins . . . er, adorable children.

Connect with Ashley Suzanne:







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Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Review: Red Carpet Day Job by Tasha Cotter


Most of the working-class secretaries in New York City don’t spend their mornings wrestling skirts from beneath roosting chickens or cleaning egg yolk off their heels. But Sophie Waldrop does, thanks to her boyfriend, Scott, and the organic egg business he runs out of her 5th floor walk-up. Though they’ve been dating since high school, Scott no longer pulls his weight in the relationship—financially or emotionally. Sophie’s ready to send him, and his chickens, packing.

The day she breaks up with Scott, Sophie’s boss introduces her to the firm’s new client, Nick Jackson—the hottest up-and-coming actor in Hollywood. Sophie can’t believe her luck when her boss volunteers her to be Nick’s date for a red carpet award ceremony that same night. Freshly single, Sophie tries to keep things in perspective as her “work event” leads to a budding romance. She didn’t expect to like Nick, and she certainly didn’t expect him to like her.

When her dream job lands in her lap, Sophie rejoices that her hard work has finally paid off. But she soon learns that it may have been Nick's influence that opened the doors and created the opportunities that she would rather have earned for herself.

Nick’s hectic schedule, the persistent leading ladies with whom he works, and Sophie’s own promotion and career ambitions further complicate their fairy-tale romance. Can Nick and Sophie make their love last, or will their relationship be more like the paparazzi’s camera flashes—fast, bright, and fading?







Sophie wants to be an agent desperately ... she works hard for her boss, she works extra hours (sometimes to get away from her boyfriend, Scott) trying to get someone to acknowledge what a great agent she would be. Then one day, her dream client walks in ... he's the talk of the town, a womanizer and maybe a little too slick. And he wants to take Sophie to a big awards show. Sophie. Regular person, Sophie. Sparks start flying and Sophie wonders if she'll just be another notch on his bedpost because a famous movie star couldn't be interested in a normal person, right?

I've never read anything by Tasha Cotter before but if she writes any more romance novels after this one, I might be inclined to pick it up just to see what it's about because I really enjoyed Red Carpet Day Job. This was a simple, care-free read that I blew through because it simply entertained me. 

Here's the deal. You'll read some reviews out there that talk about how fast things happened in this book and how it was too quick or yadda blah. The book is only 160-some pages. Of course things are going to happen quickly! This isn't a 300 page beast that has the time to really delve into things. I think for such a short book, Cotter did a good job with the character development and all of that. I liked all of the characters ... I won't lie and say that I don't wish there were more pages ... of course I do! I'm a greedy reader. I'm greedy as hell. I want to know every minute detail of every second of these people's lives. 

While this book seemed to skim the surface of some of the situations, it all read true. And by that I mean that there aren't parts that are so in depth that you feel like you're drowning and then next there are parts that are so lackadaisical that it seems fake. Red Carpet Day Job is a book that you take with you to the pool this summer because you want something easy to read while you're relaxing. 

I don't want to say very much more because I don't want to give anything away but I will say this ... I really enjoyed the rapport between Sophie and Nick. I enjoyed watching their relationship ebb and flow with situations going on around them. It is a sweet love story that I'll probably read again. Mostly because I read it so quickly (since it was totally engaging), I want to make sure I didn't miss anything.

* I received this novel in exchange for an honest review *



Available Now!



Sunday, May 10, 2015

Review: The Lady Hellion (Wicked Deceptions #3) by Joanna Shupe


Lady Sophia Barnes doesn’t take no for an answer. Especially when she’s roaming London’s seedy underground…dressed as a man.

A rabble rouser for justice, Sophie’s latest mission is to fight for the rights of the poor, the wretched—and the employees at Madame Hartley’s brothel. She’s not concerned about the criminals who will cross her path, for Sophie has mastered the art of deception—including the art of wearing trousers. Now her fate is in her own hands, along with a loaded gun. All she needs is instruction on how to shoot it. But only one person can help her: Lord Quint, the man who broke her heart years ago. The man she won’t let destroy her again…

The last thing Damien Beecham, Viscount Quint, needs is an intrusion on his privacy, especially from the beautiful, exasperating woman he’s never stopped wanting. A woman with a perilously absurd request, no less. For Damien is fighting a battle of his own, one he wishes to keep hidden—along with his feelings for Lady Sophia. Yet that fight is as hopeless as stopping her outlandish plan. Soon all Quint knows for certain is that he will die trying to protect her…
 






Sophie is unlike other women of society ... she doesn't care about getting married (her father brings it up every year and she keeps dodging that bullet), she doesn't really care about what others think and she dresses as a man to help solve mysteries surrounding local brothels. As if her life isn't crazy enough, fate has brought an old flame back into the picture. Sophia needs Damien's help, help he isn't willing to give. Actually, he isn't willing to do anything pertaining to Sophia. He wants her to stay away from him and for good reason and he'll do anything in his power to keep some distance between them. But things don't always work out as planned.

This is the third book in the Wicked Deceptions series by Shupe and let me tell you one word: AMAZING. I'm sure I'm not alone in this but I have found so many series where I absolutely adored the first book and then the second book was crap and then the third book tried to make up for the second being crap and then it turns out even worse than the second. But that isn't the case with this series. I was absolutely hooked on this series from the first book and it's because of Shupe's ability to write unforgettable characters. I had a super high bar set with the second book and you know what? She hit that one out of the park as well and I figured once I got to the third, well ... there's no way that the third could be as good as the other two, right? Wrong. Totally wrong. The Lady Hellion was just as good as the other two!

Since I have read the other two, I realized something with this one. The Lady Hellion was more of a slow burn at the beginning rather than the lighter-fluid doused fire with the other two. It just had a slower start. And normally, that would really bother me. For authors to get you used to one way of writing in a series just to switch it up on you for the last book is just plain rude. But. It needed to be that way with this one because of the man that Damien is. I don't think that it would have read as true to his character if the first couple of chapters flew off like a kite in the wind. I won't lie, I was a little irritated at first but then I quickly realized that it was all for a reason. Damien is a cautious and thoughtful character and he would have wanted things to move slowly and cautiously. Anyhow ... it's slow and I liked it. You will too. 

I really don't have much else to say ... Shupe is an excellent author whom I will be following for as long as she cranks these things out (which better be for many, MANY more years). Her character development is some of the best that I've ever read and coupled with her perfect timing in the plot makes for a gripping read that you won't want to put down.

Yes, this is the third in a series. Do you need to read the other two books in order to understand this one? No, not necessarily. But I would highly recommend reading them just because there are a lot of back stories that will shed light onto the situations in this one. Plus, do you really want to miss out on those sassy ladies in the other two books? I'm telling you right  now, you don't. If you are a fan of historical romance novels, Joanna Shupe is the lady to go to. She knows her stuff and she's very, very talented. 

* I received this novel in exchange for an honest review *



Available: May 26th, 2015


Monday, May 4, 2015

Review: Rules of Protection (Tangled in Texas #1) by Alison Bliss


It’s rule breaker Emily Foster's birthday, and like everyone at The Jungle Room, she just wants to get some action. Unfortunately, she stumbles on the wrong kind, witnessing a mob hit. To protect her, she's entered into the Witness Protection Program with by-the-book Special Agent Jake Ward as her chaperone.

When the location of their safe house is compromised, Jake stashes Emily deep in the Texas backwoods. The city-girl might be safe from the Mafia, but she has to contend with a psychotic rooster, a narcoleptic dog, crazy cowboys, and the danger of losing her heart to the one man she can’t have.

Jake's as hot as he is infuriating, and she can't help but push all his buttons to loosen him up. Their mutual, sizzling sexual attraction poses a dilemma: Jake's determined to keep her safe and out of the wrong hands; she's determined to get into the right ones—his.



 



Emily decided to hit the bar with her two best friends for her birthday. She was hoping for a few drinks, some laughs and at her friends urging ... maybe a handsome guy to spend the rest of her birthday with. That's not exactly how her night panned out ... instead of the fun time she was hoping for, she was stalked through the bar by a skeezy guy and she peeked in on a mob hit. The moment she saw someone get killed, her life changed forever ... it turned into a life full of conflicting emotions, almost-sexy-times and some backwoods country people that she has absolutely nothing in common with.

I almost never read someone else's review of a book before I read it myself. I don't know why that is ... there's nothing wrong with reading reviews, that is how a lot of people figure out what to pick up next. But that just isn't the way I do things. I've had my eye on this book since it hit shelves back in August of last year but I never had the opportunity to pick it up. Finally the day arrived that I would be able to read it and for some odd reason, I read some reviews before I even turned a page. And of course, I gravitated towards the bad reviews to see what people were saying about Rules of Protection. I read some really horrible stuff and I am so glad that I didn't let those harsh words deter me from starting this because it was absolutely amazing! I haven't enjoyed a romantic suspense novel like this in such a long time. I read Sandra Brown almost religiously and let me tell you, this is no exaggeration ... Alison Bliss is a young Sandra Brown. Before I embarrass myself and start waxing poetic about both of these very talented ladies, let's get down to the review.

You're thrown into this novel as Emily is walking into the bar and you're able to get to know her as she handles different situations and the people around her. I like it that way. I don't very much enjoy a book starting off with these stale paragraphs that describe a character in great detail before you even get to anything pertaining to the story. The way that Bliss did it, it was perfection. I was able to form my own opinions on Emily and her friends rather than being told what I SHOULD think of them. And I think that makes a difference when setting a book up because every reader interprets things a different way. Let me elaborate on that a little bit ... some reviewers are saying that the Emily character ruined the book for them because she was so incredibly emotional. I didn't see it that way. I took it as Emily was reacting to a harrowing situation and her emotions got the best of her. Which I'm assuming is pretty easy to do when the character has no filter and is so sassy that you just know she has a steel pair that would rival the manliest of men. Personally, I liked her emotional reaction because I think that it was realistic. I can't imagine how I would react in a situation like that but I'm betting people would think that I was off my rocker as well. Anyhow ... I thoroughly enjoyed the character of Emily and while sometimes she may have been bit over the top, she was completely true to herself and you can't help but love honest characters. 

The rest of the story ... man ... what a whirlwind!! Rules of Protection doesn't keep you on the edge of your seat, it completely demolishes the seat and makes you run around like a demented rooster is after you. There is twist after twist in this plot; I never knew what was going to happen next and I was constantly surprised. It's really hard to shock me these days because of how many romantic suspense novels I've read but I was pleasantly surprised at every single turn of the page. I read this one pretty quickly and I have so, SO much more to say but I don't want to ruin any of the surprises!

Alison Bliss is an author to watch out for and if you haven't read this book yet, you need to go ahead and grab it. I will be anxiously awaiting the next novel in the series which I'm hoping is coming out soon ... right? RIGHT?!? (Hint, hint Alison Bliss)

* I received this book in exchange for an honest review *



Available NOW!