Friday, December 18, 2015

Book Review - Sparkles and the Grinch by S.R. McKade

Sparkles and the Grinch
by S.R. McKade
Published 2014
45 Pages

This is a very sweet short story, perfect for a relaxing break with a cup of hot cocoa! Police detective Ryan Walker and his partner, Nathan, are investigating a recent spree of robberies just before the Christmas holiday. One of the victims has hired Alex Kincaid (a private investigator who works closely with the local police) to assist. 

Alex is a lovely woman, who comes from a family of four brothers. She prefers to maintain a tough exterior, and presents as a well-trained professional. But when there is a break in the case, Detective Ryan is reluctant to give Alex any information. He soon finds himself torn between his professional relationship with Alex, and a budding attraction. 

Despite Detective Ryan's hard-headed and uptight demeanor, Alex is equally intrigued. But can these two headstrong individuals let down their guard to solve crime? And where will their secret feelings toward one another lead them... 

While the characters lack depth, the story is entertaining. Overall, a fun, quick read to enjoy over the holidays!

Available on Amazon

Reviewed by Andrea 
4 STARS

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Book Review - Blood Dark by Lindsay J. Pryor

Blood Dark (Blackthorn, #5)
by Lindsay J. Pryor
Published 2015
398 Pages

This fifth installment in the Blackthorn series tells the story of Kane, a formidable vampire in Blackthorn; and Caitlin Parish, a special agent with the Vampire Control Unit — and a worthy counterpart to Kane. Although these two have struggled with issues of trust, they can’t help being drawn together. But there are obstacles they must overcome, and very real threats that neither one is prepared for.



Surrounded by deceit, the future of Blackthorn is at stake. Other characters play important roles as a sinister plot unfolds, forcing both Kane and Caitlin to question all that they have come to know about the world around them, and each other.

A fascinating and oftentimes brutal world, Blackthorn is filled with vampires, lycans, and other intriguing characters that all have a place in this dark and gritty realm. With intertwining plots, and steamy love scenes, fans of paranormal romance will thoroughly enjoy this series! The author creates stories with depth, fully developed characters, and plenty of imagination!

Available on Amazon

Reviewed by Stephanie
5 STARS

Read our reviews for other books in the series:
Blood Shadows (book #1)
Blood Roses (book #2)
Blood Torn (book #3)

Blood Deep (book #4)

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Book Review - Sojourn by Cecilia London

Sojourn (Bellator Saga, #3)
by Cecilia London
Published 2015
290 Pages

This third installment in the Bellator Saga starts with Gabe, Crunch, and Jones bringing the horribly broken, abused, and clinging to life Caroline to a safe house after a daring rescue. Alive, but mentally and physically scarred, Caroline must rely on others if she is to survive. She begins training, and learns how to fight, as she prepares herself for an uncertain future.

Crunch is a down to earth guy who is happy to help, while Gabe is the natural leader of the group. Jones, a former convict who shares a complicated history with Caroline, has his own motivations for helping her. And as she prepares herself for what is to come she begins a new life, with a new identity.

Now, as Diana Marie Pascal, she must find a way to move forward. Complete with colored contacts and a drastic hair change, she has a cover. But flashbacks continue to haunt her. A budding romance begins to develop. But after losing loved ones she is guarded, and continues to struggle. As the group seeks out a possible rebellion cell in San Diego, she is shocked when she discovers the identity of the leader...


This is a fantastic story, with fully developed characters, and plenty of action. Romantic elements compliment the plot, and the pacing is superb. While book two had some cringe-worthy violent scenes, this third installment was much less jarring. Still, there was plenty of suspense, and a realistic unfolding of events. The slow-build up to romance was very well done! Set in a futuristic world, the possibilities are frightening, and the story gripping! Reading this series, it's easy to feel fully invested in Caroline's world. And I won't rest until I read the last book!

Available on Amazon

Reviewed by Andrea

5 STARS





Read our reviews for other books in the series!
Dissident (book #1)
Conscience (book #2)

Monday, November 23, 2015

Book Review - One for Sorrow by Pippa DaCosta


One for Sorrow (The Veil, #5.5)
by Pippa DaCosta 
Published 2015
40 Pages

One for Sorrow is a book of short stories that adds depth and insight into the lives of Muse, Stefan, Akil, and other beloved characters from Pippa DaCosta's fantastic urban fantasy series, The Veil. 

Arriving at an abandoned house in Boston, Muse and Ryder
discover there is nothing routine about the demon inside. Haunting images of a past inhabitant force Muse to call upon her demon strength and human emotions, as she confronts a situation like no other. We learn how Muse responds to a common holiday tradition, with unexpected consequences. And catch up with the formidable, and always intriguing ice-demon, Stefan.
"I can protect her from everything...but me."
With spellbinding tales and a character interview, fans of the Veil series will thoroughly enjoy this action packed, fast paced companion to the series. Get ready for some surprises, and lots of demon magic! Loved! 

Available on Amazon

Reviewed by Stephanie

5 STARS

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Book Review - Hearts of Blue by L.H. Cosway

Hearts of Blue (Hearts, #4)
by L.H. Cosway
Published 2015
310 Pages

L.
H. Cosway has a way of tapping into the heart of romance. In every story, there is a moment when we turn a corner with the characters, feel our breath hitch, and know there is no turning back. Karla and Lee’s story was no exception. 

In Hearts of Blue we get to know the sexy but troubled Lee Cross, who has lived much of his young life on the wrong side of the law; and police constable Karla Sheehan, who finds Lee to be both complicated and enticing. Their mutual attraction is undeniable, but Karla knows this romance is forbidden. Still, she can’t stop thinking about the possibilities...

"One day, Karla, you'll understand that me having my hands on you is never a bad thing."
Karla has her own complicated history. And as we move beyond the surface we uncover the truth about how loyalties and motivations have driven both Karla and Lee throughout their lives. But some obstacles are too big to overcome. Will they find love, despite the odds?

Another amazing tale in the Hearts series! I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys contemporary romance with a unique twist on forbidden love.

Available on Amazon

Reviewed by Stephanie

5 STARS

Read our reviews for other books in the series:
Six of Hearts (Hearts, #1)
Hearts of Fire (Hearts, #2)
King of Hearts (#3)




Excerpt ~ Hearts of Blue

Lee didn’t answer, and instead he took a step forward, forcing me to back up if I didn’t want us to collide. The problem with this meant my back hit the wall a moment later.

“You’re so pretty, Snap,” he said, voice low, as he dropped his face to my hair and breathed in.

I wasn’t wearing a hat, and my hair was tied up in a bun. My entire body trembled when he wrapped his arms around my waist, inhaled deeply and pulled me into a hug. This was a distraction, I knew it, and yet, I let him distract me. I wanted to be distracted, and I was just glad that the blinds in his office had been pulled.

Standing in his embrace for at least a minute with silence all around us, I was unable to move. I liked having Lee close, loved the feel of him and how he could make feel so…surrounded. Despite all the warning signs, my attraction to him only grew stronger. There was just something about him that called to me.

“Lee.”

His mouth moved against my hair. “What is it, Karla?”

“Why are you hugging me?”

“You looked like you needed to be held.” His response was low, and the affectionate undertone had me swallowing deeply. At long last I summoned the willpower to break the hug. His arms fell away from me easily, my stomach churning with confusion. What the hell was I doing?

I stared at the floor when I spoke. “I have to go.”

Heading for the door, I paused when he said gently, “Hey, I needed it, too.”




About the Author


L.H. Cosway has a BA in English Literature and Greek and Roman Civilisation, and an MA in Postcolonial Literature. She lives in Dublin city. Her inspiration to write comes from music. Her favourite things in life include writing stories, vintage clothing, dark cabaret music, food, musical comedy, and of course, books.

She thinks that imperfect people are the most interesting kind. They tell the best stories.


Connect with L.H. Cosway

Monday, November 9, 2015

Cover Reveal - Sojourn by Cecilia London

Coming December 7th...


SOJOURN
The Bellator Saga, #3
by Cecilia London

Synopsis

Haunted by her experience at The Fed, Caroline tries to create a new identity. A new present, a new future. She can’t escape the memories that dog her when she least expects it, leaving her mired in a depression that she finds difficult to escape. Caroline needs to regain her physical and mental strength if she intends on surviving the journey to find the elusive rebellion. But that’s easier said than done with the ghosts of the past constantly whispering in her ear.

The road is long and dangerous, and there are no guarantees. She and her companions have no idea what they will find when they arrive at their destination. And what they finally discover may change everything.

Part Three of a Six Part Saga. Sojourn is not a standalone and must be read after the first two books in the series. Ends in a cliffhanger. For readers 18+. This book contains adult situations including explicit sex and violence.

Read our reviews for other books in the series!

Dissident (book #1)
Conscience (book #2)

About the Author

Cecilia is my pen name. I may or may not live in San Antonio, Texas. I've been known to apply quotes from 'The Simpsons' to everyday life. I live for baseball season.



Connect with Cecilia London!


Monday, October 19, 2015

Book Review - To Save a Mate by Krystal Shannan

To Save a Mate
(VonBrandt Family #1; Somewhere, Texas #4)
by Krystal Shannan
Published 2014
160 Pages


Luke VonBrandt has had his eye on Kara McClure for years, but now that they are in college Kara hasn't given him a second glance. For Kara's part, she sees Luke and his twin brother as gorgeous, mysterious, and a bit intimidating. But Luke and his brother have to keep their distance if they are to maintain a deep, dark family secret. Being shape-shifters in a small town isn't always an easy secret to keep.

When tragedy strikes, Kara's life takes a dangerous turn, and Luke may be the only one to save her. The problem is, it will come with a cost. And despite Luke's desire to come to her rescue, the cost may be too high for Kara. Still, it's a risk he's willing to take.

Now, Kara's lost in her own thoughts, and still reeling from the events that have derailed her life. Can she learn to trust again? The journey is full of twists and turns, but their attraction is undeniable. And slowly, they discover new and enticing possibilities. But will their love be strong enough to withstand what Luke still hasn't shared?

This is a fantastic paranormal romance, and I'm so excited to read the next book! I couldn't put it down, and when I turned the last page I wanted more. Steamy, adventurous, and full of surprises, I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys paranormal romance filled with charm and wit. Loved!


Available on Amazon

Reviewed by Stephanie
5 STARS

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Cover Reveal - My Soul to Keep by Kennedy Ryan

Cover Reveal & Giveaway!


My Soul to Keep
by Kennedy Ryan
Available 
November 16, 2015!


About the Book

It seems the things worth keeping are often the hardest to hold...

KAI

I had two things in life that mattered. My mother and my music.
Mama was taken from me too soon, and now music is all I have left. It’s the thing that’s pushed me right out of backwoods Georgia into Los Angeles, where the line between fantasy and reality shimmers and blurs. I’m finally making my way, making my mark. I can’t afford to fall for one of music's brightest stars. Not now. Music is all I have left, and I’m holding on tight with both hands. I won’t let go, not even for Rhyson Gray.

RHYSON

I had one thing in my life that mattered – music. The only constant, it’s taken me to heights most people only dream about; a gift dropped in my lap at birth. I thought it was enough. I thought it was everything until I met Kai. Now she’s all I think about, like a song I can't get out of my head. If I have to chase her, if I have to give up everything - I will. And once she's mine, I won't let go.

Add to your Goodreads TBR!

Click Here to Enter the Giveaway!

About Kennedy Ryan

I just can't write about myself in third person for one more bio! I'm a wife, a mom, a writer, an advocate for families living with autism. That's me in a nutshell. Crack the nut, and you'll find a Southern girl gone Southern California who loves pizza and Diet Coke, and wishes she got to watch a lot more television. You can usually catch me up too late, on social media too much, or FINALLY putting a dent in my ever-growing To Be Read list!


Connect with the Author!



Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Cover Reveal - Sins of Sevin by Penelope Ward

Coming September 21st...

Sins of Sevin
A Contemporary Romance
by Penelope Ward

New York Times, USA Today
& Wall Street Journal Bestselling Author

Add Sins of Sevin to your 
TBR on Goodreads


About the Book

From the New York Times bestselling author of Stepbrother Dearest, comes a new forbidden STANDALONE romance.

What happens when the one you want is the only one you can’t have?

My name is Sevin.

Homeschooled and sheltered by my ultra-religious family, I was always taught that lust was a sin.

Elle was the girl who’d been carefully chosen for me.

After a long-distance courtship, I’d be moving into her family’s guesthouse so that we could get to know each other in the months before the wedding.

Boundaries were set: no inappropriate touching, no kissing, no sex before marriage.

I’d accepted those rules and my fate.

Until I met the one I wanted to sin with.

That was when restraint became a problem…especially since the one wasn’t Elle.

It was her sister, Evangeline.

You know what they say about best laid plans.

My name is Sevin, and I have sinned.


Told in alternating points of view, Sins of Sevin is a full-length standalone novel. Contains graphic sexual content and harsh language. Only appropriate for adult readers age 18+.


About the Author


Penelope Ward is a New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal Bestselling author. She grew up in Boston with five older brothers and spent most of her twenties as a television news anchor, before switching to a more family-friendly career. 

She is the proud mother of a beautiful 10-year-old girl with autism and a 9-year-old boy. Penelope and her family reside in Rhode Island.


Connect with the Author!


Saturday, August 22, 2015

Book Review - Ties That Bind by Pippa DaCosta

Ties That Bind (The Veil, #5)
by Pippa DaCosta
Published 2015
292 Pages

This final installment in the Veil series is action packed, and takes us on a journey through Boston and the netherworld, where Muse faces one of the most challenging battles in the series. As a half-demon, her life has been most unconventional. And now things are really starting to heat up! Still discovering her true nature, and where she fits in between worlds, Muse is reunited with the beloved (yet formidable) half-demon, Stefan. And we finally discover the great mystery behind the Prince of Greed, Akil -- many surprises in store!

"'I am the same man you loved to hate.' He stood still, like the demon he was."
I was thoroughly impressed with the way the story came together. It was bittersweet, no stone was left unturned, and it felt like the entire series led up to this point. Where some series fall short in the conclusion, Ties That Bind was refreshingly complete. And although it was sad to see the series end, it felt like it couldn't go any other way. I laughed, I cried, and I read all through the night.

So, does Muse finally achieve the freedom that has eluded her her entire life? All I can say is there are heart wrenching moments, plenty of surprises, and some sighs of relief... some. And after I finished reading, I thought about all the moments in earlier installments that suddenly made perfect sense.
"Forget your emotions. I think you'll find it liberating."
Urban fantasy fans will love this exciting and original tale. The high quality writing, well paced plot, and fully developed characters combine to make each story in this series spellbinding and engaging. A must read! 

Available on Amazon

Reviewed by Stephanie

5 STARS

Read my reviews for other books in the series: 
Wings of Hope (#0.5)
Beyond the Veil (#1)
Devil May Care (#2)
Darkest Before Dawn (#3)

Drowning in the Dark (#4)

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Book Review - Conscience by Cecilia London

Conscience (Bellator Saga, #2)
by Cecilia London
Published 2015
420 Pages

In this second installment, we are seamlessly thrown back into Caroline's world. Told in flashbacks, interwoven with the present, the author delves deeper into the details of the story. Conscience brings depth to the plot, and reveals a few truths. While we learn exactly who Santos is, the full cause of trouble is still left as a mystery. 


We discover that the federal government is behind the overtaking of the States. And while Caroline is tormented beyond what anyone could possibly be expected to bear, and Jeffrey Murdock brings a new level of cruelty as her captor, she is further challenged by the reality that those she loves the most are at risk. Caroline has lost loved ones, coworkers, and allies, and is forced to endure the harshest brutality. The story reveals how quickly, yet subtly, the lives of the characters changed. It uncovers a gripping tale, not for the faint of heart!

This book is a sequel. You must be well invested in the first book before attempting to take on Conscience. It is a great political thriller -- darker, and more vicious than the first. And our heroine, Caroline, is a very believable character that is easy to sympathize with, and root for! 

I went back and forth between 4.5 and 5 stars, mostly because of the brutality. The tale is well written, and the author is exceptionally talented. So, if you have a strong stomach, this is a 5 star read. I am more on the squeamish side, and had a difficult time getting through the many violent scenes. But it's not reflective of the story. And in many ways, the details were necessary pieces of the complex puzzle.

Available on Amazon

Reviewed by Andrea 
5 STARS

R
ead my review for the first book:
Dissident (book #1) 

Monday, August 17, 2015

Book Release - Conscience by Cecilia London

New Release and Giveaway!
Conscience
(Bellator Saga, #2)
by Cecilia London

About the Book 

An escape plan foiled….

A determined woman….

One last tiny sliver of hope….

Jack will find me.

The Fed wants answers. And Caroline is determined not to provide them. They pull out all the stops, testing her sanity, testing her strength, testing her humanity.

Jack will find me.

Subject to cruel and merciless treatment at the hands of a government she once trusted, Caroline clings to her sole lifeline, her only chance at maintaining her tenuous hold on reality: her memories of her husband, Jack, her children, Marguerite and Sophie, and the friends who mean the world to her.

Jack will find me.

But what happens when hope starts to fade? How long until her interrogators cross over into the unspeakable sadism she fears ? How long before she finally breaks apart?

Part Two of a Six Part Saga, Conscience is not a standalone and must be read after the first book in the Bellator Saga, Dissident.
All books in the series end in a cliffhanger. For readers 18+. This book contains adult situations including graphic violence, explicit (consensual) sex and light BDSM, psychological and physical trauma, and an oftentimes raw, dark, and gritty plot.


Connect with Cecilia London!
Cecilia is my pen name. I may or may not live in San Antonio, Texas. I've been known to apply quotes from 'The Simpsons' to everyday life. I live for baseball season.

Website • Blog • Twitter
Facebook • Goodreads

Click the image below to 
Enter the Giveaway!


Read our review for the first book in the series!
Dissident (book #1)

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Book Review - Clearer in the Night by Rebecca Croteau

Clearer in the Night (Meredith Falls, #1)
by Rebecca Croteau
Published 2015
251 Pages

Initially, I was moved by the writing style and dreamy setting that filled the first few chapters of this book. But when things took an unexpected turn, I was left scratching my head. I could see where the author was going, and it was a commendable effort. But the result was a story that veered away from what could have been an exceptionally magical tale. 
I was kept waiting for answers that never came, or came too late. And it was hard to stay invested. Still, the story had merit. The concept was original, and I'm intrigued enough to want to know what direction the author will take us in future installments.

Having experienced a series of tragedies, Cait is troubled by unexplained events that are plaguing her life. Still mourning the loss of her father and sister, and dealing with a mother who overindulges in alcohol, she is unsure about what is really going on inside her head. She escapes into a world of risk-taking, with little regard as to the outcome of her behavior. 

"When you've brushed up against the dark side of the mirror --" "You see things more clearly."

Cait wakes up in a hospital bed, and is even more confused about what's going on in her life. Bazaar flashbacks of a brutal attack, and a handsome young man who sweeps her off her feet, fill her thoughts and dreams, as she regains consciousness. Then, the handsome man is in her room, telling her to keep secrets. It's the start of a romantic union that takes Cait down an even darker path, and into a surreal and frightening world. The handsome stranger, Wes, is protective of Cait. But soon she discovers his ulterior motives... and his true, deadly nature.

"You don't know what I am," he murmured into my skin. "You don't know what you're choosing."

I am still confused about certain elements of the story. Further, I am confused about what the unrelenting attraction was to Wes. When the supernatural world was explained I craved more of that world. Instead, the story focused too much on Cait's family history of abuse, which was important to the story, but started to feel repetitive.


Loose ends were tied up, but the pacing felt off. Overall, with a strong start, and the high quality writing, I had hoped for a stronger finish. More attention to character development and pacing would have made the story more compelling. 

Available on Amazon

Reviewed by Stephanie
4 STARS