Friday, November 22, 2019

The Abyss Trilogy by A.C. Ward Blitz and #Giveaway


Avoiding the Abyss
A.C. Ward
(The Abyss Trilogy, #1)
Publication date: November 19th 2019
Genres: Dystopian, Fantasy, Young Adult
Aubrey has always been told she isn’t special.
If only that had remained true.
Aubrey grew up as part of the rebel movement, protected but lonely. All she wants is her mother’s love, but without an ability she’s worthless in her mother’s eyes.
When she’s captured by the government, Aubrey sees an opportunity to prove her worth. Instead, she realizes that her mother has been withholding many truths. Aubrey experiences an acceptance outside of the rebels that her heart has yearned for, and a discovery. She has an immunity that has never been seen before.
But Aubrey isn’t immune, she’s absorbing powers as the key to the Abyss—a portal into the demon realm. Her mother finally sees purpose in her daughter and hopes to use it for her cause. Aubrey isn’t as certain. If she doesn’t gain control of her ability, she’ll open the gateway to hell and destroy everyone she’s come to care about. Including herself.
The first installment in the Abyss trilogy, a coming of age YA dystopian fantasy. Perfect for fans of dystopian worlds, apocalyptic prophesies, and demon lore.
Download now to find out if Aubrey will succeed in Avoiding the Abyss.
The Complete Trilogy:
EXCERPT:
It wasn’t the first time her mother had punched her in the face, and Aubrey doubted it would be the last. The most frustrating part was that she saw the punch coming. Not because it was slow—her mother, the paragon of the rebels, didn’t do slow—but because it was her typical move. Aubrey had fallen for the same thing in prior training sessions. She had learned tactics to avoid it, blocking the punch or turning to the side or even ducking, but indecision led to her freezing up.
Her mother’s controlled swing hit Aubrey in the jaw. She tasted blood. Trying her best to ignore it, Aubrey kept her feet moving, managing to pull back in time to evade the second swing. She had never been able to keep up with her mother but wanted to put up a good enough fight to avoid being a complete disappointment. Again.
Sparring matches were one of the few times Aubrey interacted with her mother. It had become a form of communication between them. The way her mother’s green eyes hardened to stone, the deep crease that formed between her brows, the firming of her lips as they turned down in displeasure, Aubrey could read them all. Her mother treated only her that way. A ball of tension twisted in her stomach, the pain of it worse than a connected blow could ever be.
Aubrey swung out at her mother, the punch a surprise even to herself, and sloppy. Her mother caught it in her own fist, the crease between her brows deepening. She used Aubrey’s own momentum against her, pulling her into the next blow. Aubrey tried in vain to turn it into a glancing blow, but the force of the impact snapped her head back. Dots danced in front of her eyes as Aubrey fell. Her mother released her grip to let her.
There were ways to fall to keep in the fight. Aubrey tried to get her body to do it, to roll back to her feet, but she flopped onto the rock ground instead with a sickening thud. She blinked, and the dots whirled, creating arcs of white light. Her mother stepped forward into the glow, pressing her advantage, and behind her an image formed.
Aubrey blinked but the figure remained. It was a man, and it was not. The scowl on his face was even fiercer than her mother’s. When he crossed his arms, Aubrey thought she saw three pairs of limbs folding over his bare ridged chest. He towered above her mother at an impossible height.
Aubrey lost her breath even before her mother’s kick connected with her side. What little air was left whooshed out of her lungs and she squeezed her eyes shut, giving in to the pain. The next kick popped them open wide again. Behind her mother, the figure was gone, burst like the figment of imagination he must have been.
The third kick had her body screaming in protest. Aubrey tried to roll away, to not just sit there and be beaten. Her mother was intent on her prey. The next blow to Aubrey’s side drained the last of her resistance. She curled in on herself, covered her head as best she could, and waited for the punishment to be over.
“Myra,” a voice interjected, warm and unhurried like the man it had come from.
Aubrey’s arms tightened even further around herself, wondering just how much of her shame he had witnessed.
Her mother paused, looking back over her shoulder to where he stood.
“They are asking for you, mi alma,” Tony said, the smile on his face one he reserved for Aubrey’s mother.
Myra frowned at him, her typical response to the pet name. “I’ve told you not to call me that.” She turned back to her daughter, her stance rigid. “Not good enough.”
Aubrey let the words pierce her, forcing her grip on herself to loosen. “I know.”
“You’re already at a disadvantage with no powers. You should be putting every effort into becoming useful in the one area where you have any chance.” Her mother stepped back and picked up a towel to wipe her face, though it wasn’t needed. Myra hadn’t even broken a sweat.
Aubrey’s own sweat ran in rivulets through her short-cropped hair. She used her trembling arms to push herself to a sitting position.
Myra tossed the towel, streaked with red dirt, into her lap. “This performance was even worse than last time.”
Aubrey tensed as her mother stepped toward her, half expecting another kick.
Myra crouched, forcing her daughter to meet her sharp eyes. “You’re becoming even more of a waste of time. If it gets any worse, we’ll end these sessions.” She stood again, turning her back on Aubrey.
Tony moved to the side of the entrance as she passed through, staring after her silently. When she was out of sight, he let out a heavy sigh and glanced at Aubrey where she was still frozen in place. “Happy fifteenth birthday, nena,” he said. Then he left to chase after her mother.
Aubrey stared at the rocky ground beneath her. Her hands curled into fists, the urge to hit something coming too late. She slammed them down hard enough to raise the dirt in plumes of red dust.


Author Bio:
Amanda Ward is a little worried that her internet search history is on some sort of watch list. For Death Daydreams, she researched serial killers, hidden rooms, death, suicide, and third-story falls. Her next work in process is only making it worse.
Amanda lives with her husband, daughter, and various pets - dog, cat, gecko, fish, and tarantula. When she's not writing she's watching Netflix or rereading her favorite manga. She'd love to hear from her fans. You can contact her at wardabooks@gmail.com.

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Thursday, November 21, 2019

Immortal Defiance by Laura Maybrooke (Dulcea's Rebellion, #1)

Immortal Defiance
by Laura Maybrooke

My rating: 3 stars

Series: Dulcea's Rebellion - Book 1
Publisher: Laura Maybrooke (October 10, 2019)
Publication Date: October 10, 2019
Genre: Fantasy
Print Length: 378 pages
Available from: Amazon

Some things never die. Hope. Heroes. Defiance.

Things take a strange turn for Dulcea, the elven enchantress turned war heroine and Dragonmistress, when a countryman's betrayal lands her in enemy hands.

As she awaits her execution, a stranger with mysterious powers offers her another chance at life. Will she die here or risk what sinister fate he has in store for her?

Can Dulcea reclaim her rightful place and lead her army once more? Or does Krath, the man who travels the Realm of the Dead as one of its own, prove to be the obstacle that fells her rebellion?

… Or will this immortal vampire warrior turn out to be the best chance she has of defying the ancient evil arising in the west?
Immortal Defiance by Laura Maybrooke
(Dulcea's Rebellion, #1)

Immortal Defiance (Dulcea's Rebellion, #1)IMMORTAL DEFIANCE by Laura Maybrooke ticked every one of my fantasy boxes, immortal beings of mystery, a powerful and determined enchantress, a possible unlikely romance slowly brewing and, of course, the ancient battle of good versus evil.

Ms. Maybrooke has a fabulous tale to tell, filled with atmosphere, the dialogue between the two main characters seems to be the meat of this tale as their interactions builds a connection between them. For me, there was too much telling, too much stiffness in sentences too weighted down with embellishments where a few words would suffice.

Told in dual POVs, there is an interesting dynamic growing between characters that begs to be delved into further, but again, the weight of the words used seemed to be better suited in a more poetic setting and not in a full length novel. That said, I do look forward to more from Laura Maybrooke and these strong characters. Perhaps now that the world-building has been established, there will be time for more movement and an easier flow!

I received a complimentary copy from Laura Maybrooke. This is my honest and voluntary review.


The Enforcer by Abigail Owen (Fire's Edge, #3)

The Enforcer
by Abigail Owen

My rating: 5 stars

Series: Fire's Edge - Book 3
Publisher: Entangled: Amara (December 9, 2019)
Publication Date: December 9, 2019
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Print Length: 325 pages
Available from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Death comes for everyone. Even Drake Chandali. The aging process that twists all unmated dragon shifters’ bodies into something useless has taken hold of his body centuries early. A mate could have reversed the process, but now it’s too late. To protect his team of enforcers, he leaves, and comes face to face with the woman he’d thought was human when he saved her from a fire months before.

Except she’s not human. She’s a mate.

Camilla Carrillo almost lost her family to wildfire. To discover she’s fated to mate a creature made of flame and rage, and become one herself, should be terrifying. But somehow a rightness settles inside her, especially when she’s around the glowering red dragon shifter who wants nothing to do with her.

When Drake learns Cami bears his mark — the same mark as the High King — he refuses to believe she’s meant to be his. It’s too late. How could he turn Cami only to take her with him to the grave? At the same time, he can’t walk away. Hiding her from the corrupt, rotting High King might be the last honorable thing Drake ever does with the little time he has left.
The Enforcer by Abigail Owen (Fire's Edge, #3)

The Enforcer (Fire’s Edge, #3)They hide among us, fiery dragon shifters with their slow ageing process, their soul deep loyalties to their clans and their desperate search for their fated mates, for to never find them will mean certain decline and death. Drake is coming to the end of his life, he has no hope of finding his mate, so he leaves his brothers behind only to come face to face with a woman he rescued months before from a raging fire. For all of the sexual tension between them, Drake knows Camilla is human, or is she?

Camilla bears the mark of a dragon mate, yet she doesn’t even believe dragons exist, could she be Drake’s savior or has his decline gone too far to even dream of finding what his heart and soul crave? To try to turn her now could mean certain death alongside him, besides, her mark is shared by both Drake and the High King…which makes her doubly dangerous or possibly doubly strong. Could this female possess the strength to pull Drake for the brink of death? Would she even accept him?

Drake is far from an open book, he is moody, standoffish and doing his best not to encourage Cami, but you know what they say about a hard-headed woman…Cami is fierce in her love of family, of those she cares about and in her loyalty to a man who she sees clearly needs someone on his side.

Abigail Owen’s THE ENFORCER sizzles with tension, not only between Cami and Drake, but among the dragons, as well. Brilliant storytelling in a world created to fall into and believe in, page after page. Feel the heat, the passions and the turmoil as one dragon and one mate find each other only after it may be too late.

An excellent addition to this series!

I received a complimentary ARC edition from Entangled Amara and Abigail Owen! This is my honest and voluntary review.


Behind Every Lie by Christina McDonald

Behind Every Lie
by Christina McDonald

My rating: 3 stars

Publisher: Gallery Books (February 4, 2020)
Publication Date: February 4, 2020
Genre: Mystery
Print Length: 336 pages
Available from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

If you can’t remember it, how do you prove you didn’t do it?

Eva Hansen wakes in the hospital after being struck by lightning and discovers her mother, Kat, has been murdered. Eva was found unconscious down the street. She can’t remember what happened but the police are highly suspicious of her.

Determined to clear her name, Eva heads from Seattle to London—Kat’s former home—for answers. But as she unravels her mother’s carefully held secrets, Eva soon realizes that someone doesn’t want her to know the truth. And with violent memories beginning to emerge, Eva doesn’t know who to trust. Least of all herself.

Told in alternating perspectives from Eva’s search for answers and Kat’s mysterious past, Christina McDonald has crafted another “complex, emotionally intense” (Publishers Weekly) domestic thriller. Behind Every Lie explores the complicated nature of mother-daughter relationships, family trauma, and the danger behind long-held secrets
Behind Every Lie by Christina McDonald

Behind Every LieEva is suspected of murdering her mother, but she doesn’t remember anything about the night she was struck by lightning. Christina McDonald is back with another chilling, kaleidoscopic tale of lies, deceit, family secrets and memories that refuse to come forward.

BEHIND EVERY LIE is dark, the atmosphere heavy with twisted relationships from both the past and present, memories suppressed and families that are more dysfunctional than not. A gut-wrenching thriller that gives new meaning to manufactured domestic hell.

Christina McDonald knows how to wring every emotion out of each page, sometimes to excess, this twisted tale became a labyrinth of frustration for me at times. I never could quite settle in with this one, I was always on edge.

That said, I do love her style of writing, but this one just wasn’t my cup of tea.

I received a complimentary ARC edition from Gallery Books! This is my honest and voluntary review.


The Rule by Maggie Cole Blitz and #Giveaway


The Rule
Maggie Cole
Publication date: November 3rd 2019
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
She’s got one rule: no dating clients. Too bad he doesn’t follow the rules.
When Liv White meets billionaire Tom Marko, she’s about to take over his companies—but he wants her over him…and under him. (And everything in between.) It doesn’t hurt that Tom’s handsome, a basketball star with a body to match, and just the right kind of fierce.
What’s a whip-smart businesswoman to do?
Tom gives Liv an ultimatum: the deal’s off unless they use his Colorado mountain home for their next meeting. Despite her rule, Liv agrees. The truth is, she doesn’t know if she can resist Tom’s presence—or the feel of his hands on her.
Just as the hunger between them becomes impossible to ignore, Tom’s past comes crashing back. The two are thrust into danger, and Tom and Liv must fight to keep their lives—and each other.
THE RULE is the first installment of the All In series. At 95,000 words, this sizzling novel features a love-at-first sight romance and a guaranteed HEA.
EXCERPT:
Olivia White was fifteen minutes early. It was a trait that got my attention and one that gave me fifteen extra minutes of blue balls.
She walked in and glanced around the conference room before she gazed up toward where I stood. Her blue eyes pierced directly at me, and I took a step back. I didn’t want her to know I was there and forgot for a moment that she couldn’t see me through the blackout glass.
“I need a few minutes to get set up. Will that be all right?” she asked one of my assistants.
Her sweet voice alone made the hairs on my neck stand up.
“Sure. The adapter is right in the table. Do you need anything else?”
She smiled kindly at him. “I think I’m good. Thanks, Paul.”
Paul left the room, and she turned back toward me.
Olivia licked, then slowly bit her perfectly pink, lower lip, and surveyed the room.
My dick pulsed as I wondered what it would be like to feel those plump lips on my own? What would her tongue taste like? Her mouth was a mouth meant to kiss for hours. No doubt, after you got done kissing her, you still wouldn’t want to stop.
I took another step, so I was as close to the glass as possible.
She walked to the front of the room and glanced up toward the blackout glass again. Did she sense I was here?
Her perfect, pert breasts rose and fell as she took a deep breath, walked back to the table, grabbed her bag, and pulled out her laptop. She plugged it into the adapter, so her presentation would pop up on the big screen.
Instead of sitting down, she leaned over and typed quickly on the keyboard. Her body hovered over the table, as her dress inched up the back of her thighs.
My mouth went dry. Her thighs were flawless. They looked silky smooth and volts shot up my spine. I could almost feel them squeezing my neck.
When her presentation popped up on the screen, she stood up straight and began to flatten her dress against her body. A flawless french manicure graced what resembled soft hands, and they glided over her stomach. She ran them over the curve of her waist. Then, almost as if just to tease me, she pushed them behind her and ran them over her butt and thighs.
My cock stood at full attention and visions of what she would look like naked flooded my mind. What would her hands feel like on my skin? Would she grip my hair in desperation to fly?
I eyed all of her. Her body was perfect. It would flawlessly fit against mine.
She sat and swiveled toward me, then crossed her legs. Her forearm pressed on the table, as she leaned comfortably back into the chair, and drummed her fingers on the table. Not nervously—more out of boredom.
I gazed down at her, as my pulse increased. My eyes went to her legs, bare between her short heels and the fitted dress that clung to her curves, and I felt my body become stiffer. As she continued to tap on the table, I thought about how those fingers would feel digging into my back.
She reached up and tucked a rogue strand back into her bun. I wanted to release that messy bun, run my fingers through the cascade of her hair, and tug it so I could feast on her long, luscious neck that was made for lips to brush against. What would she sound and feel like vibrating against my mouth?
My staff walked into the room and snapped me out of my thoughts. She stood up, turned her long and lean frame toward them, shook their hands, and exchanged hellos before she quickly took charge.
I stood mesmerized, as close to the glass as possible and listened to her present while hanging on her every word.
Olivia White didn’t just ooze sexy. No, she screamed intelligence and confidence as she presented out-of-the-box yet practical ideas and asked questions along the way. It dawned on me that she was bold but not cocky. There was no doubt that she knew her craft well, but I sensed that she had no idea how beautiful, smart, or sexy she really was.
That turned me on further.
I had seen her online, read about her in the papers, and watched her clean up her clients’ messes in press conferences. Her self-assurance told me that she was always in control. I wondered how it would feel to have her under me, shaking and losing all inhibition, whimpering and calling my name from those succulent lips, and begging me to send her to a new high.
My blood had raced through my veins from far away. Being this close to her, unleashed an entirely new level of desire.
And I cursed myself. I needed to stop these thoughts. My company required Olivia White’s expertise, and there was no way I would risk putting her in danger. She deserved more than someone with my screwed-up past. I couldn’t and wouldn’t allow myself to indulge in pursuing her.
No, I needed to stay away. Anything with her wouldn’t be superficial, and there was no way I could give myself the gratification. She was exceptional, a rare treasure, and I refused to expose her to my shameful past.


Author Bio:
Maggie Cole is the pen name of a multi-faceted woman. She's an entrepreneur at heart and loves writing contemporary steamy romance novels. Her books will make you feel lots of different emotions. Sometimes you'll laugh, sometimes you'll cry, sometimes you'll have little flutters racing through your veins...and that's Maggie's biggest wish for you when you read her novels.
She's a wife, mother, and lives in the sunshine, where she can often be found staring off into space while creating new scenes in her mind.

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Tasting Her Christmas Cookies by Alina Jacobs Blitz and #Giveaway


Tasting Her Christmas Cookies
Alina Jacobs
Publication date: November 19th 2019
Genres: Adult, Comedy, Romance
Winter is coming—and unfortunately it’s bringing Christmas with it.
I loathe the holiday. I hate holiday parties, fragrant decorations, and hokey movies. If I had my way it would be winter all year round and never Christmas.
Nothing burns like the cold—except a hot oven.
That’s right; against my better judgment I agreed to let The Great Christmas Bake-Off film in my tower.
And St. Nick help me but I even agreed to be a judge.
Holly
Christmas is like the perfect sugar cookie—it slowly melts in your mouth, sweetening every taste bud, making you wish it could last forever.
I love Christmas. I love the cheerful music, the fun sweaters, and the holiday lights. Most of all I love Christmas Cookies.
A begrudging bake-off judge, I refuse to let grouchy billionaire Owen Frost hate Christmas. The man is overworked, his employees are uninspired, and his life is seriously lacking in Yuletide cheer. I want to stuff his stocking with sugary goodness to put him in a very festive mood.
So I dressed up as a sexy elf and gave Owen a taste of something extra special. You should have seen his eyes roll back in his head when he bit into the perfect sugar cookie!
I can’t let Owen Frost be a distraction. Things are insane enough without a sexy billionaire.
My baking subscription service is in the death throes.
My Christmas-ruining step sister is trying to sabotage me in the bake-off.
I’m being stalked by elves on the shelf come to life.
Ok that last one is a little weird, but welcome to my disaster of a life.
I need to win The Great Christmas Bake-Off to pay of my debts and launch my baking career. Sleeping with one of the judges is going to ruin my chance for a merry Christmas. Owen with his washboard abs and big Christmas package is a bad idea. It’s best to keep that all wrapped under the tree.
But when he said in that deep, sexy voice, “Can I have another taste of your Christmas cookies?” Well, let’s just say I’m unwrapping one particular Christmas present early!
Tasting Her Christmas Cookies is a standalone holiday romantic comedy. If you love Christmas desserts, like to laugh out loud at holiday innuendoes, and want Santa to put a tall, good-looking guy under your tree, then pick up this full-length, steamy romance novel! There are no cliffhangers but there is a very happy (Christmas!) ever after!
EXCERPT:
“We are having a Christmas bath scene in the near future,” I said to the camera, “with holiday bath bombs and themed cocktails. But unfortunately, it won’t be tonight. The bake-off starts tomorrow, baking fans!”
I looked longingly at the bathtub. Then, making sure the phone was definitely not recording, because I did not need to be that kind of Instagrammer, I took a quick shower. I seriously could not get over how huge the bathroom was. I could live in it. With a toaster and a mini fridge, I would totally be good.
After wrapping myself in the robe, I tied a T-shirt around my hair. I had frizzy hair on a good day; keeping my curls manageable was a perpetual struggle. I applied a gingerbread-cookie-scented moisturizer while my videos uploaded. Because I was busy scrolling through my phone and answering comments as I came out of the bathroom, I didn’t notice the half-naked man until he swore.
I looked up and screamed.
“Help! Help! Stalker!” I shrieked and ineffectively pointed at the stranger. Between the rippling muscles, the washboard abs, and an ass I could bounce a quarter on, I hoped he wasn’t actually here to hurt me, because he could do some damage. Pointing and shrieking wasn’t going to stop him. Fortunately, he looked more shocked and horrified than angry and violent.
“Stop screaming!” he bellowed. A freezing breeze blew into the room. It was as if the man had brought the rage of winter into the master suite with him. He looked like it, too, with his ice-blue eyes and silver-white hair. “This is my penthouse. You are not authorized to be here. That makes you the stalker!”
I stopped screaming. It clearly wasn’t helping anything. I also couldn’t help but notice that the bathroom wasn’t the only thing that was huge in the room. With him wearing nothing but boxer briefs, I could tell Santa had brought the handsome man a very large Christmas package indeed. The breeze blew in from the balcony, swirling the strange man’s clean and masculine scent around the room. I forced myself to ignore it.
“Get out of my house,” Big Christmas Package said flatly.
“You get out!” I shrieked. “I’m a bake-off contestant. This isn’t your room!”
“What the—” he grabbed his clothes, tugging on his pants. “The Great Christmas Bake-Off? I cannot have Christmas invading every element of my life. This is ridiculous. Christmas is ridiculous. It’s such a stupid, childish holiday.” He punctuated his words by snatching up articles of clothing.
“Hey now!” I said, hands on my hips, fear subsiding. “Christmas is never ridiculous. It’s the best holiday ever. And if you can’t see that, well then, you’re just a grinch, aren’t you?”
He advanced on me. I was suddenly very aware of how large he was. Christmas package notwithstanding, this dude was tall, broad shouldered, with rippling muscles. He could probably split me in two.
Yes, please.
“You’re some stupid little baker who never outgrew the childish fantasy of Christmas,” he sneered.
My nose was inches away from his chest. He glowered down at me. I was too angry to be aware of his half-naked body. Okay, maybe I was like fifteen percent aware. But the majority of my energy was focused on being offended on behalf of Christmas.
“Don’t insult baking,” I said, giving him my best “I want to speak to the manager vibe,” though it was ruined by the fact that I had to crane my neck up to see him and that I was completely naked under the robe. “And never insult Christmas!”
His nostrils flared slightly.
“Men like you constantly belittle the work that women do to keep cultural traditions like Christmas alive,” I continued, poking him in the chest.
“We decorate homes to make them cozy.”
Poke.
“We cook holiday dinners and bake festive desserts.”
Poke.
“We host parties that bring families and friends together.”
Before I could poke him again, he grabbed my hand in his much-larger one. Then, realizing what he’d done, he quickly released it.
“I will not stand for your bad attitude!” I declared.
He glared down at me, strong jaw clenched, eyes cold as a frozen lake. “I can’t even believe this,” he finally snarled. He grabbed his briefcase and stormed out, still shirtless.
“Oh my God!” Fiona exclaimed, wide-eyed, as she ran into the room. She hugged me then pushed me to sit on the bed. “Are you okay? Who was that? Why was he in here? Someone call the police!”
“I knew it! You’re trying to steal my boyfriend,” Amber yelled at me, rushing into the room. “That’s Owen Frost, and he’s mine!”


Author Bio:
If you like steamy romantic comedies with a creative streak, then I'm your girl!
Architect by day, writer by night, I love matcha green tea, chocolate, and books! So many books...
Sign up for my mailing list to get the free novella, AFTER HIS PEONIES, along with special bonus content, giveaways, and more!
http://alinajacobs.com/mailinglist.html

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Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Where Winter Finds You by J.R. Ward (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #17.5)

Where Winter Finds You
by J.R. Ward

My rating: 5 stars

Series: The Black Dagger Brotherhood - Book 17.5
Publisher: Gallery Books (November 26, 2019)
Publication Date: November 26, 2019
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Print Length: 480 pages
Available from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble


When Trez lost his beloved to a tragic death (The Shadows, Black Dagger Brotherhood #13), his soul was crushed and his destiny seemed relegated to suffering. But when he meets a mysterious female, he becomes convinced his true love has been reincarnated. Is he right? Or has his grief created a disastrous delusion?

Therese has come to Caldwell to escape a rift with her bloodline. The revelation that she was adopted and not born into her family shakes the foundations of her identity, and she is determined to make it on her own. Her attraction to Trez is not what she’s looking for, except the sexy Shadow proves to be undeniable.

Has fate provided a grieving widower with a second chance...or is Trez too blinded by the past to see the present for what it really is? In this sensual, arresting book full of the themes of redemption and self-discovery, two lost souls find themselves at a crossroads where the heart is the only compass that can be trusted...but that may require a courage that neither of them possesses.


Where Winter Finds You by J.R. Ward
(Black Dagger Brotherhood, #17.5)

Where Winter Finds You (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #17.5)He lost his true love and for Trez, life was nothing but pain and grief, until Therese came into Caldwell. Could she be the reincarnation of his lost love or has his tortured mind finally broken?

Therese came to Caldwell only to have her very foundation shattered. Is it true she was adopted? Now adrift in a sea of hurt and confusion, is she ready for what Trez is offering or will she see it for a man desperate to mend his broken heart, no matter the cost?

WHERE WINTER FINDS YOU is one more fabulous tale from J.R. Ward, proving her ability to keep a long standing favorite series alive and fresh! High on intensity, it is impossible not to feel for either of these wonderful characters or for their need to belong to someone, somehow.

I received a complimentary ARC edition from Gallery Books! This is my honest and voluntary review.


There Better Be Pie by Jessica Gadziala

There Better Be Pie
by Jessica Gadziala

My rating: 5 stars

Publication Date: November 23, 2019
Publisher: Jessica Gadziala
Genre: Holiday Romance
Print Length: 148 pages
Available from: Amazon

Juliette

Ugh. Trip Martin.
He was the fly in my ointment. 
He was the black cloud on my sunny day.
But everyone thought I was crazy.
Why was I the only person who could see how insufferable he was?
And why, after my parents invited him to share our family Thanksgiving, was I suddenly seeing him in a whole new light?


Trip

Juliette Kensley.
Pampered princess.
Stubborn as the day was long.
But to everyone else, she was a ray of sunshine. 
Why did she get under my skin so easily?
And how, after getting to know her better, was I going to survive a long weekend with her and her family?

I'll tell you one thing—
There better be pie.

* A short, sweet, sexy, slow-burn Thanksgiving novella 
There Better Be Pie by Jessica Gadziala

There Better Be PieAnd FINALLY, Thanksgiving gets its own romantic tale, with PIE! Thank you Jessica Gadziala for seeing a need and “filling” it!

THERE BETTER BE PIE is a devilishly sweet, kind of sappy, snarky and fun romance that centers around one of my favorite things…food, in Thanksgiving Day abundance, of course! The perfect holiday for two rivals to bury the hatchet and discover that love and hate really are two sides of the same coin!

Like a broken record I will say it: Jessica Gadziala has done it, AGAIN! She left me smiling, smirking and tossing a wink at some brilliantly devious parents who prove they do still know more than their hard-headed child!

I received a complimentary ARC edition from Jessica Gadziala! This is my honest and voluntary review.


Jane Anonymous by Laurie Faria Stolarz

Jane Anonymous
by Laurie Faria Stolarz

My rating: 5 stars

Publisher: Wednesday Books (January 7, 2020)
Publication Date: January 7, 2020
Genre: Young Adult emotional/mental abuse
Print Length: 320 pages
Available from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Bestselling author Laurie Faria Stolarz returns with Jane Anonymous, a gripping tale of a seventeen-year-old girl’s kidnapping and her struggle to fit back into her life after she escapes.

Then, “Jane” was just your typical 17-year-old in a typical New England suburb getting ready to start her senior year. She had a part-time job she enjoyed, an awesome best friend, overbearing but loving parents, and a crush on a boy who was taking her to see her favorite band. She never would’ve imagined that in her town where nothing ever happens, a series of small coincidences would lead to a devastating turn of events that would forever change her life.

Now, it’s been three months since “Jane” escaped captivity and returned home. Three months of being that girl who was kidnapped, the girl who was held by a “monster.” Three months of writing down everything she remembered from those seven months locked up in that stark white room. But, what if everything you thought you knew―everything you thought you experienced―turned out to be a lie?
Jane Anonymous by Laurie Faria Stolarz

Jane AnonymousPsychological intrigue in a darkly twisted tale of abduction and its aftermath at its disturbing best. Laurie Faria Stolarz’s JANE ANONYMOUS is spellbinding in its raw presentation as we witness one teen’s painful journey to healing the scars of a seven month long abduction.

Will Jane ever find her place in the world again? Will she ever be able to enter a room without the hushed stares or whispered comments? Will she ever feel comfortable in her own skin or in her own judgment? Is it possible that all she believed, all she thought she knew of her abduction was a cruel ruse to torment her already ravaged mind? Will she ever see herself as whole again, damaged yet intact? Will her family, her friends and even strangers on the street?

I feel a little strange saying I loved this dark and twisted tale, but I did, I do. Laurie Faria Stolarz has held nothing back and if one person may just pick up on some subtle cues here, then, hopefully, the world could become a safer place with less morbid interest in knowing all the private hell a human may be faced to endure.

Hard-hitting, bold writing, a story that cannot be unread or forgotten. Highly recommended.

I received a complimentary ARC edition from Wednesday Books. This is my honest and voluntary review.


Kingdom Misphonia, A Princess Hates Noise Fairy Tale by Eva Gordon

Kingdom Misophonia
by Eva Gordon

My rating: 5 stars

Publication Date: November 20, 2019
Publisher: Eva Gordon
Genre: Fantasy
Print Length: 233 pages
Available from: Amazon

Beautiful and talented Princess Amanda, the next queen of Milathonia, has it all. Yet, she, along with her father and brother, are cursed with misophonia, the hatred of certain sounds. Isolated from other kingdoms, Amanda has lived a sheltered life. As a gifted artist, Amanda begs her father to let her attend the art academy in Zolonia. The king agrees, but only if she uses a fake identity and finds the proper suitor.

Captain Dash Lysander, a returning war hero, takes a well-paying job as a bodyguard to an academy student. Traumatized by war, which included battling man-eating fleshers, Dash hopes he can do his duty without suffering from day tremors. Upon meeting his charge Dash is immediately smitten. However, his duty is to protect her, not court her.

Princess Amanda and Dash are drawn to one another. They do their best to stave their hidden passion despite the looming danger of fleshers and secrets that could ruin everything.


Author's Note: Misophonia is the inability to listen to some sounds without having a fight or flight reaction. For example, people  with Misophonia can't tolerate someone chewing and must leave the room or suffer the bee sting-like feelings the sounds create. In most cases they can't eat with the family any more. Most doctors have never heard of Misophonia, let alone how to treat it. 

They say write what you know, so I've written a fairy tale story about a heroine who has Misophonia.

Kingdom Misphonia, A Princess Hates Noise Fairy Tale
by Eva Gordon

Kingdom Misophonia, A Princess Hates Noise Fairy TaleBelieve it or not, there are people who literally cannot stand the sounds of chewing, even beautiful princesses like Amanda, something she had inherited from her father, the king. While socially crippling, it will not stop her from attending the art academy under a false identity with special compensations made. One of those special compensations was a handsome bodyguard, a war hero down on his luck. Dash needed the money, but being near the secret princess may be too distracting to protect her properly as she searches for a suitor.

Eva Gordon’s KINGDOM MISOPHONIA is a sweet romance that grows around a very real problem that real people suffer from.(Note: I have a son and grandchild who would rather eat alone than be around chewing, so I get the challenges of this story completely!)

As danger lurks in the shadows, will the princess’s identity be discovered? Will Dash be able to protect the woman he loves when he is faced with his greatest nightmare, the one that leaves him trembling in fear and flashbacks? Will love help Amanda overcome her abhorrence to the sounds that drive her mad?

It takes a very talented author to create a fairytale type romance around something as unusual as misophonia or as devastating as PTSD, but Eva Gordon has done it while still keeping that fantasy feel with characters that feel brilliantly alive!

I received a complimentary ARC edition from Eva Gordon! This is my honest and voluntary review.


Freeing Eden by G.S. Kenney Blitz and #Giveaway


Freeing Eden
G.S. Kenney
Published by: Soul Mate Publishing
Publication date: May 29th 2019
Genres: New Adult, Romance, Science Fiction
A unique take on the eternal quandary of “good” versus “evil.”
— Joan D. Vinge, Hugo Award-winning author of The Snow Queen
All trader Zara wanted was to help Kell, a clone, retrieve his maker’s memories and discover who he really is. The conflict-torn planet Eden was supposed to be just a stop en route, but Kell begins recalling fragments of memories from Swifthammer, Eden’s now-deceased resistance leader. Despite Zara’s misgivings, Kell assumes Swifthammer’s role, opposing the planet’s foreign warlord Reuel.
But Reuel’s schemes take a dangerous turn when it becomes clear he has tampered with Kell’s programming. Could the memories Kell now begins to experience be . . . Reuel’s?
Kell struggles to bring peace to Eden by uniting his maker’s heritage with that of the planet’s oppressor, but Zara fears she may be losing her heart to the man who is poised to become Eden’s next and most terrible warlord. Can she help Kell find an identity all his own–and a future they can share together?
EXCERPT:
At seventeen thirty local time, a low, melodious chime sounded in the room.
Zara sighed. “Thirty minute warning.”
The clone had his arm over her shoulder, and she rested her cheek contentedly on his chest. She could feel his heart beating, and his light breathing stirred her hair.
“I hope you’ve gotten used to all my talking by now.” She twisted beneath his arm so that she could face him. “Wouldn’t it be wonderful if you could talk, too?” Zara stroked the clone’s cheek, and a slight smile came and went across his lips. “I almost believe you could.” She looked longingly at him. “And then I would say, Hello, my name is Zara. Za-ra.” She pronounced the word carefully. “And you would say, My name is . . . Now, what would your name be?”
“Kell,” said the baseclone.
Zara pulled back, her pulse pounding. “What? What did you say?” The baseclone looked at her with his habitual open gaze, head slightly tilted, as if waiting for something that didn’t really matter. He said nothing.
Zara felt a lump in her throat, coupled with an almost desperate urgency. “Please. Please say it again. What is your name?” He watched her silently and then hesitantly touched her cheek, looking for all the world as if he were trying to comfort her.
Zara took his hand away from her cheek, kissed his palm softly, and then wrapped the hand firmly in her own. She met his gaze and held it. “Tell me your name. Please. I really want to know.”
A tear rolled down the baseclone’s cheek, and then another, and Zara felt that her heart would break. “Why are you crying?” she whispered. “Have I hurt you? I didn’t mean to.” Softly, her fingers traced the track of the tear down his cheek.
Watching her as if mesmerized, the baseclone spoke, slowly. “My . . . name . . .” There was a pause long enough to make Zara believe that he would not speak again. Then he added, “. . . is . . . Kell.”
Zara let out the breath she hadn’t realized she was holding, and she allowed herself to fall back against Kell’s chest. He wrapped his arms around her.
“Kell,” she repeated.
The chime sounded two long tones.
Zara sighed. “Twenty minute warning. I can’t leave you here. In this place. This life. By all of space, Kell, you are not a baseclone. There’s no control unit in your dataport, but you’ve been watching and responding to me. I could begin to believe there might be some kind of advanced baseclone I don’t know about that can do some of that, but you—you have feelings. You were crying! And you understand me and can answer, which means you have some intelligence, even language. You’re not a baseclone, and you don’t belong here.”
She stood up and walked to the mirror that was mounted on the wall opposite the couch. Straightening her hair’s disarray, Zara watched him in the mirror as he watched her in turn.
“The papers attached to my contract show you were discharged as a baseclone, but I can’t believe it.” She took out her comm. “I’ve transported baseclones, so I have access to the discharge database on Bigollo.” She spoke the access code and her password and authenticated her identity with a thumbscan. “I’ll use your ID number from the contract.” As data appeared on the small screen, she frowned, shook her head, and rekeyed the number.
She shook her head again, more stubbornly. “Something’s wrong here. The database on Bigollo says that you died in the tank, and the body was disposed of a month and a half ago.” She rubbed the goosebumps on her arms. “But clearly you’re not dead, because a couple of weeks ago you turned up here on Lesurat as a baseclone with no name and no owner. But that’s false, too. You’re a trueclone, not a baseclone. So what’s going on?”
He watched her openly, patiently.
“I can’t get into the database of creators. There was no need, since I was dealing only with baseclones on that job. There’s no clue in the data I have as to who or where your creator might be.”
The chime sounded several times, insistently.
“Ten minutes. Not enough time to figure this out. So let’s just focus on the urgent question, which is, what are we going to do about it?”
She began pacing up and down the small room. “If the administrators on Bigollo knew you were a trueclone, you wouldn’t have been sold here. So most likely, they don’t know. That means all I have to do is tell the manager, and he will do the right thing, whatever that is. Return you to the lab, I guess, so that your creator can be found and notified.”
She sighed again and turned back to Kell. “On the other hand, this is Lesurat we’re talking about. That man is as greedy as the rest of them. Even if he’s honest, he’ll want very much to doubt me. His purchase papers are in order, and so are the baseclone discharge papers from Bigollo. He’ll rely on them. He’ll ask himself, What would a spacer know? And he’ll answer, Nothing. She’s mistaken.
Zara pulled at Kell’s arm. “Sit up straight, Kell. I’m talking to you. We have to figure this out, and we don’t have much time.”
Kell obeyed.
“If he’s not so ethical, the situation will be the same, or worse. He’ll pretend very graciously to accept my comments and thank me profusely and just continue doing what he’s doing with you.” A shiver ran down her back. “I can’t bear to think about that.”
As if sensing her distress, Kell touched her arm gently.
“Thanks, Kell.” Zara managed a smile that she hoped would pass for reassuring. “You’re so much more than a normal baseclone. But touching is not what I need right now. What I need is an idea. I don’t suppose you would have that?” She looked at him quizzically, not entirely sure that he wouldn’t, but Kell said nothing. He watched her impassively, waiting.
Zara sighed. “No, I suppose not. If you’d had an idea, you would have been out of here days ago, right? I guess I have to figure this out by myself. So, let’s see . . . we aren’t going to get any help from the manager here. That means it’s up to me. Kell, listen. If I can get you out of here, would you want to come with me?”
Zara studied the clone, but his open expression didn’t change, gave no clue to what he might be thinking. If anything, she reminded herself. But he looked so vulnerable that her heart ached. “Now, come on. Answer me. If I’m going to put myself on the line for you, I need to know how you feel about it. Would you want to come with me?”
Those beautiful blue-in-blue eyes studied her, seemed to be giving the question some thought. But he didn’t answer.
What had she expected?
“Yes.”
Zara jumped. “What?”
“Yes,” he said. “With you.”


Author Bio:
Author G. S. Kenney started reading early, and never stopped. In kindergarten, drawn in by an interesting book with a picture of three witches at a cauldron, she learned to read by starting with Macbeth. Now she writes speculative fiction. Her science-fiction romance novel Freeing Eden, published by Soul Mate Publishing, was a 2018 finalist in the Golden Heart® contest of the Romance Writers of America. The Last Lord of Eden, the second novel in the Ascent of Eden series, will be published by Soul Mate soon.

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Two Thousand Lines by Michelle Jester Blitz and #Giveaway


Two Thousand Lines
Michelle Jester
Publication date: November 21st 2019
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance, Young Adult
Olivia Brooks has been able to keep her life in Sugar Mill, Louisiana held perfectly together, far away from the small town where she grew up. Even though her past still haunts her, she has found a perfect process of surviving, until a string of events brings Luke Plaisance to Sugar Mill and turns her organized life upside down.

While Olivia fights to hold on to the life she’s created, unraveling it may be exactly what it takes for her to truly survive. She must accept her past in order to live, or let it threaten the only future she’s ever wanted. Because some secrets can’t stay buried… and shouldn’t.

An inspiring and heartbreaking tale of abandonment, survival, and purpose. A harrowing journey of self-discovery and perseverance.
EXCERPT:
Luke saw her red face and swollen eyes.
“Whatever it is, I’m sorry.”
“No need. Besides, maybe I just cut an onion.”
“I’m not asking you why, Olivia, but also don’t feel like you have to lie to me. It’s none of my business and I know that. You don’t owe anyone an explanation.”
“Then why are you here?” she turned abruptly to face him, obviously angered.
“I like cinnamon rolls.”
“You also don’t have to lie either.”
“Mama Gigi,” Luke responded quietly.
“What?” Olivia bowed her head slightly.
“Mama Gigi. She said when I smell cinnamon and baking bread, if I look over here and your kitchen door is open, and I quote, ‘go to her and stay until she’s safe.’”
Olivia looked up with tears welling in her eyes again, “I’ll be sure to close my door next time.”
“No, you won’t. Mama Gigi said you will always have your door open when you make them. She thought whatever you were mourning was pretty strong, ‘cause it obviously made you feel suffocated.”
“I miss her. I miss her so much.”
Luke stood quickly and went to Olivia. He wanted to wrap his arms around her and hold her. But, as he got closer she stepped back, so he stopped.
“I can’t leave until you’re safe.”
“I’m never safe,” she whispered.
“You’ve been safe since I got here.”


Author Bio:
Michelle Jester lives in Greenwell Springs, Louisiana with her husband, high school sweetheart and retired Master Sergeant. Together they have a son and daughter. She is a hopeless romantic and has been writing poems and stories for as long as she can remember.
One of her prize possessions is a bracelet with only a yellow, Rubber Duckie charm on it; which she wears every day to remind her to enjoy the fun and happy things of life!

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