Tuesday, April 30, 2013

A Bad Boy is Good to Find by Jennifer Lewis

A Bad Boy is Good to Find
by Jennifer Lewis

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A Bad Boy is Good to Find by Jennifer Lewis is NOT for the shy, those who blush easily or have a heart condition! It’s that hot! The pace is fast, the tension runs full out between Lizzie, a spoiled little rich girl who loses all of her money and Conroy, her fiancé, who, even though he does care for her, was using her FOR her money. You know, what she no longer has any of? What is Lizzie to do? She sets out on a mission of revenge, of course! As the object of her revenge, what does Conroy do? Believe it or not, her takes what she dishes out, to try and prove that he really does care for her, money or no! So, will Lizzie ever trust Conroy again?

If the humor and spicy sex doesn’t hold your interest, there is also deceit, kidnapping, weddings, and even long lost family showing up! Jennifer Lewis has written a hot read with enough hairpin turns to give you whiplash! Grab a fan, enjoy a fun read!

A copy of this book was provided by NetGalley and Mangrove in exchange for my honest review.

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The Journey by Marley Gibson (Ghost Huntress, #6)

The Journey
by Marley Gibson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Journey (Ghost Huntress Book 6) by Marley Gibson Is lively, fun and full of action as a group of special teens, headed by teen psychic Kendall Moorehead head to Europe with with renowned TV medium Oliver Bates. Imagine being guided by the ghost of Princess Di, yes THE Princess Di on a dangerous journey across Europe to deal with the evil entity, Dojo. As if that isn’t enough for Kendall to deal with, her love life is taking a jolt to the heart when her ex decides to come along. Will her level-headed current love be okay with this? Is Kendall okay with this? When Oliver brings along a young Scottish psychic Christian Campbell, Kendall knows something is just not right about him, he feels dark and dangerous. What is with him and Ouiji boards? Is there something special about the ones he uses? Is he there to help or does he have his own agenda, planning to leave the others behind as he grandstands his way into the hearts of the crowds he draws? Perhaps only Princess Di can help Kendall to save the day. When all is said and done, Kendall receives the shock of her life, a dream has come true for her, but it’s over in one short minute and the memory will have to last her a lifetime.

The Journey has everything a great paranormal YA book should have! Marley Gibson has given a quirky heroine a strong narrative voice with a touch of humor and wit! The romance is light, the action runs hot and the mental images conjured by Ms. Gibson’s descriptive scenes will have you looking for ghosts around every corner!

A copy of this book was provided by NetGalley and TKA Distribution in exchange for my honest review!

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A Terrible Love by Marata Eros

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Publication Date: April 26, 2013 

In this sexy and suspenseful new adult novel from New York Times bestselling author Marata Eros, a woman struggles to keep her painful past hidden—only to discover she's not the only one with secrets... Jess Mackey is living a meticulously fabricated lie of necessity. She's left the secret tragedy of her past behind along with who she was and is forging ahead with a clean slate. But Jess soon discovers that passion can't be left behind—neither her own, nor that of the one man who sees who she really is…and whose unexpected presence may breach the peaceful life Jess has painstakingly created for herself.

Devin Castile didn’t expect to meet a young woman who may be the missing puzzle piece to his existence…and who is also the victim of a heinous crime. Devin convinces himself that he can remain emotionally distant even while indulging his physical desire for her. But when Jess’s lies begin to crumble in the face of their undeniable attraction and the truth is revealed, one of them might pay with their life.

From the Author New York Times and USA Today bestselling author,Tamara Rose Blodgett, writes dark romantic erotica under the pen name Marata Eros. She is a passionate reader who loves interacting with her readers and is more grateful than she can express for their support. Tamara is currently writing the companion novel to A TERRIBLE LOVE; A BRUTAL TENDERNESS, coming soon!

BLOG: http://marataeroseroticaauthor.blogspot.com

Purchase today:  Amazon

Georgetown Academy: Book One by Jessica Koosed Etting, Alyssa Embree Schwartz

Georgetown Academy: Book One
by Jessica Koosed Etting
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Georgetown Academy: Book One is the combined efforts of two authors that take tag teaming to a higher level with their flawlessly combined talents! After the world of the offspring of the Washington political powerhouses is created, the reader is given the opportunity to follow one main character’s storyline or to read all of them, often seeing the same scenes from different perspectives, with different dramas being played out. And I DO mean dramas, as these teens often seem to be mini-clones of their parents, never able to kick back and be young, although I do admit their attention to politics and the events outside their personal space around them is refreshing. Events revolve around four main characters:
Brinley Madison, descendent of a U. S. President, leader of the pack, social snob
Ellie Walker, Brinley’s best friend, who has been dating the same guy for two years
Evan Hartnett, the shy, studious outcast, once Ellie’s best friend
Taryn Reyes, GA newcomer, with a California style and attitude
These four girls are polar opposites in personality and it often shows in the interactions they have. When one of them faces personal scandal involving an old flame, it doesn’t just involve them, it could be disastrous for their parents in the political arena where one false step can ruin a lifetime of commitment. Will alliances change or will tempers flare as the power struggle to be on top when the smoke clears gets as ugly as any political scandal? Should being the child of a public figure be so scrutinized?
Was this well-written? Most definitely, the characters are frighteningly real. Being in the positions these children are in, life at GA is like any high school, but on steroids! Jessica Koosed Etting and Alyssa Embree Schwartz were brilliant by writing GA in episodes so the ongoing story does not become too overwhelming! The spiraling tension and fast pace held me to the end!

A copy was provided by Coliloquy in exchange for my honest review.

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ARC Review - Ariel Bradley, Spy for General Washington by Lynda Durrant

Ariel Bradley, Spy for General Washington
by Lynda Durrant

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Ariel Bradley, Spy for General Washington is a short history lesson for younger children, bringing history to life in a manner that children can relate to!

Young Ariel is asked to help George Washington by going into the enemy's camp ALONE. Ariel becomes a hero in his own right. Yet as a child,in the end, he equates his mother's cobbler as a reward!

Although short and simply written, it gives today's children a role model to look to and learn from! Sometimes the best rewards are the simple things! Lynda Durrant has turned history into a fun read for kids with her easy prose that keeps things lighter than adult fiction. The glossary at the end furthers the learning experience, once again showing how important the joy of reading can be!

An ARC edition was provided by NetGalley and Vanita Books in exchange for my honest review. Publication Date: September 1, 2013

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Playing the Maestro by Aubrie Dionne

Playing the Maestro
by Aubrie Dionne

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

If you are looking for a contemporary romance that doesn’t dance to the same tune as many other romances, Playing the Maestro by Aubrie Dionne might resonate well with you! The Easthampton's Civic Symphony is slowly becoming obsolete and in desperate need of new patrons, new interest and new money to keep going. Enter young German conductor Wolf Braun, looking to get his life back on track after a disastrous relationship with a beautiful, yet poisonous model. His job is to breathe new life into the group, and getting involved with any of its members. First flutist Melody Mires has sworn off dating musicians, until she lays eyes on Wolf. Too bad their first meeting hits a sour note because beautiful Melody bears too much of a resemblance to wolf’s ex, but she is being set up for failure by another’s machinations in the ECS and Wolf can’t just stand by. Breaking all the rules, these two find they are meant for each other, like rosin and a bow.
Aubrie Dionne has written a light romance with characters that are NOT damaged beyond belief by their pasts! The angst is at a minimum, making this a perfect fast read with a little intrigue, a little romance and a plot that moves along quickly. Take this one the beach this summer!

A copy of this book was provided for my honest review.

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Painted Memories by Loni Flowers

Painted Memories
by Loni Flowers

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

If you’re looking for a contemporary romance filled with all the trappings that make your heart flutter, Painted Memories by Loni Flowers deserves to be at the top of your MUST Read list! Lily Morgan’s life has been a nightmare after the death of her brother, between her own guilt and grief and the brutal blame placed on her by her overachieving, over-controlling father. To start fresh and with the hopes of healing, she moves far from home to start life over with a clean slate. While not looking for love, she finds herself falling for two amazingly hot guys who are as different as night and day. Tyler is a personal trainer who initially lights a flame of excitement in Lily with his self-confidence and flash. Drew, well Lily literally fell for Drew, right into a muddy pond! He is more the strong and silent type, who also has a painful past he has turned from. Drew is able to create beauty on canvas as an artist with an amazing talent to bring his art to life and a desire to make a name for himself and gain his own father’s approval. When Lily’s choice becomes apparent and romance slowly blooms, her guilt returns, because her brother will never know the joy of love, so she erects obstacles around her heart that are almost insurmountable. Can Lily learn to forgive herself and accept that she deserves the kind of love with a happy ending? Can she even recognize when someone is offering her real love with no strings attached? Will her family dynamics chase her back into her own private Hell or will she find the strength to finally face down the demons and reunite a family divided for too long? It’s just too much turmoil for one person to handle alone.

I know, it all sounds so serious, and this character-driven plot IS full of drama, but Loni Flowers has brought her characters to life with moments of humor and lightness that make you smile, moments of tenderness that make you sigh and moments of personal strength that make you cheer! I even shook my head a couple of times in disbelief and had to keep reminding myself, this is just a story, you are not really a fly on the wall! The dialogue is amazing, real enough to hear each word and how it was spoken, as well as how it was taken! Ms. Flowers has created her own work of art through her words that will touch your heart in the best way!

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Monday, April 29, 2013

Twisted Perfection by Abbi Glines (Perfection #1)

Twisted Perfection
by Abbi Glines

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Della Sloane has lived a life of isolation. Suffering from severe abuse by her mentally unstable mother, Della is fragile and wounded. When her best friend and rock Braden gets married, Della decides to find herself by taking a road trip and discovering the world on her own. Unsure of even the basic skills, when she goes to pump gas for herself for the very first time she is rescued by an incredibly sensual stranger...which leads to a night a intense passion and a cold bed in the morning.

Wood Kerrington is heir to the family’s ocean front country club. Working for his father, doing his father’s every bidding with hopes to one day advance to VP. When his dad starts holding an arranged marriage over his head something begins to crack. The loveless marriage would give them a business advantage, but Wood dreams of more. Something he saw in his grandfather’s marriage to his grandmother and something he felt with his chance encounter with a girl at the gas station.

A difficult circumstance sends Della back into Wood’s life, now he must decide between the career he always dreamed of or the love he thought he’d never find.

Della is extremely fragile, holding onto her mental well being by the skin of her teeth. It is obvious that she suffers from PTSD. The tragedy in her life revisits her often and curtain phrases or actions make her mentally shut down. Of course, Wood’s manipulating father would have to exploit her disability. I did have a slight problem justifying Della’s blunt sexuality with her naïve upbringing/life experiences.

Wood was a sweety in previous installments of the Abbi Glines book series, this Wood of Twisted Perfection was a harder and much cruder. I have to say I liked the other Wood. But of course the sweetness still showed through, how could it not when he says stuff like...
“Until Della walked into my life I didn’t understand the idea of love.”
Well Crap, that made me tear up!

I did love this story. With all Abbi Gline’s writing, the romance is hot, heavy and electrifying. Of course, I must read on to the next Perfection series book. I can’t wait to see what is in store for Woods and Della. I’m also hoping there is more to come of Braden and Kent, friends extraordinaire! I squealed at the cameo appearance of a very pregnant character I’ve come to love.

Twisted Perfection was a fast, fun, fan your face hot read.

The Bane by Keary Taylor (Eden Trilogy #1)

The Bane
by Keary Taylor

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Bane is NOT just another ‘end of the world as we know it-confused love triangle-struggle to survive’ book! Keary Taylor has added her own brand of style to this tale! Eve can’t remember life before she wandered into the colony of Eden, a group of survivors on the run from the evil created in the name of science. Technology has fused human DNA with cybernetic matter, enabling the human body to regenerate limbs, have superhuman abilities. But something went wrong, the machine took over, the soul vanished, and the Bane were born, able to infect the world, leaving only two percent of the human population on the run in a fight for survival. There is something about Eve that is different, even her emotions seemed dulled, she is a powerful warrior and hunter, able to best those twice her size, and she seems immune to the Bane. She struggles with newly awakening emotions, not understanding them or believing they are real. As Eden struggles to survive, Eve finds she is drawn to the quiet and gentle ex-soldier, Avian, who keeps her at a distance, but why? When West, a newcomer to the group seems attracted to Eve, she feels there is something he is not telling her. He has secrets, dark secrets about her past, the past she cannot remember, and he is not sharing all of it. Does he have another agenda? Can he be trusted? Eve’s confused heart says she wants what he offers, excitement, a sizzle in her veins, but Avian’s quiet strength also appeals to her. Is he too safe for her? As Eve’s heart is drawn in two directions, the humans are being picked off one by one. She knows she MUST save her friends, it is her mission, her self-imposed duty to the only family she has ever known. But what if they find out the truth about her past? Will they turn on her? Will they ever trust her again? Does it matter, so long as she saves them from the monsters?

Imagine being a teen full of emotional turmoil and no past to learn from? Keary Taylor did a marvelous job of making Eve’s pain our pain. Her confusion becomes so realistic when the world is falling down around her. The world building was so descriptive, the scenes so well done that I could feel the heat of the sun, branches scratching me and the fear the survivors felt! The action is often so intense that even the quiet times are uneasy. This is a fantastic paranormal-post apocalyptic read that made me think, "What if this really happened, would there be time for love?"

A copy of this book was provided by NetGalley and Keary Taylor Books in exchange for my honest review. Publication Date March 5, 2013

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The Weakness in Me by Josie Leigh

The Weakness in Me
by Josie Leigh

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Weakness in Me by Josie Leigh tells how no matter what, love can conquer all if you give it a chance. Sometimes moving on from a lost love can be painful, but maybe the gaping hole that is left can be filled by another. Jason and Sammy met when they were children, became best friends and then more as they grew older. When it seemed she was betrayed, Sammy left Jason to start a new life without him, but Jason never stopped loving her. Five years later, a painful tragedy brought them back into each other’s lives again when Samantha survived an accident that killed her husband and Jason was called on the scene as an EMT. Reeling from the loss of Caleb and mistrustful of Jason’s intent, Samantha allows that possibly they could rebuild the friendship they both so greatly missed. Is there a chance for these two to re-kindle their lost love? Will Samantha be able to move on after Caleb’s death? Is Jason strong enough to hang on while Samantha determines if she can trust him again?
Josie Leigh has poured mountains of emotionally charged scenes into her book, creating amazing characters with depth and feelings. Even Caleb, in his death becomes a huge part of the story. Giving the characters a chance to slowly build on the positive aspects of their past, feels so right, I was lost in the story, feeling for each character and wanting things to work out for them! I think The Weakness in Me proves that there can be a second chance at love, even against all odds. If it is real, it will be there. Josie Leigh’s writing style is smooth and evenly paced, concentrating more on emotion than action in each carefully drawn scene. Romance, true romance!

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Lana by R. K. Lilley

by R.K. Lilley

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Lana is returning home to Maui after 8 years of avoiding the man from her past, Akira. On Lana’s 18th birthday, she seduced Akira the man she has loved her entire life but after their intimate encounter Akira is ashamed of his actions and drives Lana away. Now back on the island for a quick business trip, Lana runs head first into Akira. This time the much older and wiser Lana is determined, if she can't have his heart she will have him sexually.

The story was quick and somewhat rushed, the sex was smutty, raw and aggressive. I’m giving Lana, 5 big smutty stars for the sex and 3 stars for the story = 4 stars over all.

I won this copy of Lana from Sinfully Sexy Book Reviews. Thanks for this fabulous giveaway!

ARC Review - He's Gone by Deb Caletti

He's Gone
by Deb Caletti

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

He’s Gone by Deb Caletti is a dark trip through the life and mind of Dani Keller. It is full of secrets, regrets and questions, lots of questions. After a night of partying, Dani wakes up to find her husband, Ian gone, vanished, no note, nothing, just gone. As the mystery of his disappearance grows with each day, Dani has time to think on her life, and how she got to where she is today. Is Karma paying her back for her choices in life? Has Ian left her for another woman? Is he having an affair? After all, isn’t that how they got together? Is he just tired of trying to always be in control of every single situation? Has the conflicts at work with his partner gotten to be too much? Dani is a bit neurotic, a little insecure, always trying to please others, in a desperate search for her husband. When the police fail to find him and begin to look at her as a possible suspect in some type of foul play, she begins to question herself. Even her own searching turns up nothing but more questions, more doubts about their relationship.

Deb Calleti has penned a dark journey into the complexities of both the characters’ minds and their marriage. Speaking through Dani’s voice, she has brought us into the world of each character as seen by Dani with realistic and often painful insight. This story is a raw and unapologetic look at adultery and its consequence to all involved, while including a mystery that dares to be solved!

This ARC edition was provided by NetGalley and Random House Publishing Group in exchange for my honest review. Publication Date: May 21, 2013

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What the Heart Wants by Kelli McCracken (Soulmate #1)

What the Heart Wants
by Kelli McCracken

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

‘True warm and fuzzy, sigh worthy romance,’ the kind you won’t admit you’ve dreamed of, pretty much describes What the Heart Wants by Kelli McCracken. I mean, seriously, even the author’s name sounds all soft and romantic heroine-like! Imagine two people, who have never met, both wanting that special love that happens only once. Now, imagine them each dreaming of the other for years, yes, years and then one day, fate brings them together, face to face and only one of them KNOWS without a doubt that the other is their heart’s destiny. Heaven, Hope and Faith are triplets, different as night and day, each are totally loveable, but this is Heaven’s story. Dylan is a rock star, with the heart of a poet, who has dreamed of his perfect lover all of his life and the dreams are getting more frequent and more intense. At a fellow band member’s wedding, he is the reluctant “date” for the bride’s best friend who is an unknown entity to him. And. Then. He. Sees. Her. Heaven is the woman in his dreams, his soulmate, his heart’s desire. Heaven has been having romantic dreams, too, but all she sees is a vague dreamlike vision of a man with deep expresso eyes, and then she meets Dylan, deciding, in spite of some special connection to him, to avoid the rock star with the ‘bad boy’ label. But can she? What is it about him that makes her heart overrule her head? Can Dylan reign in his heart and take it slow when all he wants is to hold her close?
The pace of this book matched perfectly with the love, it was gentle and flowing. Both Dylan and Heaven had me in their corner from the start. When the reason for their connection is revealed, I swear I got all teary-eyed, it pulled at my heart of hearts that much.
Kelli McCracken has written one of the most captivating romances I have ever read. The touch of the paranormal, the prophetic dreams, the beautiful way with words that Kelli McCracken has all come together in a truly special and memorable tale that will leave you all warm and happy inside. I could not put this down, I was so wrapped up in the cocoon of this book. Was there a downside to this book? Yep, it ended, leaving both me and my Kindle semi-melted into a puddle of goo!

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Truth or Dare by Ella Monroe (Capital Girls, #3)

Truth or Dare
by Ella Monroe

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Truth or Dare by Ella Monroe had my head spinning. From page one, teens growing up in the political lion's den of Washington, D. C. seem to be just like "mini politicians" and not always in a good way. There is so much conflict, angst, back-stabbing and deceit amongst the characters, I was almost frightened to think they could be the future leaders of this nation and never quite outgrow their egos and insecurities. From the White House on down, there is a dark secret that has been covered up for years that only comes to the light a year after the main character's best friend has committed suicide.

The conflict between each character was almost overpowering as everyone had to watch what they said around whom. I wanted these kids to have a chance to be kids, have fun and relax a little! That said, for the book to evoke such strong feelings in me, Ella Monroe has done her job creating a world full of intrigue, and non-stop action that twisted and spiraled in all directions with all of the subplots before coming back to an astonishing ending. Her world building was detailed and intense, her characters possessed attitudes and mannerisms far beyond their years while still only having the emotional maturity of a teen.

A copy of this book was provided by NetGalley and St. Martin's Press in exchange for my honest review. Publication date: April 23, 2013

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Sunday, April 28, 2013

ARC Review - The Secret Eater by Ros Jackson

The Secret Eater
by Ros Jackson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Ros Jackson has written a fun read with a quirky cast of characters! The Secret Eater sounds a little different, just by the title and it is! What if your power was to get into someone's head and 'hear' their secrets? Kenssie belongs to a demon who feeds on embarrassment, making them potentially a pretty powerful team, but another demon wants to possess Kenssie and being a slave to a fear demon is not the way to peaceful longevity in her world. When approached by a mysterious witch who says that if she is able to steal a powerful grimoire from an evil demon group, Kenssie may save her own life, that is, if they don't kill her in the process. Can Kenssie find the grimoire? If she does, then what?

This short tale is fast paced and full of fun characters with their own unique attitudes about how to be a demon! Kenssie is quite a character, a little irreverant, feeling rather alone against the world, but gutsy as heck! And her master? He totally fits the embarrassment demon bill,in true demonic style! A fun, fast read!

This ARC copy was provided by the author is exchange for my honest review! Publication Date: July 15, 2013

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ARC Review - Twerp by Mark Goldblatt

by Mark Goldblatt

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Mark Goldblatt could very well still be a sixth grader at heart! Twerp is the perfect book to engage pre-teens, tweens, and even grandparents with its delightful cast of characters who are as real as real can get! Young Julian Twerski is a boy growing up in New York in the late 1960’s, when it was still okay to play all day, hanging with your buddies, and just being a kid, following the crowd, having fun! But what happens when you follow the crowd and you become part of something so terrible that you won’t even talk about it, even though it cost you a one week suspension from school? If you are fortunate enough to have a teacher like Julian did, you end up having to keep a journal of your day to day activities until you finally get to the heart of the assignment and must face the full reality of what you did. You must admit you were part of a group of bullies who were brutally cruel to a defenseless, mentally impaired young boy.
Twerp is written through the eyes and mind of Julian, no filters, just a boy’s view of the day to day life in the neighborhood. There are laugh out loud moments, gasping moments and moments that make you proud of Julian for his frank honesty. I actually re-read parts to my husband, they were THAT good! His journal entries are true gems, innocence and daring intermixed equally, as he details his day to day life, until he knows he can no longer avoid writing about ‘the incident.’
I honestly cannot think of anyone who wouldn’t benefit from the pure entertainment and joy of reading this book, just the walk down memory lane, revisiting the adventures and pains of youth are a trip well worth taking, the lesson learned, priceless.

An ARC edition was provided by NetGalley and Random House Children's in exchange for my honest review. Publication Date: May 28, 2013

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ARC Review - A Bat in the Belfry by Sarah Graves (Home Repair Is Homicide Mystery #16)

A Bat in the Belfry
by Sarah Graves

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A Bat in the Belfry is book number 16 in the Home Repair is Homicide Series and could very well stand on its own as a very good murder mystery/who dunnit –and I know this how? Because this is the first book in this series that I have read, but trust me, it won’t be the last!
Talk about a puzzling mystery! Set in a small town in Maine, full of colorful characters who know everything everyone is doing, there is a warm feeling to this read in spite of the brutality of the crimes. Imagine hearing the bells toll in the old church tower when no one can remember the last time they rang and finding a brutally murdered young girl in the belfry. Add to that the huge storm coming in and the fact that the tower is unsafe and likely to come crashing down, destroying any evidence there may be. Told through various POVs, each with their own take on what is happening the uglier side of living in a small town is exposed and scraped apart. The police find the most likely suspect and consider the case closed, but will a former Boston detective, on her own personal mission help find the truth or will Jake, home renovator and part time sleuth get to the bottom of this heinous crime, saving her son’s friend from being wrongly accused? Will the bereaved father invoke his own kind of justice in an act of revenge and guilt for never being the father he should have been?

Sarah Graves has done well in creating that small town feel where anyone who is new or different stands out as a topic for gossip! With her ability to create each scene, I swear I felt the tower sway in the wind! A great cozy mystery, not too dry, not to flowery, definitely intense!

An ARC edition was provided by NetGalley and Random House Publishing Group in exchange for my honest review. Publication Date: April 30, 2013

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In the Land of the Living by Austin Ratner

In the Land of the Living
by Austin Ratner

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

In the Land of the Living captures the lifelong effects of traumatic childhood losses in a family that is splintered beyond repair. Author Austin Ratner has created a coming of age story for not one, but two men in a family saga that spans more than one generation with eerily similar tragedies. Isidore struggled with a cold and distant widowed father, trying to shield his siblings from his parental wrath, while vowing to make a success of his own life. Leo, Isidore’s son, is faced with almost identical losses and it drives the actions and reactions of his life in an effort to do what would make his father proud, while facing and fighting an inner rage and contempt for his younger brother Mack. Have the losses faced by this family ruined its chances to heal?

By telling the story out of sequence chronologically, Austin Ratner has enhanced the feeling of loss and confusion, as well as the day to day struggles faced by his characters. His intermixed dark humor lends credibility to the story, making each character more lifelike and painfully human. I felt the pain of the characters, as well as their convictions, strengths and insecurities. Each scene was so descriptive and vivid in its detail with an elegant, yet edgy style that it made this a book to remember long after the final page.

This edition was provided by NetGalley and Little, Brown and Company in exchange for my honest review. Publication Date: March 12, 2013
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Inferno by Sherryilyn Kenyon (Chronicles of Nick #4)

by Sherrilyn Kenyon

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Book Blurb
The heat is on, and a new threat to humanity has risen…

Nick has his driver’s license and he’s not afraid to use it. But turning sixteen isn’t what he thought it would be. While other boys his age are worried about prom dates and applying for college, Nick is neck deep in enemies out to stop him from living another day. No longer sure if he can trust anyone, his only ally seems to be the one person he’s been told will ultimately kill him.

But life spent serving the undead is anything except ordinary. And those out to get him have summoned an ancient force so powerful even the gods fear it. As Nick learns to command and control the elements, the one he must master in order to combat his latest foe is the one most likely to destroy him. As the old proverb goes, fire knows nothing of mercy, and if Nick is to survive this latest round, he will have to sacrifice a part of himself. However, the best sacrifice is seldom the sanest move. Sometimes it’s the one that leaves your enemies confused, and you even more so.

And sometimes, you have to trust your enemy to save your friends. But what do you do when that enemy is you?

My Review
You must understand, I AM A HUGE SHERRILYN KENYON FAN! I read every Dark Hunter book and most of her other books so when she came out with this young adult off shoot of the Dark Hunters, I sucked them right up. I read this book totally for me, I wanted it, I bought it and now I’m going to tell you why I loved it.

1) ½ Evil Demon or not, Nick is just an all around awesome guy. Yes, he’s conflicted but what teenager isn’t without having a demon threat over their heads.

2) Ash, yup he’s here in all his yumminess!

3) Simi – I think she should get her own series, how can you not love a 11,000+ year old demon child and Goth chick fashionista.

4) Nick’s mom – who wouldn’t want the over protective, crazy obsessive, I’d do anything for my child mom. She shows complete and udder devotion and love for her son. This is a spoiler for those of you that didn’t read Dark Hunter Spoiler ALERTI balled my eyes out when she died in the Dark Hunter Series, and kinda hated Kenyon for a few days too. End of Spoiler 

5) This series has every kind of supernatural including but not limited to gods, goddesses, demons, shifters, voodoo priestesses, crazy radical humans and so much more. It is a complete thrill for any paranormal enthusiast.

Ok, Ok, I could keep going, but I’m going to stop there. If you want to read an incredible young adult, male perspective, paranormal adventure, check out this fabulous book written by this incredibly talented author Sherrilyn Kenyon. And yes, I do have to check every time I spell her name – I apparently can’t handle the slightly original spelling.

What an ending! Leaving us out there wanting more.

Lover Be mine by Nicole Jordan (Legendary Lovers #2)

Lover Be Mine
by Nicole Jordan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

As a woman assigned to a marriage to a man twice her age for the sake of her family, Lady Sophie Fortin is resigned to her fate until Lord Jack Wilde lights her passions.

The Wildes have been feuding with the Fortins for as long as they can remember. It all leads back to a stolen love and a duel. When Jack is encouraged by his cousin to pursue /rescue Sophie from a loveless marriage he is intrigued by the prospect. When they meet at a ball, Jack becomes memorized by the prospect.

Chance meetings, a slow seduction and Sophie soon realizes that no relationship will ever be possible until the discord between their families is resolved.

A more modern Romeo and Juliet, the couple is caught between their families ancient history. Both Jack and Sophie are conflicted over the relationship and the cost.

I found this story charming, fun and a liberated version of historical fiction. It was pleasurable and captivating waiting for the romance and love match to slowly unfold through the story telling. If you are a fan of historical romance don’t miss Lover Be Mine.

This ARC copy of Lover Be Mine was given to me by Random House - Ballantine Books in exchange for a honest review. This book is set for publication May 28, 2013.

Love at First Site by Lori Wilde (Cupid, Texas #1)

Love at First Sight 
by Lori Wilde

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

In Cupid, Texas the McCleary family is renowned for their love at first site stories. Natalie McCleary is the next daughter in a long line of woman to carry on the “love at first site” tradition. At 29, Natalie has given up on the thought of true love or even a chance to lose her virginity...until the day she spied Dade Vega fixing his motorcycle on her way home. Confused by the shocking attraction, Natalie must traverse uncharted territory...discovering love.

Ex-Navy Seal, Dade Vega has traveled to the town of Cupid after receiving a SOS text from his foster brother and only family Red. After rushing to Cupid, Dade find Red has been missing since the night of his text message. Dade also quickly discovers the woman that ignited all his emotions just by looking at him fixing his motorcycle is Red’s landlady, Natalie. Natalie seems quite concerned about the missing war veteran, but Dade's jaded past has taught him to trust no one but Red. Can an injured and emotionally scarred soul deserve the sweetness that is Natalie McCleary?

Unavoidable magnetism, foul play, heated fantasies that lead to even more heated sexual encounters are the focal point of this intriguing first story in the Cupid Series. I found this book to be easy, enjoyable and a quick read. Lori Wilde wove a creative tale including a wonderful twist on Cupid’s folk lore that will be a fascinating premise on which to base the continuation of this series. As erotic romance, Love at First Sight hits the mark...it is vividly descriptive, extremely steamy and has a wonderfully wounded hero and heroine we can route for.

This ARC copy of Love at First Sight was given to me by HapperCollins - Avon Books in exchange for a honest review. This book is set for publication on May 28, 2013.

Bitter Disenchantment by Shawntelle Madison (Coveted # .4)

Bitter Disenchantment 
by Shawntelle Madison

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Angie McClure is the daughter to the alpha werewolf of the Manhattan pack. She has been training to take over as the alpha female for years, but when her father agrees to an arranged marriage on her behalf, her entire world changes. She is no longer allowed to fulfill her role in the family's company, her new husband has taken her place and her only role is to have a child.

She wants out of being an incubator for the next alpha and her only escape is money. Having no access to funds now that her new husband is in charge, Angie must fight in gaming rings to earn her escape.

This was a dark, paranormal, shifter story. Angie’s journey to freedom is one of hardship and loss. I was emotionally moved by the circumstances that gained Angie’s freedom but didn’t understand or agree with some of the choices that were made by Angie as well as other characters in this story. I found Bitter Disenchantment a dark, fast paced, action packed adventure with an intriguing and enjoyable plot. I got to say I’m a little partial to the South Toms River locale since I grew up in Beachwood, the next town over...

This ARC of Bitter Disenchantment was given to me by Shawntelle Madison in exchange for a honest review. This book is set for publication May 7, 2013.

Once Upon a Time: Discovering Our Forever After Story by Debbie Macomber

Once Upon a Time: 
Discovering Our Forever After Story 
by Debbie Macomber

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Once Upon A Time: Discovering Our Forever After Story is a highly inspirational and biblically based book of encouragement. Debbie Macomber refers to her own life experiences to inspire us to write our own life stories and encouraging a relationship with God. Finding her own relationship in 1972, she shares with us her journey and uses her literary experience and references to help us to do the same.

I have to admit that I didn’t realize this was a work of non-fiction. This is not my typical fiction, paranormal or romance read. That being said, I enjoyed Debbie’s life story, it was humorous and encouraging. Her relationship with God and Christian beliefs is self evident. The idea that we are all creating our own stories was her the purpose in writing this book and was edifying. I do believe this book would perfectly suit the The Perfect Driving Life fans and would be great for church book club reads.

This ARC copy of Once Upon A Time was given to me by Howard Books in exchange for a honest review. This books is to be published May 28, 2013.

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ARC Review - Headed for Trouble by Suzanne Brockmann (Troubleshooters #16.5)

Headed for Trouble
by Suzanne Brockmann

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

If you need a good, action packed romance fix, based on snippets from the lives of Suzanne Brockmann’s Navy SEALS, the Troubleshooters, Headed for Trouble is a great way to feed that fix! With a collection of short stories that are long on detail, Headed for Trouble makes a great read that you can pick up when you are short on time, savor one story and come back later for another! But, I must warn you, if you have NOT read the series, you may get hooked! If you have, this is a nice walk down Memory Lane, kind of like looking at a photo album with words painting the pictures!

This ARC copy was provided by NetGalley and Ballantine Books in exchange for an honest review. Publication date: April 30, 2013

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Debut Author - Released by Mia Fox (Romani Realms #1)

by Mia Fox

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Released by debut author Mia Fox is brilliantly witty, charming and fresh! Remember the tale of the genie in the bottle who must grant three wishes to the person who releases them, you know, when the big genie with the turban and crossed arms kind of smokes out of the bottle? Well, forget that guy, Suki, is anything but the stereotypical genie and hot on her tail is her an ex-friend on a mission of revenge! This genie has style, a quirky attitude and has kept up on the world throughout the years while imprisoned. Seriously, she even has investments, fashion connections and a keen sense of style! Best friends, Samantha and Charlotte, two lonely teens with equally sad pasts pool their money to buy Suki’s bottle at a secondhand shop. Meanwhile, lurking in the background is Raven, once Suki’s best friend, now her bitter enemy, out to destroy her, chasing her through the centuries since the Salem Witch Trials. Along with her sidekick, Phineas, Raven will do anything to break Suki, including attacking Samantha and Charlotte, who thanks to Suki, are being transformed from plain Janes to beautiful butterflies and are getting noticed by the guys they are crushing on!

Mia Fox has created a loveable and warm character in Suki! Her dialogue alone is worth the read as she narrates for us! Each character is well developed and fit perfectly in place. Some have their own secrets that even Suki doesn’t know! James sounds just plain hot! The plot is great, the story flows by with never a dull moment or a “snag” to slow you down. This is just a delight to read! Definitely fun, with that final hook at the end that I actually NEVER saw coming and has me waiting anxiously for book two in this series! Wow!! Mia has set the bar high for herself, but with Suki's help, and her own talent, it shouldn't be a problem to beat!

The Ragnarök Conspiracy by Erec Stebbins

The Ragnarök Conspiracy
by Erec Stebbins

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Erec Stebbins has created an intense story that touches at the very soul of intrigue with very human characters, full of flaws and the baggage of past nightmarish events that drive them to push through the bureaucratic sludge in an attempt to save the world from terrorist devastation. In a race against time, sometimes crossing the lines of “legalities,” FBI agent John Savas, along with his newly formed anti-terrorist team follow a winding trail littered with death and deceit, only to find that these terrorists may be Christians fighting back against Islam. Will he be able to identify and stop this group before they unleash the ultimate weapon of destruction on the world? Could the U. S. government be so blind as not to notice missing bombs? Throughout it all, there is one person who believes in John and risks not only her career, but her life, all while saving John from his own self-destructive ways.

The Ragnarok Conspiracy is full of intrigue, danger, and fast-paced action with a touch of romance and even some ancient runes that played so well into the plot! Erec Stebbins has created a cast of characters who are believably crafted and well-defined. His world building put me in the moment with the characters, I felt their frustrations and their drives to do what they do. I definitely look forward to more from this author! If you are looking for an intense read that feels too real to be fiction, this is for you!