Posts By: Steph

Rocky Mountain Home – Vivian Arend – 5 Stars

July 19, 2017 Read in 2017, Sent, Steph 1

Rocky Mountain Home – Vivian Arend – 5 StarsRocky Mountain Home by Vivian Arend
Pages: 507
Format: eBook
Source: the Author
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
five-stars
four-half-flames

The FINAL NOVEL in the bestselling SIX PACK RANCH series by New York Times Bestselling Author Vivian Arend.
-------------
There’s no distance you can run to escape the past.

Too stubborn to face his sins, Jesse Coleman bolted from the Six Pack Ranch, only to fall straight into the arms of a beautiful stranger. Twelve hours later, the seductive firebrand is nothing but a whiskey-laced memory—but one powerful enough to convince Jesse tracking down his elusive lover is worth the effort.

Darilyn Hayes figured it was her lucky night when the sexiest cowboy in Alberta interrupted her annual drink-until-I-fall-over wake. At least until four weeks later when she discovers she’s pregnant and her one-night-stand is nowhere to be found. Still, as she’s shared with her devoted blog readers, Dare has dealt with life’s not-so-gentle surprises before. She’ll make it on her own.

When an internet picture gone viral leads to their reunion, Jesse’s floored by Dare’s news. She’s very clear she’s not looking for a commitment, but screw that. He’s going to do the right thing by her and his unborn kid. The fact they lit the sheets on fire is a bonus, but with a baby on the way, both their lives are gonna change.

Jesse’s got a ton of family to reconnect with, including his estranged twin. Dare holds family loosely—even though she loves them—because she knows too well how fragile life can be. Between her and Jesse, they’ve got enough baggage to open a store.

But they still have a shot at forever—if they’re willing to fight for it.

This final novel in the series contains the following:
A sexy, dirty, cocky-as-hell prodigal son Coleman with massive bridges to rebuild. A woman able to see to the heart of the matter yet bold enough to speak the truth. A family of extraordinary resolve and endless love. A wedding or two. And babies—oh lordy, the babies…

Ok anyone who knows me knows I have LOVED the Six Pack Ranch Series by Vivian Arend.  I didn’t want it to end but all good things must come to an end and this series ends on the story all of us have been waiting for…

JESSE JESSE JESSE JESSE JESSE

ok ok you get the point…  but damn if I wasn’t waiting with baited breath as we watched the others finding their way while wondering what our favorite asshole was doing.  I loved Jesse…  love him even more now but even Vivian would have to admit he was a weeeeeeeee bit of an asshole.  Yeah I got it …  I honestly got why he reacted the way he did.  I don’t forgive him for it but things aren’t always exactly as they seem so finding out what the final nail on the coffin was for his time in Coleman territory made his behavior so much more heartbreaking.

Jesse meets a woman at a bar who is obviously out for the same thing he is… a good time in the sack while forgetting things that noone else needs to understand.  He’s a bit surprised when he wakes up in the morning and she’s gone but life moves on.  The woman in question, Dare, really did enjoy her time with him but the surprise she’s left with means she’d like to have been able to find him.  She’s strong and as we get to know her we learn why she was there while also seeing that her strength is also a bit of a downfall as it has left her a bit isolated.  She deserves so much but fear holds her back and with her backstory it makes sense.  She posted on her blog a picture of Jesse which leads to him finding her then finding out that their little roll in the hay has a little complication.

I loved seeing Dare not beat around the bush with Jesse but I especially liked that she didn’t immediately take him up on his offer to marry her.  They both deserved better than that and I think that this gave them both the time to finally realize what is important.  Jesse had a lot of growing up to do and while he did it there was some strain on what they were building together.  Both of them were both shaped by actions in and out of their control so seeing how they supported one another by calling each other on misconceptions made me smile.  Her reaction to meeting all the Colemans was also perfect as she got to see who shaped the man Jesse really is behind the asshole exterior.  He’s got such a huge heart but he’s stubborn as a mule which makes them a perfect pair.  I honestly adored watching them battle but never crossing the line in to bullying or hatred.

As the synopsis says… BABIES BABIES BABIES but we would expect no less from the Colemans.  I look forward to the next series and know there will be a lot of fireworks with the first couple.

Oh… and Vivian… if you read this…   we need dragons and bears and cowboys and more more more… hint hint…  😉

five-stars

Divider

The Red – Tiffany Reisz – 4 stars

July 18, 2017 Read in 2017, Sent 1

I received this book for free from the Author . This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.
The Red – Tiffany Reisz – 4 starsThe Red by Tiffany Reisz
on July 11, 2017
Pages: 248
Format: eBook
Source: the Author
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
four-stars
four-flames

Mona Lisa St. James made a deathbed promise that she would do anything to save her mother's art gallery. Unfortunately, not only is The Red painted red, but it's in the red.

Just as she realizes she has no choice but to sell it, a mysterious man comes in after closing time and makes her an offer: He will save The Red if she agrees to submit to him for the period of one year.

The man is handsome, English, and terribly tempting...but surely her mother didn't mean for Mona to sell herself to a stranger. Then again, she did promise to do anything to save The Red...

The Red is a standalone novel of erotic fantasy from Tiffany Reisz, international bestselling author of The Bourbon Thief and the Original Sinners series.

I admit to being a huge fan of Tiffany Reisz.  I really enjoy her writing no matter the genre but this story is something hard to define and yet I couldn’t put it down.

The premise is interesting in that Mona is doing everything she can to keep the gallery her mother loved open but even though she does everything she can the gallery is still in dire straits.  She ends up making a deal with a mysterious stranger that unlocks her inner siren and saves the gallery.  The stranger takes us all down a seductive path that delves in to fantasies that are mild in the beginning but then gets stranger and more disturbing but still intriguing as the book progresses.  I found the descriptions of the artwork to be my favorite part as the words seem to leap from the pages with an almost visceral impression on my brain that I felt at times like I could touch the images as if they were here.

This book is not for the faint of heart as the sex described is disturbing to many but the underlying current is one of consent and exploration.  We must remember that this is a work of fiction and even though some of the kink described is beyond my level of comfort others would find this to be exciting and something they wanted to try.  Malcolm is mysterious and as you get to the end of the book you understand why he is such a mystery.  I appreciated the twist at the end because it again proves that Tiffany is great at keeping something hidden from the reader until the pivotal moment where this bit of surprise is needed.

This is another moment when I ask…. when do we get more?  I know this book will not be for everyone and even the bloggers that I know who love Tiffany were of mixed feelings when it came to this one.  I liked it a lot but do not go in to this one without an open mind and a willingness to push the boundaries of what you are willing to read and experience.

four-stars

Divider

Audiobook – Goddess with a Blade – Lauren Dane – 4.5 stars

July 17, 2017 Audiobook, Listened to in 2017, Steph 1

Audiobook – Goddess with a Blade – Lauren Dane – 4.5 starsGoddess With a Blade by Lauren Dane
Published by Carina Press on June 6th 2011
Genres: Fiction, Fantasy, Urban, Romance, Paranormal, General
Pages: 265
Format: Audiobook
Source: Purchased
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
four-half-stars

Rowan Summerwaite is no ordinary woman. Physical vessel to the Celtic Goddess Brigid and raised by the leader of the Vampire Nation, she's a supercharged hunter with the power to slay any vampire who violates the age-old treaty.

A recent string of murders has her at odds with Las Vegas's new Scion, the arrogant and powerful Clive Stewart. The killings have the mark of Vampire all over them, and Rowan warns Clive to keep his people in line—or she'll mete out her own brand of justice.

Though her dealings with Clive are adversarial to say the least, Rowan is intensely aware of her attraction to him. But she can't let it distract her from her duty—to find and battle the killer before more women die.

73,000 words

Ok I know I am late to the party on this series but I ADORED the banter between our leads as they fight their attraction to one another and the strong dislike they also have regarding their roles in society.  There is something refreshing about characters who are open and honest about who they are with no apologies for their actions if they are what is needed.  They both apologize for items that are out of line but they do not back down as they do what they were meant to do.

Rowan is the vessel for an ancient Celtic goddess and was raised in the service of the First.  The First is an ancient vampire who considers Rowan to be his daughter even though she now is tasked with killing those vampires who kill humans or break the treaty that keeps the various races in balance.  She’s tough and is not looking for anything other than to make sure that the new North American Scion understands what she’s supposed to do and stays out of her way.  She meets Clive and immediately dislikes him not only for being a vampire but for being an insufferable, stick-up-his-ass jerk who thinks he is all mighty and powerful.  She works to figure out who is this latest rogue vampire with help from her crew but keeps having to deal with Clive and the attraction that she feels for someone she shouldn’t want.  I loved watching her jump in to things without regard for her own safety but seeing Clive try to get thru to her how much she means to those around her was enjoyable.

Clive is such a damn asshole… yes… a damn snobby, stick-in-the-mud and stick-up-his-ass asshole.  Yet, I found myself enjoying him as we got to see more of who he is.  He’s not fond of meeting this Hunter as she killed his predecessor (yes it was definitely deserved) but he’s taken aback as he finds himself drawn to her.  He’s very protective of his people and very fierce when it comes to protecting the Vampire Nation even as he knows there are things Rowan should be let in on in order to more efficiently and effectively do her job.  I loved seeing his fierceness as he fights to get her to not go off on her own trying to find the killer in their midst but ultimately failing as she will do her job no matter the cost.  Clive is someone you learn to love as the series progresses as he may be a fuddy duddy in some respects but damn if the man cannot get dirty with the best of them.  There is a reason why he is in the position he is in and it isn’t just because he is a good businessman.  He’s ruthless and deadly but when it comes to Rowan he is such a damn romantic man.

The good news is by waiting so long to start the series all the books are out so you can read them back to back but I do warn you … you will scream when you get to the last one and I hope that Lauren Dane is able to get back to this world soon as I adore the characters and want to see more of the story that is still out there.

four-half-stars

Divider

The Bridesmaid and the Hurricane – Kelly Maher – 4 stars

July 5, 2017 Read in 2017, Sent, Steph 1

I received this book for free from the Author . This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

The Bridesmaid and the Hurricane – Kelly Maher – 4 starsThe Bridesmaid and the Hurricane by Kelly Maher
Published by D Ink Editions on July 4th 2017
Genres: Fiction, Romance, Contemporary
Pages: 234
Format: eARC
Source: the Author
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
four-stars
three-flames

A one-weekend stand over a year ago, and now they're coworkers...

Being a woman in TV is hard enough, but when the boss is trying to derail Radhika O’Leary’s career from behind the scenes, she has to make sure every aspect of her work—and her life—stands up to scrutiny.

Of course, the double standard is alive and well and Malcolm Jones, the broadcast meteorologist known as “Colm” to his friends and “The Hurricane Hottie” to his fangirls, knows that fame can hurt just as much as it helps. When Colm moves to DC, he’s excited to work with Radhika—her professional reputation is sparkling, and so are the kisses they shared that one weekend over a year ago when he was in town covering a blizzard.

But when Radhika is paired up with Colm for a project, all she sees is a looming storm over her carefully constructed career. Sparks still fly between the two journalists, and if they’re not careful, lightning might strike and alter the course of their lives forever.

So…  I meant to have this posted on release day but… ummmm…  yeah.  I found myself enjoying naps too much so this got delayed by a day.

The book opens with our heroine dreading another day with her horrible boss, Bella.  You will see this character pop-up over and over in the story which serves to make you dread seeing her name as much as Radhika hates to hear it.  Radhika is not looking forward to the day for more than just having to deal with this woman; her one-night *okay okay* two-night stand which was only supposed to be a rebound fling is now going to be working at the same station she works for.  She’s strong but there is something about Colm that calls to her even after not seeing him for a year.  I loved how they ran in to one another and you could sense that the chemistry that fueled the two-day fling is still there.  She’s been burnt so severely before that she has issues with seeing him but I understood them and appreciated that he didn’t let that stop him nor did he judge her for those issues.  She also has some great friends that support her while still kicking her ass at moments when she needs it most.  She also is strong enough to help her friends out and you sense that this is a woman who defends those who mean something to her even if she could get burned or hurt by the fall-out.  I liked her spunk and how when push came to shove the feelings she has for Colm cause her to take the chances she does with him.  She’s smart and independent but still craves the roots that many of us want but never find.

Colm… yeah..  I really liked Colm.  He’s smart and driven but such a sweetheart when it comes to his family.  He also never forgot his incredible two-day fling with Radhika so when he gets a chance he does not squander it.  He also makes sure to do what he can to protect her career as he knows that their involvement could prove tricky but he wants her too badly to not try.  Yes, he protects her by making sure that if they were to get involved there would be no blowback from an HR perspective plus knows that her abilities speak for themselves so adding this layer of “I’m not your boss” is a smart move even as it gets tested late in the story.  I also liked how he really worked to be honest with her and take it slow as he wanted to make this comfortable for her.  His feelings were strong and steady but his understanding of why she struggled made me enjoy the wait.  We see a couple who truly respect each other even as they want nothing more than to recreate the two-night fling.

You will enjoy how the boss has her downfall but I think the key to me was seeing how Colm did everything he told her he would do even as everything blew up.  He really was a great character so seeing how true he was to her made me smile.  I look forward to more of this series and hope that we get to see her other friends meet the partners they need or want.

four-stars

Divider

Guest Post – Kelly Maher – Ideas for the 4th of July

July 3, 2017 Guest Post 1

Steph here … You know I’ve gone to a few book conventions over the last few years and have met a lot of fun authors, publishing people and bloggers… well one of them is Kelly Maher who is releasing a new book on July 4th  *stayed tuned for my review tomorrow* but she is visiting today to share some of her favorite things to do in Washington, D.C. both on the holiday and period.  I hope you enjoy and go grab her book —

Thank you *so* much to Steph and company for welcoming me to Book-A-Holic Anon! I’m Kelly Maher, and my book, THE BRIDESMAID AND THE HURRICANE, releases tomorrow from your favorite ebook retailers!! Since it’s the Fourth of July, and I live and set the novel in DC, I thought I’d share a top five list of my favorite things to do in the DC area, especially during the Fourth!

 

  1. Whether I go in person–like I did the first summer I lived in DC–or watch on TV, A CAPITAL FOURTH on PBS is a *MUST*! My family and I have watched for years, and this year’s line-up of performers with host John Stamos (WHOOO-BABY!) is banging! I do have to note that if you go to A CAPITAL FOURTH, you may want to sit to the side of the stage for a better live view of the fireworks. And speaking of fireworks…
  2. FIREWORKS!! I *love* fireworks displays during the Fourth of July. The DC professional display is gorgeous, and I recommend sitting or standing somewhere near the Lincoln Memorial. If you can’t be that close, there are lots of places with good views, and a friend of mine gives two big thumbs up to the view from the U.S. Marine Corps War Memorial which is across the Potomac from the Lincoln Memorial in Virginia.
  3. After the fireworks, you may want to consider getting some adult milkshakes. There are a number of places in DC that offer these, but my favorites are the ones at Ted’s Bulletin. They’ve got two locations, but I go to the one on 14th Street NW. I’ve taken pretty much all of my family there at some point, and a few of them have requested return visits!
  4. One of the things I celebrate during the Fourth (besides family birthdays), is what founded our country: the Declaration of Independence. You can see it at the National Archives, along with the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. In addition to our founding documents, the National Archives has regular exhibits of interesting things in their collections. I particularly enjoyed the one on Prohibition! If you’ve got kids, they also have sleepover events on a regular basis!
  5. And since Radhika and Colm, my hero and heroine in THE BRIDESMAID AND THE HURRICANE, are journalists, I can’t not mention the Newseum. This is one of the private museums in DC where you have to pay an entrance fee, but it is totally worth it! Plus, the admission is good for two days. Personally, I’m looking forward to checking out David Fahrenthold’s legal pads where he tracked the work he did while crafting the story about the current president’s history of charitable giving.

 

I hope you’ll check out THE BRIDESMAID AND THE HURRICANE when it releases! I had a lot of fun talking about things I love doing, seeing, and eating in DC 🙂

Thank you so much to Kelly and I really hope her enthusiasm for the city she calls home speaks to you and gets you to check her out!

Divider

My Love/Hate Relationship with Audiobooks

June 19, 2017 Musings 1

So many of you know that I recently started actively enjoying audiobooks… Some of you may know that I have always struggled with them because of my ability to read at a fast pace which made the slower pace of audio maddening.

I have since discovered that having them running while I am working on projects at work has helped me focus more and be better able to tune out the noise of working in an open concept work-space where noise is a huge distraction.  This ability to have a story to focus on in the background while working on client items has proven to be refreshing and stress reducing.

This however has also made me notice the key component in a good audiobook – the narrator!!!!!  If you have a good narrator then the story flows without being distracted by poorly done or exaggerated character voices.  This really bothered me with The Beast in Him as the drawl or attempts at a drawl were so far off what I expected from the characters that I found myself annoyed.  I know this might not be a popular opinion but everyone has their expectations for the voice of a character so when the voice is not what one expects it can be jarring.  I also am perhaps a bit biased with the way a drawl should sound so this perhaps was not a good one for me to listen to.

I have also learned that perhaps it is best for me to listen to books without having previously read them as then the mental voice is not set for me so I can be more open to the narrator’s interpretation.  This has proven expensive and useful with my glomming of Goddess with a Blade and the Elder Races series.  I cannot get them at my library so each has been purchased but…

If you have a Kindle take advantage of adding audio to the ebook because in many cases this ends up cheaper even with buying the ebook…. YES THIS IS ODDLY TRUE!!!  I’ve found that I can often save $8+ by purchasing the ebook and adding audio vs just buying the audio… *sigh* but hey whatever works …

This also leads me to wanting to be more active with my local library system in order to get more of the authors I love available to more of the local community.

Audiobooks have now proven to be a nice addition to my life as they have allowed me to continue my love of stories even as my life with school and work take over my free time.  I look forward to continuing to review these audiobooks every Monday but wanted to share why they now work for me.

Divider

Audiobook – If You Know Her – Shiloh Walker – 4.5 stars

June 12, 2017 Audiobook, Listened to in 2017, Reviewer -, Steph 2

Audiobook – If You Know Her – Shiloh Walker – 4.5 starsIf You Know Her by Shiloh Walker
Published by Tantor Media on 2012
Genres: Fiction, Romance, Suspense, Contemporary
Pages: 390
Format: Audiobook
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
four-half-stars

A SHADOW IN THE WINDOW

Nia Hollister doesn’t scare easily. She’s returned to Ash, Kentucky, with a vengeance—and with a mission: find the killer who brutally ended her cousin’s life. What she didn’t count on was trembling with desire every time she sees Law Reilly. If any man can help her escape the nightmares for a while, it’s him. But can she allow herself to take comfort in those strong arms when her sister’s killer still roams free?

She may think she’s a bad ass, but she should not have come back to his town. He is watching her—as she slips into Law Reilly’s house, as she storms into the sheriff’s office. These men won’t be able to protect her when her time comes. Timing is everything, though he can’t wait forever. She’s nosing around the woods, looking for his hiding place. Yes, he is watching her . . . through the window . . . in her bed . . .

If she’s not scared, she should be . . . because he is very good at what he does.

This is the last in the series where we FINALLY get to know who the killer is.  This book has a great amount of heat between our hero and heroine but mainly we finally get to know who the killer is.  I can honestly say that I did know who it was from book one but I know many who read/listened to it did not have a true clue.  There was suspicion but as others have said there is misdirection that makes some doubt their instincts.

Nia isn’t a girlie girl or in any way a woman who wants to be just a wife … She’s very independent and driven to figure out who actually killed her cousin.  She’s not happy with what she’s found out and comes back to Ash to get to the bottom of this.  She’s got a partner in Ezra and in Law but she isn’t willing to sit back to let Ezra slowly uncover the truth.  She pushes.  She makes inquiries that cause the killer to become worried.  She just won’t back down even as attacks and incidents start to occur that make it clear the killer isn’t happy with her actions.  She also is fiercely attracted to Law but isn’t easily caught by him.  When she finally lets him in for a fling what results is more than she expects so she does make some errors.  I do like that she stayed true to her character so even the dark moment was expected even as I was pissed about it.

Law is at a crossroads…  His best friend has now managed to get her life back and is moving on with the love of her life.  His former crush has moved on with the love of her life … and… Law… well Law is still trying to understand what caused him to be instantly, crazily attracted to Nia.  He writes that off as she won’t be back around but then she storms back in to town.  He’s definitely protective but he doesn’t completely try to control her.  He wants her safe and to wait for help versus storm the castle alone.  I liked how growly he was but also the fact that once he had her that he didn’t hold back.  He was in love completely and still made sure that Nia was able to make her own mind up.  He knows that she isn’t going to be easy but he’s willing to play the long game in order to get the results he wants.

Now…  the killer… He’s completely fucked up and when you get more of his story you’ll be stunned at how good he was at putting on a facade.  He’s hidden himself from the public so well and the lengths he goes to in order to try to get out of this is stunning.  We do have some casualties but that is expected and there will be a lot of work to do for Ezra to get his new town thru it.  Ash will never be the same as they recover from this.

four-half-stars

Divider

Audiobook – If You See Her – Shiloh Walker – 4 stars

June 5, 2017 Audiobook 2

Audiobook – If You See Her – Shiloh Walker – 4 starsIf You See Her by Shiloh Walker
on 2012
Genres: Fiction, Romance, Contemporary, Suspense, Thrillers
Pages: 391
Format: Audiobook
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
four-stars

A FACE IN THE MIRROR

Hope Carson may not look like a survivor, but she has escaped an abusive ex-husband and recovered from a vicious assault. Now she endures the painful memories and suspicious rumors surrounding her involvement in the attack. Her ex is a cop, so the last people she trusts are law enforcement officials—and she certainly doesn’t trust how the local DA makes her feel inside.

Remy Jennings should know better. He has no business falling for a woman who he suspects may have a deeply troubled mind. And even if he did make a move, she’d bolt like a frightened rabbit. But how can he deny a burning desire that threatens to consume him? As Hope’s past catches up with her in the worst way, Remy is determined to break through her defenses, earn her trust, and keep her safe in his arms—before it’s too late.

We enter book two in this trilogy and still don’t have a bead on who the killer is but… as I said in my review of book one I did have an idea which seemed to get firmed up a bit in this one for me.  We get to see more on Lena and Ezra so that makes it nice to get to understand their relationship a bit more but this book really does pull Hope and Remy to the forefront.

Hope is someone who desperately needs to be free from her past but she can’t outrun it nor is she ready to truly face it in the beginning of this story.  She will make you happy as she fights so hard for her friend Law but she is so scared of her past that she doesn’t always fight for herself.  I loved her spirit as she realized that some people were on her side and that Remy was not what she expected.  She also shows her true strength as she finally stands up for herself in so many ways.  You’ll enjoy her spunk and watching her finally own what she wants and who she is.  As someone who has felt like she was invisible and her feelings/wants weren’t important by those who should have been supportive… I cheered her on.

Remy made me smile so many times during this story.  He really is so amazingly supportive of Hope but even he struggled to balance his need to protect her and his need to make sure she knew she was strong enough.  He also struggles with making sure that he isn’t misreading her reactions to him.  He wants her so much but also knows that she’s been thru so much so struggles to balance this so she can heal.  I adored him but appreciated it when he made mistakes and Hope called him on them.  This helped both of them find that middle ground where both of their needs were heard and met.

The story is fairly fast paced and I admit to being quite sad when someone I liked fulfilled his part in this story.  I didn’t see that coming but at the same time I appreciated why it went the way it did.  I also quite enjoyed seeing Law play a larger role in this and the way it played out folding so nicely in to the next story.  This is definitely a trilogy where waiting until all three books were out was such a great idea.  I don’t know if I would’ve been happy waiting for the third story to release…

Narration was nicely done with the pacing and vocal nuances adding to the story without distracting me from the characters.

four-stars

Divider

Audiobook – If You Hear Her – Shiloh Walker – 4 stars

May 29, 2017 Audiobook, Listened to in 2017 1

Audiobook – If You Hear Her – Shiloh Walker – 4 starsIf You Hear Her by Shiloh Walker
on April 30, 2012
Genres: Fiction, Romance, Suspense, Contemporary, Thrillers
Pages: 400
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
four-stars

A CRY IN THE WOODS

The scream Lena Riddle hears in the woods behind her house is enough to curdle her blood—she has no doubt that a woman is in real danger. Unfortunately, with no physical evidence, the local law officers in small-town Ash, Kentucky, dismiss her claim. But Lena knows what she heard—and it leaves her filled with fear and frustration.

Ezra King is on leave from the state police, but he can’t escape the guilty memories that haunt his dreams. When he sees Lena, he is immediately drawn to her. He aches to touch her—to be touched by her—but is he too burdened by his tragic past to get close? When Ezra hears her story of an unknown woman’s screams, his instincts tell him that Lena’s life is also at risk—and his desire to protect her is as fierce as his need to possess her.

For those of you who know me… this idea of me listening to books goes against everything I’ve ever said about audiobooks.  I have found a time and place where I can actually stand them now so be prepared to see more reviews of audiobooks.

In this case, I finally got around to the Ash trilogy by Shiloh Walker.  The narrator was fun to listen to and the book flowed well.  I did find that the story was tight and I wasn’t completely invested in Ezra and Lena until closer to the end but the story was fun to follow.

There is something up in the small town of Ash, Kentucky that is sinister and depraved.  We get introduced to most of the main characters of the trilogy in this title but we will have to wait until the last two books to completely flesh out the story.  We see a man at a crossroads with no plans for the future but a mess to resolve from his past.  I admittedly was invested in Ezra as soon as we met him because there is something about a man struggling with injuries and trauma that draws me in.  He’s strong but there is a vulnerability and softness that shines thru as we get to know him.  This is a good man who has had his foundations taken out from under him and he’s smarting from what he thinks is his instincts letting him down.  He’s a curious man though so when things start to happen you aren’t going to see him just ignore them to take the easy path.  I liked how he accepted Lena from the beginning even if he did make some mistakes along the way.

Lena was something else.  I liked her but I did a bit frustrated as she tended to react first when people were trying to help her rather than actually understand where they were coming from.  She had times where that reaction was the right one but it did get me a bit upset a couple of times as I saw her reaction being a bit misguided.  Before anyone takes my head off… yes I get where she was coming from in that others had often taken it upon themselves to talk over her or do things in the interest of her best interests.. I get it… I really do but there are a couple of times where she jumps to that conclusion with people who haven’t done that to her.  I appreciated that she owns up when she overreacts and that the ones who are caught in the fire don’t hold that moment against her.  I also appreciate her calling people out when they do it in the way that is condescending and troubling… see I am capable of seeing where there are issues and love that she speaks up.  She’s strong and her willingness to call Ezra on his shit made me smile.

The overall story arc is awesome so I will just say make sure to put aside time to listen to or read all three titles in a row.  I am happy to say that I figured out who the villain is in the series in book 2 but there are hints in this one that niggled at me but didn’t firm up until book 2.  I can see why people might miss the hints but the stories are interesting with twists one might not see coming.  Take a chance and read or listen to this series… I don’t think you’ll be sorry.

four-stars

Divider

Release Day – Surrender the Dark – Tibby Armstrong – Contest & Excerpt

May 23, 2017 Contest, Excerpt 1

As a provocative series of paranormal temptation begins, a vampire king seduces the supernaturally gifted man hunting him. But when the stakes are literally life or death, their struggle for control is no game.

Benjamin Fuller is a hunter, born and bred. Blinded as a child by the vampire who slaughtered his family, he’s blessed with a second sight that allows him to catch and kill his quarry. What his gift can’t help him see coming is his fierce, almost carnal attraction to the mystery man who claims to be a fellow hunter and whose touch triggers both lust and revulsion. When he gains the upper hand, Benjamin vows to bring his enemy to his knees.

After many years spent in exile, the only one who can help restore Tzadkiel Dragoumanos to his rightful place as War King is a blind hunter with golden curls, a lithe dancer’s physique, and distinctive facial scars—scars Tzadkiel gave him two decades ago. The mere scent of Benjamin Fuller provokes an unwelcome rush of insatiable desire. Yet to win an all-out supernatural war, Tzadkiel must resist the ravenous hunger to possess his prey—for now.

Purchase:

Kindle – https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01D7CJ3Z0/

Nook – http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/surrender-the-dark-tibby-armstrong/1123563499?ean=9780399593352

iBooks – https://geo.itunes.apple.com/us/book/surrender-the-dark/id1139530733?mt=11&at=1001lmSp

Kobo – https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/surrender-the-dark-1

GooglePlay – https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Tibby_Armstrong_Surrender_the_Dark?id=1ajFCwAAQBAJ

 

Excerpt:

Benjamin jerked back at the contact with Tzadkiel’s mouth and attempted to shove the vampire away. Tzadkiel, however, was quicker. Hand gripping Benjamin’s nape in a way that spoke of centuries—perhaps millennia—of practice, Tzadkiel held him immobile. The royal purple aura flashed and brightened with something Benjamin’s hunter-senses recognized as desire. Flesh, warm and supple, not marble hard and cold, met Benjamin’s lips.

The vampire kisses like a human.

Benjamin’s first thought struck him as absurd, and then he couldn’t think at all. Lips that had begged him for water, for silence, for life, now demanded passion. Sparks of white and deep mauve obscured the subterranean world around him, focusing his attention on the flash-bang of his arousal. As before, contact with the vampire blew him apart from the inside. Adrenaline, fear, animal instinct, all combined to light his nerves with an awareness he’d only experienced when fighting the heinous creatures. In short, he felt alive.

Lungs burning, Benjamin gasped when Tzadkiel let him up for air, then pulled his nemesis in for more. Drunk with lust, he barely registered voices in the tunnel, or the polite cough and tap on his shoulder. Taste. He needed to taste. Plunging his tongue into a rough and tumble battle with Tzadkiel’s, he tasted his own blood on the vampire’s tongue. Tzadkiel growled and clamped his hand more insistently on Benjamin’s nape, forcing him to open his mouth until every spare inch of his world was filled with a different kind of mayhem. Tinged with smoke and salt and a warm earthy essence, Tzadkiel tasted of nightmares laced with forbidden desire. A one-hit addict, Benjamin couldn’t get enough of the resulting rush.

The cough and tap came again, more insistent this time. Benjamin shrugged it off, refusing to rouse from this wonderful dream, and attempted to fall back to sleep—to fall back into to Tzadkiel’s embrace.

About the author:

Tibby Armstrong has been a romance reader since the age of eleven, when she snuck a very bad historical from her aunt’s shelves. In her late twenties, she fell in love with paranormal romance and urban fantasy. Now she writes LGBT contemporary and paranormal stories with strong relationship threads and a healthy helping of steam.
Website: http://www.tibbyarmstrong.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Tibby-Armstrong-1609473992626766/?ref=hl

Twitter: https://twitter.com/tibbyarmstrong

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/tibbyarmstrong/

Newsletter:  http://eepurl.com/bJv_lD

 

Contest:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Divider