Posts Categorized: Read in 2013

Having Her – Jackie Ashenden – 5 stars

February 10, 2014 Read in 2013, Samhain, Sent 0

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

Having Her – Jackie Ashenden – 5 starsHaving Her by Jackie Ashenden
Published by Samhain Publishing on 2014-02-11
Genres: Contemporary, Erotica, Fiction, Romance
Pages: 333
Source: the Author
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
five-stars

Behind every heroine is the pain that binds her. Lies We Tell, Book 2Manga café owner Kara Sinclair has one burden she’s been carrying around so long it’s bordering on pathetic. Her virginity. Getting rid of it, though, means doing the one thing that scares her the most—letting down her guard with a relative stranger. Which makes her best friend’s older brother Vin Fox’s offer too tempting to refuse. Vin barely has room in his schedule to turn around, much less worry about Kara and her crazy quest. When she insists on going ahead with a plan that he considers unsafe, though, enough is enough. If she wants to lose it, she can lose it with him. Bonus: he gets to play out his darkest fantasies, slave collar and all. Kara thought dealing with a known entity like sexy-as-sin, controlling-as-hell Vin would smooth the way. But when it comes right down to doing the deed, not even the safety of a costume can fool her demons. By then the game has gone too far...and the consequences could bind them together forever. Or tear them apart at the seams. Warning: Contains a sexy, brooding “fix you” hero and a heroine who isn’t afraid of anything...except “normal.” More kinky cosplay losts-and-founds than you can shake a riding crop at. WTF Infirmary is booked up; please make an appointment before you read.

If you haven’t read Taking Him yet…  please do so before you read this one.  While you don’t technically have to there is a lot of tie-in between the two stories as they overlap and knowing the prior story does help a bit to get you more in the head of these two.

Kara just wants to get rid of the annoying thing called her virginity but she just can’t seem to do the deed with the men she meets.  When she mentions this plan to her best friend’s older brother she gets more than she expected as he offers to be the partner..  of course this is after some immense teasing on her part but when he offers it becomes something she can’t help but want.  As they come together she has to confront her demons and finally stand up for herself in her private life.  This is a woman who has so many reasons to not let someone in her heart and body but when she finally does the results are amazing and the power she gains over her past was beautiful to watch.  I loved how she finally stood up for what she wanted even as it killed her to do so.  She has so much more strength than she knew which Jackie brings to life in moments that had me crying and yelling at my Kindle.

Vin…  sigh…  Vin…  bless his stubborn soul.  He’s so misguided about what is going on with Kara that it made me laugh at times as both of them really didn’t understand what they were getting in to when they came up with the slave/master arrangement.  He feels an incredible amount of responsibility for everything around him and that leads him to not take care of himself.  As he gets what he needs from this arrangement with Kara he feels an amazing amount of release in their stolen moments but at the same time is suffocating himself with a level of guilt for what he believes to be being selfish.  As he struggles with this guilt the unexpected happens and his reaction to it made me want to hurt him as much as he was hurting Kara.  I understood both sides of the conflict but still wanted to hurt him… (yes Jackie I know you did warn me) … You can’t stay mad at him as you watch him struggle with trying to do the right thing all the time and his actions in the end will make you tear up at the huge amount of (as Maisey Yates says) FEELS that are evoked.

So…. here are a few notes:

  1. Have Kleenex cause you will need them a bit
  2. Have ice cause oh dear lord are the two of them hot hot hot together
  3. Have someone you can talk to as you get ready to bash Vin upside the head but ya know Kara has a few moments as well
  4. Don’t read unless you can sit down and gobble this up in one sitting

 

Special thanks to Jackie for giving me a chance to read this one really early…  You can always send me things cause your dirty heroes with feels are just ummmm HOT!!  Also thanks for not expecting a review of any kind let alone telling me what to write for said review.  I appreciate getting the chance to read both of these stories and will be happy to take more of your dirty heroes off your hands…

five-stars

Divider

Release Day Blitz & Review – Hard As It Gets – Laura Kaye – 4 stars

November 26, 2013 Avon, Read in 2013, Sent, Tours 1

Release Day Blitz & Review – Hard As It Gets – Laura Kaye – 4 stars

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

Release Day Blitz & Review – Hard As It Gets – Laura Kaye – 4 starsHard As It Gets Published by Avon on November 26, 2013
Pages: 368
Format: eBook
Source: the publisher
Buy on Amazon
four-stars

Tall, dark, and lethal...

Trouble just walked into Nicholas Rixey's tattoo parlor. Becca Merritt is warm, sexy, wholesome--pure temptation to a very jaded Nick. He's left his military life behind to become co-owner of Hard Ink Tattoo, but Becca is his ex-commander's daughter. Loyalty won't let him turn her away. Lust has plenty to do with it too.

With her brother presumed kidnapped, Becca needs Nick. She just wasn't expecting to want him so much. As their investigation turns into all-out war with an organized crime ring, only Nick can protect her. And only Becca can heal the scars no one else sees.

Desire is the easy part. Love is as hard as it gets. Good thing Nick is always up for a challenge...

Before we jump in to my review…  How about you go check out the book trailer for this wonderful book?  🙂

Hard As It Gets Book Trailer

Now on to my review…

When I saw this cover a while back I knew I wanted to read this story.  I mean how yummy is it?  I was asked to participate in this release day blitz by reviewing the book but Laura and Avon did not have any influence on my rating or thoughts.

Becca is scared for her brother’s well-being.  You see she hasn’t talked with him since they fought but instead has only received one cryptic message from him telling her to go see a man who used to be in her father’s unit.  She goes to his tattoo parlor in hopes of getting his help finding her only remaining family but is coldly turned away as soon as she tells him who she is.  She’s shocked when this man shows up and saves her from a intruder in her home but is more shocked by the fact she is drawn to him more than she’s ever been drawn to a man before.  I adored her ability to kick ass but also acknowledge her limitations without whining about it.  She’s strong, opinionated and even more important…  willing to step back as needed but not be a doormat.  She’s suffered amazing loss in her life but picks herself up and fights for what she really truly wants.  While she does feel guilty for pursuing pleasure with Nick while her brother suffers, she is smart enough to realize that there is something special with this man that needs to be fought for even when the secrets come out.

Nick is an amazing man.  A classic alpha male with major issues he’s also smart enough to let Becca shine when she needs to.  He wants to protect her for some bizarre reason even though she’s related to the man who ruined his life.  He’s scarred and dangerous but at his core this is a very good man who needs to realize that fact again.  As he fights his need for Becca we get to see how much his past has scarred him mentally and see as he fights to regain a sense of self worth.  I enjoyed watching his internal battle to do what is right even though a big part of him wants anything to do with Becca’s father to suffer all the wrath that hell can bring.  I adored how much he needed to protect her but also loved that his need for protection didn’t completely override her wishes even when they cut at him.  He’s a smart smart man once he wakes up…  LOL

This was a really nice read and has me drooling for the next ones in the series.  These men are all going to have amazing stories and I can’t wait!!

Special thanks to Avon for giving me the chance to get my hands on this story in exchange for my honest review.  I can’t thank you enough and ummmmmmm…  if the next ones in the series accidentally end up in my email or snail mail I can’t say I’d be sorry to see them..  *hint hint*

 

four-stars

Divider

Gifts of Honor – Stacy Gail/Rebecca Crowley – 4.5 Stars

November 22, 2013 Carina Press, NetGalley, Read in 2013 3

Gifts of Honor – Stacy Gail/Rebecca Crowley – 4.5 StarsGifts of Honor Published by Carina Press on November 21, 2013
Format: eBook
Source: NetGalley.com
Buy on Amazon
four-half-stars

I'll be home for Christmas…

A batch of special Christmas cookies helps a wounded ex-Ranger remember the love of his life. A surprise phone call reunites a woman with the soldier who once broke her heart. There's no place like home for the holidays, and there's no better way to spend them than with the one you love.

Edited by Angela James, this anthology includes:

Starting from Scratch by Stacy Gail
Hero's Homecoming by Rebecca Crowley

Stories are also available for purchase separately.

69,000 words

A wonderful duo of stories with the ability to make you bawl-

I’m going to start with the second story of the collection first:

Hero’s Homecoming – Rebecca Crowley – 4 stars

In my opinion I would read this story first because the other story in this collection wore me out emotionally and this one just couldn’t quite get me in the same way.  I liked the story but for some reason it didn’t resonate as deeply to me.

Beth met Chris and knew that he was it for her until he breaks things off abruptly with no true reason why.  She’s shocked when she gets a phone call from him asking for her to pick him up from the airport but she decides that this can be when she’ll find out why and maybe get some closure.  What she gets is a man who has lost his sight in Afghanistan and is dealing with his recovery by shutting out those he doesn’t want to burden with what he knows will be a long, hard road to travel.  She’s still hurt by his shutting her out of his life but is also shook to the core by how much he still means to her even though his wounds, mental and physical, scare her.  She isn’t sure she’s strong enough or can believe in him enough to let him in again.  I liked her and liked that she did own up to her fears but still did everything she could to help a man who has been brought to his knees by the trauma in Afghanistan while serving his country.  She gave him hell for his treatment of her but I liked that she didn’t completely hold that over him for long.

Chris is a very proud man and really did have what he thought were her best interests at heart when he broke things off.  He’s not going to be able to be the man he thought she deserved but what he didn’t count on is the fact that loving someone means you take on the good and the bad.  You don’t just get to have all good and that things that are hard are at times the best things you will ever find.  I liked how he was honest with his struggles and faults once the cards were on the table but struggled with how he felt about his actions and what others thought of him.  He doesn’t feel like a hero but with love and time I think he’ll come around.  It did make me sad to see his struggles and know that many people have the same struggles day in and day out because of injuries they’ve suffered.

This was a sweet story with a bit of an emotional punch that is definitely timely and in most respects realistically done.

 

Starting From Scratch – Stacy Gail – 5 stars (Infinity stars truly)

I’m going to try to provide some needed items for you before you read this story:

  1. Don’t read this at work, on the bus/train, out in public or in a house/room with people who will panic when you ugly cry.  Trust me on this you will cry cry cry.
  2. There will be a point in the story where you will either want to throw your ereader or reach thru it to hurt someone…  DON’T.
  3. Kleenex…  trust me on this one…  boatloads of Kleenex
  4. Comfort food – ie chocolate, cookies, ice cream..  or whatever you consider comfort food.
  5. Decompressing time – this story will wipe you out emotionally so a time to rest/recharge is a good idea
  6. Fluids..  did I not mention you will cry?  You’ll need stuff to replenish your liquids….
  7. Comedies to watch or zone out to.  I personally used Monty Python and other mindless TV in the background to come down from this story.
  8. Someone to go OMG with after you read this
  9. Blankie to cuddle with
  10. Kleenex..  oh sorry I already mentioned this but dude trust me…  YOU WILL NEED THEM!

Ok now for the story although I am going to keep this really short because trust me you don’t want anyone to spoil it for you…

Lucy just wants to lick her wounds and try to live again.  You see her former husband (you know the love of her life) is back in town with no real memory of her which is why he ripped her heart out and asked for a divorce.  She’s not happy but when war took him away from her to return him with massive head injuries and a gap in his memory that just happens to be of them, she’s doing what she can to try to live again.  As she and Sully keep running in to one another there is a pull between them that can’t be denied but at what cost?  I adored Lucy and found that her struggles with moving on were spot on and heart-wrenching to read.  She’s such a strong woman who has an amazing support system that knows parts of what happened but not everything.  Her best friend in this is Coe who guards her as much as he can from Sully but is the brother she never really had…  Coe knows everything and feels that Sully didn’t deserve her at the time and especially doesn’t deserve her now.

Sullivan just wants to build a life but knows there is something missing that he just can’t put his finger on.  He’s amazed at the pull he feels for his former wife but doesn’t know why exactly he feels this pull and writes it up to lust.  He starts to spend more time with her but still doesn’t remember their past even though almost everything else in his life is there in his head.  As he starts to pursue her we get to see him struggle with his own issues along with struggling to do the right thing by her.  I liked Sully most of the story and felt for him as he struggled but dammit the man almost made we want to kill  him!!!  Seriously I had to restrain myself and I know I was cursing at one point…  He is just an amazing man that had something horrible happen to him but I think the man he ends up becoming is someone that anyone would be lucky as hell to have in their lives.

Ok..  I’m stopping there because otherwise I will give away too much and to be honest just thinking about their story makes me tear up…  Once you finish the story head out to Stacy’s website to read some deleted stuff from the story…  it’s worth it!  And… maybe soon we will get Coe’s story…  you won’t find a more loyal or amazing friend than him.  🙂

 

Special thanks to Carina Press and NetGalley.com for giving me the chance to read these stories in exchange for a review.  Please note that this did not influence my opinions as these are entirely my own. 

four-half-stars

Divider

Redemption – Stephanie Tyler – 5 Stars – Contest!

November 18, 2013 Carina Press, Contest, Read in 2013, Sent 5

Redemption – Stephanie Tyler – 5 Stars – Contest!Redemption Published by Carina Press on November 18, 2013
Format: eBook
Source: the Author
Buy on Amazon
five-stars

Matthias Robichaud is looking for an alliance. The Defiance motorcycle club is a stronghold in the dangerous world that’s become the new norm and he’s driven to prove he’s tough enough to be sworn in as a full member. But when he sees a beautiful, spirited girl abducted by a rival MC, rescuing her jeopardizes all he’s worked for.

Politician’s daughter Jessa Everson knows what’s expected of her—obedience, loyalty and silence—but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t fight when she’s kidnapped by the Lords of Vengeance. Having Matthias save her is like gaining an avenging angel in leather and tattoos. But Defiance is known for brutal justice, and she may have just traded one bad situation for another.

Matthias’s urge to protect is too strong to ignore, no matter how much trouble Jessa brings to Defiance’s gates. There’s no room in the post-Chaos world for weakness so if Matthias and Jessa have any chance of surviving, they’ll need to put their full strength behind the MC…and hope that the MC will do the same for them.

When I saw Stephanie talking with someone about Redemption and their thoughts after they read it…  I have to admit I might have begged a bit to get my hands on this one.  I loved Defiance and couldn’t wait for more from this intriguing world.  So when she was gracious enough to let me get my hands on it I was extremely gleeful and dived right in after I finished being a grownup and doing homework for college.. 😉

We met Matthias in Defiance and I found him to be someone I wanted to know more about so finding him as the hero of this one made me a very happy person.  We get to see that he is a man who is very willing to believe in magic, curses and the unexplained but we also get to see that the one people should perhaps be more afraid of is him…  not Bishop..  He’s slow to let his control go but when he does nothing can really bring him back until he releases this pent up aggression.  He doesn’t make apologies for being the way he is but he’s also someone that you would want in your corner because once he gives his loyalty to you it is an amazing thing.  He’s smart and amazingly sexy even though he doesn’t talk you can see the way he feels with everything he does.  When he meets Jessa all bets are off and anything that comes between him and his woman had better run in fear.  I loved how much he was willing to sacrifice for the good of his MC and her but found his friendship with Bishop to be more amazing than his relationship with Jessa.  They are truly a matched pair and seeing what both of them are willing to do for one another was beautiful.

Jessa made a lot of mistakes in this one.  She’s been misunderstood her entire life but she’s also been raised in a world of privilege and wealth the MC just can’t comprehend.  She’s led astray by her “husband” and ends up being rescued by our boys.  There is an instant attraction for Matthias that comes to fruition very quickly but for a woman who was almost raped and killed I could understand the need to ground oneself by using sex.  The good thing is that she recognizes that Matthias is special and even though she does make mistakes with him I didn’t want to slap her for them.  She’s got a major secret that could jeopardize everyone in the MC but when push comes to shove she does the right thing and lets them know what is brewing.  I loved her backbone when she discovered it but I adored when she apologized to Matthias for something stupid she says.

I can’t leave out Bishop… This man… *sigh* I’m beyond ready for his story and I know we are going to be dealing with his decision and the aftermath for a while.  He’s not going to be an easy man to fix once he comes back but I look forward to seeing how it plays out.  🙂

 

Thanks again to Stephanie for giving me the chance to read this with no expectation for review…  Feel free to drop anything else my way cause I really have enjoyed this series.  I need to go grab your backlist for other titles but ya know you can send the Defiance guys my way any time..

And because I love the story so much I’m going to give away…  2 copies of Redemption in either the Kindle or Nook formats.  All you need to do is leave a comment by 11/25/2013 at 11:59 pm Central Time to be entered.  Have you found that you’re enjoying some of the latest MC romances or??

five-stars

Divider

The Elf & The Ice Princess – Jax Garren – 4 stars

November 13, 2013 Read in 2013, Sent 0

The Elf & The Ice Princess – Jax Garren – 4 starsThe Elf & The Ice Princess Published by Valkyrie Books on November 11, 2013
Format: eBook
Source: the Author
four-stars

A frozen heart…
Three years ago, amid grief and defeat, the man who once made Carrie Martin believe in happily-ever-afters deserted her on New Year’s Day. Ever since, she’s seen no reason for holiday joy amid the materialism and chaos of the most stressful time of year. So when a tipsy guy in a mall elf costume falls into her lap at happy hour and starts spouting poetry, it’s just one more reason to be disgusted at the season’s excess.

A man who’s more than he appears…
Brett Virtanen, part-time elf and a caterer in training, is smitten with Carrie’s strength and sass. Having faced down a painful past of his own, he’s determined to be the one to warm her frozen heart. But when Carrie’s job forces her to attend a gala hosted by her ex–and his new wife–it could take more magic than a costumed elf can conjure to make this ice princess once again believe in love.

I’ve got to admit that I am a big Jax Garren fan and this story just adds to my collection of all things Jax writes.  When Jax told me she was writing another story and asked if I would like to read it my answer was of course YES!!!  I’m glad I had the chance to read this one early and hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Carrie is just going through the motions required for the holiday season when at a bar she’s subject to the drunken antics of a man dressed in an elf costume for the local mall.  He ruins her sweater but she can’t help but enjoy his antics as he spouts poetry to her in his inebriated state.  When her job forces her to attend a party being held by the man who used to be her whole world until he was an asshole and kicked her to the curb when she was at her lowest point during the holidays, she’s understandably upset.  Add to this the fact that the drunken elf keeps surprising her with his spirit and joy for life, we end up with a heroine who just doesn’t know what to think or feel.  I liked Carrie’s confusion about our mystery elf but I most enjoyed that she was honest with him and herself about how conflicted she was at this point in her life.  I felt for her when you learn how badly her ex messed with her self-confidence and soul but cheered for her when she finally woke up and reached for something that, while scary, is the best risk she’ll ever take.

Brett is just a character.  In a great way he brings so much joy and life to the story that I can’t describe it and do it justice.  He’s such a fun character and seeing him work so hard to get Carrie to smile and start living again was just fun.  He can come across as a bit simple unless you pay attention.  This is a man who really embraces life and when he sees something that he wants will pursue it to the ends of the earth.  I’m not going to tell you much more than that about him because part of the fun of the story is getting to see who he is and what he really is made of.  He’s definitely a keeper and I’m happy that he understood that Carrie needed to make her own choices and to give her the time she needed.

Overall this is a very heartwarming story of finding something to believe in when you didn’t think there was anything left for you to enjoy.  I can’t thank Jax enough for giving me the chance to read this with no expectation of review.  I adored the story and her gift of it to me had no impact on my rating or review.

My only question for Jax is:

When can I expect more???  Ya know more Hauk/Jolie would be awesome but hey more stories period will work…  🙂

 

four-stars

Divider

Taking Him – Jackie Ashenden – 5 Stars

November 11, 2013 Read in 2013, Samhain, Sent 0

Taking Him – Jackie Ashenden – 5 StarsTaking Him Published by Samhain on November 12, 2013
Pages: 209
Format: eBook
Source: the Author
Buy on Amazon
five-stars

Behind every hero is the damage that made him.

Lies We Tell, Book 1

Computer game designer Ellie Fox can’t wait to start her new job in Japan. But first there’s one loose end in Auckland she needs to tie up: her obsession with her older brother’s best friend, Hunter Chase.

She’s sick of being “kid zoned”. It’s time to make like one of her kick-ass computer game heroines and take matters into her own hands. Except when she finally has Hunter where she wants him, her hands are the last thing he’ll let her use.

Hunter works hard at running the construction firm he co-owns with his friend, and at keeping his distance from his dysfunctional family. Control is his linchpin, but there’s just one spanner in the works—Ellie.

The girl he always looked out for suddenly seems determined to make him see her as a woman. But with a past darker than the angel wings tattooed on his back, the safest place for her is just beyond arm’s length. Or the next heart to suffer damage could be hers.

Warning: Contains a tortured hero, a determined heroine, cosplay kink, and a twisted twist that could cause mental whiplash. Line to the WTF Infirmary forms on the right.

So this summer I was watching the Twitter conversations of a couple authors and became intrigued by the hashtag they were using….  #dirtyeffingvirginhero… as I watched them banter back and forth it became very apparent that I needed to read more about this dirty man and I might have done a bit of begging.  Not too much but you know a bit of begging for a copy of this virgin hero..  Thankfully Jackie was nice enough to give in to my begging and send me this amazing book.  The partner in crime on this was her buddy Maisey Yates who made sure that we all got to see the hashtag and become very interested in this title.  So thanks to Jackie and Maisey for getting him in my line of sight and making me want this ASAP.

 

Ellie has loved her brother’s best friend for years and it hasn’t been made any easier by the fact that he keeps showing up to pull her out of situations he brother feels are inappropriate or ones that he can’t control.  She’s moving to Tokyo in a few weeks so figures that this final bit of distance will help her move on from something that never started no matter how badly she wanted it to.  Her brother ends up sending Hunter to pick her up from a convention and she can’t resist pushing Hunters’ buttons one last time but ends up getting more than she thought when he finally does realize she is not only a woman but one he wants with a fierce intensity.  As she battles his demons to get to know the real him there are times when she’s hurt to the extreme but I loved how she picked herself up and stood up for not only herself but for him.  She’s strong and is willing to fight for the man she knows he is and not the man he thinks he is.  I loved her humor, strength and compassion which are all needed to deal with him.

 

Hunter…  Ahhhhh sexy tormented Hunter…  how much I loved your need to make Ellie yours while at the same time being tormented by the belief that you weren’t the one for her.  You are an amazing man beneath the surface and watching you fight your demons was heartbreaking but gorgeous.  You want to be the one constantly in control but have found the one woman who you can’t control no matter how much you try.  I adore your heart and the fact that you tried so hard to keep away from Ellie knowing that you would cause her pain if you gave in even more than you were already doing by keeping her away from you.  You love hard when you fall and seeing her get you to understand your past was incredibly painful but oh so wonderful!  You needed someone who wasn’t afraid of taking you on and making you finally face the nightmare you lived for so many years.  Your tattoo is beautiful even with the ugliness that drove you to it.  I’m proud of what you accomplished and look forward to seeing more of your growth if Jackie will write us a bit more…  *hint hint*

 

Again special thanks to Jackie for giving me a copy of this to drool over and cry a bit while reading.   She had no expectation of review and in no way colored my thoughts.  I loved my damaged hero Hunter and hope everyone else will enjoy him as much as I did.   And…  Yes he is a dirty dirty boy…  😉

five-stars

Divider

Roman Holiday #1 – Chained – Ruthie Knox – 4 stars

November 10, 2013 NetGalley, Random House, Read in 2013 0

Roman Holiday #1 – Chained – Ruthie Knox – 4 starsRoman Holiday: Chained Published by Loveswept, Random House on November 11, 2013
Pages: 40
Format: eBook
Source: NetGalley.com
Buy on Amazon
four-stars

Meet Ashley and Roman—complete opposites who can’t hide their attraction—in Episode 1 of Ruthie Knox’s eBook original serial, Roman Holiday.

Ashley Bowman is having a bad week. Reeling from the death of her beloved grandmother, she returns to the Florida Keys only to learn that a heartless Miami developer has gotten hold of the crappy vacation rentals she calls home. Ashley has one day to clear out before Roman Díaz destroys the only place in the world that matters to her. Chaining herself to a palm tree in the bulldozers’ path seems like a good way to stop him . . . until she realizes she should’ve brought food and water. And pants. Also, it would help if the evil developer weren’t so ridiculously hot.

The last thing Roman Díaz needs is some sun-kissed blond protester getting her picture in the newspaper and messing up his plans. He bought the property fair and square, and the resort he wants to build on the site is the key to realizing his highest ambitions. But when a hurricane blows through, Roman has to hustle Ashley to safety if he wants to protect his reputation—and that means giving in to her unreasonable demands.

Roman needs to learn a little compassion, and Ashley’s decided to teach it to him . . . even if she has to drag him all over the Eastern Seaboard to do it.

I know not everyone likes serials but this is from one of the authors I admittedly fan girl over so I am definitely going to want the rest of this.  Granted I prefer full release novels but for Ruthie I’ll make an exception!

This is definitely a brief introduction to the characters that will draw us in more as the story evolves but my initial thoughts are as follows:

 

Ashley is someone who needs to find something to center her.  She’s at loose ends with the loss of her beloved grandmother but the impression she’s left with me is of a woman who isn’t sure of what she wants in her life so proceeds from adventure to adventure secure in the knowledge her grandmother would be there as a rock.  The loss of this rock is going to cause her to have to grow up and make some hard decisions but at her core she’s a woman who believes in living life and not closing herself off.

 

Roman is a bit harder to pin down.  He’s a man who is driven to escape his past but I think this is coloring his future to the point that he isn’t 100% sure of who he is any more.  Sure he acts like he knows who he is but I think as this book plays out we are going to see him have to face his past in order to have a happy future.  I’m looking forward to his interactions with Ashley as I think we will get a lot of fireworks as he fights the hard fight to not let passion rule him but only logic.  This should prove fun as I think our lovely Roman has a naughty streak a mile wide that I can’t wait to see.

 

I’m ready for more and hope that my guess about Roman proves to be true….  Thanks to NetGalley.com and the folks at Random House Loveswept for giving me the chance to read this in exchange for my honest review.

four-stars

Divider

I’ll Be Home For Christmas – Jessica Scott – 5 stars

November 5, 2013 Forever Yours, NetGalley, Read in 2013 0

I’ll Be Home For Christmas – Jessica Scott – 5 starsI'll Be Home For Christmas Published by Forever Yours on November 5, 2013
Format: eBook
Source: NetGalley.com
Buy on Amazon

There's nothing in the world Army Sergeant Vic Carponti loves more than his wife and his country. Smart-mouthed and easy tempered, he takes everything as a joke . . . except his promise to come home to his wife, Nicole, for Christmas. As he prepares to leave for his latest deployment into Iraq, Vic will do everything he can to shield his beautiful, supportive wife from the realities of war . . . and from his own darkest fears.

As a career army wife, Nicole Carponti knows just what to expect from her husband's tour of duty: loneliness, relentless worry, and a seemingly endless countdown until the moment Vic walks through the door again. But when the unthinkable happens, Nicole and Vic's bond is tested like never before and changes everything they believe to be true about the power of love and the simple beauty of being home for the holidays.

I fell in love with this series on book one and haven’t strayed yet.  I’m beyond looking forward to Laura and Trent’s story but seeing Vic and Nicole has managed to hold me over until we can get to what is sure to be a heartbreaking read.

Vic Carponti is a man who believes he has someone he doesn’t deserve in his wife Nicole.  He’s worried about this latest deployment but knows that he has to go in service for his country.  He just hopes that this isn’t the time that his luck with his wife runs out and she realizes how much better than him she could do.  He’s got a major wake-up call though when he gets hurt in the line of duty and finds out just what he really means to Nicole.  He’s such a great soul and seeing more of him behind the scenes just made me love him more than I already did.  This is a man who is incredibly loyal to his unit and to those who mean the world to him.  Does he do things he probably shouldn’t?  YES but…  there is a method to his madness and I loved getting to see it in this short story.

Nicole is the one who feels lucky to have met this amazing man.  Does he drive her crazy with some of his joking?  YES but she sees the real man behind the jokester and while she would love to have him by her side all the time knows that serving his country is a fundamental drive for him.  She worries about him but truly does get him in ways he doesn’t realize.  When he is injured we get to see her go through some of the most horrible moments in her life but I loved seeing her work to show him that he is what matters to her.  Nothing else…  She’s strong and also shows how good of a friend she is when we get to see more of the drama surrounding Laura and Trent.  She’s an amazing soul who understands what her other half needs even when he isn’t as secure.

This is a very quick story with some wonderful sexy moments but the main thing that shines through is the true love and devotion they have for one another even when the going gets tough.  I’m looking forward to more glimpses of them in the future!

Special thanks to NetGalley.com and Forever Yours for giving me the chance to read this in exchange for my honest review.  I love Jessica’s writing and am looking forward to more…..

 

Divider

A Holiday Christmas – Heather Lire – 5 Stars

November 1, 2013 Read in 2013, Sent 1

A Holiday Christmas – Heather Lire – 5 StarsA Holiday Christmas Published by Desert Breeze Publishing on November 1, 2013
Format: eBook
Source: the Author
Buy on Amazon
five-stars

There's magic in the air this Christmas Season in Holiday.

Averie Baldwin wants nothing to do with men. But her family and friends are determined she won't spend her first Christmas back in Holiday, Vermont alone. So far she’s managed to avoid all their attempts to set her up on dates. Until she’s chosen to represent the school district in the town's annual Christmas play...with the sexiest man she's ever seen.

Corey Evans has a job he loves, great friends and a loving, if interfering family, but something is missing. When Averie shows back up in town he knows exactly what he needs in his life. Her. Getting to know her however has proven difficult, until they are thrown together on the annual Christmas play.

I’m going to keep this review short and sweet just like the story.  I love Heather’s stories and am ready for her to give me more (Hint Hint).

Averie is a bit gun shy when it comes to men.  She isn’t really looking for a relationship but finds herself drawn to a local lawman who makes her wonder if maybe she should give having a man another chance.  She’s a sweet person who has a hard time letting her walls down but with him something just feels right.  She’s so willing to give of herself but it was nice to see someone want to give her the world and really get her.

Corie hasn’t had a perfect life no matter what the outside world thinks.  He’s a man who was abandoned by his family and lucky enough to land in the arms of a family who made him feel like maybe he wasn’t disposable after all.  He’s extremely loyal to them and when things happen that shake him to his core it causes him to have to rethink what he knew and what he knows now so he can have a future with the woman who has intrigued him from the moment he first saw her.  When we start this story we get to see two people who aren’t quite sure exactly who they are as individuals but as they spend more and more time around each other they sense what they can be  together.  I liked how willing he was to take things at her pace no matter what his body was telling him.  He’s such a sweet man and seeing him fall for her was fun.  I also loved how both of them became such a team in a very short time.

There are some moments that are a bit tough but you get to see what they are both made of in those moments and they end up meaning the world to both of them.  I can’t say enough to tell you to pick up this series for sweet romances with characters you really get behind.  I love that Heather has been wonderful enough to share these with me in hopes that I would love them like she loved writing them.

I have to say this but even though Heather was nice enough to provide this to me for review this has no bearing on my ratings.

five-stars

Divider

The Heavens Rise – Christopher Rice – 3 stars – Sponsored Contest!!

October 27, 2013 Contest, Gallery Books, NetGalley, Read in 2013, Sent 3

The Heavens Rise – Christopher Rice – 3 stars – Sponsored Contest!!The Heavens Rise Published by Gallery Books on October 15, 2013
Pages: 336
Format: eBook
Source: NetGalley.com, the publisher
Buy on Amazon
three-stars

New York Times bestselling author Christopher Rice brilliantly conjures the shadowed terrors of the Louisiana bayou—where three friends confront a deadly, ancient evil rising to the surface—in this intense and atmospheric new supernatural thriller.

It’s been a decade since the Delongpre family vanished near Bayou Rabineaux, and still no one can explain the events of that dark and sweltering night. No one except Niquette Delongpre, the survivor who ran away from the mangled stretch of guardrail on Highway 22 where the impossible occurred…and kept on running. Who left behind her best friends, Ben and Anthem, to save them from her newfound capacity for destruction…and who alone knows the source of her very bizarre—and very deadly—abilities: an isolated strip of swampland called Elysium.

An accomplished surgeon, Niquette’s father dreamed of transforming the dense acreage surrounded by murky waters into a palatial compound befitting the name his beloved wife gave to it, Elysium: “the final resting place for the heroic and virtuous.” Then, ten years ago, construction workers dug into a long-hidden well, one that snaked down into the deep, black waters of the Louisiana swamp and stirred something that had been there for centuries—a microscopic parasite that perverts the mind and corrupts the body.

Niquette is living proof that things done can’t be undone. Nothing will put her family back together again. And nothing can save her. But as Niquette, Ben, and Anthem uncover the truth of a devastating parasite that has the potential to alter the future of humankind, Niquette grasps the most chilling truths of all: someone else has been infected too. And unlike her, this man is not content to live in the shadows. He is intent to use his newfound powers for one reason only: revenge.

I had such high hopes for this one after reading the blurb.  Unfortunately it didn’t live completely up to my expectations but I still got a nice read out of it.

We start the story by meeting the epitome of a sick, demented individual who has fixated on the local golden girl.  He does what it takes to break up the golden girl and the love of her life just so he can get a chance with her.  He thinks he’s hit the jackpot when he gets invited out to her family’s remote swamp retreat but things don’t go as he plans.  There is something in the water at this remote swamp retreat and what it does to people is extremely disturbing.

We continue the story with the disappearance of the golden girl and her family by following the destruction that it leaves behind in her best friend, Ben, and her love, Anthem.  Anthem descends in to alcohol to try to numb the pain and Ben becomes a dogged reporter after he makes the acquaintance of Marissa.  <<Have I confused you yet??>>  Add in what happens to our initial bad guy and we have a story that is a bit convoluted to follow and you have all the threads that this story contains.

I enjoyed the story in most respects but I really wish we had more time with Ben and with our mystery golden girl before the story ended.  I think the changes of perspective and the amount of time we had to wait to get the pieces put together made this story drag a bit more than I would have liked but I can’t say I regret spending the time reading it.  There is something about this blend of suspense and paranormal that was intriguing even while I was muttering “Get on with it!”  The characters are intriguing, the world is sufficiently well drawn, and the premise was a good one except the fact that it took so long to get to the meat of the action.

I’m happy to recommend this to people because I did enjoy it even if I didn’t love it.

Special thanks to the team at Gallery Books who supplied me with a paper ARC, a hardcover, and an eARC via NetGalley.com.  I can’t thank them enough and due to that generosity…

I’m happy to be giving away a hardcover copy of this title to one lucky commentor on the blog.  Just tell me what creeps you out when you read or watch a horror story?  Do you like the suspense style horror or the hack-em slash-em style???  I will pick a lucky winner on Sunday Nov 3rd so get your entries in before 11:59 pm US Central Time on Saturday, November 2nd.

three-stars

Divider