Posts Categorized: Read in 2013

Trust In Me – Dee Tenorio – 5 Stars Contest!!!

July 27, 2013 Read in 2013, Samhain, Sent 2

Trust In Me – Dee Tenorio – 5 Stars  Contest!!!Trust In Me Published by Samhain on July 23, 2013
Pages: 240
Format: eBook
Source: the Author
Buy on Amazon
five-stars

Sometimes falling in love is the easy part…

 

Rancho del Cielo Romance

Locke Jackman is single, childless…and he has a bad case of empty nest syndrome. For years, as he fought tooth and nail to keep his brothers and sisters together after his parents died, his entire life was focused on his responsibilities.

Now his siblings have all moved on with their lives, and there’s no one around to distract him from his overpowering attraction to his sister’s best friend. Their mutual desire is stunning…but then again, so are the secrets keeping them apart.

Susie Packard’s nightmarish marriage taught her what happens when she gives in to her weakness for powerful men. Too bad the big, stoic frowner across the street—the one who sets her bells jangling just by breathing—has her in his sights.

Try as she might to keep her emotional distance, Locke is determinedly knocking down all her walls. But as much as she wants to be the woman he needs, she knows better than most—passion may have its rewards, but every secret has its price.

 

Warning: This book contains a hot, modern-day Viking seducing his way to the heart of his woman, a stubborn lingerie designer with a world of secrets and a very deep bathtub… Enjoy!

My Thoughts:

*Sigh* where do I start with this one??  Well I guess I first start with an apology to Dee because I’ve had this for a bit on my Kindle but have been a bit sidetracked on what title released what date.  So Dee I’m extremely sorry that it took me this long to fall in love with Locke but now that I’ve finally read it I’m truly kicking myself for taking so long.  He’s just amazing and the fact you gave him a partner that won’t let him roll all over her is just amazing.

As much as I want to gush about Locke I’m going to start with talking about the woman who was lucky enough to catch his attention and his devotion. Susie owns the local lingerie and other fun items shop but other than this she’s a bit of a mystery to the town.  Sure she’s close to Amanda Jackman but otherwise she’s a bit private in her off-hours and other than one incredible interlude in a remote cabin is not involved with anyone.  Does she harbor thoughts about the big man across the street who can get her revved up with just a look?  Yes…  is she hiding something huge from her past that makes her feel like no matter how badly she craves him she shouldn’t lead him on? Yes.  Is she hiding something more pressing from him than her past?  Oh yes she is but with her history she’s not going to spill the beans on this time bomb until she can have 3 more days to fret and worry.  She’s strong but with her history carries an amazing amount of baggage that will make you truly feel for her as much as you want to yell at her for pushing Locke away.  She just can’t see beyond the past to a future she really does deserve with a man that would do anything to make her happy.

 

Ok …  I can’t hold out on gushing over Locke any more…  I just can’t.  He’s just an amazing character that you wish was waiting around the corner for you to find and have fall in love with you.  He can be a bit overbearing but you can tell it really does come out of a place of love and not out of a need to control every action you make.  He’s put his life on hold to raise and keep together his family after the death of their parents but he really doesn’t feel that he made a huge sacrifice as his family means the world to him.  When he sets eyes on Susie he knows that this woman is the one for him and also senses that she’s not going to make the pursuit of her easy so he just works on being a part of her life until the one day when their mutual lust explodes at his cabin.  Once they get back to town she’s even more determined to keep him out but he’s even more sure that this is the one for him and will do what he can to make her understand.  When her secrets come out he shows an amazing amount of patience and compassion while doing everything he can to prove that she can trust him and trust in them.  I have to say watching such a strong man struggle with his need to protect the woman he loves and her need to prove her own strength was amazing.  I’ve also got to say he broke my heart a few times as we watch him brought to his knees by some of her actions (trust me she means well but man seeing him in pain was just….).

 

Ok Locke love-fest over as man I could continue talking about him for a very very long time.  Thanks to Dee for sharing this story with me with no expectation of a favorable review…  I adored him!!

 

And now for some fun….  At RT Dee was kind enough to sign five of the below postcard so for a chance to win one please enter the contest below…   Note that one lucky postcard winner will also win a eCopy of Trust In Me because who wouldn’t want Locke in their lives….  *sigh*

Image 2

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

five-stars

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Never Deal with Dragons – Lorenda Christensen – 4 stars

July 21, 2013 Carina Press, NetGalley, Read in 2013 0

Never Deal with Dragons – Lorenda Christensen – 4 starsNever Deal with Dragons Published by Carina Press on July 22, 2013
Format: eBook
Source: NetGalley.com
Buy on Amazon
four-stars

Consoling a sobbing dragon and serving pig buffets are just part of the job for Myrna Banks. Working for a mediation firm, it's her job to get humans compensated for damages caused by the dragons who now rule. But her "typical" day is interrupted by Trian Chobardan, an old flame who sneaked out of her bed two years ago, taking her heart and a handful of classified documents with him.

Myrna would love to show Trian the door, but he's been sent by North America's reigning dragon lord for help negotiating a truce with a powerful rival to avert war. Myrna agrees to help, even though she'll be stuck with Trian as a partner.

As the two work together, Myrna finds Trian to be surprisingly supportive—and still irresistibly attractive. Though her brain tells her not to forget his betrayal, her body feels differently. When they learn the enemy dragon lord is planning something no one could have imagined, Myrna has to learn who she can trust before she loses not only her heart, but her life.

My Thoughts:

Now this is a  dragon story I can get behind and adore.  I’m excited that there are three titles planned for this series and cannot wait until I can get my greedy little hands on them.  I was lucky enough to read this a few months ago because of the fabulous Angela James and read it again from a NetGalley copy just in case anything changed between then and now.  The story is still as charming as it was then and I can’t wait until more people get to read it.  You’ll laugh at some of the antics that our heroine has to deal with but I hope you’ll fall in love with the world that Lorenda creates.

Myrna is having a crappy year and today just seems to be icing on the cake.  Between having to calm a hysterical pregnant dragon and dealing with an irate farmer she just isn’t in the mood to deal with much more.  She just wants this nightmare to end and time to go back to  when she had a job she loved plus a boyfriend who was on the way to being the love of her life until he disappeared with important documents that she wasn’t supposed to have at home.  She’s forced to become a secretary for the unit she thought she’d be a supervisor at one day and do her bosses job since he’s an incompetent fool.  When she learns that her ex is in the employ of the North American Dragon lord and that she’ll have to work with him on an important job it just is too much to bear.  She’s still struggling with the fact that she wants him even as he continues to keep secrets about what exactly his purpose is and a huge secret about exactly what he is from her.  I liked her spunk and willingness to put herself in harms way in order to get to the truth and that she really did work hard to do what was best even though a part of her just wanted to run away.

Trian knows what he did to Myrna was cruel and awful but he had to do it for reasons he couldn’t share with her.  He’s a good guy and really was caught off-guard by how much he came to care for her but there was more at stake than just a single relationship.  He still wants her once he sees her again but knows it is going to take a lot to get back in her good graces.  I liked how he didn’t want to risk her life but also didn’t seem to completely try to hold her back.  I did get frustrated with how long it took him to actually come clean to her about why he did what he did but I understood how he was caught in a bad spot with information that couldn’t become public.  I especially loved his major secret and cannot wait to see more of how this impacts the world at large.  He’s loyal to a fault but with good reason and you have to give him credit for really feeling like crap about how his actions impacted the woman he loves.

About the only thing I would have liked to see more of was the main pair together and working on their relationship.  There are so many outside forces in this story that they got a bit lost but I still enjoyed it overall.  Thanks to NetGalley.com and Carina Press for giving me this copy for review with no expectations on what my thoughts would be.

A huge thank you to Angela James for giving me a crack at this months ago as it really made my dragon-loving heart happy.  🙂

 

four-stars

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Luck of the Dragon – Susannah Scott – 2.5 stars

July 20, 2013 Entangled Publishing, Read in 2013, Sent 0

Luck of the Dragon – Susannah Scott – 2.5 starsLuck of the Dragon Published by Covet, Entangled Publishing on June 24, 2013
Pages: 250
Format: eBook
Source: the publisher
Buy on Amazon
two-half-stars

   Luciana de Luca has a PhD in sass and gemology--and a problem. Her
twin brother's gambling debts have gotten out of hand, and a mob enforcer is
blackmailing her to rob the latest, greatest mega-casino on the Strip. Although
Lucy has worked her whole life to get away from her family's grifter past, to
save her brother, she dons three-inch heels and a sluts-r-us dress and struts
into Alec's Gerald's casino, determined to put her long-forgotten thieving ways
to the test again.
Alec Gerald, a shape-shifting dragon, has built the Crown Jewel
casino to provide sanctuary for his people amongst the flash and awe of Las
Vegas. Unfortunately, the sexy little thief trying to rob his gem exhibit turns
out to be his mate, and he must woo her before he loses his dragon form
forever. With enemies in every corner, and the all-important mating
ceremony looming, Alec and Lucy must learn to trust each other, before time
runs out for Alec and the rest of the dragons.

My Thoughts:

I’m going to have to admit that I struggled with rating this book for one major reason:

I’m a huge, huge, huge dragon fan.  You tell me something has a dragon in it and man oh man do you have someone that wants it.  This makes me very susceptible to reading titles that I would normally run away from or not finish.

 

This being said we are going to do this review a bit differently from my normal reviews as I can’t do my normal paragraph about each main character to sum up how this ended up with a 2.5 rating.

 

My likes (what will get me to try the next book if there is one):

  • The world – I loved the idea of dragons hiding in plain sight in Las Vegas.  This fascinated me and I can’t help but want to see another story about them.
  • The fact there is dragons…  did ya not see my initial comment???  LOL I know I’m easy but as some saw when they met me at RT you say dragons and I PERK!
  • The hero – While he had his issues I liked how much he wanted his people to be safe and have a place to live where they could be themselves.  He also handled finding out his mate was human in a very good way even though he tended to ignore the issues between them unless they were forced on him.
  • The implications of mating vs no mating – I found it interesting that if a male dragon does not find his mate by a certain age he loses his form.  I mean it does cause him a lot of pressure but I liked that the author made it where the females do not have that same sense of pressure.  If they don’t find their mates or find that the mate is lacking in some form they don’t have to complete the bond.  Does it suck for the men?  Yes in a way but no as well…  it can force them to actually listen to their female to make them happy which in my opinion could help everyone in the long run.

My dislikes (which is why this got a low grade):

  • Joey – The heroine’s brother is just such a lowlife you just can’t help but want to smack her for wasting so much damn time on him.  He’s childish, spoiled and inconsiderate of anyone around him.  His head is so far up his own ass for 99% of the book that you just don’t get why she tolerates his stupidity and obvious attitude that she doesn’t matter.  I must admit I wasn’t happy with something that happens right at the end with him but if he isn’t the hero in the next book and we get to see him maybe start to grow up in the next title I might be able to handle seeing his book.
  • The heroine – Dear Lord I don’t even freakin know where to go with her.  She does stuff in this book that pissed me off to no end in hopes that she might finally save her brother from being a moron.  She’s got this amazing connection with our hero and yet every chance she has to tell him what is going on she doesn’t even though she knows that what she’s doing is harmful for him.  When she’s confronted with exactly what he is does she then tell him her own secret…  of course not…  What does this wonderfully supposedly smart individual do?  She plots to steal from him in order to save her idiot of a brother who has already proven she doesn’t freaking matter to him!  I mean she calls him desperately needing help and what does this ass do?  He keeps pushing her to get him in good with a mobster by stealing from the man who has done nothing but help her.  I swear I just wanted to scream at her to open her freaking eyes already.

Ok so now that you have found out my dirty little secret weakness… I wanted to love this title but the heroine and her idiotic brother just really worked my last nerve and I just couldn’t recover completely.  While I think I will check out the next one in the series, if there is one, I probably won’t be in a huge hurry to do so but hope that the side characters we met in Alec’s retinue will get their HEAs and they will find a partner that is worthy of them rather than one who has so many TSTL moments you just want to scream.
Thanks to Entangled Publishing for giving me the chance to read this as I did enjoy the world the author built but wished both parts of the main pair were worthy of each other.

two-half-stars

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The Winning Season – Alison Packard – 4.5 stars

July 16, 2013 Carina Press, NetGalley, Read in 2013 0

The Winning Season – Alison Packard – 4.5 starsThe Winning Season Published by Carina Press on July 15, 2013
Format: eBook
Source: NetGalley.com
Buy on Amazon
four-half-stars

Kelly Maxwell has finally landed her dream job as publicist for the San Francisco Blaze. But the team's newest member, handsome bad boy catcher Matt Scanlon, is refusing every interview. She's got to get him to open up before the season ends, or she may not be back next year. And after everything she overcame to achieve her dream, Kelly's not about to let that happen.

Matt Scanlon just wants to be left alone to rebuild his life and his career. After a year of masking the pain of a recent loss with hard partying and fast women, he finally hit rock bottom and was traded to a team he's loathed his entire life—a team with little to no chance at the post-season.

Butting heads is getting Kelly and Matt nowhere but annoyed, and with the team's schedule on the road, they can't avoid close quarters—or their surprising attraction to one another. As the season winds down, Matt finds his growing feelings for Kelly have brought his numbed emotions back to life. But when betrayal shatters their fragile trust, winning it all seems more impossible than ever.

My Thoughts:

Kelly has a dream job as a publicist for the San Francisco Blaze baseball team.  She loves her job but also would love to have a love like her sister has found.  She’s got some major issues with the fact the team brought in a catcher to replace the catcher that is out due to an accident.  This catcher is the same man who insulted her to no end at a dinner with her sister and now she has to work with the train wreck that is Matt.  She also finds herself incredibly attracted to this infuriating man but has her own body image issues to work thru.  She’s strong, feisty and definitely able to stand up to such a strong man.  I loved how much she was wiling to put herself out there to try to help an intern and also to help our damaged Matt heal.  She was such a strong character and I found myself proud of what she had accomplished even as she fell apart at the seams.  I also loved how much she put on the line with Matt even as things got rough.

Matt is such a great hero even when he behaves like an ass.  I adored him as we got to know him and watching him struggle with his past was heartbreaking but seeing him open up to Kelly was lovely.  He’s such a hard person to like initially as we do not know what exactly is causing him to lash out but I liked that the author gave us a chance to see his own inner struggle. Even as he says and does things that are hurtful you got to see that it wasn’t as callous as he was making it seem but that he hated himself even as he was saying or doing those things. I adored when he did let the softer side show and also that he was so amazing when Kelly shared her own struggles.  I understood why he did what he did towards the end of the story even though it pissed me off royally.  He really put his heart out there for Kelly even though he didn’t say the words until it was almost too late but when he does it was just beautiful.

Thanks to NetGalley.com and Carina Press for the chance to read this in exchange for my honest review.

 

four-half-stars

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Moonlight – Lisa Kessler – 4 stars

July 14, 2013 Entangled Publishing, Read in 2013, Sent 2

Moonlight – Lisa Kessler – 4 starsMoonlight Published by Edge, Entangled Publishing on July 15, 2013
Pages: 331
Format: eBook
Source: the publisher
Buy on Amazon
four-stars

Rancher Adam Sloan is more than meets the eye. As the heir to his Pack, the sexy werewolf's biggest challenge is keeping his kin's true nature under wraps. But a group of jaguar shifters threatens to reveal the pack, blasting into town killing humans in plain sight. And when he smells one at the local diner, his standing orders are to take her out.

 

Lana Turpin doesn't realize she's a moving target. Raised in the foster system, she only knows that she blacks out during the new moon and wakes up without remembering a thing. But now she's being tracked by some strange organization that wants her back--even though she's never stepped foot inside their compound. And the stranger across the diner is watching her like an enemy.

 

It should be a simple mission for Adam, but when he touches the frustratingly beautiful Lana, his inner wolf howls...mate. Now, the two must find and stop the people who hunt her...and Adam must keep his own family from killing the only woman he will ever love.

 

"A fabulous read. Lisa Kessler is an up and coming author to remember!"

Sherrilyn Kenyon #1 NYT Bestselling Author of the Dark-Hunter Series

My Thoughts:

This was a very well done start to a new series that I hope continues for quite a few books.  I enjoyed the main pair but the questions surrounding Nero and exactly what Sebastian’s end game might be had me wanting more.

Lana hasn’t had the best of lives but recently when she thought it couldn’t get any worse she gets a huge wakeup call in the form of a hard-headed man.  She’s been tossed from foster home to foster home and since she hit 18 she’s been dealing with once monthly (at the new moon) memory lapses that have ended up with her having blood on her hands (squirrel) with no recollection of what she had been up to the night before.  This has made her doubt everything and yearn for some sense of family or belonging but due to being chased by some unknown people with tattoos on their arms of a lion’s head she just can’t rest or stay put for any amount of time.  She makes due with freelance writing jobs and a strong sense of self but craves companionship and love.  I liked how strong she is and how real it felt when she did struggle with her emerging feelings for our hero but also got frustrated with some of the stupid, reckless things she does to find out the truth.

Adam isn’t expecting to find his mate in the shape of a woman who happens to be a species his Pack would never accept.  When he meets Lana he is bowled over by her lack of knowledge about what she is and also by his primal reaction to her.  He knows this can never work but also knows that he cannot step aside and let her go.  He works with her to find out the truth about what she is and why the Nero group is hunting her but as he does so he realizes he will have to make a choice – stay with his Pack and let her go …. or stay with her and leave his Pack.  He’s got such a strong sense of self but when he finds his true partner he really struggles with what is the right thing to do.  I liked that nothing was easy for him but he still wanted to do the right thing even as it caused him pain.  He really is an honest man and to see him struggle with what was right for him versus what would work for the Pack he’s been groomed to rule was painful at times.  I felt for him as he had to work on his relationship with Lana while at the same time keeping something that should be a cause for rejoicing so quiet and hidden from his family and friends.  I appreciated that he realized how much keeping her a dirty secret hurt her on a fundamental level and even when he said some really horrible things to her I never lost faith in his realizing they weren’t warranted.

Both of the main pair have major issues to work through and while they both make mistakes they were understandable.  I especially enjoyed the side-characters and hope you will as well.  I know I can’t wait to see more of this series and will be keeping a close eye out for more.

Thanks to Entangled Publishing for giving me the chance to read this in exchange for my honest review.  You may also want to check the Launch Day post on July 15th for a chance to win some fun prizes care of Entangled Publishing by clicking here.

four-stars

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Some Like It Spicy – Robbie Terman – 4.5 stars

July 13, 2013 Entangled Publishing, Read in 2013, Sent 0

Some Like It Spicy – Robbie Terman – 4.5 starsSome Like It Spicy Published by Edge, Entangled Publishing on July 15, 2013
Pages: 300
Format: eBook
Source: the publisher
Buy on Amazon
four-half-stars

Ashton Grey’s restaurant, Sweet Home, is in trouble. Months of empty tables have left her and her partners near bankruptcy, and her father’s prediction of her failure as a chef seems imminent. But a chance encounter could provide Ashton with the publicity she needs to save her restaurant—if the fiery chef is willing to compete on a reality cooking show. But in order to win, she needs to stay focused. No problem…until she meets the head judge.

Celebrity chef Ty Cates is ready to get away from the camera and back to the kitchen where he belongs. Performing as head judge on a reality show is just one more commitment he’d like to get out of, especially after he meets Ashton. Head judges dating contestants is about as taboo as putting ketchup on filet mignon, but from the moment they meet, there’s a simmering heat between them that neither can ignore.

As the competition heats up, they rely on sneaking around, stealing amazing night after amazing night together when the cameras aren’t rolling. When both realize what’s starting to feel like love could easily be a recipe for disaster, Ashton and Ty need to make a choice—get out of the kitchen or turn up the heat.

My Thoughts:

I have to thank Jessica from Entangled for putting this on my radar and then being generous enough to give me a copy to read/review with no expectations for how I would feel about it.  This was a fun read with heart, heat and angst plus a hero that really gets under your skin.

Ashton’s dream is crumbling around her and her partners.  The restaurant she’s always wanted is not getting enough traffic to pay the bills and her own temper may have just put the final nail in the coffin.  What she doesn’t count on is a reality cooking show seeing the melt-down and offering her a last minute spot on the show which could give her restaurant the publicity it desperately needs to survive.  She goes to the set and runs in to the hottest celebrity chef out there but not only does she realize this contest offers more than just publicity it also puts her in close contact with a man she shouldn’t crave but can’t resist.  She’s got a lot of issues caused by a demanding, cold father who happens to be one of the most respected restaurant critics and also has a tendency to bottle her emotions up until they explode out of her and get directed at everyone but the one man she needs to finally stand up to.  I felt for her as she tries to deny what she is feeling for Ty and keep the lid on what she wants to say to her father.  I have to say one of my favorite moments was her finally standing up for herself and loved that Ty stood beside her when this all comes to a boil.

Ty was such a strong hero with an amazing heart.  Sure he’s got all the trappings that being one of the hottest celebrity chefs entails but the whole dating the latest model or being at the latest hot spot is wearing him down.  He misses being able to cook and actually have a private life with hopes of finding a woman who will complete him.  When he meets Ashton there is an amazing instant attraction and connection but when he realizes she’s a contestant on the show he is judging he knows it can’t go anywhere.  He still ends up pursuing her and we get some hot sexy times as they both manage to sneak time with each other.  When things blow up due to a conniving eliminated contestant we get to see that this relationship means more to both of them than they were ever willing to tell each other.  I loved watching him come to terms with issues she has and supporting her even when she makes it incredibly difficult to do so.  He’s such a strong character and I adored that.

Thanks again to Entangled Edge and Jessica for sharing this with me as I will be keeping my eye out for more by this author.

four-half-stars

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Making It Last – Ruthie Knox – 5 stars

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

Making It Last Published by Loveswept, Random House on July 15, 2013
Pages: 136
Format: eBook
Source: NetGalley.com
Buy on Amazon
five-stars

In a brand-new eBook original novella, RITA finalist and USA Todaybestselling author Ruthie Knox takes her spectacular Camelot series to new heights with a tale of desire reinvented.

A hotel bar. A sexy stranger. A night of passion. There’s a part of Amber Mazzara that wants those things, wants to have a moment—just one—when life isn’t a complicated tangle of house and husband and kids and careers. Then, after a long, exhausting “vacation” with her family, her husband surprises her with a gift: a few days on the beach . . . alone.

Only she won’t be alone for long, because a handsome man just bought her a drink. He’s cool, he’s confident, and he wants to take Amber to bed and keep her there for days. Lucky for them both, he’s her husband. He’s got only a few days in Jamaica to make her wildest desires come true, but if he can pull it off, there’s reason to believe that this fantasy can last a lifetime.

My Thoughts:

Ok…  I’m going to admit something that anyone who follows my blog already knows –

I’m a huge huge huge Ruthie Knox fan girl.

Ahhhhh that feels better to finally get that out in the open…  LMAO

Please read the other books in this series before you read this one.  Tony and Amber play a part in every story and this is an amazingly heart-wrenching read that hits very close to the heart of any married or long-term couple.  Have tissues available and make sure you won’t have to be any where until you have a chance to recuperate from this read.

Amber should be happy.  She knows she should be happy but she is having trouble living up to the facade she believes people expect of her.  I mean she loves her kids and her husband but something is wrong that is shaking her to the core.  She wonders does her husband really love her or is this the way it ends with mad lust/love dying to being just two ships that pass sometime during the week but really seem to have no soul deep connection.  You feel her pain coming off the page as she struggles with what the economy and life has done to her self-worth and marriage.  When Tony leaves her behind at the resort for some “her” time she’s lost without any idea how to get her self back and starts to really look at if she’s willing to deal with living a half-life back home or not.

Tony is in pain wanting nothing more than to make Amber happy.  He’s been working himself to the bone to try to have it all.  The amazing company, home, marriage and all the trappings of success while feeling like he’s trapped in a never-ending downslope.  The economy has severely impacted his construction firm and losing the help of his brother seems to be throwing the final nail in the coffin.  He leaves Amber at the resort in hopes that she’ll return to him healed and happy but is forced to realize that maybe he needs to be there with her to save the stagnant pool their marriage has become.  This is a man who is deeply in love with his wife but is so caught up in wanting to give her everything he has lost sight of what maybe is all she ever needed…

I’m going to stop here as you need to read this wonderful story (wiping tears as I write this) and blubber like most of us that have been lucky enough to read this early.  I cannot stress enough that Ruthie has captured the essence of a marriage at a crossroads where both parties have to decide on what the path forward will be – stay married or divorce?

Ok enough blubbering and say many thanks to NetGalley.com and the wonderful people at Loveswept who were nice enough to give me a chance to read this in exchange for my honest review.  This was an amazingly heart wrenching wallop to read and I really cannot stress enough that you have tissues available.

I’d really love it if you would share your thoughts once you read this amazing story as I found it immensely real and true to life.

 

 

five-stars

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Love At High Tide – Christi Barth – 3.5 stars

July 10, 2013 Carina Press, NetGalley, Read in 2013 0

Love At High Tide – Christi Barth – 3.5 starsLove At High Tide Published by Carina Press on July 8, 2013
Pages: 183
Format: eBook
Source: NetGalley.com
Buy on Amazon
three-half-stars

Darcy Trent is lucky Cooper Hudson is on hand to sweep her off her feet—literally—when she nearly drowns while swimming in the ocean. But life-saving aside, Mr. Perfect's timing stinks: Darcy's career is about to take her to the complete opposite side of the Atlantic. Still, a little summer loving with the tall, blond and sexy former cop is far too tempting to pass up.

When his plans to enter the Secret Service went south thanks to a bum knee, Coop retreated to the family beach house to mull his future. Romance is the last thing on his mind, until he fishes a curvy brunette out of the sea. Now, spending time in Darcy's arms seems like the ideal distraction, even if it is just for a week.

But with Darcy's departure date fast approaching and their careers on the line, can they realize in time that their beach fling might become the real thing?

46,000 words

Darcy is not having a great day.  Her friend has talked her in to going in to the water and she ends up swallowing more than she really wants to.  The only good part of it is running in to a handsome man who saves her.  She’s trying to decide what path her life should take and also working hard at keeping her friend from getting herself killed in the latest career attempt.  What follows is a fun time watching Trina and Darcy avoid getting caught by the bad guy as Trina tries to be a private eye while Darcy tries to get more time with the amazing man she was washed in to.  Darcy has her issues to work through with her family and her attempts to do what will get her validation from them versus what could get her happiness for herself.  She struggles with this over the entire story and yet it didn’t detract from it because she is surprisingly honest with herself about the whole thing.  There is no real woe is me thing going on but instead it is an attraction that may be more than she expected to have in her life.

Coop is at a major crossroads in his life.  He is a cop but had a bit of a crisis when his partner was killed by a stupid act.  He was injured in this but the worst blow to his self-confidence was being unable to join the Secret Service.  When he gets to rescue Darcy he’s glad for more than one reason, she intrigues him and as he spends more time around her he finds himself wanting more of her.  He knows that this is a week-long fling but is he really willing to let her go at the end of the week to follow the “dream” opportunity?  He was a wonderful hero for being so patient with the distractions that keep him from spending as much private time with her as he would like but he also really did listen to her amazingly silly friend.  I adored his interactions with them and especially appreciated that he really did listen even if it didn’t seem like he was.

This was a fun read and would be perfect for a beach or poolside distraction.  Thanks to Carina Press and NetGalley.com for the chance to read this in exchange for my honest review.

three-half-stars

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Book Spotlight – Once Upon a Darkness by Aria Kane

July 8, 2013 Guest Post, Read in 2013, Sent 2

Book Spotlight – Once Upon a Darkness by Aria KaneOnce Upon a Darkness Published by Entranced Publishing LLC on June 17, 2013
Pages: 141
Format: eBook
Source: the Author
Buy on Amazon
four-stars

Gretchen and her twin brother, Hank, were abandoned to a zombie horde when they were five years old. Intended to be a sacrifice by their zealot parents, they were instead rescued by The Company. Raised to become soldiers in the war against zombies, they now provide safe passage through danger zones, one contract at a time.

Clint's only skill is war, but he's weary of killing other men. When his contract with the Marines runs out, he takes a job on Gretchen's team, hoping that the search-and-rescue life will suit him better.

On Clint's second day, their four-man team is attacked, drugged, and taken to a prison full of frightened civilians. The only way in or out is by helicopter and, here, their enemies are human. One by one, the captives are culled from the holding area. Rumors say the facility director uses the prisoners as experimental subjects for the testing of a zombie cure.

When Hank is taken, Clint and Gretchen must put aside their personal feelings and find a way out of the prison, surrounded by thousands of starving zombies, before Hank becomes just one more disposable guinea pig in the hands of a twisted mad woman.

Excerpt:

“Can we try something else?” Clint swung the practice sword in a wide sweep. “I think I got this motion down.”

“When you’re facing a crowd of zombies, there’s no time to think,” a woman’s voice said behind him.

He spun, sword in hand. She lunged at him. He had enough time to register pale skin and straight white-blonde hair atop a lithe frame before her arms crashed into his shoulders with shocking force. Air rushed painfully from his lungs as his back hit the ground. His sword rattled out of reach. She crouched on top of him, somehow holding him down with not much more than a hundred pounds to her. Eyes the color of ice on an Alaskan glacier stared back at him.

“If I were a zombie, you’d be a three-course meal right now.” The woman, who was maybe a few years younger than him, snapped her jaw and laughed.

“Or a new zombie, yourself,” another male voice said. Clint looked over her shoulder to find the male version of his attacker standing about twenty feet back from the scene. Next to him, a mountain of a man smirked with amusement. All three of them were nuts.

She shaped her hand like a gun and pressed it to his forehead. “No, I’d kill you before I let that happen.” She said it casually, like telling someone lunch was ready.

“Thanks?” Was this some sort of weird initiation?

The woman leapt to her feet and yanked him up after her. She tapped the back of his skull. “When you’re attacked, your lizard brain takes over. You have to do something like a sword swing or a roundhouse kick thousands of times so that it becomes instinctual. Hesitation is fatal.” She punctuated her words with practiced movements; the swinging of an imaginary sword and a roundhouse kick aimed at the practice target.

“Right.” He had known this, of course, but had forgotten it in the absolute boredom of swinging the sword the same way for hours.

The woman stood there with her hands on her hips as if she were waiting for some kind of applause. He didn’t know what else to say that would keep her from jumping him again. Though, now that he got a good look at her, maybe he wouldn’t mind another roll in the dirt. She was tall, with long legs bared by khaki shorts. A tiny white tank top stretched over a black sports bra that definitely earned its keep. Lean muscle stretched along the full length of her arms, torso, and legs. Strapped to her legs and waist were weapon holsters of all varieties that – in his mind, at least – only made her sexier.

“What are you, Zombie Slayer Barbie?”

Image 1

Aria Kane is a recovering mechanical engineer and romance writer. She lives in sunny Florida with a 60 lb mutt who thinks he’s a chihuahua. She is the author of ONCE UPON A DARKNESS and A TITAN FOR CHRISTMAS. You can learn more about her at ariakane.com

Website: http://www.ariakane.com
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/aria_kane
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ariakaneauthor
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/ariakane/

 

Aria is also doing a giveaway as part of her blog tour in support of Once Upon a Darkness so be sure to use the rafflecopter link below to enter for some great prizes:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

four-stars

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The Story Guy – Mary Ann Rivers – 5 stars

July 7, 2013 NetGalley, Random House, Read in 2013 1

The Story Guy – Mary Ann Rivers – 5 starsThe Story Guy Published by Loveswept, Random House on July 8, 2013
Pages: 120
Format: eBook
Source: NetGalley.com
Buy on Amazon
five-stars

In this eBook original novella, Mary Ann Rivers introduces a soulful and sexy tale of courage, sacrifice, and love.
 
I will meet you on Wednesdays at noon in Celebration Park. Kissing only.

Carrie West is happy with her life . . . isn’t she? But when she sees this provocative online ad, the thirtysomething librarian can’t help but be tempted. After all, the photo of the anonymous poster is far too attractive to ignore. And when Wednesday finally arrives, it brings a first kiss that’s hotter than any she’s ever imagined. Brian Newburgh is an attorney, but there’s more to his life . . . that he won't share with Carrie. Determined to have more than just Wednesdays, Carrie embarks on a quest to learn Brian’s story, certain that he will be worth the cost. But is she ready to gamble her heart on a man who just might be The One . . . even though she has no idea how their love story will end?

Includes a special message from the editor, as well as an excerpt from the Loveswept title Flirting with Disaster.

My Thoughts:

I swear to god this story will make you cry and yet leave you happy at the way it ends.  I really cannot wait to see more by this author as for such a short story it has such an amazing amount of angst and heart you just can’t help but want more.

I’m going to keep this review short in order to not give away the full story but it is such an amazing glimpse at two people with major issues in their lives – one at a crossroads where she thinks she should be happy and one thinking he’ll never be able to have happiness for himself.

Carrie pretends to be completely happy in her life but deep in her heart she knows she’s missing something important.  She’s happy to be a librarian, friend to a small group of people and loving daughter but recently her thoughts have been increasingly drawn to finding something…  she isn’t sure what but she does find herself wondering what is missing in her life.  I mean she shouldn’t complain but there is just this emptiness she can’t quite put her finger on.  She impulsively answers an ad for a regular Wednesday only date for just kissing in a public place and finds more than she ever thought possible.

Brian is kept a bit of a mystery in the beginning but is also at a point in his life where something has to give.  He puts the ad out there in the paper and has a had a couple of Wednesday meeting with people who have answered the ad but as he asked for they have led to nothing more than just kissing with no strings or other entanglements.  When he meets Carrie we get an amazing story of a man who is so far beyond incredible you can’t help but want to pull him to you and smother him with love and affection.  He’s just that kind of guy even when he is pushing her away he is calling to something deep in her soul that just won’t let this incredible man go.

Ok…  I’m promising myself to stop here because you really just need to read this to understand why myself and others have fallen in love with Ms. Rivers and why you should as well.  I mean I want a longer story from her because this one just took my breath away at the amount of heart is contained in so few pages.  I can’t imagine how much more we might see from her in a longer format.

Thanks to NetGalley.com and Random House/Loveswept for the chance to read this in exchange for my honest review.  Please revisit my site on Friday, July 19th for a visit from Mary Ann Rivers.

five-stars

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