Posts Categorized: Read in 2017

The Night Mark – Tiffany Reisz – 4 stars

March 27, 2017 Mira, NetGalley, Read in 2017 1

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

The Night Mark – Tiffany Reisz – 4 starsThe Night Mark by Tiffany Reisz
Published by Mira Books on March 28th 2017
Genres: Fiction, Historical, Literary, Romance, 20th Century
Pages: 400
Source: NetGalley.com
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four-stars

From the bestselling author of The Bourbon Thief comes a sweeping tale of loss and courage, where one woman discovers that her destiny is written in sand, not carved in stone.

Faye Barlow is drowning. After the death of her beloved husband, Will, she cannot escape her grief and most days can barely get out of bed. But when she's offered a job photographing South Carolina's storied coast, she accepts. Photography, after all, is the only passion she has left.

In the quaint beach town, Faye falls in love again when she sees the crumbling yet beautiful Bride Island lighthouse and becomes obsessed with the legend surrounding The Lady of the Light—the keeper's daughter who died in a mysterious drowning in 1921. Like a moth to a flame, Faye is drawn to the lighthouse for reasons she can't explain. While visiting it one night, she is struck by a rogue wave and a force impossible to resist drags Faye into the past—and into a love story that is not her own.

Fate is changeable. Broken hearts can mend. But can she love two men separated by a lifetime?

I find myself a bit torn with this book.  I quite enjoyed it but I am struggling with explaining why it resonated with me.  This is definitely a different style of writing by an author who I have enjoyed getting to read and meet but it still resonates as a Tiffany Reisz story even without the sexual content.

We get to see a woman who hasn’t been herself in years.  She’s at a huge crossroads where life is not really something she cares to embrace but at the same time she does have a very strong spirit that pulls her forward no matter how much another part of her wants to let go.  I felt for her as we are introduced to her at a moment where she finally lets some things go.  I found myself intrigued by the idea of having someone that meant so much to you in such a short time.  I also felt for the fact that the man she married out of grief? obligation? comfort?  had to suffer as well.  Neither of them deserved what happened but I will say that the reader can rest assured as the story is told and resolved for them.

The time travel aspect was something I wasn’t certain that I’d enjoy but I found myself comfortably following the story line as we moved from now to then and back again.  There was a sense of continuity in both timelines that wouldn’t exist had we not done the jumps.  I also loved the priest who made me laugh with his humor and candor.  I think the underlying theme is one of hope in the face of adversity and that having the love of your life stolen from you way too soon does not mean life is over.  I think that this story highlights that love can happen again if one is very lucky and open to the chance.

I’m rambling and I know I am but this underscores why I am struggling with explaining this book.  I can just say that I quite enjoyed it and hope that others will give this a chance.  I hope you are drawn in to the story and want to know how it all works out.

four-stars

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Ashwin – Kit Rocha – 5 stars

March 7, 2017 Read in 2017, Self Published 1

Ashwin – Kit Rocha – 5 starsAshwin by Kit Rocha
Series: ,
Published by Kit Rocha on March 7th 2017
Genres: Fiction, Romance, Military, Science Fiction, Action & Adventure
Pages: 380
Source: the Author
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five-stars
five-flames

The first book in the follow-up to Kit Rocha's bestselling BEYOND series...

Gideon's Riders, Book One

Lieutenant Ashwin Malhotra is a Makhai soldier—genetically engineered to be cold, ruthless. Unfeeling. His commanding officers consider him the perfect operative, and they’re right. Now, he has a simple mission: to infiltrate Gideon’s Riders, the infamous sect of holy warriors that protects the people of Sector One.

He’s never failed to execute an objective, but there’s one thing he didn’t anticipate—running into Dr. Kora Bellamy, the only woman to ever break through his icy exterior.

When Kora fled her life as a military doctor for the Makhai Project, all she wanted was peace—a quiet life where she could heal the sick and injured. The royal Rios family welcomed her like a sister, but she could never forget Ashwin. His sudden reappearance is a second chance—if she can manage to touch his heart.

When the simmering tension between them finally ignites, Kora doesn't realize she's playing with fire. Because she’s not just falling in love with a man who may not be able to love her back. Ashwin has too many secrets—and one of them could destroy her.

So… be honest…  how many of you have wanted this book since you first met Ashwin???

I mean come on!!!  Admit it… he’s lean, mean, scary as hell but damn damn damn does he read hot when  you meet him.  And let me tell you… it was worth every damn minute of waiting to get this book.  He’s hot.  He’s obsessed.  He’s only got eyes for Kora… and damn if she isn’t one lucky woman.

I quite enjoyed seeing this machine (or so he and his handlers believe) realize what it means to find family and a place where he belongs.  Kora plays a huge role in it but honestly Ashwin needed to finally find somewhere that he was looked on as human.  Are they still guarded with him initially?  Yes but there is still a sense of honor in the Riders that make this group a perfect place for him to break down the training and brainwashing to become more than anyone imagined.  Is he still lethal and scary?  Yes but there is now a sense of peace to him that was missing when you saw him before.  He’s amazing as he starts to feel things and accept them as the new normal.  His innocence when it comes to this is fascinating but his willingness to try in order to be what Kora needs says volumes.  He’s not perfect but what he is means more than the perfection that is expected of his genetics.  I loved watching him navigate parties and group settings where he was expected to just be… relaxed and having fun.  Ashwin made me proud as he is forced to realize that an apology… a sincere apology… can undo so many mistakes and give him what he needs to survive.

Kora is so damn strong that you instantly understand why she fascinated Ashwin beyond just the secrets he knows about her.  She is honestly worried about the fate of the engineered soldiers to the point that she gets in trouble with command as she tries to treat them with humanity.  Behind this strong exterior is a woman who cares deeply and mourns each loss as a failure on her shoulders even when she performs miracles for so many.  She’s finally starting to grasp Sector One as her home and the fact that they truly consider her family even as she mourns the man she believes is dead.  Her joy at Ashwin’s arrival to the Sector is tempered by her concern that this man will never believe himself to be capable of human interaction and love.  She reads him so well and can see that behind this mask is a man who truly wants to be free.  Their coming together is both hot as hell and tender as they both realize what it means to be a part of a whole.

We get to see more of the Riders and I must say that Ana/Deacon will be fun to read about but I am very intrigued by the views we get of Gideon.  He’s a hard read but underneath this seems to be a man who loves deeply while still being able to be ruthless to protect his people.  I also enjoyed seeing Ace and Cruz as protective dads but Cruz shines as he is one of the first to push Ashwin to realize what is happening to him.  There are other pushes but Cruz is the one who could hit him hardest in so many ways because of their shared history.

Now…  when’s the next one going to be ready… huh huh huh I mean…

five-stars

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Year of the Scorpio: Parts 1 & 2 – Stacy Gail – 4 stars

March 3, 2017 Read in 2017 1

Year of the Scorpio: Parts 1 & 2 – Stacy Gail – 4 starsYear of the Scorpio: Part 1 by Stacy Gail
on October 16, 2016
Pages: 311
Format: eBook
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four-stars
five-flames

***TRIGGER WARNING: This is a DARK mafia romance. In addition to several scenes with strong sexual content, there are also scenes involving violence, death, gun play, mention of sexual abuse, and adult language. Due to the nature of this book, it is intended for 18+ audiences only***

They call me Dash.

Sixteen years ago my brother and I were kidnapped. The Scorpeones believed our father, boss of the Vitaliev Bratva, could be pressured into relinquishing his hold on Chicago’s underworld.

They were dead wrong.

Ultimately the Scorpeones made the youngest of their family pay for their sins. I tried not to care. Marco Polo Scorpeone, the hostage whose life was forfeit if his family moved on the Vitalievs, was the enemy. Why should I care if he was tortured worse than a prisoner of war?

Except I did care.

For sixteen years I’ve cared, more than I can say.

They call me Scorpio.

There was no light in my world. Then I saw Dash smile.

No voice could pierce my darkness. Then I heard Dash speak.

I’ve killed to survive. Killed to please my handler. Hell, I’ve killed to please myself. Killing is what I do.

I know I’m not good enough for Dash, but it doesn’t matter. What matters is that she’s mine, from now until the end of time. But that time might be nearer than I think, because someone deadlier than me is closing in…

109,000 words

Author’s Note: This is the first half of a two-part story arc. YEAR OF THE SCORPIO: PART ONE ends on a cliffhanger, which will be concluded in YEAR OF THE SCORPIO: PART TWO. You have been warned.

Year of the Scorpio: Parts 1 & 2 – Stacy Gail – 4 starsYear of the Scorpio: Part Two by Stacy Gail
on February 11, 2017
Pages: 322
Format: eBook
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four-stars
five-flames

***TRIGGER WARNING: This is a MAFIA romance. In addition to several scenes with strong sexual content, there are also scenes involving violence, death, gun play, mention of sexual abuse, and adult language. Due to the nature of this book, it is intended for 18+ audiences only***

My name is Dash.

The Vitaliev Bratva had always been a part of my life, but I was never a part of it. My father built it from the ground up, and while he never hid what the family business was, he never wanted my life to be tainted by it.

But my father forgot one thing.

I’m also a Vitaliev.

Everything I hold dear has been targeted since my father’s death—my business, my friends, and the peaceful world I’ve built for myself. But it wasn’t until the love of my life, Polo Scorpeone, was struck down by a sniper’s bullet that I realized being a Vitaliev isn’t a curse. It’s a strength.

I will face my hidden enemy with the Vitaliev fire of old, and I’ll do it with the most powerful lethal weapon Chicago’s underworld has ever known by my side.

Come to find out, the legendary Scorpio is hard to kill.

108,000 words

Author’s Note: This is the second half of a two-part story arc. YEAR OF THE SCORPIO: PART TWO takes place immediately after the end of YEAR OF THE SCORPIO: PART ONE. If you haven’t read YEAR OF THE SCORPIO: PART ONE, you’re literally getting only half the story. You have been warned.

So… what happens when you work a job that isn’t a 40 hour a week, leave work at work… and you go to school… and you’d sort of like to have a life… well you get a very starved for time book lover who waits until after both books are out to finally get to read a story she was teased with while it was a work in progress. Yes, this was cruelty by both the author (yeah I see you Stacy) and a fellow blogger (yep E I know you are right there with Stacy) but I adore them both so I took it. I am happy to say that the story does not disappoint and in some respects I was smarter (HA!) than both my tormentors as I didn’t have to wait between titles to get the rest of the story.

Dash and Polo are both amazing characters who fight so hard to be something other than what was expected of them. They both lived through unimaginable horror as children and those scars will not go away completely but together they are a force to be reckoned with. In book one we get to understand Dash with a side-view of Polo but what we get to know of her makes him shine even more.  She’s strong and is very protective of those around her.  She is so used to keeping her walls up that normally people can’t get close to her.  She has her inner circle and watching her struggle to come to terms with what happens in the first story kept me turning pages.  I enjoyed seeing her realize what Polo wanted then reach for what she needed from him even as things blow up around them.  She made me laugh a bit as she was so damn confused by the “is he saying or hinting at what I think he’s hinting at?” and her interactions with her bodyguard/bestest buddy were heartwarming.  I liked her and especially liked her as we get to know her in book two.  Her strength is incredible.

Polo… yeah… he’s ummmmmm intense… yep yep yep… that’s the word… INTENSE.  He’s so devoted to Dash that it hurts but everything he does has one goal – KEEP DASH SAFE.  He makes mistakes but his heart is truly in the right place because she is his entire world.  He’s very focused so seeing him get distracted by her is fun but he will not make the same  mistake twice.  I enjoyed him immensely and would happily read more about his past, his future, and I mean anything that comes out with him in it.  You’ll get to understand him so much more in book two and watch some of the past get resolved as the story evolves.

I also have to say the chance to see Sass and Rude again made me so damn happy!  I love getting to see more of characters in later stories and this was a chance to understand more of what has happened since we last saw those guys.

Also..  Stacy… ummmm… you or Shannon owe us a “yep yep yep” sex scene although in Shannon’s case it would be a “yep yep yep” OF DOOM sex scene….

*snicker*

 

four-stars

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