Genre: Fiction

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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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What It Takes – Shannon Stacey – 4.5 Stars

February 28, 2017 Uncategorized 0

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

What It Takes – Shannon Stacey – 4.5 StarsWhat It Takes: A Kowalski Reunion Novel by Shannon Stacey
Published by Carina Press on February 28, 2017
Genres: Fiction, Romance, Contemporary, General
Pages: 164
Source: NetGalley.com
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four-half-stars

Revisit all of your Kowalski favorites while falling in love with a brand-new romance in this reunion novel from New York Times bestselling author Shannon Stacey

Laney Caswell is looking for a change. A decade's worth of less-than-happy matrimony behind her, she wants peace—movies, books and, best of all, a new job at the Northern Star Lodge in Whitford, Maine. Spending the summer living in a camper is her chance to rediscover what makes her happy, and a perfect transition to her new life.

Being a paramedic in Whitford is nothing like Ben Rivers's city life, but when Josh Kowalski offers him the job, the lure of his hometown is too much to resist. Also too much to resist: Laney Caswell. Ben always thought he'd have a wife and kids, a happy family like the Kowalskis have all built, but he never made time in his life. Now he's found a woman who draws him like no other and helps him dream again—and the last thing she wants is a husband.

When the annual Kowalski family camping trip is moved to the Northern Star, both Ben and Laney are surrounded by the kind of happiness they've always wanted but never had. It just might be theirs—if they can put aside the past and reach for it together.

I have to say that this is a very bittersweet book to have read but I loved it.  Bitter in the fact that this is the last Kowalski book but sweet in that it shows the reader so many things about how the couples have stuck together and grown as a couple.  I love this series and am sad to see it end but know that Shannon will keep providing us with great stories in the future.

Ben has finally come back home and is ready to settle down with the right woman but he isn’t in a hurry to do it, he just knows he wants it.  He’s struck by how many people around him have found their partners but I appreciated how he really was honest about it to himself and to Laney.  He is a wonderful man though and intuitive enough to know he needs to let things move organically with Laney.  He is so sweet to her and makes sure that she doesn’t feel like he is taking over for her  or that he doesn’t feel that she can do things on her own.  I quite enjoyed his character and the fact that he was honest about what he was looking for even as he worked hard to not put pressure on Laney.  I also fully understood why he got so hurt by some of her reactions but he never really took it out on her.  He just said his piece and let the cards fall where they may.

Laney was a character I understood.  I understood how easy it is to let yourself fall away in order to preserve the peace.  I understood how hard it is to make decisions about what to do with your life when you aren’t certain who you are any more.  I understood it because it is something that I am struggling with in real life.  I also appreciated the fact that while she didn’t want to want Ben… she wanted Ben and was honest with him as to what she was struggling with.  I got why she reacted the way she did in the closing section of the book.  I didn’t like it in a way but I got it.  I also loved how being around the craziness that is the Kowalski family helped her see what she wanted and made it possible for her to finally understand what was important.  She really does fit in with the clan and seeing her embrace life was such a nice feeling.

There are moments with Sean and Emma that will be a bit sniffle worthy but they were appreciated as we see a couple come to terms with their relationship and what matters.  I also loved seeing Rosie and Andy but also just in general getting some glimpses of the family we love.  For fans of the series this is such a wonderful close to a great set of stories.

four-half-stars

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Too Wild to Tame – Tessa Bailey – 4.5 stars

September 7, 2016 NetGalley, Read in 2016 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.

Too Wild to Tame – Tessa Bailey – 4.5 starsToo Wild to Tame by Tessa Bailey
Published by Grand Central Publishing on September 6th 2016
Genres: Fiction, Romance, Contemporary, Contemporary Women
Pages: 336
Source: NetGalley.com
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four-half-stars
four-half-flames

Sometimes you just can't resist playing with fire . . .

By day, Aaron Clarkson suits up, shakes hands, and acts the perfect gentleman. But at night, behind bedroom doors, the tie comes off and the real Aaron comes out to play. Mixing business with pleasure got him fired, so Aaron knows that if he wants to work for the country's most powerful senator, he'll have to keep his eye on the prize. That's easier said than done when he meets the senator's daughter, who's wild, gorgeous, and 100 percent trouble.

Grace Pendleton is the black sheep of her conservative family. Yet while Aaron's presence reminds her of a past she'd rather forget, something in his eyes keeps drawing her in. Maybe it's the way his voice turns her molten. Or maybe it's because deep down inside, the ultra-smooth, polished Aaron Clarkson might be more than even Grace can handle . . .

So… If  you’ve never read anything by Tessa Bailey…

WHY THE HELL NOT… & …. BE READY FOR SERIOUSLY DIRTY TALKING HEROES!!!!

Now back to normal programming but damn if our hero, Aaron, isn’t a buttoned up, seething, cold, annoyingly conflicted, dirty as hell talking man.  His heroine, Grace, isn’t exactly the first person you’d expect would not only love this man but give him back as much heat as he provides her.  As you get to know Aaron you will see what Grace sees in him even as he struggles to see something other than what his ^%#^$&^%&$ biological sperm donor so effectively pounded in to his brain.  I found myself cheering for him as we got glimpses of who he really is and yet appreciated that Tessa did not give us an easy ride with him.  I enjoyed seeing how he was doing the right thing even as he claimed to be doing anything but good.  I have to say though the man had a way with words and admittedly needed a cold drink at times.

Grace is a heroine that will surprise you as you really get to know her.  The first impression is not what you’d expect but, like Aaron, there is something deeper that everyone needs to acknowledge… She’s in some ways fragile but there is a steel spine hidden in the depths which gets tested repeatedly by the men in her life.  I loved the scene in the field with the rest of the girls and laughed like crazy as she lets Aaron in on what transpired.  Her willingness to put herself out there for Aaron made me wonder if I had that same strength in me to put myself out there for someone.  There is such a huge amount of work that she does to become who she is in the end and I appreciated that this was handled with a deft hand even as fast-paced as this book was.  She’s definitely his match and this shines in their moments together.

I need to go back and read the first story in this series but CANNOT WAIT FOR BELMONT & SAGE!!!!  They are going to probably do a combination of break my heart and make me have to break out a fan… there is some amazing chemistry happening that leaps off the page as you see them together.  So join me for the ride to their story…

four-half-stars

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The Protector – Jodi Ellen Malpas – 4 Stars

September 6, 2016 NetGalley 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 Protector – Jodi Ellen Malpas – 4 StarsThe Protector by Jodi Ellen Malpas
Published by Grand Central Publishing on September 6th 2016
Genres: Fiction, Romance, Contemporary, Erotica, General
Pages: 384
Source: NetGalley.com
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four-stars
four-flames

THE NEW NOVEL FROM THE #1 BESTSELLING AUTHOR OF THE THIS MAN TRILOGY AND ONE NIGHT TRILOGY!
People think they have Camille Logan nailed: daddy's girl; beautiful, spoiled young woman with her father's bank balance to fund her lifestyle. But Camille is determined to have a life free from his strings. Out on her own, she's made mistakes, including one that found her clawing her way back after a stint in rehab and plenty of bad press. Now, after fighting so hard to be independent and happy, she finds her life threatened as a result of her father's ruthless business dealings. Caught between resentment and fear, Camille prepares herself for the measures her father will take to protect her. But nothing could prepare her for the ex-SAS sniper who crashes into her life.
Jake Sharp resides in his own personal hell. He was distracted from duty once before, and the consequences were devastating--both personally and professionally. He vowed never to let that happen again. Accepting the job of bodyguard to Camille Logan isn't the kind of distraction from his demons he should take. Women and Jake don't mix well, yet protecting the heiress seems the lesser of two evils. But Jake soon discovers that she isn't the woman she's perceived to be. She's warm, compassionate, her presence settling, and his duty to protect her soon goes deeper than a well-paid job, no matter how hard he fights it. He needs absolution. He comes to need Camille. But he knows he can't have both.

This book was a slow build for me but overall the main characters kept me interested with the heat between them palpable and honest.  There is something about two people who don’t completely match what is expected of them.  I also enjoyed that there isn’t a single moment that brings them together but is more a series of things that force them outside the boundaries they attempt to set on themselves.

Camile was a fun character as she doesn’t back down easily but isn’t completely stupid when it comes to her own safety.  She does some stupid stuff at first but I can completely understand this as she’s fighting back at the restrictions from her father without the full picture of the threat.  She’s very independent while still remaining close to family and her true friends.  I loved seeing her make decisions based on loyalty vs money which is unexpected given her family ties.  She’s also very drawn to our hero even as she tries to ignore it.  As she gets to know him she realizes that he is hiding a lot of secrets which she’s willing to wait to uncover but…  She won’t wait forever for him to fully let her in.  Cami made me happy as she fought for what she wanted and wasn’t willing to accept anything less than all of him.

Jake was a mess… understandable as you get to uncover the secrets he hides from everyone…  but a mess all the same.  He’s hired to protect a woman that he believes will be a insufferable princess but when he meets her there is something that draws him to her.  He’s drawn to her in a way that he fights against but as we all know this can’t stay unrequited for long.  He’s going to break and when he does it was so hot.  There are quite a few scenes where we see the build-up but those scenes were fun to read and react to.  Cami tortures him as much as she can but he gets his own version of torture in against her.  This sexy play back and forth made me happy as it showed that both of them were feeling the same things which led to some great tension.  I adored the end of the book and while I did have issues staying with it at the beginning but I’m glad I stuck with it.

You’ll enjoy the tension while still trying to figure out what the exact threat is and when it comes out you will want to KILL someone.  They are a piece of work who deserves more than what they got but hey …. what they got was bad enough.

four-stars

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An Indecent Proposal – Katee Robert – 4 stars

August 31, 2016 NetGalley, Read in 2016 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.

An Indecent Proposal – Katee Robert – 4 starsAn Indecent Proposal by Katee Robert
on August 30th 2016
Genres: Fiction, Romance, General, Contemporary
Pages: 336
Source: NetGalley.com
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four-stars

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Katee Robert continues her smoking-hot series about the O'Malleys-wealthy, powerful, and full of scandalous family secrets.

Greed. Ambition. Violence. Those are the "values" Olivia Rashidi learned from her Russian mob family-and the values she must leave behind for the sake of her daughter. When she meets Cillian O'Malley, she recognizes the red flag of his family name . . . yet she still can't stop herself from seeing the smoldering, tortured man. To save her family, Olivia sets out to discover Cillian's own secrets, but the real revelation is how fast-and how hard-she's falling for him.

Plagued by a violent past, Cillian is more vulnerable than anyone realizes. Anyone except Olivia, whose beauty, compassion, and pride have him at "hello," even if she's more inclined to say good-bye to an O'Malley. While his proposal of sex with no strings seems simple, what he feels for her isn't, especially after he learns that she belongs to a rival crime family. Cillian knows that there is no escape from the life, but Olivia may be worth trying-and dying-for .

So I sort of entered in to a series on book 3…  AGAIN… which I keep saying I won’t do but then keep doing over..  over.. and over again….  Yeah, well in this case I quite enjoyed the book and didn’t feel like I was lost so am glad that I did it!

Olivia isn’t looking for a man nor does she want any trouble but she is drawn to a man that embodies trouble by virtue of his last name.  She’s hiding from her past and wants nothing more than to raise her daughter away from the family business but she can’t quite escape.  She’s drawn to a man who she should dislike, perhaps even hate, but the chemistry between them cannot be denied.  She tells herself only this one time nothing more but there is something about the way he behaves that makes her crave more of him.  I liked her even as she was fighting her attraction for him but especially liked that she listened to her heart and mind versus trying to take everything on herself.  She’s smart and that is something that isn’t the norm with heroines of many mob related rom-susp books.  I appreciated that she struggled but also appreciated that she trusted him even though she barely knew him.

Cillian was something else.  He’s at a huge crossroads in his life after the death of one of his brothers.  He’s still struggling with what happened and that has led him to make many changes in his life which includes giving up alcohol and partying like he used to.  He finds himself drawn to Olivia and after their first scorching encounter he can’t seem to shake the need to be with her.  He proves himself so quickly to be there for her even at the expense of his family but this is a good thing.  I loved how growly he could get but also his ability to just be there for the woman that he knows is his.

The story moves quickly but it kept me interested as I enjoyed seeing two damaged people find one another.

four-stars

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Homecoming – Shannon Stacey – 4 stars

August 30, 2016 NetGalley, Read in 2016 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.

Homecoming – Shannon Stacey – 4 starsHomecoming by Shannon Stacey
Published by Penguin on August 30th 2016
Genres: Fiction, Romance, Contemporary, Contemporary Women, General
Pages: 304
Source: NetGalley.com
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four-stars

The New York Times bestselling author of Defending Hearts returns to small-town New Hampshire where a substitute football coach and a guidance counselor tackle love.

They were the golden boys of fall: Stewart Mills High School’s legendary championship football team. Fourteen years later, they’re back to relive their glory, save the team—and find themselves again . . .

Sam Leavitt has returned home to Stewart Mills with one goal: to fill in for Coach McDonnell and lead the high school football team to the championship. He doesn’t have time for distractions or commitments—but he’s unable to resist falling for the sexy guidance counselor he shared a hot night with months ago.

Jen Cooper knows what she’s looking for long-term, and it’s not Sam—even though the night they shared was explosive. Now, with Sam back in town and working by her side, picking up where they left off is too great a temptation to resist. But before long their fun fling is looking like a future together. And as the championship approaches, Sam is faced with a big decision that will either break them apart—or help them find their way home.

I struggled a bit with how to rate this one as I had issues with the heroine until close to the end of the book.  She’s a counselor but it felt like she spent a big chunk of the book judging our hero which started to annoy me as I LOVED Sam.

Jen is looking for Mr. Right for Life not Mr. Right Now.  She wants something she didn’t think she’d ever want…  something like her parents but the man she shared a single moment on the hood of her car holds more appeal to her than anyone she’s ever met.  He isn’t right for her because he’s not going to be in town for any longer than it takes Coach to recover.  She decides that she’ll just explore the  chemistry between them but nothing more.  No relationship… just fun… then she’ll work on finding the man who will be her partner.  She’s quick to judge his reaching for her as a coping mechanism and just as quick to write him off but does finally realize that something has changed between them as we get towards the end of the book.  I liked her but she isn’t my favorite SS heroine.

Sam is just yummy!  He’s got a lot to work thru and it comes in stops/starts as he works out his issues with his past.  I loved how he recognized how badly he wanted Jen and even as he tried to deny that she was who he wanted for the rest of his life he didn’t completely fight it.  His issue wasn’t with her but more his denial that this small town was the place that was his HOME.  I got why there was a struggle and appreciated it as he tried to do something with his life that kept him in the region he felt most comfortable in.  He really didn’t understand what his question meant to Jen but the fact he owned it in the end made me happy.  I felt for him because a crappy childhood can cause you to equate the location and actions of others suspect with an incredibly difficult ability to trust that staying is a good idea.  He’s such a great guy that I think it colored my reactions to Jen which isn’t fair but is what it is.

I think you’ll like this story and may have the same struggle with Jen that I did but they really are home for one another so stick with it.  She’ll prove herself and he will make things right…  I mean that is why we love romance!  HEA..  HEA… HEA…

four-stars

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The Darling Songbirds – Rachael Herron – 3.5 stars

August 22, 2016 Read in 2016, Sent 1

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

The Darling Songbirds by Rachael Herron
Published by HGA Publishing on March 1st 2016
Genres: Fiction, Romance, Contemporary, General
Pages: 375
Source: the Author
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three-half-stars

From international bestseller Rachael Herron, comes a book too delightful to put down:

The saloon had always looked old-fashioned, but now it resembled a set in a ghost town. The problem was that Adele wasn't in an old western, or a ghost town. Darling Bay was the sleepy gold-rush town her great-grandfather had given his name to.

The town she'd left for good a long time ago.

The building is a ruin, the business is broke and customers are scarce. Add into the mix Nate Houston - the handsome, guitar-playing bartender who had always believed he would be the next owner - and Adele has one potent cocktail on her hands.

Can a rundown saloon in a sleepy town finally offer Adele a way into love?

Relationships are at the heart of women's fiction, and Herron could teach a master class on creating them. Chicklit Central

This heartwarming, hilarious, and red-hot contemporary romance will leave you wishing for a marina view of your very own. From sisters to second chances, this small-town romance will make you laugh and cry. Herron's characters are grounded and relatable, but her twists and turns leave you satisfied as a reader. For a good time, pack this beach read on your vacation! You'll love this book.

Rachael Herron seamlessly blends romance, friendship, and laughter. Barbara Bretton, USA Today Bestselling Author

A FULL-LENGTH STANDALONE, a great entry into the world of Rachael Herron's sexy and hilarious books.

Occasionally I get review requests from fellow bloggers who also work as author’s assistants, these have consistently been good finds and this trend has continued with a “new-to-me” author.  This particular title is the first one in a new series about a trio of sisters who rose to fame as singers until everything changed when tragedy struck.  The trio split up and now don’t even really talk to one another or see each other.  The bitterness and issues are not ones that will be easily overcome because they have roots in the fundamental differences between the personalities so it will take effort to get past the past.

Adele has always been the fixer, the people pleaser and the one who makes sure everything goes correctly.  She’s now at a point in her life where everything seems to be working against her but she’s determined to get the bar/hotel/cafe that her uncle left to the sisters sold and start rebuilding her life away from painful memories.  She’s not expecting the place to be in ruins nor the man who runs the bar.  As she starts to clean up the bar and work on her uncle’s apartment, she realizes that perhaps this is where she needs to be for the life she deserves to have.  I loved how she started to open up as she finally embraced the town and Nate.  I enjoyed seeing her fall for a man who has his own secrets but mainly the fact that she owned her mistakes without any fake apologies or excuses.  She’s finally realized what part she played in driving the sisters apart and is working on the personality trait that brought it about.  The estrangement isn’t entirely hers to fix or take blame for but she does make the gesture to repair the rift.

Nate was someone that I quite enjoyed.  He’s not a man to run away from a problem but is a man who has his own demons to slay.  I enjoyed his stubborn streak but also loved the fact that he does so much for so many.  He wants to make a go of the property and attempted to buy it from her uncle so harbors a bit of resentment for the woman he believes is stealing what should be his.  He thinks she’s callous and unfeeling because none of the sisters showed up for their uncle’s funeral but in reality the memories were to painful along with her being off the grid when he passed.  Nate has some major issues he has to work thru and his attraction to Adele isn’t something he ever planned.  He made me laugh, sniffle and then happy as he works thru his issues and in to a life that really is perfect for him.  A good man with a heart of gold describes him well and his naughty side would make me quite happy..  *grin*

So take a chance and start this series..  book 2 releases next week so keep an eye on this page for my review of book 2.

three-half-stars

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Shift – Sidney Bristol – 3 stars

August 19, 2016 NetGalley, Read in 2016 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.

Shift – Sidney Bristol – 3 starsShift by Sidney Bristol
Published by Kensington on July 26th 2016
Genres: Fiction, Romance, Suspense, Contemporary, Action & Adventure
Pages: 320
Source: NetGalley.com
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three-stars

Nothing shines like classic cars under the Miami heat. With engines revving hot and emotions running high, sparks are sure to fly . . .

Tori Chazov isn't exactly the girl next door. For one, if the neighbors found out she's an FBI asset and the daughter of a KGB defector, she'd have to grab her go bag and run. Then there's her day job: making magic happen under the hood of big beautiful muscle cars. She's more likely to be wearing engine grease than mascara, and most guys don't fantasize about their mechanics.

But then most girls don't fantasize about FBI tech geniuses, either, and Tori has it bad for Emery Martin. Emery has a past. She can see it in the way he keeps his body honed like a weapon, in the mysterious scars under his snap-button shirts. She can see it in the way his eyes follow her around the room, even though he never says a word.

He's going to have to start talking now, though. A vicious Russian hit squad is on the way to Miami to take Tori out for good. And without Emery's help, she might not make her last great escape . .

This wasn’t a perfect book but I did enjoy the main characters and find myself wanting to read the next one in the series.  I am going to have to chat with someone that I know that read and DNFd book one to see what that one holds but I would like to see what Gabriel has in store.  If you haven’t read book one I think you will be ok as I wasn’t completely aware of that being out (yeah I know I’m a mess).

Emery is basically a master hacker, information gatherer and overall super-agent even though he isn’t really an agent or maybe he is or …  yeah his exact ties to the FBI aren’t fully clear but he’s the assumed brainiac/geek/nerd but what he actually is well…  let’s just say I’d love to be in Tori’s shoes when his attention is fully focused on her.  He’s got his secrets (which I wanted to know more about dammit) and past which impacts his choices in life.  He’s convinced that Tori isn’t in to him but he’s been in to her for quite a while now and when circumstances push them together he takes advantage of them.  I liked his devotion to her and keeping her safe but the fact that he doesn’t try to fully cocoon her made me happy.  He’s also quite controlling in the sex scenes we get but it is a good kind of controlling even though I sort of wish we’d gotten more glimpses of this but the story arc kept them busy outside sexy times.  I look forward to seeing him a bit more in Gabriel’s story but know we probably won’t get much more of his backstory.

Tori was a fun character in a lot of ways.  She’s initially having conversations in her head with her dream version of Emery but admits that this is nothing compared to what she wants from real Emery when she finally spends time with him.  She’s had a crush on who she thought he was but the real him just completely does it for her.  She’s loyal to her twin sister, Roni, and her father but there’s a part of her who wonders if she’ll find someone that can accept who she is.  Her history was interesting as well so perhaps we’ll get more of this when/if Roni’s book comes out.  I liked how uncertain she was about being sexy for Emery but also enjoyed that she didn’t completely obsess over it.  She’s who she is and luckily for her he’s completely in to who she is so while she might want to have the more girly trappings the fact she doesn’t have to really does it for her.

Overall a good, fast read but I do wish we had a bit more time to completely know both of them.

three-stars

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His Royal Favorite – Lilah Pace – 5 stars

August 17, 2016 NetGalley, Read in 2016 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.

His Royal Favorite – Lilah Pace – 5 starsHis Royal Favorite by Lilah Pace
Published by Penguin on August 16th 2016
Genres: Fiction, Romance, LGBT, Gay, Contemporary
Pages: 182
Source: NetGalley.com
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five-stars

The conclusion of Lilah Pace’s racy, romantic male/male duology following His Royal Secret...

James, Prince of Wales, is making history. He's decided to come out to his subjects—and the world. However, telling the truth means exposing his relationship with lone-wolf reporter Benjamin Dahan. Although Ben never wanted commitment, the unexpected depth of his feelings leads him to join James in the media's harsh spotlight.

When the news story explodes across the globe, Ben can endure the mockery and dirty jokes. But after his tragic past is cruelly revealed, his life begins to implode. Can even his love for James be worth this?

James has it no easier. His revelation divides the country and sparks turmoil within the royal family. He must struggle to defend not only himself and Ben, but also his younger sister, who hovers on the brink of a breakdown that could endanger her life.

Is Ben strong enough to survive the onslaught and stand by James' side? And will James have to make a choice between Ben and the crown?

I was so happy to get my hands on this one as I quite thoroughly enjoyed part one of this story.

At the end of part one we were left with the idea that our boys might’ve hit the limit of their relationship but we all knew that these two could not be kept apart.  Ben is willing to step up to the plate and be there for James even as it threatens to tear him apart.  He’s got his own reasons for not wanting to be in the limelight and his need to be seen as his own person causes him to make mistakes which threaten his happiness with James.  I loved how he was with the family and especially adored the way he figured out how to work with the Queen.  He sees the real truths that are hidden behind the polite masks and stands up for what is right even as it may hurt those he loves.

James was such a sweetheart in this as he tries to do the right thing for everyone even if it means giving up something that is the only real thing he has ever had for himself.  His battles with his uncle to do the right thing, his battles with the Queen…  his battles with everything around him in order to get his sister what she really needs… and the biggest battles…  the ones with himself as he struggles to finally be happy.  I loved seeing him try his damndest to get Ben to feel at home in this new life but I also enjoyed seeing him realize that it wasn’t something he could fix.  He didn’t try to force something that wasn’t there which made him very approachable.  He was scared of what would happen to his sister and what would happen to Ben but he still didn’t try to make it be completely about his wants or needs.

The treatment that his sister’s storyline gets is important on many levels but the main thing I took from it is…  Asking for help isn’t a sign of weakness nor should it be avoided..  Mental illness is something that is not shameful..  it isn’t something that can be healed overnight and just by acknowledging that there is an issue that needs help is an immense source of strength.  One should seek assistance even if you are afraid.  Light is available at the end of the tunnel and often the illness LIES to keep you in the dark.

You will enjoy seeing what happens to everyone at the conclusion of this story and I came away from it quite happy.

five-stars

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