Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Review: Demand by Lisa Renee Jones

The sexy, breathtaking mystery continues in New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author Lisa Renee Jones’s stunning second novel in the suspenseful Careless Whispers series—where shocking revelations will reveal themselves and nothing, and no one, will ever be the same.

Still struggling with amnesia, Ella questions everything she’s known about Kayden Wilkens—the alluring stranger who claims to have found her unconscious in an alleyway a month earlier. But was he truly a stranger—or did Kayden know her before his supposed rescue? Tormented by the potential betrayal he denies, with fleeting memories of a bombshell in her recent past, Ella must face a hard reality. Every action has consequences . . . and trusting Kayden, the one thing she most desires, might result in the direst consequences of all.

4.5 out of 5 stars

We fell in love with Ella and Kayden in Denial and were waiting impatiently for the next installment, Demand to release. I couldn't remember all the tiny details from Denial, but thankfully, Lisa Renee Jones gives us a recap that helped me get right back into the story, so make sure you take the time to read all that happened in Denial because she sets you up perfectly to fall back into step with Kayden and Ella.

As you recall, Denial ends with quite the cliffhanger...Ella holding a gun on Kayden in the shower when she discovers he already knew about the butterfly necklace. That being said, nothing is ever as it seems and even though Ella assumes the worst, in her heart she knows she cannot deny the fact that she truly does trust Kayden.

As Demand progresses more unanswered questions are revealed alongside Ella's flashbacks.  I can definitely feel the frustration for Ella as she struggles to figure out exactly who she is, who she is running from, and why. Yet, despite all the struggles, she is a total badass. I love her spirit and how she doesn't cower and backdown to people. She speaks her mind and will defend those people she holds dear.  It's impressive for a character to know so little about themselves yet have such a strong sense of self-direction and confidence.  Some people would allow fear of the unknown to send them into a helpless tailspin but Ella is the exact opposite, instead motivating her to further dig for answers and face those fears head on.  These character traits pave the way for a truly intriguing, nail-biting story.

Kayden is as secretive and sexy as ever. He has fallen hard for Ella and while her amnesia is an unknown, potentially devastating problem for them he couldn't care less.  Others may view her and their love has his only weakness, but it's actually Ella's presence that's given his life a greater purpose and meaning.  Finding love has given his life dimension and regardless of everything working against them, they vow to stick together no matter what is discovered.  Tell me that alone doesn't make this a killer read! 

Thankfully, we learn more about Ella and finally discover exactly who she is hiding from and why but Lisa Renee Jones still hasn't given us all the pieces to the puzzle. While I read this novel in one sitting, if I were to complain about anything it would simply be this installment felt a bit shorter than Denial and it just wasn't enough to satisfy my LRJ craving. I cannot wait for the last installment in this series so all of my questions can finally be answered!  LRJ can magically weave a mystery like no other. She ALWAYS keeps me addicted and on the edge of my seat.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Cover Reveal: Knot by M. Mabie

KNOT by M. Mabie



Amazon UK bit.ly/knotuk
Amazon CA bit.ly/knotca
Amazon AU bit.ly/knotau

He knows everything. She has all the damn answers. I’ve always been a free spirit. It’s my nature. I crave control, but with her it’s far more. He’s a power hungry climber. Her wealth could buy and sell me. It’s too much pressure being the center of anyone’s focus. She underestimates my desire for her, my need to please just her. When he’s vulnerable, it’s hard to deny him. Her crooked smile cripples me. He hides his demons, but I’m no fool. She thinks not committing to anyone makes her more honest. She’s wrong. A man like him deserves someone who can offer that kind of love. She promises nothing, yet I feel like a king when she says my name. I never let anyone possess me like he did. Not before. Not after. My greatest regret was compromising. I should have never held back. Still, when we’re apart I’m not myself. I miss the days when she was just down the hall. He’s better off without me, and it hurts. The ugly truth is I need her more than she needs me. Our relationship was born out of lust and curiosity. The lies we told ourselves killed it. Together, we found Nirvana. We learned it was all a mirage. I ruined him. I broke her heart. I keep coming back. I can’t let her go. 

KNOT is a contemporary romance and a complete standalone. It is the first spin-off from the best-selling Wake Series. You do not need to read BAIT, SAIL, or ANCHOR to enjoy this book in its entirety, but if you love angst you'll enjoy them, too.

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Thursday, May 26, 2016

Review: The Vixen and the Vet by Katy Regnery

In this modern-retelling of Beauty and the Beast, Savannah Carmichael, betrayed by an unreliable source, returns to her hometown of Danvers, Virginia with her once-promising journalism career in ruins. Given the opportunity to get back in the game by writing a patriotic human interest piece, Savannah turns her attention to the town hermit, Asher Lee, a wounded veteran who returned to Danvers eight years ago, and hasn’t been seen since. 

After an IED explosion in Afghanistan took Asher’s hand and disfigured half of his face, he's lived a quiet life on the outskirts of Danvers where the locals respect his privacy…that is, until Savannah Carmichael comes calling in a borrowed sundress with a plate of homemade brownies. When Asher agrees to be interviewed by Savannah, he starts feeling things for the beautiful reporter that he hasn’t felt in years. 

Misfits in small-town Danvers, Savannah and Asher create a bond right away, touching each other’s hearts in ways neither thought possible. When a terrible mistake threatens to drive them apart, they’ll have to decide if the love they found in one another’s arms is strong enough to fight for their hard-won happily ever after.


I am a total sucker for sappy, predictable, beautiful reads.  When you add in the fact that this book is a modern take on Beauty and the Beast, I am pretty sure that's a sign it's going to be amazing.  I've had The Vixen and the Vet on my Kindle for several months, but hadn't yet made the time to read it.  Then a couple of days ago I opened it on my lunch break and wham, I was instantly hooked!  All I wanted to do the remainder of the day was read...I refrained since I was at work, but it required a hell of a lot of effort.

The "Beast" of this story is Asher Lee, an Army Vet that went through an IED attack in Afghanistan.  Upon his return to the southern town of Danvers, VA he becomes a recluse; ashamed of the way he looks and not really excited about living.  No one in the town makes an effort to treat him the way he deserves or gives even bothers giving him a hero's homecoming.  In eight years, no one, other than his surrogate Grandmother has even laid eyes on him.  No one that is until Savannah Carmichael shows up at his door step with baked goods.

Savannah, our "Beauty," is back in Danvers after living out her dream in NYC as a big-time journalist for The Sentinel.  One source/relationship turned bad was all it took to not only ruin her career but also the only life she ever dreamed of for herself.  As the story begins she finds herself back home with Mama, Daddy and her little sister, Katie Scarlet  (Could it be anymore southern with this Gone with the Wind reference!) with more than enough time on her hands to figure out a plan that will get her life back while helping Scarlet's wedding go off without any glitches.   So, when an opportunity to write a human interest piece for a newspaper in Phoenix arrives, she quickly figures out a way to not only make it successful but for it to also be the piece which launches her dream career again.

What Savannah isn't prepared for however is for Asher Lee or her uncontrollable desire to know him as more than just a story.  She can't deny the strong draw towards him nor does she really want to.  The big question though is what's going to happen when her big break comes rolling in from Phoenix?  Will she say yes or will she be able to recognize her life dreams aren't what the used to be pre Asher Lee?  Is this story predictable?  At times.  But, it was worth every second I spent reading it.  I loved the anticipation leading up to their first kiss and the struggle that each character faced.  Should you read this story?  Without a doubt! 

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Review: An Ounce of Hope by Sophie Jackson

From the fanfic phenom whose debut A Pound of Flesh had over 4.5 million reads, this sequel, An Ounce of Hope, tells the passionate love story of Carter’s best friend, Max.

Max O’Hare can’t seem to let go of his past: his drug habit, the end of his relationship with Lizzie Jordan, the woman he knows he’ll never get over, and the loss of their unborn son.

After successfully completing rehab and learning to explore his deepest fears and dreams through painting, Max meets Grace Brooks. With her innate optimism, and her love of art and photography, Grace appears to be the perfect girl. Yet no one knows where she came from, or why she keeps her past so closely guarded. Over time, Max and Grace gradually allow each other in—but will he ever be able to fully let go of his past? Or will his heart remain closed forever?

4.5 of 5 Stars

Sophie Jackson's first novel, A Pound of Flesh was one of my top books of 2015 and I fell in love not only with Kat and Carter but also with her writing style instantly.  When An Ounce of Hope appeared on my kindle in my gut I knew it would be good yet I was unsure of whether or not I would really care tremendously about Max O'Hare, Carter's drug-addict best friend.  Why I doubted this I don't know because here's the truth - it turns out I did and do care about this troubled best friend and the more I read the more eager I was to see how his story would play out.

The beginning of the book begins with Max in rehab.  Although I understand the need to see him in this setting and set the stage for his story, I couldn't help but feel as though it gave the story sort of a slow start.  Things however pick up once Carter and new character Grace finally show up in the same town.  For me it was around the 20% mark before I felt myself getting more and more addicted to the story and having a harder time setting the kindle down to deal with life's interruptions.   

Grace is such a sweet, innocent character who from first introduction you know in your heart deserves happiness.  Max is a troubled character who has been dealt a crap hand of life and is very jaded, he too deserves a break and you want that for him, but he's also a wild card and you're just not sure how he's going to react in certain situations.  Max wants to live, he wants to be happy, but that happiness seems so far out of reach to him.  

Grace and Max completely balance each other out, when these two share a chapter or even a page you will not be able to help but smile and cheer them on towards a HEA together.  They both have experienced such tragedy and heartache they can understand where the other is coming from.  I have often heard it said that pain and horrible situations will either make you a bitter person or a better person.  These two characters display the truth of this statement.  Grace wants to move on and learn from the past, while still living.  Max prefers to wallow in the past and let it prevent him from ever being happy.  The question is whether or not will they choose one another when push comes to shove.

Ms. Jackson perfectly crafts a story that illustrates how Max struggles with his addiction, anxiety, depression and trust of others.  I can't help but believe that this is exactly how someone with this mindset truly thinks and acts.  It also shows how their actions affect everyone else in their lives.  The story was beautifully written and has me itching to begin Riley's story ASAP.  

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Review: The Ruby Circle (Bloodlines #6) by Richelle Mead

Their forbidden romance exposed, Sydney and Adrian find themselves facing the wrath of both the Alchemists and the Moroi in this electrifying conclusion to Richelle Mead’s bestselling Bloodlines series.

When the life of someone they both love is put on the line, Sydney risks everything to hunt down a deadly former nemesis. Meanwhile, she and Adrian becomes enmeshed in a puzzle that could hold the key to a shocking secret about spirit magic, a secret that could shake the entire Moroi world and alter their lives forever.

Don't miss their unforgettable final chapter...


Review:  5 of 5 stars

The Ruby Circle is the final installment of the Bloodlines series by Richelle Mead. This series has basically consumed my life for the last ten or so days.  I loved Vampire Academy and all the fun, exciting things that happened in it with Rose and Dimitri.  I was really unsure about how this series would compare, especially since Sydney seemed so boring and uptight in VA.  I am so glad that I didn't let my preconceived notions get in the way of loving this series.  I dare say that I loved it more than Vampire Academy!

TRC begins with a frantic search for Princess Jill Dragomir.  Since Adrian and Sydney are basically trapped at Court they are going stir crazy and a little insane trying to figure out who has Jill and why.  A surprise visit from Ms. Terwilliger brings some human magic to Court.  Once it is clear that whoever is holding Jill captive has a grudge against Sydney a plan begins to form.  Can Sydney protect herself the the Alchemists waiting for her on the outside?

After Sydney's escape from Court, Adrian is left with his own demons to face, in the form of spirit and his dead Aunt Tatiana.  Olive, the Strigoi that was restored to a Dhapmir has run away from her sister Nina and anyone else that is searching for her.  Nina begs Adrian for help to find her in a spirit dream the truth is revealed, but at what cost?  Is the use of spirit magic worth the cost?

Prepare yourself for a roller coaster of emotions and twists and turns that you did not see coming you way.  I thoroughly enjoyed every book in this series.  I felt like each book was a little better than the last.  That being said, I think that Richelle Mead has left the reader with some unanswered questions and many possible storylines for future spin offs into another series.  I hope that one day she decides to create another series to answer them.  

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Review: Silver Shadows (Bloodlines #5) by Richelle Mead

In The Fiery Heart, Sydney risked everything to follow her gut, walking a dangerous line to keep her feelings hidden from the Alchemists.

Now in the aftermath of an event that ripped their world apart, Sydney and Adrian struggle to pick up the pieces and find their way back to each other. But first, they have to survive.

For Sydney, trapped and surrounded by adversaries, life becomes a daily struggle to hold on to her identity and the memories of those she loves. Meanwhile, Adrian clings to hope in the face of those who tell him Sydney is a lost cause, but the battle proves daunting as old demons and new temptations begin to seize hold of him. . . .

Their worst fears now a chilling reality, Sydney and Adrian face their darkest hour in this heart-pounding fifth installment in the New York Times bestselling Bloodlines series, where all bets are off.

Review:   5 of 5 stars

Silver Shadows is excruciatingly long at times.  It was very well written and I loved it, but it is hard to watch Sydney and Adrian fall apart.  You remember that Sydney was taken captive by the Alchemists at the end of The Fiery Heart, and she is as brave and smart as ever.  However, how much can a person take before they give their captors what they want?

Adrian loves Sydney so much but in order to find her he has to stop his mood stabilizing pills and utilize spirit.  It has that depressive, crazy effect on him that makes him do really stupid things.  Especially when he can't seem to find her in her dreams.  No one understands what keeps her from being found 24/7 for months.  When the pressure gets to Adrian and his dead Aunt begins speaking to him, will be be able to overcome spirit to help Sydney?

SS is an excellent book and I thoroughly enjoyed it.  I was very glad that we got to see the story from the POV of both characters so we did not have to wonder what the other was doing during the long stretch they were apart.  Both of the characters struggle with torture of a very different type.  There is no doubt remaining as to who the evil creatures are in this series: The Alchemists.  They will stop at nothing to have complete robots to do their bidding all in the name of morals.  Ironic, since they really don't have any.  

It seems that a lot of the book is doom and gloom.  And I won't lie, I was pretty anxious while reading it.  There were many lows, but the highs were amazing.  I loved the reunion and the scenes that followed.  It really makes me wish that they would finish this series on the big screen.  It would make an awesome movie.  I loved every second of this book, and with all the others, it ends with a heck of a cliffhanger.  I am so glad I get to finish this wonderful series now. Off to read The Ruby Circle!

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Review: The Fiery Heart (Bloodlines #4) by Richelle Mead

Sydney Sage is an Alchemist, one of a group of humans who dabble in magic and serve to bridge the wolds of humans and vampires. They protect vampire secrets - and human lives.

In The Indigo Spell, Sydney was torn between the Alchemist way of life and what her heart and gut were telling her to do. And in one breathtaking moment that Richelle Mead fans will never forget, she made a decision that shocked even her...

But the struggle isn't over for Sydney. As she navigates the aftermath of her life-changing decision, she still finds herself pulled in too many directions at once. Her sister Zoe has arrived, and while Sydney longs to grow closer to her, there's still so much she must keep secret. Working with Marcus has changed the way she views the Alchemists, and Sydney must tread a careful path as she harnesses her profound magical ability to undermine the way of life she was raised to defend. Consumed by passion and vengeance, Sydney struggles to keep her secret life under wraps as the threat of exposure — and re-education — looms larger than ever.

Review:  5 of 5 Stars

The Fiery Heart picks up with a huge surprise....it contains Adrian's POV!  I have to admit, I wasn't sure how I felt about that considering I am so used to Sydney and the way she processes things.  Thankfully, we got the best of both worlds.

Adrian and Sydney are struggling to keep their relationship secret since the entire thing is completely taboo.  But, how do you hide that kind of love?  To make matters worse, Sydney's sister, Zoe, is now assigned to Amberwood.  Her disdain for the Moroi and Dhampir is palpable so she questions everything that Sydney does to help them.

I loved hearing Adrian's POV.  I totally understand why he acts the way he does and the control that spirit has over him.  Seeing him struggle in his own mind is terrible and made me pity him and see things in a new light.  Before I would just get angry with him, but now I can see that he really can't control what he is doing.

Sydney still has the same struggles as in previous books, but not nearly to the extent she had earlier.  She struggles more with how to see Adrian and be with him and not tip her hand.  I love seeing the carefree side of her that appears with Adrian.  If everyone else would leave them alone, they could be so happy!  :)

TFH is full of love.  Yeah, there is a little drama, but the majority of this book is dedicated to figuring out the "cure" for Alchemist tattoos and for protecting humans and Moroi against Strigoi.  No one is smarter than Sydney.  The other theme to TFH?  Sydney and Adrian.  It finally happened. And it was so sweet and wonderful.  I am so happy for them, but I am so scared for them too.  What will happen if they are caught?  We all know that it is beginning to look inevitable.  And the ending....ripped my heart out.  Now, off to start Silver Shadows.  I can't wait any longer!