Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Review: "A Darkness Absolute" by Kelley Armstrong

The follow-up to #1 NYT bestseller Kelley Armstrong’s acclaimed City of the Lost, Rockton town detective Casey Duncan makes a terrible—and dangerous—discovery in the woods outside of town. When experienced homicide detective Casey Duncan first moved to the secret town of Rockton, she expected a safe haven for people like her, people running from their past misdeeds and past lives. She knew living in Rockton meant living off-the-grid completely: no cell phones, no Internet, no mail, very little electricity, and no way of getting in or out without the town council’s approval. What she didn’t expect is that Rockton comes with its own set of secrets and dangers. Now, in A Darkness Absolute, Casey and her fellow Rockton sheriff’s deputy Will chase a cabin-fevered resident into the woods, where they are stranded in a blizzard. Taking shelter in a cave, they discover a former resident who’s been held captive for over a year. When the bodies of two other women turn up, Casey and her colleagues must find out if it’s an outsider behind the killings or if the answer is more complicated than that...before another victim goes missing. Casey Duncan returns in another heart-racing thriller from #1 New York Times bestselling author Kelley Armstrong.
Many thanks to St. Martin's Press via Netgalley for the free review copy in exchange for my honest opinion.
This series is so cool, I just love it! I didn't like this one quite as much as the previous, but it was still really good overall.

So basically we've got this little town, Rockton, way in the middle of freakin' nowhere, Yukon Territory, Canada. It's completely off the grid and hidden from civilization, and the only people living there are those hiding out from someone, like an abusive ex, or some thing, like the law. Casey Duncan, who was brought in as a detective, doesn't always get the full background on the residents living there, either. She's on a need-to-know basis, and the anonymous council who governs Rockton from afar does not always give up information willingly. That means when a crime is committed, everyone living in Rockton is a suspect. But you also can't forget about wild animals, other settlers living in groups or alone around the area, and the "people" who have gone way off the deep end, otherwise knows as "Hostiles" - they're all suspects, too. Nobody knows what makes the Hostiles so...hostile, but they are so animalistic that Casey questions whether they have the mental capacity to carry out a premeditated crime, like the one Casey discovers when she finds a woman in a cave who has been held captive there for over a year.  Who would do such a thing? Like I said before, just about anyone is suspect.

Obviously I don't want to spoil the outcome, but suffice it to say that I never had a clear idea of who the culprit was. There were many twists and turns along the way to discovery, and I only grew more attached to Casey and Eric Dalton, her love interest. Their relationship is unique, sweet/hot, and awesome!  If you haven't started this series and you enjoy creepy, well plotted, suspenseful reads, you need to run out and start ASAP, because this is the cream of the crop in my opinion.

My rating:
 

Sunday, March 26, 2017

"Meet Me At Beachcomber Bay" by Jill Mansell - Excerpt Reveal!!!

Title: Meet Me at Beachcomber Bay
Author: Jill Mansell
Pub Date: May 2, 2017

International bestseller Jill Mansell weaves a heartwarming tale of love, family and friendship in her latest novel

1. A brief encounter that could have become so much more…if only everything were different
2. Step-sisters, bitter rivals in every area except one—by unbreakable pact neither will ever steal a man from the other
3. A love triangle that starts out as a mess of secrets and mix-ups, and only gets worse from there

Plus!
Friendship, family ties, crossed wires and self-discovery, second chances and first impressions

Welcome to Jill Mansell’s blustery seaside world. Once you step inside, you’ll never want to leave!

With over 10 million copies sold, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Jill Mansell writes irresistible and funny, poignant and romantic tales for women in the tradition of Marian Keyes, Sophie Kinsella and Jojo Moyes. She lives with her partner and their children in Bristol, England.
    
GIVEAWAY
Jill Mansell book bundle and a British summer tumbler
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EXCERPT
By two o’clock, they’d arrived in St. Carys, where the third of the shortlisted properties was situated.
“Here we are then.” Jumping out of the rental car and shielding her eyes from the sun as she peered up at the third-floor apartment, Belle said, “It’s like ‘Goldilocks and the Three Bears,’ isn’t it? The first place was too boring, and the second place was too interesting. Let’s hope this one is going to be just right.”
Obviously Belle wanted it to be the one Sam chose. Then he’d be right here in her own home town. Clemency, who wasn’t so sure how she felt about it, was torn. It went against the grain to not want to sell a property, but just seeing Sam again today had been unsettling. Did she really want him to buy a place in St. Carys? Yet the apartment was stunning. Once he clapped eyes on it, was there the remotest chance he’d say no?
Five minutes later, she discovered the answer to that question. The views were fantastic. Everything about the place was about as perfect as any potential owner could want. The wraparound balcony was big enough to throw a party on…
Which was apparently what was happening right now, in the penthouse apartment directly above their heads.
In fact, it was sounding like quite an intimate party. Oh God.
“Listen to them,” Belle exclaimed, slow on the uptake. “What is going on up there?”
Sam, who wasn’t slow on the uptake, said wryly, “I think it might be some kind of exercise class.”
As a real estate agent, it wasn’t the first time Clemency had overheard something she’d have preferred not to overhear during the course of a viewing, but this was without a doubt the loudest.
And appeared to involve the largest number of…well, participants.
OK, this was officially awkward.
“Oh!” The penny finally dropped and Belle clapped her hands over her mouth. “Oh my God.”
Overhead, the gasps and shrieks appeared to be escalating. Belle said, “I don’t believe it! Clem, make it stop.”
“Seriously?” Clemency looked at her. “How do I go about doing that?”
“Oh, for heaven’s sake!” Marching out on to the balcony, Belle bellowed, “Hey you! Up there! We can all hear you, you know…You have to stop making that noise this minute!”
They heard laughter amid the other sounds, followed by the pop of a champagne cork, which sailed over the edge of the balcony. A male voice called out, “We like it best when we know people are listening.”
“Well, you’re disgusting,” Belle yelled back, “and you should all be ashamed of yourselves.”
“Don’t knock it till you’ve tried it,” a female voice shouted down to them. “Come up and join us if you want. Don’t be shy! The more the merrier!”
As they were leaving, they encountered the occupier of the flat below the one they’d just viewed. Clemency stopped the middle-aged woman. “Hi, excuse me…do you happen to know if the people in the penthouse apartment are the owners? Or is it rented out to vacationers?” Because if they were only going to be staying for a week or two, it wouldn’t be a problem after all.
“You mean the Carters?” The middle-aged woman rolled her eyes. “You’re from the real estate agency, aren’t you? And this is the first time you’ve heard them having an orgy? Well, all I can say is, lucky you. They bought the place in January and they’ve been inviting their so-called friends around most afternoons ever since.”
“Oh.” Clemency’s heart sank.
“The Jeffersons didn’t happen to mention that to you, I’m guessing? Thought they wouldn’t. Why else do you suppose they’re so desperate to move out? God only knows how you’re ever going to sell that place. Those new people are a living nightmare.”
Oh dear. The Jeffersons should have told them. Not only had Clemency failed to find Sam a suitable property to buy, they were going to have to drop the price of this one.
“Maybe you could offer any buyers a lifetime’s supply of industrial earplugs,” said Sam.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Review: "Kaleidoscope" by Kristen Ashley


When old friends become new lovers...anything can happen. Sexy, gifted, and loyal, PI Jacob Decker is a tall, cool drink of perfection who had Emmanuelle Holmes at "hello." His relationship with Emme's best friend kept them apart for years, but things have changed. Now that a case has brought him to Gnaw Bone, Colorado, the road is wide open for Emme and Deck to explore something hotter and deeper than Emme dreamed possible. So why is she sabotaging the best thing that's ever happened to her? It isn't easy to catch Deck off guard, but Emme does just that when she walks back into his life after nine long years. The curvy brunette had her charms back in the day, but now she's a bona fide knockout . . . and she wants to rekindle their friendship. Deck, however, wants more. Emme's always been the one; she excites Deck's body and mind like no other woman can. But a dark chapter from Emme's past overshadows their future together. Now only Deck can help her turn the page-if she'll let him . . .

My thanks to Netgalley and Forever (Grand Central Publishing) for allowing me to read an ARC copy of this book.

Well, I liked "Kaleidoscope" more than the only other Kristen Ashley book I read, "Jagged", but I still think I"m missing something as far as this author goes.  The writing style didn't annoy me as much as before - maybe I'm getting used to it? - and the characters were well-developed and likable enough.  I think my main issue with "Kaleidoscope" was the plot.  There was a bit of a side story that either needed to be more fully developed, or dropped completely.  It was wrapped up so quickly at the end, it was almost an afterthought.  Honestly, I think the book would have been better without it.

Anyway, I've already purchased Rock Chick, so I think I will give that a try before I give up on this author completely. Wish me luck!

My rating:


Thursday, March 23, 2017

Review: "Until We Break" by Jamie Howard

When Sloane Avery stops to help a stranded driver, she finds more than a broken down car on the side of the road. Luke Evans is faster and sexier than her Maserati, but with her heart still on the mend, she’s not interested in taking him for a test drive. Despite their initial disdain for each other, emotion and passion simmer, complicating their fragile friendship. But when a tragic loss and devastating betrayal send them spiraling, their growing love isn’t enough to save them. That was five years ago, practically a different lifetime and definitely a different Sloane. Before she’s been hardened by booze, sex, and as much distance as she could get from the past. Now, called home on a family emergency, she’s determined to hold onto her heart the next time she sees Luke. Except Sloane’s not the only one who’s changed. Luke’s turned his life around. Only the reappearance of Sloane and the reminder of his biggest mistake can put a dent in his plans. Luke is set on fixing what he’s broken. But with her emotions boiling to the surface, Sloane needs to decide if falling in love is life’s greatest gift or its cruelest joke.
Thank you to St. Martin's Press via Netgalley for the free review copy in exchange for my honest opinion!
When I picked this book up, I was expecting a typical New Adult read, one with mediocre writing, a bad boy hero, a good girl heroine, some instalust/love, and a lot of sex. And sometimes, to be honest, that's all I'm looking for. I am very much a mood reader. Still, the "typical" New Adult read, for me, anyway, is fun while it lasts but forgettable once it's over. They don't often leave a lasting impression. 

There are exceptions to this rule, and I'm happy to say that "Until We Break" was one of them.  The way this book led me to believe it was going one way, and then ended up turning in a completely different direction, kept me fascinated! I really was not expecting to be surprised! And I was, so that is great!  

Let's see, where do I start? Oh how about Luke? Yes, Luke and I did not get off to a great start. To put it mildly, I hated him! He absolutely revolted me, and I did not think there was any way he could be redeemed in my eyes. But, I guess I have more forgiveness in me than I thought, because once I found out why he was such an ass, he started to worm his way into my heart. As for Sloane, she was even more surprising than Luke!!! All innocent and as Mary Sue as they come, she did a complete 180 degree turn part way through the book and my reading experience was forever changed. So yes, if you are like me and enjoy the occasional surprise, you will love what happens here! 

There's quite a bit of angst and drama when Luke and Sloane are reunited after five years apart, and although I didn't love every aspect of how it all went down, I was still rooting for these two to get their happily-ever-after. I'm so happy I gave this new author a chance, and I'm looking forward to diving into any new books by Jamie Howard I can get my hands on!

"Wicked Grind" by J. Kenner - Cover Reveal!!!

We are very excited to bring you the cover from New York Times, USA Today, Publishers Weekly, Wall Street Journal and #1 International bestselling author J.Kenner for WICKED GRIND. This is a brand new standalone releasing on July 11, 2017.

Wicked Grind - cover reveal banner     WickedGrind_Ecover_FINAL_R    

WickedGrind_Ecover_FINAL_R

Sometimes it feels so damn good to be bad

Photographer Wyatt Royce’s career is on the verge of exploding. All he needs is one perfect model to be the centerpiece of his sexy, controversial show. Find her, and Wyatt is sure to have a winner.

Then Kelsey Draper walks in. Stunning. Vibrant. And far too fragile for a project like this. Wyatt should know—after all, he remembers only too well why their relationship ended all those years ago.

Determined to break free from her good girl persona, Kelsey wants spice. Adventure. And she’s certain that Wyatt is just the man to help.

But when Wyatt agrees to give her the job only if he has complete control—on camera and in his bed—Kelsey can’t help but wonder if she’s in too deep. Because how can a good girl like her ever be enough for a man like Wyatt?

All Wicked novels stand alone

 

PREORDER

Amazon | iBooks

          julie-j-kenner-author-photo
J.Kenner (aka Julie Kenner) is the New York Times, USA Today, Publishers Weekly, Wall Street Journal and #1 International bestselling author of over seventy novels, novellas and short stories in a variety of genres. Though known primarily for her award-winning and international bestselling erotic romances (including the Stark and Most Wanted series) that have reached as high as #2 on the New York Times bestseller list, JK has been writing full time for over a decade in a variety of genres including paranormal and contemporary romance, “chicklit” suspense, urban fantasy, and paranormal mommy lit. JK has been praised by Publishers Weekly as an author with a “flair for dialogue and eccentric characterizations” and by RT Bookclub for having “cornered the market on sinfully attractive, dominant antiheroes and the women who swoon for them.” A five time finalist for Romance Writers of America’s prestigious RITA award, JK took home the first RITA trophy awarded in the category of erotic romance in 2014 for her novel, Claim Me (book 2 of her Stark Trilogy). Her Demon Hunting Soccer Mom series (as Julie Kenner) is currently in development with AwesomenessTV/Awestruck. Her books have sold over three million copies and are published in over twenty languages. In her previous career as an attorney, JK worked as a clerk on the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, and practiced primarily civil, entertainment and First Amendment litigation in Los Angeles and Irvine, California, as well as in Austin, Texas. She currently lives in Central Texas, with her husband, two daughters, and two rather spastic cats. 

Monday, March 20, 2017

Review: "Second Chance Summer" by Jill Shalvis



Cedar Ridge, Colorado, is famous for crisp mountain air, clear blue skies, and pine-scented breezes. And it's the last place Lily Danville wants to be. But she needs a job, and there's an opening at the hottest resort in her hometown. What has her concerned is the other hot property in Cedar Ridge: Aidan Kincaid-firefighter, rescue worker, and heartbreaker. She never could resist that devastating smile . . . The Kincaid brothers are as rough and rugged as the Rocky Mountains they call home. Aidan has always done things his own way, by his own rules. And never has he regretted anything more than letting Lily walk out of his life ten years ago. If anyone has ever been in need of rescuing, she has. What she needs more than anything are long hikes, slow dances, and sizzling kisses. But that can only happen if he can get her to give Cedar Ridge-and this bad boy-a second chance . . .
Thanks to Forever (Grand Central Publishing) for the free review copy in exchange for my honest opinion!
Wow, my first Jill Shalvis book! Where the heck have I been? I've been hearing about this author since I joined Goodreads almost five years ago, but for some reason I didn't try any of her titles until now.  What a shame! I really enjoyed this book and can't wait to read more, especially about these Kincaid brothers!

I loved the small town feel of this book, and the fact that both Aidan and Lily are regular people with relatively regular jobs. No rock stars or royalty here! That said, I didn't feel like Lily's occupation really suited her personality. Knowing that Lily loved to be outdoors, hiking, rock climbing, and skiing, I couldn't picture her being a cosmetologist, at all. Aidan's career, however, seemed to suit him perfectly. Forest firefighters are so appealing, and I say that with the utmost confidence since I married one!

The relationships shown here are great! I loved how Aidan and his brothers were so rowdy and rambunctious with each other, but they always had each other's backs when times got tough or they needed to be serious. I also loved the boys' relationship with their mother - too funny!  And Gray and Penny were hysterical - have they had their own book in another series? I couldn't seem to find anything, but I would totally read that book if it was ever written!

What else? I liked pretty much everything about this book, but if I could change anything, I would have loved to see more of the history between Lily and Aidan. If memory serves correctly, they were a bit friendly in high school, shared one kiss, and ended up pining over one another for ten years. Really? There must have been more to it than that, but aside from the odd little mention, we don't learn a lot about their connection before Lily left town. Still, I liked the steam and banter between them. It was obvious they each cared for the other a lot.

I'll definitely be reading more Jill Shalvis books in the future. If "Second Chance Summer" is any indication of her brand of romance, I have a ton of good titles to check out soon!

My rating:

Friday, March 17, 2017

Cover Reveal: "The Hot Shot" by Kristen Callihan

Happy St. Paddy's Day! What do you think of this cover from Kristen Callihan? I think it's smokin'!!!

the hot shot release date       TheHotShot Amazon-2            

TheHotShot Amazon-2

First we were friends. Then we were roommates. Now I want more…

What can I say about Chess Copper? The woman is capable of bringing me to my knees. I know this about five minutes after getting naked for her.

No one is more surprised than me. The prickly photographer my team hired to shoot our annual charity calendar isn’t my usual type. She’s defense to my offense, a challenge at every turn. But when I’m with her, all the regrets and darkness goes away. She makes life fun.

I want to know Chess, be close to her. Which is a bad idea.

Chess is looking for a relationship. I’ve never given a woman more than one night. But when fate leaves Chess without a home, I step up and offer her mine. We’re roommates now. Friends without benefits. But it’s getting harder to keep our hands off each other. And the longer we live together the more I realize she’s becoming my everything.

Trick is… Now that I’ve made her believe I’m a bad bet, how do I convince her to give this player a true shot at forever?

Pre-order on Amazon


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Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000040_00005]               KCauthor
Kristen Callihan is an author because there is nothing else she’d rather be. She is a three-time RITA nominee and winner of two RT Reviewer’s Choice awards. Her novels have garnered starred reviews from Publisher’s Weekly and the Library Journal, as well as being awarded top picks by many reviewers. Her debut book FIRELIGHT received RT Magazine’s Seal of Excellence, was named a best book of the year by Library Journal , best book of Spring 2012 by Publisher’s Weekly, and was named the best romance book of 2012 by ALA RUSA. When she is not writing, she is reading.
 

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