Saturday, June 14, 2014

ARC Review: Broken Embrace by Dana Mason

Broken Embrace is the third book in Dana Mason's Embrace series, but each book can be read as a standalone. This one was a second chance love story filled with suspense and drama. There was a lot going on, and a lot of things happened. This one was fast paced, and even though it read pretty quickly I felt like there was just a ton of things packed in to this story and it ended up seeming rushed to me. I did think that Brian and Melissa were great together though, and I really believed that they deserved their second chance at love.

Brian and Melissa were childhood sweethearts that had made a promise of forever after high school. When Melissa left for college Brian was upset and turned to their best friend Julie for comfort. One thing led to another and Brian and Julie wound up married and pregnant. Now seventeen years later Brian and Julie have two children together and Melissa has returned to town. Even though Melissa and Brian and Julie are trying to repair their friendships, things haven't been easy. But when Brian's life suddenly comes crashing down, he turns to Melissa for help. As Brian and Melissa help to get through everything going on, they begin to reconnect and realize that their feelings for each other have never changed. Can they put their past behind them and move forward with a second chance at love or will there be too many obstacles for them to overcome?

I liked Brian and Melissa. I felt like they had always been right for each other and that Brian had made a horrible mistake. He did try to do right by Julie and he loved her the best he could. You could tell that he really loved his kids and that he didn't regret anything except for how things went down with Melissa. Melissa had been through a lot, and she had never been told the whole truth of what happened all those years ago. I felt badly for her because she had suffered through the betrayal of those closest to her and she never even knew exactly what changed. I did think that Melissa was looking for something stable and because of her wanting a husband and family so bad, she was completely blinded by what a jerk her boyfriend Chase was. She was willing to settle for him and it took her forever to wake up and see how awful he was. I think that Brian and Melissa had a great connection despite everything that had happened, and they were great with how they handled things with his kids.

I do think that this story just had too much going on though. It was hard to really get behind everything that was happening because it was so rushed. I think that it was written well, and that the main characters were easy to like and relate to for the most part. But I had wished that there wouldn't have been as much drama packed into this book. I also had trouble with most of the secondary characters. While they all had their moments that I liked them, for the most part they came off as opinionated and judgmental. They tended to be easily provoked and stuck their noses into business that wasn't theirs. I really just wanted to smack a lot of them and tell them to shut their mouths on more than one occasion. I think they meant well, but I think their actions came across too pushy and some were flat out rude. I think that this book would have been much easier for me to get behind had things been split into more books or if there was less going on. It just didn't feel real to me with the way it was. I think it was a good story and then events that happened were real and easy to believe it was just the amount and timeline that I struggled with. I think if you like suspense and some drama and angst with your romance, you should give this one a shot. I would read more from Mason in the future, and look forward to reading more of this series.

**ARC Provided by Book Plug Promotions**

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Feature and Giveaway: Missionary Position by Daisy Prescott

Sex? Absolutely

Love? Not my thing.

I didn't do love or butterflies, but I loved him.

I was screwed, and not in a good way.

Selah Elmore is a smart, independent woman who knows exactly who she is and what she wants. She loves her life being a professor and popular pirate erotica author. However, when she leaves the Pacific Northwest to spend six months studying sculpture in West Africa, she learns she doesn't know a thing about love.

Cocky, suit-wearing Gerhard charms her during a stopover in Amsterdam, but dashing, adventurous Kai sweeps her off her feet in Ghana.

Sparks fly on three continents when perpetually single Selah discovers there's more to love and life than she ever imagined.

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Feature and Giveaway: Broken Embrace by Dana Mason

The Past…
As childhood sweethearts, Brian and Melissa's plans were simple: finish school, get married, and live happily ever after. Unfortunately, life didn’t go as planned. Melissa went away to college, and Brian married her best friend.

The Present…
Seventeen years have passed and Brian's stable family life has come crashing down around him. His wife’s a cheater, his teenage daughter is hiding things from him and Melissa is back in town to remind him of what he lost all those years ago.

Melissa's returned home, ready to forgive and focus on her future, but that all changes the day she gets a desperate phone call from Brian’s daughter, Erin. Thrown back into Brian’s tumultuous life, Melissa struggles to move beyond the pain of his broken promise.

The Future…
While working together to save Erin from the evil web she’s caught in, Melissa and Brian fight to fix the past or face losing each other all over again.

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ARC Review: Missionary Position by Daisy Prescott

Missionary Position by Daisy Prescott was one of the best books I have read in awhile. I blazed through this one because I loved it so much, and then was sad once I had finished that I didn't pace myself better. This book was so good though, and I loved everything about it. It was funny and witty, but sexy and sweet. This one had it all, and I cannot wait to read more from Daisy Prescott after finishing this one. This one is definitely a must read.

Selah is an art history professor that specializes in the female form, and on the side she writes pirate erotica. She leaves Oregon to head to Africa where she will study sculptures for six months. On her way to Africa with a stopover in Amsterdam ahead, she meets Anita and immediately they hit it off. Anita tells her that while she is in Amsterdam she should meet up with her brother Gerhard. Selah makes plans to meet up with him after they both attend a work function. She meets a sexy stranger at the museum while working and then heads to the hotel bar where she is to meet Gerhard. When Gerhard shows up he is no other than the sexy stranger she had just met. They get along well and there is attraction between them, but with Selah leaving soon they keep things friendly. Selah heads to Africa, but continues to talk and text Gerhard. Things are complicated for Selah and Gerhard, and Selah isn't one for love. But things get even more complicated when Selah is introduced to the man Kai that her new friends in Africa have told her about. Selah quickly finds herself in a situation unlike any she has been before. Can she open herself to the possibility of love and a future that has love and not just sex?

I really loved the characters in this story. I thought that Selah was great. She was smart and funny, witty and open. She was comfortable with herself, and I loved that she was able to be who she was and be happy with that. She wasn't afraid of adventure and she was easy to like and relate to. I also loved Gerhard and Kai. Gerhard was so sexy in his suits and professional wear, and I loved the exchanges between him and Selah. He was just as quick witted as Selah and I loved their banter. Kai was adventurous and fun loving and brought out this whole other side to Selah. He was so passionate and sexy. He had learned from his past and was doing what he felt strongly about. I thought that the connection Selah was forming with him was so strong and believable, and the the chemistry was amazing. I loved watching them figure everything out and fall in love. Their relationship was so real because you could see that even though they loved each other, life has a way of making things complicated and sometimes there are obstacles that we have to face that can make or break a relationship.

I wish I could say more about this book, but honestly I do not want to ruin the twists and turns. Trust me, this one needs to be read without knowing what happens. There is so much that I never expected, and I absolutely loved the way that Daisy Prescott had everything play out. This story was so well written and I loved Daisy's writing style. I was instantly sucked in and with each new development I just fell that much more in love with the characters and their story. This is one of those books that will stick with me and that I will go back an read when I want a great story to just lose myself in. This is a must read for contemporary fans looking for a light and sexy romance with humor and witty banter. I look forward to reading more from Daisy Prescott in the future.

**ARC Provided by Inkslinger PR**

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Friday, June 13, 2014

ARC Review: Baiting the Maid of Honor by Tessa Bailey

Baiting the Maid of Honor by Tessa Bailey is the second book in the Wedding Dare series and is Julie Piper and Reed Lawson's story. I knew I was going to love this one when I saw who the author was, and yet again she delivered a fantastic book! I love her writing style, I love her stories, and most of all I love her dirty talking heroes. There is no one else out there that writes dirty talking heroes like Tessa Bailey. She is the queen and if you aren't reading her books, you are seriously missing out!

Julie Piper appears to have everything and be living the perfect life. But it's really a mask that she hides behind. Reed Lawson is the bad boy SWAT commander that doesn't take no for an answer and never commits. While these two appear to have nothing in common, there is an instant attraction and chemistry between them. As Julie tries to keep pleasing everyone else and make sure that the wedding week is running smoothly, Reed decides that he will do anything to have her. When Reed gets a taste though, he quickly realizes that once isn't enough, and for the first time he starts thinking about the future. Can Reed loosen up Julie and show her what they can have together, or will their differences tear them apart before they have a chance at a relationship?

I really liked Reed. He is a sexy no-nonsense dirty talker that is used to giving orders and getting exactly what he wants. I loved how very different he and Julie were, and I thought that he was exactly what she needed. But besides just loosening her up, he looked out for her also. He made sure that she took the time to eat and that she didn't get stuck doing everything. For someone who claimed that he didn't do romance, he had a way of doing the sweetest things for her without even trying. Julie was a sweetheart, who was always putting others first. She was adorable and had a tendency to ramble a lot, but it was really easy to like and relate to her. I liked who she was with Reed, and I liked that he was able to get her to open up and have some fun too. He got her to see things that no one else could. I thought that they had off the charts chemistry also. These two were super hot together, and this story definitely brought the steam.

Overall, Baiting the Maid of Honor was my favorite installment of this series so far. Tessa Bailey always delivers, and this story was no exception. I have said it before, but I am loving this series. These characters are all interesting and I love seeing how interwoven their stories are. These can all be read as standalones, but I really recommend reading these in order if you can because this is such a unique reading experience and the books are all really good! I highly recommend this series and also anything by Tessa Bailey. Trust me her books are worth the read, and you really can't go wrong with anything by her. I can't wait to read the rest of this series, and whatever Tessa Bailey writes next!

**ARC Provided by Publisher**

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ARC Review: A Shiver of Light by Laurell K. Hamilton

Princess Meredith Nic Essus, Princess of Flesh and Blood is expecting twins. After a doctor visit, she’s surprised to learn she actually has three babies on the way. They will be the first children born to a princess in centuries. Six men have fathered her children. The babies, two girls and one boy, are born early and the race to claim them is on. Each man sees his own traits, some obvious, others hidden. The girls are showing powers beyond their age, one can bespell a human with a glance. Nonhuman nannies are hired immediately. The extended family is staying with a movie star, Maeve Reed and her son. The tabloids are drooling for pictures of Meredith and her children. Her great aunt and great uncle want access too. She is the Queen of the Unseelie Court and he is the King of the Seelie Court. Meredith has claim to both thrones. The palace intrigue is rampant in the story. Alliances are made and broken. Everyone knows Meredith is the key to the future. Dead or alive.

Meredith is a strong leader and treats everyone fairly. She has amassed plenty of support from other beings. She straddles her world and the human world very well. Her late father was the queen’s beloved brother. Both royals have attacked her over the years. She treads lightly, planning revenge on both.

Meredith’s two main squeezes are Doyle(Darkness) and Frost(Killing Frost). Both are former guards to the Queen. Noble, faithful, and devoted to Meredith, they will make excellent fathers. They protect and defend at all costs. They can’t get enough of her and she feels the same way. She has many lovers, but her heart belongs to these two.

The secondary characters all have supernatural traits. Meredith has attracted a wide array of characters. Giants with bleeding heads, green men, storm gods, goblins, and many things that go bump and grind in the night.

This story doesn’t resolve many issues. The family is trying to decide whether to star in a reality show for the much needed money. Meredith has a title and supernatural powers, but not much cash. A major character is killed. The trail leads to one of the courts so a decision will have to be made to attack or renegotiate treaties.

Spoiler alert: I’m a huge Laurell K. Hamilton fan. This is the Merry Gentry series of books. Her other books are the Anita Blake series. To know the players and the history, the books must be read in order.

**ARC provided by Publisher**

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Interview with Author Dawn Ryder and Giveaway

Meet Dawn Ryder, author of Out of Bounds.

Dawn Ryder is the erotic romance pen name of a bestselling author of historical romances. She has been publishing her stories for over 8 years to a growing and appreciative audience. She is commercially published in mass market and trade paper, and digi-first published with trade paper releases. She is hugely committed to her career as an author, as well as to other authors and to her readership. She resides in Southern California.

Find Dawn at:

Feature and Giveaway: Kiss of Wrath by Sandra Hill

No wicked wenches or wild rampages…it’s been centuries since Mordr the Berserker was turned into a Vangel-a Viking Vampire Angel-as punishment for his sin of wrath, and he’s been frustrated ever since. It’s not so bad being stuck in modern-day Las Vegas. What better place to slay Lucipires, or demon vampires, than the original Sin City. But then Mordr Sigurdsson’s mission is expanded to a new assignment: protect lust-worthy Miranda Hart.

Miranda’s well- ordered life turned into chaos when she unexpectedly inherited her late cousin’s five children. Now, her cousin’s dangerous husband is about to be paroled, and she needs a miracle to keep them all safe.That miracle arrives on her doorstep in the form of a very buff, handsome man with a very strange name. Mordr wants nothing to do with a red-haired wench or children. Miranda wants nothing to do with gorgeous hunk who claims to be a Viking.

As Miranda and Mordr give in to temptation, they must decide if they fit in each other’s worlds-before their enemies close in on them.

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ARC Review: Charleston Heat by Samantha Garman

Charleston Heat is a short and enjoyable read by Samantha Garman. This is the first book of hers that I have read, so I really didn't have any idea what I was in for. I love rockstar romance stories, and I was excited to read about Brodie. I will say that while this one was a good read and I thought it was cute, I did have some mixed feelings. This one just fell a bit flat for me, and wasn't all I had been hoping for.

Having been left by her father and estranged from her mother, Shay isn't close to anyone besides her gay best friend and roommate Charlie. Her college boyfriend tried to use her for her connections, and ever since she has focused on her work. She has three jobs and is working on opening up a yoga studio with Charlie. She ends up meeting drummer Brodie Davidson at a charity event that she is working at, and Brodie instantly starts pursuing her. Shay tries to keep Brodie at arms length but Brodie isn't giving up easily and is determined to get Shay to give them a chance. But can Shay give a relationship a chance, or will his high profile career be more than she can handle?

I liked Brodie and Shay. Brodie was sweet and consistent and I really liked how he was with Shay. He didn't act like your stereotypical rockstar and I really liked that. He did have a past and had been used to lots of women and casual, but he didn't have any problems giving that up for Shay. He knew he wanted her and wasn't afraid to put it all out there. Shay was hard for me to warm up to at first. There wasn't anything wrong with her character, but she was just a bit prickly with even her best friend. She was pretty judgmental also and it annoyed me a bit. I did think that Brodie and Shay had good chemistry and they were great together, but I also thought that their relationship and connection seemed to happen a bit quick. I thought it seemed a bit too insta-love for my taste.

I also felt like this book while good and enjoyable was a bit predictable. There wasn't anything really new or different about this one, and it was easy to put down for me. While I liked the story, I just didn't have to know what would happen next and I did find my mind wandering a few times. I think my main problem is that it just seemed too rushed to me, so it was hard for me to really buy into the relationship and find it to be real and believable. I just didn't think that Brodie would have changed so completely as quick as he did and that he would change Shay's mind as fast as he did. This was a girl who wouldn't even say that she was dating him at first or call him her boyfriend, and then she is moving in with him after a month. I do think that this book is one that contemporary fans will enjoy, but if you are looking for a deeper connection this one might not be for you. I would read more from Garman in the future though, and would be interested to see what else she comes up with.

**ARC Provided by Book Plug Promotions**

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Thursday, June 12, 2014

ARC Review: Hunt the Darkness by Alexandra Ivy

Styx is the King of the Vampires and lives in Chicago. He has a witch, Sally Grace, locked in a dungeon. She is half demon and worships the Dark Lord. She is also mated to Roke, a powerful vampire. Both bear a mark. A spell has been cast and needs to be broken. Sally needs to find clues left by her late mother. Hopefully, something will help her discover her father’s identity. Her powers are growing and she doesn’t know why. She and Roke are joined by a gargoyle. Sally can travel through portals and finds a music box. It glows when she touches it. There are ancient markings on it that may lead to her father. He can reverse the spell. Sally wants to know if Roke loves her without the magic. Many supernatural characters are interested in the box and the whereabouts of Sally’s father. The couple are followed, attacked, poisoned, imprisoned, and abandoned on their journey. The only constant is the love growing between them. Spell or no spell, Sally and Roke are meant to be together.

Roke and Sally are a well matched couple. He is her protector until he realizes she can handle things herself. He loves her and doesn’t want the spell broken. He’s sure she can do better than him and doesn’t want to let her go. She needs to eat to keep up her strength. He remembers what she likes to eat and makes sure she has apple pie. He had her at pie. They travel and get to know each other and grow to trust each other. Both are in danger and face it together.

Sally is interesting because of her back story. Her mother tried to kill her. Being born a witch, she’s faced superstitions and distrust. Roke loving her is wonderful and frightening at the same time. She has spent so much time alone, his company unsettles her. Then it feels right and true. The story of her letting go and accepting him in her life is a classic romance theme. And it works.

There are too many other beings in the story. I wasn’t sure who was on whose side. Many are introduced and then quickly dismissed. This is one of a continuing series. The books should be read in order to keep everyone’s allegiances straight.

**ARC provided by Publisher**

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Review: Ash to Steele by Karen-Anne Stewart

I will admit that before reading Ash to Steele I had never heard of Karen-Anne Stewart, but I read the blurb and I knew I wanted to read this book. I really enjoyed it, and I am so glad that I took a chance on a new to me author! I loved Stewart's writing style, and I loved the characters. This was a really easy book to get lost in and I really didn't want to put it down once I started. I might not have known her before, but this definitely won't be the last book I read by Karen-Anne Stewart.

Being the preacher's daughter in a small town, Emma has lived her life always doing the right thing and has never taken a chance. She dated the most popular football player and appeared to have it all. But she doesn't love Justin and she wants more out of life, so she leaves town and heads to Boston. When she gets there she meets Jess and instantly becomes close with her. Jess finally convinces her to come out to her bar after months of being in town, and she meets Breck. Breck is a playboy used to having women do anything to be with him, and he only does casual. But Breck and Emma are instantly drawn to one another. Emma and Breck argue and do their best to stay away from each other, but the passion between them is more than they can fight. But Breck has a past and thinks that he isn't good enough for Emma. Can Emma convince Breck that his past is not what matters and that they have a chance at a future together?

I really liked Breck and Emma. They both had their issues and things didn't go smoothly for them in the beginning. Breck had a past and had thought that Emma was just a preacher's daughter that was naive and he judged her pretty unfairly right off. But the more he got to know her, the more he saw she was different and that he had made the wrong assumptions. He was really protective of her and I liked that he was always looking out for her. I also liked that he didn't make a big deal about his businesses and that he was pretty private about his life. He also had no problems giving up his womanizing ways and I loved that there was no cheating. Emma was sweet and easy to like. She was innocent, but she wasn't as naive as you would expect. She was open minded and was willing to look at a person for who they were and not what they had done. I really liked that about her. I thought that she had really great chemistry with Breck and things were really intense between them right from the start. Not only were they great for each other emotionally, but you could tell just how much passion they felt for one another.

Overall, I thought that this was a really good story. I was invested from the start and I liked the characters a lot. I really liked that Emma and Breck were both different than I had been expecting. I will say that there were a few things that happened that I found a bit predictable. It didn't take away from the story, but I wasn't surprised either. I think that a lot of NA fans will really enjoy this book just like I did, and I think that most people will be able to easily relate to these characters and the story. I look forward to reading more from Karen-Anne Stewart in the future.

**Copy Provided by Xpresso Book Tours**

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Guest Post with Author Karen-Anne Stewart and Giveaway

Karen-Anne Stewart has always adored reading and has now fallen in love with writing. Her written works are The Rain Trilogy: Saving Rain, Healing Rain, and After the Rain. Her debut novel, Saving Rain: The First Novel in The Rain Trilogy, was a nominee for the Book Junkie’s Choice Awards and is a nominee for the 2013 RONE Awards.

When Karen-Anne isn’t writing, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends, hiking, and visiting new places. She fuels her addiction of creating new stories by her only other addiction, caffeine, and listening to a myriad of musical genres. Tucked away near the Blue Ridge Mountains, Karen-Anne lives with her husband, daughter, two dogs, and their cat. She plans on writing new adult romance as long as her fingers maintain dexterity.

Find Karen-Anne at:

Feature and Giveaway: Rebel by Skye Jordan

Sassy, smart, and sexy, former supermodel-turned-tech guru Rubi Russo has it all—looks, money, confidence and freedom. Her life is a whirlwind of fast cars and fleeting affairs—and she likes it that way. With a past like Rubi’s, forever isn’t part of her vocabulary. So when studly Renegade stuntman Wes Lawson wants to take their friendship to the next level, she’s all out.

Raised a simple country-boy, Wes knows the brazen Rubi isn’t his type. But after spending time with her, he discovers she’s everything he’s ever wanted in a woman. To win her wild rebel heart, he’ll have to prove he sees behind her smokescreen to all the goodness she tries to hide. Then it's just a matter of crushing her fears, shattering her barriers, and convincing her that loving him is everything she’s been missing in her life, too.

Piece of cake.

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Review: Fury by Clarissa Wild

 Fury by Clarissa Wild is told from Hunter's POV and should only be read after reading Fierce. This book offers the reader Hunter's side of the story as well as some information from his past and childhood. I really enjoyed getting to see some of what Hunter was going through and also getting some of his back story. While I did enjoy this one, I felt like the majority of the material was stuff that we had already seen before though.

I didn't think that it was going to be possible for me to like Hunter more than I did before, but after reading Fury I really did. He was so much deeper than he first comes across as, and this book really allowed the reader to see what he was all about. I liked getting to see his thoughts and feelings. I also really loved seeing events from Fierce through Hunter's eyes. This book really gave the reader a whole new way of looking at Hunter and Autumn's relationship as well as his feelings for her. It was also great to see how he was experiencing his brother's absence and joining the gang. There were so many things that we missed out on because we had only seen what Autumn experienced, so it was really great to see more to the situations and get the full story.

I think that this book adds a lot to the series, and I would definitely recommend reading this one if you have already read Fierce. I think that it changes the whole series and adds so much more depth to these characters and their lives. I will admit that while it was nice to get Hunter's POV and some more of his past and current situations though, there was a lot that we had already seen in Fierce. At times I got a little bored with the story because we had already seen so much of it. But I would still say that fans of this series will really enjoy getting to see more of Hunter and experience all the different sides of him. I look forward to reading Flame next, and seeing where Hunter and Autumn go from here.

**Copy provided by Book Plug Promotions**

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Wednesday, June 11, 2014

ARC Review: House of the Rising Sun by Kristen Painter

In 2068, New Orleans is overrun by vampires. Olivia Goodwin, Augustine Robelais’ adopted mother figure, has been killed by them. Her estranged daughter, Harlow, comes to town to collect her inheritance. She needs almost a million dollars to pay a fine and stay out of jail. The sticking point between mother and daughter is Harlow’s father’s identity. None of the court papers mention him. She and Augustine inherit equal halves of the house and require them to live together. Both of them are fae. Harlow’s powers are so strong she wears gloves and avoids touching people. She can read memories. When the Guardian of the city is killed, Augustine is tapped to fill the post. He reluctantly accepts and recruits a collection of other spirited beings to help him. In the meantime, Harlow is contacted by her father and realizes her mother was right to keep him a secret. He is a raptor and an evil man. He tries to blackmail Harlow into helping him. Living in the close quarters adds to the attraction between Augustine and Harlow. They have a shared history because of Olivia. She has brought them together. The witches hate living under fae rules and some have aided the vampires. Olivia lives in a mirror and talks to Augustine. She is able to offer some insight into what they are up against with the vampires. I was ready for the big showdown and the story ended. To be continued…

Augustine is a compelling character. Abandoned by his father and disowned by his mother, he’s found by Olivia. He has to master his powers without any help. He takes on responsibilities for the safety of the city and his kind. There’s no payment, it’s expected of him to risk his life. He’s honorable toward Harlow out of respect for her mother, but some hot kisses hint of his resolve may break soon.

Harlow is interesting because her power is so strong. She can relive the history of objects as well. Knives, black magic crosses, and clothing are brought to her to read. Her goal to find her father back fires big time and makes her sorry for the time lost with her mother. She decides to use her gift to find her mother’s killers.

Augustine and Harlow make an excellent couple. Their talents play off each other and their banter is full of special meanings. There are many interesting secondary characters which will populate the future books. Plus the title is a hat tip to the Animals' classic song.
Make yourself at home.

**ARC provided by Publisher**

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