Saturday, July 25, 2015

ARC Review: Siren's Call by Jayne Castle

I have followed this series since the beginning. The first Jayne Castle books I read were the St. Helen’s series (Zinnia, Amaryllis, and Orchid) which is the precursor to the Harmony series. In case you don’t know, Harmony is a distant planet where humans were trapped and after a couple of centuries we have evolved into something more. The human race has developed paranormal abilities ranging from heightened senses to technopathy. Which that takes on a new meaning because Earth technology burnt out and they had to find a new material to power equipment; with no fossil fuels they found a special kind of amber that can charge machinery and even intensify a person’s special ability. Okay, this is book four in the Rainshadow story arc within the Harmony world. As it is part of a story arc I would recommend reading the other first but it is not an absolutely necessity.

I love the Harmony series it is an entertaining futuristic/ urban fantasy type series. Each book centers around different people with different powers who ultimately stubble across some heinous plan made by devious people and in the end make things right all with the help of the mysterious and adorable but dangerous dust bunny. In Siren’s Call Ella Morgan is more than what she seems classified as a low range musical talent with the job of being a dream councilor. Her real talent she has to hide from everyone, her real talent is one of fairy tales a Siren. Her paranormal singing talent has the power to ease the mind, melt glass or stop the heart. She manages to keep a tight lid on her talent no one the wiser until her run in with Rafe Coppersmith, with the talent of finding things, when rescuing a bunch of dust bunnies from an antiquities dealer using them to experiment on with the illegal alien tech. Ella helps Rafe catch the riffraff trying to buy the alien tech.

Rafe Coppersmith is part of a wealthy predominate family who consults with the law enforcement in this case an illegal arms deal. When Rafe witnesses Ella in action he almost immediately knows she is a Siren. Taken by Ella’s beauty and her talent Rafe lets her leave without telling the authorities she was there with the promise of a coffee date. Ella should have known better even though she kept telling herself he wouldn’t call she was still hurt when he didn’t. Six months later Rafe saunters back in to her life asking to hire her for a special job he needs for a musical talent. As much as Ella wants to turn down a job the money and the reference could be really good for her new business.

The island of Rainshadow is shrouded in mystery; the Coppersmith Family owns a great deal of the island that was classified as a preserve it is covered in a strange fog and inside a different kind of place. Alien ruins found in the middle it all and has revealed some of the things the aliens use to do. But things go amiss when a man is murdered and that’s just the beginning. It goes much deeper that just a crazed group of people who think the alien ruins should be left alone and the attempts on Ella’s life is more then it seems. Between Rafe dealing with psy-fever and being attacked by a strange alien weapon this is non-stop action goodness.

Ella and Rafe are a perfect fit for each other when they finally get together its combustible. You can’t forget the most important character the dust bunny, Lorelei. To fans the dust bunny makes the book and this adorable ball of deadly fluff is one of the best yet. I loved this book it definitely ranks up there with my favorites.

**ARC provided by Publisher**

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ARC Review: The Hurricane by R.J. Prescott

I have to start this review by clarifying that I usually avoid New Adult novels like fungal infections. I'm more of an Erotic/Contemporary girl. I didn't notice this book was NA when I picked it up and since I found myself getting into the story, I soldiered on. To make this review as fair and accurate as possible, I've put aside my NA bias and tried to give you a good representation of my thoughts on the story.

Hurricane is the story of Emily and O'Connell. When the story begins, Emily is a college student who is literally scared of her shadow. She does a lot of trembling and looking down at first. O'Connell is a boxer who has somehow become fixated on Emily. O'Connell sets about pursuing Emily. We learn, along with O'Connell that Emily has a horrific past that probably would have shoved anyone into a trembling shell. O'Connell is a good empathizer because he too comes from a really crappy background. Throughout the book Emily struggles believing that O'Connell could want her and O'Connell is steady in his determination to prove that the two belong together.

What is great about this book is the emotional intensity conveyed between the characters. The language the author uses is particularly good at describing the depth of the feelings between the main couple. The relationship develops slowly but it is a really sweet agony. For most of the book Emily and O'Connell are broke and I guess there is a certain charm to them writing notes to each other and buying little gifts that they can't afford. Even though I was annoyed by Emily constantly getting knocked off her mental square, I loved the scenes where O'Connell talks her back into the reality of his love for her.

There is no instalove in this book. There are conversations and dates and nights spent together where the relationship is developed. You would have to be the grinch not to root for Emily and O'Connell.

The supporting cast in the book were ok but this is where I have issues with NA. Emily was only 20 and her friends were around the same age so for a reader like me, the interactions in the book were very juvenile. To make matters worse, there were a lot of friend scenes in the book and it really did give me a college frat party vibe. That is not my scene at all but if that's ok with you, I don't think it will be an issue. The scenes are well put together and interesting if that's your thing. I just am not really interested in a bunch of college kids and their antics.

I really like O'Connell. He is extremely steady in his feelings for Emily. He is dominant and aggressive but has a soft spot for his girl. I feel like we get cheated a little with O'Connell though. The book begins in his POV and then we don't see it again for most of the book. I really really wanted to know what was going on in O'Connell's head.

The fight scenes and the gym details were well done but I'm not really interested in any of that so it didn't add much value for me. Even though O'Connell's mother was a crazy shrew, she added some spice to the plot and I wasn't mad at that at all.

The sex scenes were NA with a bit of an edge but just a bit. Not the sort of content I'm looking for to light my fire but good NA stuff.

So here's the bottom line, I recommend this book for it's strong strong character development, interesting plot and conflicts and superior romance. As an NA book, this one is definitely a step ahead of the crowd. If you thought this was going to be more grown up romance, you've been warned.

**ARC provided by Publisher**

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Guest Post with Author Carol Pavliska and Giveaway

Carol Pavliska began her writing career as a family humor columnist and blogger, a pursuit she abandoned when her children grew old enough to realize they were being exploited. To save them from further embarrassment, she turned to writing fiction. Her debut novel is a steamy contemporary romance so, unfortunately, the children are still embarrassed.

Carol and her husband, both diehard Red Hot Chili Peppers fans, raise their vegan brood of mortified offspring on a cattle ranch in south Texas. No lie.

Review: Unclaimed Regrets by Stacy M. Wray

Unclaimed Regrets is my first book by Stacy M. Wray. The blurb of this one instantly drew me in, and I had to read this second chance love story! There was a lot to like here, and I did enjoy most of this story. However there were a few things that I had some problems with, and that kept me from really being able to love this book. I will look for more from Wray in the future though. 

Adelyn Winters loves her job and all that she has accomplished, yet she is still just going through the motions. She has a great family and best friend, and yet she has never been able to forget the guy she fell in love with years before. When she gets an invite to her reunion, she knows that she needs to go back to get closure one and for all. But when she comes face to face with Trey Masterson, all those feelings come right back. Trey and Addie thought that they would be together forever, but neither one of them really know what happened to cause it all to go wrong. But with all the obstacles from their past as well as their present threatening their relationship, will they be able to rekindle what they once had? Or will there be too many things standing in their way?

I liked both Addie and Trey. They had a great connection when they first met, and it felt so natural to me. With each new piece of their past that was revealed, I fell right along with them. That hadn't changed even with all that they had been through. I did think that these two had a serious lack of communication, and I wanted to shake them both several times for not talking to one another. When they were together they were great, but I wish that it wouldn't have taken so much to get there. These two were sweet and sexy together, and I really liked them for one another. I did think that Trey had a tendency to be a real jerk at times though, and that was really hard to get over for me. He seemed to have absolutely no patience or understanding for all that Addie had been though, especially when it came to Amanda. The worst part was that I didn't even understand how he could be friends with Amanda. After everything that she had done to Addie, it wasn't ever justifiable to me that he would be friends with her especially since he knew her true motives.

I think that if these two had talked more and sorted out their issues this book would have been a lot easier to really get into. The back and forth got to be a bit too much though, and I thought that these two had plenty of opportunities that they could have worked things out much sooner. The Amanda thing just felt drawn out though, and I wish that hadn't kept going for as long as it did. It seemed far too often that she got in the way of Trey and Addie finding happiness together, and I couldn't get over how easily she was able to repeatedly do it. I did like that we got to see Addie and Trey's past and their present though, and that we got both of their POVs. I think it added a lot to the story, and it allowed the reader to get to know these characters really well. Overall, I think that this one had a lot of promise and I did enjoy it. I loved these two together, but the issues I mentioned this one was good when it could have been great.

**Review Copy Provided by AToMR Tours**

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Friday, July 24, 2015

ARC Review: Bind Me Before You Go by Harper Kincaid

Bind Me Before You Go is the eighth installment in the “Serve” Series and is the first offering by Harper Kincaid. I read one other book in this series by Katee Robert but this is my first intro to Kincaid.

I have to just start by saying that if you blink, you will miss this whole entire book and be like ‘what the hell just happened?’ You’ve heard of instalove before but to get an idea of what goes on this book, you need to think insta love on methamphetamines. That being said, the author still delivers on some of the things that I like about this series and love about Brazen books in general. The book is fun, sexy, well written and an easy escape from the grind of daily life.

Since the book is so short, I’m going to give you a really short plot synopsis to avoid retelling the whole story:

Cassidy relocates to NY and goes to Serve (a BDSM sex club for those of you just joining us) to spice things up a bit. David is in charge of Security at Serve. And yeah, that’s pretty much the whole background of the relationship between the two main characters, seriously. Before you can say ‘that was fast,’ David is introducing Cassidy to Shibari and bamn they’re in love. I’m sorry if that was a spoiler because it actually might have been the whole book. Still, you can read it and get some of the details that couldn’t quite fit into three sentences.

I just have to say, this is my second Shibari book and I’m just not impressed. To each his own but I always get a cirque du soleil vibe when we start hanging people up tied in knots and what not. I’m not judging but who has time for somebody to work through all those damn knots. I’m sorry, I digress.

I liked David. He was ok for he was, which was not the alpha dominant male I ordinarily like to say. He wasn’t soft or anything but I just like my book boyfriends to have a little more aggression and a little less emotional…well just emotion. Cassidy was…I don’t really know. I didn’t get much from her other than that she just really wanted to enjoy life. I was mostly just creeped out that she shares a name with my daughter and was being tied up and sexed up, again, I digress. Interestingly, I like David and Cassidy together. David had some commitment issues thrown in to keep things interesting but which ones of our favorite book boyfriends don’t have that issue? Right, none. The student/teacher nature of the couple’s relationship added another interesting layer to the story that I kind of enjoyed.

If I had to sum up my experience with this book I would say, I definitely liked the book and I recommend it to other readers who enjoy something on the quick and easy side. I will be checking out Kincaid’s future releases though I do hope for something a bit more meaty in terms of length.

**ARC provided by Publisher**

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ARC Review: A Taste of Summer by Beverly Preston

A Taste of Summer is a standalone parallel novel in the Mathews Family series by Beverly Preston. This book does not need to be read in order, but the characters are connected. This is my first Beverly Preston book, but I didn't have any problems understanding the story. There was a lot that I really liked about this one, and I am curious to go back and read about the previous couples after seeing them in this book. I will say that I did have some issues here though, but for the most part this was an enjoyable book. 

Carrie Ann Lowell is focused on her her work and continuing to raise money for a cause that is close to her heart. But when the love of her life suddenly reenters the picture, she knows her life is about to change. Ryan Summer was everything to her, and they were planning their future together until he broke her heart. Now everyone knows him as the superstar actor that he has become. But Ryan has never been able to forget Carrie Ann, and no one has ever come close to making him feel like she did. Ryan is more determined that ever to get a second chance with Carrie Ann, but can she let him back in after everything that happened?

I really liked Ryan. He was so persistent with Carrie Ann, and I love that he never gave up on her. He tried so many times to get her to see what she meant to him and that he wanted a life with her, and yet she pushed him away so many times. I admired him for his patience though, and I could really see how much he cared for her. Carrie Ann frustrated me a lot here, and I think that she was part of what kept me from absolutely loving this book. She was beyond stubborn, and she refused to own up to her feelings with anyone even though she would acknowledge them to herself. She had never been able to forget Summer either, and yet she refused to even let him really explain everything that had happened. The connection and chemistry that they had was clear though, and I think that is a lot of what irritated me so much with Carrie. How could she try to deny what was so obvious? 

The biggest issue that I had though was the subplot in which someone was targeting Carrie Ann. They were out to hurt her, and yet the whole thing was a bit random to me. It was underdeveloped and didn't make much sense beyond sparking some of the reconnection between Carrie Ann and Summer (which they were already well on their way without any of this happening). I felt like it went nowhere and it was never fully explained, leaving the reader with a lot of loose ends that were never tied up. I did really like Summer and Carrie Ann together though, and once she finally gave in to her feelings I really loved the relationship between them. I wish that things hadn't been drug out so much, but it was good to see them finally back where they belonged. I liked the secondary characters a lot here, and I am looking forward to reading their stories in the future. I think that if you are already a fan of Beverly Preston's that you will enjoy this book. If you are new to her like I was and like second chance romances, this might be one you want to check out.

**ARC Provided by TRSOR Promotions**

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Guest Post with Author Charlotte Stein and Giveaway

Meet Charlotte Stein author of Never Loved.

Charlotte Stein has written over thirty short stories, novellas and novels, including entries in The Mammoth Book of Hot Romance and Best New Erotica 10. Her latest work, Run To You, was recently a DABWAHA finalist. When not writing deeply emotional and intensely sexy books, she can be found eating jelly turtles, watching terrible sitcoms and occasionally lusting after hunks. 

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ARC Review: Turning the Tables by Joan Kilby

Turning the Tables is the second book in the Italian Connection series by Joan Kilby, but each book in the series is a standalone. It was a quick and easy read that had several enjoyable parts. I liked Luke and Tina together, and this one was a good story. 

After getting burned by her last lover, Tina Borlenghi doesn't trust men. She is tired of men seeking her fame and fortune for themselves, and has learned to keep things a secret to avoid getting hurt again. When she meets handsome Luke Pederson she finds herself drawn to him right away. But Luke mistakes her for a sales assistant rather than the owner of the new boutique, and Tina decides to let him keep believing that since she will be leaving soon. But the longer their fling continues, the more they each start to like each other and things begin to get complicated. Luke doesn't put up with lying after what he went through with his own family, and soon he becomes suspicious when Tina won't tell him anything about herself. Will Tina be able to trust Luke enough to open up to him and see where things between them could go, or will her past continue to keep her from having a chance at a future with Luke?

I liked Luke and Tina. These two were both really good people that had some bad things happen to them and because of that were unable to trust others easily. Luke had seen what lies could do to a family, and had a zero tolerance policy when it came to that. But he also had a huge heart and would do anything for those he cared about. He was a really nice guy, and I loved his dedication to not only his nephew, but also to other disabled kids that he helped start a charity for. He was great with Tina as well, and I really liked how fun and light their relationship was. Tina was really nice as well, and she had a big heart as well. She had trust issues that were very easy to understand once her past was revealed, and I found it easy to relate to her. But she was also such a kind and generous person, and I really liked that she was so quick to help others when she could. I thought that her and Luke were a great couple, and they had a lot of chemistry between them. If there was any weak spot to their relationship it was the connection between them, because I felt like she held herself back so much and didn't really allow Luke to get to know much about her. I wish we had seen more of them together after the truth came out, as I think that would have helped solidify their connection more. 

I also felt like this one had quite a few spots that were a bit hard to get through. It was really noticeable with the role-playing between them, and I found myself wanting to skim. I'm not sure what it was about those parts, but it just felt a bit slow or something and it seemed to be drawn out and unnecessary. That really surprised me since I love steamy scenes, but for some reason there was just something off here for me. I also felt like for the first half of the book or so Tina's past was confusing. I hadn't read the first book in this series and since this was a standalone I didn't think it was necessary. But Tina's past with Fabio wasn't explained right away, and it felt like I had missed something. Eventually everything came out, but it was pretty confusing for awhile and I think that should have been more clear upfront if this book is truly meant to be a standalone. I have no idea if that was seen in the first book or not, but it wasn't very clear here and that really irritated me since it was a major point of why Tina kept so much of herself a secret from Luke. Overall, this book wasn't a bad story but it wasn't very new or memorable. While it was enjoyable it wasn't one that I will probably go back and read again. I think if you are looking for something quick and light this one might be something to give a try.

**ARC Provided by Publisher**

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Thursday, July 23, 2015

ARC Review: Call on Me by Roni Loren

Call on Me is the latest standalone novel in Roni Loren's Loving on the Edge series. I absolutely love this series, and would recommend reading these in order if you can though it isn't necessary. I love seeing each of the characters get their own story though, and it is always nice to see familiar faces as the series progresses. I have to say that I have been dying to get my hands on Pike's story though ever since I first read about him, and he was better than I ever expected. It is so hard for me to pick a favorite book or character here (because they are all so great!), but I really think that Pike might be it if I absolutely had to choose! 

Pike Ryland is not looking forward to helping out with the kids charity project that he promised his friend he would do, but he wouldn't back out of a promise to a friend. Pike doesn't handle children well though, so when he first meets Oakley Easton he is already off to a bad start. Things quickly go from bad to worse when he flirts with her and she wants nothing to do with him. All Oakley wants to do is provide for her daughter and to make enough money to stop having to work her night job. When Pike stumbles onto her night job, he figures it is the perfect in to get what he wants, her calling his name. But when things quickly change from sexy encounters on the phone to passion in person, they both begin fear that they won't be able to stop from falling hard. 

I really loved Pike! I knew I had liked him before, but really getting to know him here showed just how much we had yet to see from him. He had so much going on beneath the surface, and I really felt for all that he had been through. He was such a deep guy and I loved his honesty. He was sweet and kind, but also so sexy and fun. I really liked that he was so supportive of Oakley and he didn't judge her. Oakley was so easy to like. She was strong and feisty, and yet she was also able to give control up easily. Pike brought out a really great side to her, and he allowed her to trust him to take care of her and let her mind shut down for awhile. I couldn't get enough of these two together, and they were beyond hot! Seriously though my Kindle might overheat a few times throughout this one, but I have come to expect that with any book from Roni Loren! She always brings the heat, and that was no exception here. But beyond just the sexy times, I really loved seeing Pike and Oakley connecting past just the bedroom and I was so glad that Pike made her daughter a part of that as well. 

Overall, this was another great addition to this series and I would be absolutely fine if Roni never ended it! I love these characters so much, and I never seem to get enough of them. Pike was fantastic and I loved seeing a different side to him, but it was also really great to see more of Foster here and how things were going for him. I also really loved getting to see more of Oakley's brother and how things had progressed for him as well. I honestly cannot say enough good things about this series, and if you haven't read any of them yet you are definitely missing out! This story was great and I am already anxious for more from Roni. She has quickly become one of my go-to authors for a great steamy story, and she never disappoints!

**ARC Provided by Publisher**

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Review: Unchained Memory by Donna S. Frelick

Unchained Memory by Donna S. Frelick is a book that will appeal to a variety of tastes. Romantic suspense is how I would first classify it. But then there is the mysterious unexplained that smacks of aliens and science fiction. And it is all wrapped up in contemporary United States setting – mostly.

The night Asia Burdette suffered unimaginable loss, she blacked out. She cannot remember three hours of her life. Therapy has not helped and Dr. Ethan Roberts is her last hope. His therapy is designed to help her remember, but it has the unfortunate side affect of attracting unwanted attention.

In therapy, Asia relives the life she led during the missing three hours. Definitely non-dream like, the memories are full of minute details, emotions, and people Asia does not know. These sessions have an intensity that really grabbed at me and it was at that point that I was hooked. Dr. Roberts has no explanation for it, but he has seen something like it with a previous patient, Ida.

While Asia and Ethan are involved in a patient/doctor association, they are also developing feelings for each other. Both have suffered loss and both come from not-so-good relationships, so they are able to easily connect. However, professional ethics keeps them apart. But when Asia and Ethan are on the road after visiting Ida, and when the men in black show up to try to abduct Asia, the relationship begins to parallel the complication of the rest of the story.

While their relationship runs very hot and quite cool, Ethan, in true hero form, never stops believing in Asia and never gives up on her.

Asia and Ethan are forced to go on the run to avoid, well, they don't really know who they are avoiding. How did the men in black find them? Someone is behind this intrigue, but Asia and Ethan don't know who they can trust. I knew who they couldn't trust. The bad guy was pretty predictable. I don't know if that was intentional or not. On the other hand, a surprise in the form of help for Asia and Ethan does show up at the end. I like surprises!

From the moment the men in black showed up, until the very end, the book became a non-stop flurry of action, suspense, emotion, and passion. Oh, it was good before that point, but it became a rollercoaster ride in the second half of the book.

Unchained Memory is a perfect blend of contemporary romance, suspense, and mystery with enough of the unexplained to call it Sci Fi. The romance is intense and the action is very edge-of-your seat! To take a thrilling trip to the unknown without leaving planet earth, you might consider reading Unchained Memory.

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Guest Post with Author Roni Loren and Giveaway

Meet Roni Loren author of Call On Me.

Roni wrote her first romance novel at age fifteen when she discovered writing about boys was way easier than actually talking to them. Since then, her flirting skills haven’t improved, but she likes to think her storytelling ability has. She is the New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author of The Loving on the Edge series.

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ARC Review: Ricochet by Keri Lake

I will admit that the first thing that drew me to this book was the gorgeous cover! I mean come on, did you see it? But after reading the blurb for Ricochet, I was finally able to see more than just the cover and I knew I had to read it. Ricochet is the first contemporary romance from Keri Lake, as she typically writes paranormal. Since she is a new to me author and this is her first foray into this genre, I had absolutely no idea what to expect. I will warn readers that there are a few things to consider before reading this book though. There are some parts of this story that could be a trigger if you have issues with self-harm, violence, or drugs, so make sure that you take that into account before deciding if this book is for you. 

Nick Ryder had everything until his wife and son were killed three years ago. Since the night they were murdered, he has set out to find those responsible and to make a plan for them to pay. In order to make get his revenge, he sets out to destroy the man in charge of everything that happened, Michael Culling. Mayor Michael Culling came up with his task force to carry out his agenda for keeping Detroit "safe" in what he calls The Culling. But Nick sees him for the monster he truly is, and will stop at nothing until Culling and every last person involved is gone. But when Nick sets his plan in motion and kidnaps Culling's wife Aubree, he quickly realizes that what he thought would be an eye for an eye is so much more. Can he destroy Culling and all that he holds dear, or will his plan and Aubree end up destroying him first?

I liked these characters a lot. Nick and Aubree had both been through so much, and it was easy to see that they both had issues because of it. Though Aubree's life might look perfect at first glance, the reader quickly sees that it is anything but. Aubree was so strong, and I couldn't believe how determined she was with everything that she had to endure. She needed every bit of strength she could manage, and I admire her for never giving up. Nick was on a mission, to fulfill his promise that he made to his wife. He didn't see himself having a future, and he was out to make those responsible pay. Though he was ruthless when it came to his enemies and things did get violent at times, I found myself rooting for him all the way through this book.  

I don't want to give too much away because I really think that this one just needs to be experienced, but this is a dark story and there are many times that things get pretty violent. Despite this one being dark and gritty though, I thought that Keri Lake did a great job of making sure that the romance in the story came through as well. This book had me a bit all over the place, with my heart breaking one minute and my Kindle about to overheat from the sexy scenes the next. The one thing I can tell you though is that I didn't want to put it down, and it was next to impossible to stop reading once I had started. Ricochet was captivating and I was drawn in instantly. If you are looking for a emotional and raw story that is well balanced between the dark and the romance, I think that this is one that you might want to give a shot. There were some twists here that I was able to predict, but that didn't hurt my enjoyment of the story at all. I will definitely look for more from Keri Lake in the future, and I think that this was an excellent first effort into a new genre for her.

**ARC Provided by Enticing Journey Book Promotions**

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