Saturday, October 22, 2016

Weekly Winners

Below is a list of all of the winners from last week.

Race the Darkness by Abbie Roads

Two by Two by Nicholas Sparks

All winners have been notified via email and are posted on the Rafflecopter form from that giveaway post. Thank you to everyone that stopped by and entered. =)

ARC Review: Black Swan Affair by K.L. Kreig

I have to admit that I am a bit torn when it comes to Black Swan Affair by K.L. Kreig. This book was beautifully written and I couldn't put it down. I enjoyed so much of it, and yet I am not entirely sure how I feel after finishing it. One thing is for sure, this book was a great story and I was immediately captivated by these characters. 

Maverick has been in love with Killian Shepherd for years. But he broke her heart and married her sister Jillian. Maverick always thought that he would wake up and leave her sister for her, but when he doesn't Maverick decides to marry her best friend Kael, Killian's brother. Right before she is set to wed Kael, she gives Killian one last chance, but when he doesn't take the opportunity to be with her, Maverick and Kael get married and start their lives together. But now that they are one big family, feelings and secrets make their lives more complicated than ever. 

I felt invested in these characters right away. I knew things would be complicated going into this story, and they definitely were. I struggled with who I thought was the right man for Maverick, and I could see reasons why each one was perfect for her. I felt for all of them, and the impossible situation that they were in. Humans are so complicated and we can't control our feelings. Just because you love someone doesn't necessarily mean that you belong together. As this story unfolded, I was torn and I won't say if Maverick ended up with the person that I thought she should. Ultimately, there were so many things going on here and I think that while some will be unhappy with how things turn out that most will think that everything turned out exactly as it should.

Overall, I think that this is a book that will evoke strong reactions for readers and is one that is best experienced blindly. I really believe that this story is best experienced when you don't know what is happening. This book was completely unexpected and my heart hurt for these characters through so much of this book. They were in a situation where nothing was easy, and regardless of what I felt was the right way to go, they had to each do what they felt was right for them. While the writing was beautiful and the story was impossible to put down, there were something that personally kept me from rating this one at five stars. I think that this book is one worth reading, and if it sounds like something you might like I definitely recommend giving this one a shot. K.L. Kreig is a great writer, and I look forward to reading more from her in the future.

**ARC Provided by Social Butterfly PR**

Purchase: | Amazon | Kindle | B&N | iTunes | 

Feature: Black Swan Affair by K.L. Kreig

I’ve loved him as long as I can remember.

The gangly boy with big brown eyes and unruly hair who grew up into an intoxicating man. He wears scruff like he invented it and ambles with a swagger that makes panties drop.

Killian Shepard.


We grew up together. We played Ghost in the Graveyard. Had our own rock band. It didn’t matter that he was five years older than me. It didn’t matter that he looked at me as a kid sister even as I grew into a woman. It didn’t even matter when he left me behind to go to college and start his adult life.

He’d be back.

He was always meant to be mine.

He came back, all right. But instead of smelling of promises, he stunk of betrayal. And he destroyed me—us—the day he married my sister instead of me.

So I did the only thing a girl like me in my position could do.

I got my revenge.

I married his brother, Kael.

Now we’re one big happy fucking family.

Purchase: | Amazon | B&N | iTunes | Kobo |

Audiobook Review: To Beguile a Beast by Elizabeth Hoyt, Narrated by Anne Flosnik

Since I started “The Maiden Lane” series I am hocked on Elizabeth Hoyt. When I finished that latest book “Duke of Pleasure” I jumped up and ran to see the first available book by her. Since I have a million books to read I picked an audio book to listen to instead of reading.  “To Beguile a Beast” is a part of the “Legend of the Four Soldiers” series not “The Maiden Lane.”  I looked at the reviews and really liked the plot.

This book is classic Hoyt.  The heroine is a beautiful woman with two children.  Helen is running away from her former life and at a friend’s suggestion she has ventured into the home of Sir Alistair Munroe.  Alistair is a recluse. After a very bad skirmish with the native Americans he is left wounded and permanently scarred. Alistair is a bitter man and that last thing he wants is a woman-even if she is a beautiful woman- and her two children.

Helen doesn’t have too many options. She is running away with her children and even though she is frightened by Alistair and slightly intimidated by his very callous attitude she has nowhere else to run to.  She sets her mind to it and decides that Alistair has to take her on as his house maid and she will fight until he does. 

First, although I really love alpha heroes, Alistair was very rough. He was not very enduring and his physical appearance had nothing to do with it. Second, it wasn’t until more than half way through that I really started to like him and want him and Helen to find their happily-ever-after.  Helen was an ok heroine at first. She seemed very undecided and weak bust she too grew stronger for me. The reason that I really enjoyed this story is because of all the deep and sweet moments that they all share.  There were many, many scenes that I clutched at my heart and just sighed because it really highlighted the pain and vulnerability of the characters.  Alistair really steps up and finally proves himself worthy of the hero title and I really liked that!  Just when Helen and Alistair are finally finding their way to each other Helen’s past comes to haunt her.  Alistair is way too involved and can’t turn his back on her.

Anne Flosnik is a great narrator. I’ve heard different books read by her and she really gets the characters and brings them to life. I really enjoy her narrations.  As I mentioned before, Hoyt is such a great author.  I’ve yet to read or hear a book of hers and not be moved by it. 

Purchase: | Audiobook | Amazon | Kindle | B&N | iTunes |

Friday, October 21, 2016

Review: Troubled Waters by Sharon Shinn

Sharon Shinn starts a new series with Troubled Waters. It's a book based in a world where nearly everything is defined by the elements. People tend to have personalities based either upon Water, Fire, Wood, Air, or Earth. These personalities also have an affinity with Blood, Mind, Bone, Soul, or Flesh respectively. In this world, people look to temples to give them random blessings to help guide their lives.

The main character, Zoe Ardelay, is a coru (Water/Blood) woman whose father has just passed away. He and Zoe had been exiled from the capital of the Kingdom (Chialto) for many years and only had each other. His loss affected her greatly, and it left her unsure where to go with her life after him. A few days after his death, a royal official from Chialto, Darien Serlast, comes to collect her. She is to become the King's fifth wife. 

An opportunity presents itself randomly to Zoe to escape this fate and she takes it. Her life then takes many twists and  turns as she tries to discover who she is. Turns out she is quite a lot more than she ever imagined. Throughout her adventures and discoveries, she tries to stay hidden from Darien, but she cannot help wondering about him and looking for him. 

Sharon Shinn really understands politics. I for one usually don't like reading anything resembling politics as it bores me, but Shinn writes about them like an art. The few action packed scenes are separated by all of these conversations that should be quite boring, but they're not. I had a hard time putting the book down to get proper sleep! The only thing I would have liked to see in this book was some of Darien's perspective. This is just personal preference, and honestly with how many secrets he held, it would have been difficult to do. I am excited to pick up the next book, Royal Airs!

Purchase: | Amazon | Kindle | B&N | iTunes |

ARC Review: Punk 57 by Penelope Douglas

I have to admit that I was really excited yet nervous to read Punk 57 by Penelope Douglas. I have really loved the books of her Fall Away Series, yet I had a ton of problems with her story Corrupt. Punk 57 is a standalone story, though it is connected to Corrupt and those that have read Corrupt will recognize some familiar faces. I did have some problems with this book, and while I didn't dislike it as much as I did Corrupt, I didn't like it nearly as much as I did the Fall Away Series. 

Misha and Ryen were set up as pen pals when they were kids, and the letters they sent back and forth were everything to them. They only had a few rules between them, and those were no pictures, phone numbers, and absolutely no social media. Everything was perfect until Misha found Ryen online and they met in person. He quickly discovers that the Ryen he knew was different from the Ryen in real life. Three months go by and Ryen doesn't hear from Misha, and soon she begins to wonder what happened to him. But can Ryen and Misha find their way back to what they had before, or has everything been changed now that they are no longer just pen pals and have actually met in real life, even if Ryen doesn't know it?

I will admit that part of what bothers me about Penelope's recent books is that not only are they a bit too similar at times for me, but the heroes seem to be a bit too big of jerks for me. With Jared it was one thing, but each book since, they are almost carbon copies of each other with just the details changed. They treat the heroines like crap because of things that they either believe (without actually knowing for sure most often) or their own insecurities and issues. Usually I have a tough time getting past it because I just don't understand where they are coming from or why they assume they know everything when it is so obvious they don't. Unfortunately that was part of my problem here. I did not care for some of the things that Misha did, and I didn't like how he treated Ryen at times. I also have to say that Ryen was far from perfect and some of my problems were with her as well. But I just struggled with their choices and couldn't get past some of what they did, even though they did have strong chemistry and a connection that they didn't share with anyone else.

I think that fans of Bully and Corrupt will enjoy this story, as it was pretty much a mix of the two. Unfortunately for me, Corrupt wasn't my favorite story, and things are starting to feel a bit repetitive when it comes to Penelope Douglas's books. As much as I have loved the Fall Away series, I don't want to keep reading the same thing over and over with just a few of the details changed, and that is what it is starting to seem like every time I pick up a new story from her. I can only handle so many jerk heroes that treat the heroines like crap for the dumbest reasons before it gets old, and I have pretty much reached my limit here. I do like dark stories and I even enjoy it occasionally when we get a hero that is a bit bad and more anti-hero than hero. But I also don't want every book I read to be similar and for all the heroes to be jerks, when there are so many to choose from. I think that Penelope Douglas is a talented writer, but I really hope that her future books break this habit that she seems to have boxed herself into, or unfortunately I don't know how many more I will be able to take.

**ARC Provided by Author**

Purchase: | Amazon | Kindle | B&N | iTunes

Feature and Giveaway: To Love and Cherish by Lauren Layne

Sex and the City meets The Wedding Planner in The Wedding Belles, a contemporary and witty romance series about three high-powered New York City women who can plan any wedding—but their own.

Alexis Morgan has spent the past six years devoted to turning her tiny start-up into Manhattan’s premiere wedding planning company, The Wedding Belles. Now that her business is thriving, it’s time to turn towards her much neglected personal life, and Alexis approaches her relationships like she does everything else: with a plan. Not a part of that plan is Logan Harris, the silent partner in the Belles, and the one person who’s been there for her since the very beginning. But Alexis needs someone fun, and Logan’s all business, all the time—except when a late night at the office ends with an unexpected kiss that leaves the usually cool and together Alexis reeling.

Logan has lusted after Alexis since the day he walked into the tiny Harlem apartment that used to double as her office. But the ambitious wedding planner has always been untouchable...until now. Alexis has made it clear that she’s on the dating market—and equally clear that he’s not in the running. But when Alexis finds herself in need of a date for her sister’s last minute wedding in Florida, Logan knows it’s the perfect time to show Alexis that there’s more to him than numbers and spreadsheets—and beneath the pinstripes and glasses lies a hot-blooded heartthrob. As Florida’s sultry days turn into even hotter nights, Logan’s out to convince Alexis that the fling of a lifetime could just maybe turn into forever...

Purchase: | Amazon | Kindle | B&N | iTunes |

Thursday, October 20, 2016

ARC Review: Forsaken by Sierra Kincade

Forsaken is my first book by this author.  I really had a hard time figuring out how to rate it. It is an action packed novel with a pretty hot romance and interesting characters.  I was always going to land somewhere between 3 and 4 stars.  I ended up on 4 stars because I felt like the book was kind of a 3.7 so I rounded up.

As you might know from reading the synopsis, Marsella is the heroine and her life gets turned all upside down when her Dad hands her this ledger and tells her to run.  This happened at an ordinary family dinner, by the way. Marsella later learns that her Father was some high level drug dealer and that the ledger is both evidence of his crimes and blackmail material that can be used against some very unsavory characters. Marsella goes on the run with the ledger for years before being found by a mysterious stranger, our Hero. Marsella thinks she is protecting herself and her Father by keeping the ledger hidden but the story is much more complicated than that.

Jake is the mysterious stranger who finds Marsella, who has become Cassie.  Jake is looking for the ledger like a lot of other people but he does not understand Cassie's role in hiding it.  When Jake first encounters Cassie, he feels like she is the enemy. Things quickly change and he comes to view Cassie as someone he wants to protect.  The problem is that Cassie's past catches up with her and she doesn't know who to trust. Shenanigans ensues.

Cassie is a complicated character which I sort of like and sort of did not like. Cassie needs control. She needs it so badly that she is turned off in sexual situations where she does not have control. That is something we normally see in male characters so seeing a Heroine with that issue was an interesting twist.  The only issue is that I kind of like seeing that trait in the men and don't enjoy it as much in the women in romance novels.  The other thing about this book is that there is a lot of action but I would have preferred an equal amount or more romance and steam.  As for Jake, he's a really compelling character with an interesting back story.  I spent most of the book trying to guess who Jake really was, who he worked for and what his motives were.  What I loved about Jake is how intensely he wanted to protect Cassie.  it annoyed me that Cassie didn't get when she should be able to trust Jake.

For all you suspense/romance lovers, I think this is a great read for you.  Grab it and hang on to your hat or whatever. FYI, the cover of this book makes no sense.

**ARC provided by Publisher**

Purchase: | Amazon | B&N | iTunes |

Guest Post with Sophia Henry and Giveaway

Sophia Henry, a proud Detroit native, fell in love with reading, writing, and hockey all before she became a teenager. She did not, however, fall in love with snow. So after graduating with a BS in English from Central Michigan University, she moved to the warmth of North Carolina for the remainder of her winters.

She spends her days writing books featuring hot, hockey-playing heroes. When she’s not writing, she’s chasing her two high-energy sons, watching her beloved Detroit Red Wings and rocking out at concerts with her husband.

Feature and Giveaway: Of Flame and Light by Cecy Robson

Taran Wird holds the unique ability to conjure fire and lightening. She is mated to Gemini, Second in Command to the Squaw Valley Pack of the Lake Tahoe Region, and the sole werewolf to possess the ability to split into two wolves. And although they are mates, Taran's insecurities have driven them apart.

Devastated by an injury that left her with a zombie-like limb, Taran struggles to regain command over her magic. But when her arm and her power turn against her, lashing out on those she most loves, she knows she can no longer carry this burden alone. Not that she likes the alternative.

The only way to regain control of her magic is to align and learn from the local coven of witches―the very ones who sought to banish her when she and her three unique sisters first moved to the mystical region. But although Taran is trying, the teachings don't come easy, and the tasks leave her weak and emotionally shattered.

Yet Taran must learn and learn fast. Time is running out. The fire she once mastered so easily has become her greatest adversary and is now slowly burning her alive . . .

Purchase: | Amazon | B&N | iTunes | Kobo |

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

ARC Review: Shadow Falling by Rebecca Zanetti

Picking up right where the previous book "Mercury Striking" left off, we find Vivienne having a hard time recovering from her time in captivity. She is having nightmares, and whenever she wakes up she finds Raze Shadow nearby looking after her. He was the one who essentially saved her, and she struggles to decide whether her feelings are real or if they are only because of his rescue.

She used to be a profiler before Scorpius hit. Scorpius is a bacteria that spread across the US like fire where once infected a person either dies, becomes a serial killer, becomes zombie like wanting to kill and bite people (except they're not dead), or with Vitamin B infections stay mostly normal except with enhanced abilities. Because of the high quantity of serial killers forming from the bacteria, Vivienne is a huge asset. And since she survived Scorpius, her profiling skills have been magnified. 

Raze is a man with a hidden agenda, and so he isn't completely trusted by the leader of the sanctuary he and Vivienne currently reside. He struggles with an internal dilemma, because he is being forced to do another person's bidding. He is strong and capable having some past military experience. While he secretly knows he has to basically kidnap Vivienne, he has this need to protect her and he can't help starting to fall for her.

Rebecca Zanetti knows how to make an intense fast paced romance. I again was on the edge of my seat for the entire book. The romantic struggle was well written and it corresponded fluidly with the Scorpius plot. Raze's struggle to do the best thing in a situation with no straightforward right solution was interesting to read. I am excited to read the next in the series!

**ARC provided by Publisher**

Purchase: | Amazon | Kindle | B&N | iTunes |

ARC Review: Race the Darkness by Abbie Roads

Abbie Roads packs a delightfully heart-wrenching punch with her debut novel, and I’m already anticipating the second installment in her Fatal Dream Series, Hunt the Dawn. When Xander Stone, the sought-after criminal investigator saves an unknown woman from unimaginable horrors, he never expected the experience to be eye-opening, let alone life-changing. He never knew the voice he’d always heard was a Siren’s Song that would lead him into becoming her savior. Xander suspected that he would be bereft of love for the rest of his days, tortured by his ability to hear the thoughts of others, baring a constant burden within. Instead, he finds his world turned into all sorts of crazy as he realizes that not only is he inexplicably tied to the victim, but that she may be the key to making his weakness necessary strength.

Isleen Walker, a woman who has been violated by any means necessary while held captive never thought she would be saved, let alone by the man who stars in her dreams of escapism. Fortunately for her, Xander is tangible, corporeal, and more than just a mere hope of illusion. However, evil lurks in unexpected places, waiting to envelope her new found happiness, and seal her fate; death. It will take her unexpected will, her unwavering faith, her tempestuous attitude, her infinite capacity for love, and her unique power to stop the darkness. Furthermore, it will take her and Xander as well as their connection, to serve justice and stop the evil that seeks to claim them both. Will they be able to hold tight to one another and put faith in why they’ve been brought together? You’ll have to read to find out!

If you read it, it will be so worth it! This novel is dark, gritty, disturbing, creepy, sexy, sweet, humorous, and utterly wonderful! There were quite a few twists and turns, which always provides moments of angst while our brains attempt to catch up with the directional change. I had, “What the ****,” moments. I had moments where I smiled. I had moments where I swooned. I had moments where I gasped in shock. I even had moments where I cringed, completely wigged out of my head. Let me tell you, this story has a little bit of everything for everyone. The chemistry was believable because the backstory was beautifully woven in, and I loved every minute of it. I enjoyed all of the secondary characters, especially Kent and Row. Hell, I even loved to hate the snotty, superficial Camille.

I feel as though I’ve been given an opportunity to not only praise a very new author, but the chance to start a journey from the beginning with what I am sure will be an amazing series. This book is not only unlike any other I’ve read, but well-written and enjoyable. I believe that anyone who gives it a chance will find a new favorite author. Abbie is definitely one to watch for! Happy reading!

**ARC provided by Author*

Purchase: | Amazon | Kindle | B&N | iTunes |

ARC Review: Tempting Tristan by Melissa Foster

Tempting Tristan is the third book in the Harborside Nights series by Melissa Foster. I have been waiting for this book since it was first announced, and I am loving this series! Melissa Foster is one of my favorite authors, but I have to say that this series might be my favorite of hers! I love that each book is a standalone yet interconnected story, and that this world she has created is so diverse. There is really something for everyone here, and the best thing about it is the love, family and friendship that she is able to show in so many different ways.

After the end of another bad relationship, Tristan decides to take a break from dating in order to focus on himself. But when Alex walks into his bar, everything changes. Alex is struggling with his own issues, and is determined to finally start living his life the way he has always wanted to. But as things start to heat up between Alex and Tristan, Tristan realizes that breaking through Alex's walls might be harder than he thought. Can he show Alex that they belong together, or will Alex's past keep them from having a future?

I will admit that this book had a definite case of insta-love, but for me that wasn't a problem. The chemistry and connection between Alex and Tristan was one I saw right away, and things felt natural to me despite the fact that they happened quickly. I hated the walls that Alex had built, and at times he frustrated me. But I understood where they came from, and I really felt for him. I loved Tristan from the first time his character was introduced in this series, and that only increased here. He was one of those characters for me that was impossible not to fall for, and I was so glad we got to know him better.

Overall, Tempting Tristan was another great book from Melissa Foster! It was sweet and sexy and packed with emotion. No one does contemporary romance quite like Melissa Foster does, and each story from her just seems to get better and better. If you haven't read her books yet, you are seriously missing out. I highly recommend the Harborside Nights series to contemporary and new adult fans, and I think that this is one that a lot of readers will enjoy. One thing readers should be aware of is that this is a male/male story, and while I know that some won't read it because of that, I recommend giving it a try if you are unsure. Melissa Foster's books are about love, friendship and family and Tempting Tristan is no exception to that. This was one that I couldn't put down, and I can hardly wait for her next book!

**ARC Provided by Enticing Journey Book Promotions**

Purchase: | Amazon | Kindle | B&N | iTunes |