Saturday, December 17, 2016

ARC Review: Hunt the Dawn by Abbie Roads

I’ve fallen in love once again. This time, my heart grew wings and took flight with the latest installment in the Fatal Dreams Series by Abbie Roads: Hunt the Dawn. A story filled with beauty, desire, heart, hope, light, and love is also a feat of complexity bleeding with fright, hate, horror, intensity, malevolence, and twisted perversion. Once again, the author created a masterpiece overflowing with every single emotion one can feel. Again, I can say that a novel has affected me so deeply that I find myself at a loss for what to read next.

Lathan as the hero of the story will from this point on hold a special place in my heart and in my soul. He is a man bearing his aura, his heart, and his pain on the outside physically while holding himself at arm’s length from the world around him. He is gentle and honest and refreshing in his demeanor as the main character.  He is also intelligent, logical, and sharp despite his unusual capabilities, or perhaps is even more so because of them which makes him utter perfection in my eyes.

The damage that was inflicted upon him as a young man provided him with a unique ability, one that allows him to determine, sense, and track the evil that is ever present among us. He can smell, see, and taste the emotions and experiences of friends and strangers alike. The tragic childhood he suffered through, and unspeakable violence thrust upon him has caused him to seek solitude despite being a top agent of the FBI. As he embarks on a journey to stop The Strategist, a serial killer who he has personally linked to over 30 cold cases, he also finds the love of his life.

Evanee Brown is beautifully broken after enduring a childhood and young adulthood as a victim of abuse, rape, and violence. Those that were supposed to spend their life providing her with comfort, love, and support are nothing but monsters. She attempted to flee her former nightmare by running into the arms of someone powerful once, but was left to the wolves. Determined to be invisible, to be free from her family, she is on the run. Living in squalor, working in a place considered to be of ill-repute to earn enough money to disappear forever in hopes of finding security. When her former source of torment locates her, Lathan crashes into her life in an unexpected twist of fate that not only grants her protection and safety, but ecstasy and love as well.

As Lathan offers his faith, kindness, and solace in a world of darkness, Evanee becomes a beacon of hope to his tortured soul. They heal one another while peeling away the layers of grief in a time of madness. Their chemistry and love will ravish your senses and leave tingles in your heart as it flutters helplessly. Even in times of pulse-pounding and earth-shattering fear, when all may be lost as the past attempts to tear them apart and a psychotic killer threatens death, you will treasure this story. Lathan and Evanee as a couple, are the likes of which will take your breath away willingly.

This novel is everything anyone could want with its intricate plot and insane genius. With every turn of the page, one is left with the compulsive need to read further. Action, beauty, disbelief, disgust, heartache, love, murder, pain, romance, sex, terror, and tragedy intertwine and set the pages on fire with emotional upheaval. Abbie Roads is a force of captivating wonder in her ability to not only write heroes and heroines with such strength of character, but also to write deranged villains that I can empathize with as I begin to unravel the patterns lining the creation of their woven blanket of crazy. When one can literally uncover negative and positive feelings where there shouldn’t be one or the other depending on the situation, there is a fascinating level of talent found in such a piece of literature. I am reminded once again of the enchantment of the written word because of this story, and I hope that you will read it in the future.

**ARC provided by Author**

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ARC Review: Fix You by Carrie Elks

Fix You is my first book by Carrie Elks, but this one really appealed to me from the blurb. I love second chance love stories, and I also really love to torture myself with angsty books, so this one sounded right up my alley. I have to admit that while I didn't dislike it, I didn't love it. I had a few issues with the story itself and with the characters.

When Hanna met Richard at a party, they were instantly drawn to one another despite their differences. But as they get to know one another, their connection and attraction only grows. Just as it appears that they are finally on the right track with one another, everything changes and the two are left to deal with the consequences of their actions. As the two find themselves thrown together once more, Hanna changes everything with a secret that Richard never expected. But has too much happened for them to find their way back to one another, or will they finally be able to get on the same page and have the future together that they both have dreamed of?

It wasn't that I didn't like the characters here, because I did. I also felt like they had a great connection and strong chemistry. My problem comes in with the fact that these two who supposedly knew each other so well and had this strong connection did not seem to know how to communicate at all. Unfortunately lack of communication seems to be popular in romance novels as of late, but these two took it to a completely different level. They made assumptions and believed others over each other without even thinking to just go straight to the source. They also did the back and forth thing a bit too much as their lives continue to cross one another's path the whole way through. As much as I wanted to read and see what would happen, I also found myself not fully invested because they just never seemed to get their shit together.

I also had some issues with the story itself, and that was what ultimately kept me from being able to fully enjoy this one. The author seemed a bit all over the place with the timeline, and it was hard to keep up with the constant and random jumps in time. We not only saw past and present, but there seemed to be no rhyme or reason for what we got. Things might skip months or years at a time, but then would shift by a a day or less. It was disjointed and hard to keep straight. The pacing was off here for me, with it often dragging in parts and then abruptly shifting in others. 

It also felt like the author tried to throw everything and the kitchen sink at this story. I understand referencing real life events or people to anchor the story and timeline, but it just felt way overboard here with the things that were brought up and they really had nothing to do with the story. We didn't need the Mark Zuckerberg, Justin Timberlake/Janet Jackson Superbowl wardrobe malfunction, Foot and Mouth Disease, 9/11, Mortgage Crisis and Harry Potter mentions to relate to this story. Most times they didn't add anything and just distracted me from what should have been happening between these two. I would have liked more on Richard and Hanna and less on things that we are well aware happened in real life. This book just felt like an unfocused mess, with the author and story being all over the place. Once we get toward about the 2/3 to 3/4 point, things seemed to suddenly shift with the story being sweet and drama free. We were given multiple scenes that all felt a bit too similar and pointless as Hanna introduces everyone to her son. It was like the author just didn't know what to do at that point and felt like we needed to see all these interactions when really they didn't serve any purpose. It was repetitive and felt forced and at that point I just wanted it to be over. This story had so much potential, and it just didn't live up to it at all for me. Like I said before, I did like them together and felt their connection. But the issues I had with the story and with Hanna and Richard themselves kept me from truly enjoying this one. If it sounds like something you might like, you might give it a shot. However this one just wasn't for me.

**ARC Provided by Bocci PR**

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A Historical Christmas Event with Christi Caldwell

USA TODAY Bestselling author CHRISTI CALDWELL blames Judith McNaught's "Whitney, My Love!" for luring her into the world of historical romance. While sitting in her graduate school apartment at the University of Connecticut, Christi decided to set aside her notes and pick up her laptop to try her hand at romance. She believes the most perfect heroes and heroines have imperfections, and she rather enjoys torturing them before crafting them a well deserved happily ever after!

Christi makes her home in southern Connecticut where she spends her time writing her own enchanting historical romances, chasing around her feisty seven-year-old son and caring for her twin princesses in training!

Friday, December 16, 2016

ARC Review: Everything for Her by Alexa Riley

Everything for Her is the first full length novel from the writing duo of Alexa Riley. I was excited to see what they would do with this one since it was so much longer than what they typically write. It has everything that fans have come to love and expect when picking up an Alexa Riley story, yet it also had more depth than what their stories usually allow for. While I had mixed feelings about this one overall, there was a lot to like here and I did enjoy it like everything I have read from Alexa Riley. 

Mallory Sullivan has worked hard to put her life on the right track, and she is about ready to take the next step. Having just graduated at the top of her class, she has landed one of the most coveted internships in the country. But little does she know that there has been someone behind the scenes pulling the strings to make sure she ended up on the path he wanted her to...the path though would put her right where he wanted her. But what will happen when Mallory finds out that Oz has been behind everything and that her life wasn't fate after all, but his carefully constructed plan?

I liked these two. Fans of Alexa Riley know that they are experts at writing super sexy insta-love stories with over the top alphas, and this book had all that and more. Oz was definitely an alpha, but I will admit that at times he was a bit controlling and obsessive (bordering on creepy at times if I am honest!) even for an Alexa Riley hero. But I did like him and felt like the chemistry was really strong here, with these two being super hot together. 

I did feel like there was more depth here than a typical Alexa Riley story, but I found the plot a bit lacking. There were some things that didn't work for me, and seemed to be out there even for Alexa Riley. I still love their stories though, and when I am looking for something with a ton of steam that I can just lose myself in, I always pick up one of their stories. This definitely won't be the last I read from them, but it wasn't my favorite either.

**ARC Provided by Publisher**

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ARC Review: Downed by Jen Frederick

I really enjoyed the first two books in the Gridiron series by Jen Frederick, and I was excited for Downed. I did worry about whether or not I would like Ace after seeing him in the previous book, but honestly that wasn't a problem here at all. While I did like him and parts of this book, I will admit that I had mixed feelings overall. While I didn't dislike this story, I didn't love it.

After losing the trust of his coach, Ace is sent to a new school despite the fact that he helped them win big. But his reputation precedes him at his new school and his new teammates aren't quick to warm up to him. Unfortunately for him though, the one person who actually appears to want to help him is his new coach's daughter, and the last person that he should be drawn to. But Ace finds himself unable to fight what he is feeling for Bryant. Bryant has spent the last few years reforming bad boys and transforming them into the kind of guys girls want for their boyfriends. But Ace may be her biggest challenge yet, and soon she begins to wonder if she will be able to avoid falling for him. 

I liked Ace as I said, but I will admit that I struggled with Bryant. I found her annoying at times and her "projects" were just unrealistic and too out there for me to really buy. She also came off as full of herself and really self-centered which made it hard for me to connect to her. Ace's exploits were a bit unrealistic as well, and he was the definition of a manwhore before Bryant. It was good to see him turning over a new leaf though and I thought he made a lot of progress here. These two did have chemistry despite the issues I had, and I did like them for one another.

Overall, this was my least favorite book of the series so far, but I did enjoy parts of it. Besides the issues I had with Bryant, I did feel at times that the pacing was off here. It felt slow and boring and there were quite a few places that seemed to drag to me. I wanted to skim and didn't feel 100% invested in the story. I think all of those things are sort of connected though, and if I had been able to like Bryant more I think that might have changed my opinion of everything here. I liked a lot of the secondary characters here though, especially Ace's teammates. We were introduced to some new faces here that I would definitely be interested in getting to know better. This won't be the last I read from Jen Frederick, but it wasn't her best in my opinion.

**ARC Provided by Bocci PR**

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A Historical Christmas Event with Shana Galen

Shana Galen is the bestselling author of passionate Regency romps, including the RT Reviewers' Choice The Making of a GentlemanKirkus says of her books, "The road to happily-ever-after is intense, conflicted, suspenseful and fun," and RT Bookreviews calls her books “lighthearted yet poignant, humorous yet touching." She taught English at the middle and high school level off and on for eleven years. Most of those years were spent working in Houston's inner city. Now she writes full time. She's happily married and has a daughter who is most definitely a romance heroine in the making.

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Thursday, December 15, 2016

A Historical Christmas Event with Lenora Bell

Lenora Bell is a third generation Alaskan and her hometown still has no traffic lights or fast food, but the public library is going strong!

An English teacher with an MFA in Creative Writing, Lenora has traveled the globe using music to bring smiles to classrooms. She currently lives in Wisconsin with her carpenter husband and two naughty tiger-striped kitties.

In 2014 she won the Romance Writers of America's Golden Heart® Award for Best Historical. Her debut novel, How the Duke Was Won, was recently named one of Booklist’s Top Ten Romance Debut for 2016.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

ARC Review: Love Rehab by Louise Bay

I really love Louise Bay's books, and at this point I don't even read the blurbs anymore. She has never let me down yet, so when I see something with her name on it I know I am going to read it. Not only does Love Rehab have a gorgeous cover, but the story itself is just as beautiful. This one was sweet and heartwarming and I really enjoyed it.

After her third engagement ends with yet another fiancĂ© dumping her before the wedding, Mackenzie heads with her two best friends from Boston for a love rehab retreat in Oklahoma. She hopes to learn what it is about her that makes men fall out of love with her so easily. But what she never expects is to meet and fall for sexy "uncowboy" Blake McKenna. But with Blake living in Oklahoma and Mackenzie soon headed back to Boston, will they find a future together or will Mackenzie be alone once again? 

I really liked both Blake and Mackenzie. Both were struggling with where their lives were headed and had things that they needed to work on or decide. I loved that they helped each other out by listening and being there for one another. They had a great connection right off, and I really enjoyed seeing that deepen the more they got to know one another. They were exactly what each of them needed and I loved them together. They also had really strong chemistry and I loved the heat between them. 

I will say that while I really enjoyed this story, things were a bit on the cheesy side at times with this being a very sweet story. While I enjoy a sweet and heartwarming romance, this one was a bit too sweet at times for me. I liked the characters, but things got a little too self-help at times and there were some overly harsh things said by Mackenzie's best friends at times. It just felt a bit forced and didn't seem to fit at times. I still really liked the book though, and Louise Bay is one of my go-to authors for great contemporary romance stories. If you are looking for something sweet and heartwarming, this is definitely one worth checking out.

**ARC Provided by Social Butterfly PR**

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A Historical Christmas Event with Darcy Burke

Darcy Burke is the USA Today Bestselling Author of hot, action-packed historical and sexy, emotional contemporary romance. A native Oregonian, Darcy lives on the edge of wine country with her guitar-strumming husband, their two hilarious kids who seem to have inherited the writing gene, and three Bengal cats. Visit Darcy online at and sign up for her newsletter, follow her on Twitter at, or like her Facebook page,

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

ARC Review: Riddick by Kathy Coopmans

Riddick is the first book in the new The Saints series from Kathy Coopmans, and I couldn't wait to read this one after reading the blurb. I have really enjoyed Kathy's books in the past, and this was a great start to this series. I enjoyed it a lot, and I am looking forward to seeing more of these characters and their world as this series continues. 

Cora was Riddick's angel when he needed her the most, but then she was torn away from his life. Their families were enemies and their circumstances against them. Both try to move on with their lives, but fate brings them back to one another 12 years later. Though the connection and chemistry has never dimmed, they find themselves fighting the past and their demons yet again.

I really liked these two! They were so right for each other, and I loved that their connection was so strong. They had the forbidden aspect with their families being enemies and I loved that this was sort of a modern day Romeo and Juliet with a twist. I was instantly drawn into their story, and I really felt like I was invested in both Cora and Riddick. They were so interesting and I couldn't get enough of them. 

I will say that I had a few things that kept me from being able to give this one five stars. I felt like the ending was a bit abrupt and I would have liked a bit more closure for these characters. While I assume that we will see more of these characters as the series continues, I just wanted to feel like we were on a bit more solid ground with these two than I felt we were left with. There were also some times that the wording of things felt a bit off to me. I had to reread some sentences and paragraphs because things were just worded a bit oddly for me. It was distracting and took me out of the story a bit. I did enjoy it though and I liked the characters and world that Kathy Coopmans has created. This was a really great start to this series though, and I will definitely be interested to see where she takes us next with The Saints series.

**ARC Provided by TRSOR Promotions**

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A Historical Christmas Event with Emily Greenwood

Emily Greenwood has a degree in French and worked as a writer for a number of years, crafting newsletters and fundraising brochures, but she far prefers writing love stories set in Regency England. She lives in Maryland with her husband and two daughters.

Monday, December 12, 2016

ARC Review: Being Brooke by Emma Hart

I absolutely loved this book! From start to finish, Emma Hart had me captivated with these amazing characters. This book was fun and refreshing, sexy and hilarious. I thoroughly enjoyed reading Being Brooke and it is honestly my favorite book of Emma Hart's ever. Cain and Brooke are impossible not to fall for and I could not stop smiling as I read this one. 

Brooke has been in love with her best friend for years, but has never done anything about it. Everyone around her knows how she feels about Cain, except Cain. But not only can she not say anything about her true feelings for Cain, but he has a girlfriend. As Brooke moves out on her own and begins to face being an adult, she finds herself relying on Cain more than ever. But can Brooke face the awkwardness of telling Cain how she really feels, or will she remain silent and risk remaining in the friend zone forever?

I adored these two so much! Their friendship was so much fun to read about, and I loved their connection. These two were so close and knew each other better than anyone. Their interactions were hilarious, often sarcastic and witty with their banter being the kind I always hope for in books like this. I seriously could not get enough of them, and their other best friend Carly. Not only did I love the connection they shared, but I enjoyed seeing them evolve into more, with their chemistry things got super sexy between them. I love friends to lovers stories, and this one was fantastic. 

Honestly I just loved everything about this story and it was everything you could ask for in a great rom-com. Brooke was hilarious, and she had me rolling the whole way through this book. I loved how sarcastic and quick witted she was, but I also loved seeing her grow a bit too. She wasn't afraid to be herself, and I was so glad that she never changed herself or tried to be anything different. Even as she showed growth and progress, she stayed true to herself and that was what had me loving her character right along with everyone she was close to. I really had the best time reading this one, and it is definitely a book that I would highly recommend. If you are looking for a sweet and sexy romance that will entertain and amuse you from the first word to the last, you have to read Being Brooke.

**ARC Provided by Inkslinger PR**

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