Wednesday, May 31, 2017

ARC Review: Wrecked by Cynthia Eden

Series:     LOST #6
Pub. Date:May 30, 2017
Length:384 pages

Wrecked is the sixth and final installment of the Last Option Search Team series, that quickly rocketed to the top of my favorite romantic suspense list. So this is a bittersweet end for me. I loved getting to know all the members of the LOST team, but I'm sad to see them go. I hope that Cynthia Eden continues writing these dark gritty serial killer type romantic suspense stories, because she does it exceedingly well. Sometimes I want to peek into her brain to see how she creates the dark and twisty villains that were featured in this series.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

ARC Review: Shadow Reaper by Christine Feehan

Series:     Shadow #2
Pub. Date:May 30, 2017
Length:480 pages

Christine Feehan has created such a unique series with her Shadow Riders... a sect of humans with the paranormal ability to "ride" shadow tubes, which allows them to travel place to place very quickly and undetected. The purpose of the supernatural Shadow Riders is to mete out justice to the derelict and deserving, usually those operating in the underbelly of society. In this second installment of the series, the Ferraro family finds itself the target of a dangerous plot which will see them suffering injuries and death before all is said and done.

If you have read Shadow Rider, you will remember that Ricco Ferraro was the darker and more mysterious of the Ferraro clan. He was broody and dangerous and reckless. After a near-death experience (one of many it appears), Ricco's family lays down the law that he has to shape up or Stefano will take him off the Rider rotation. This drives Ricco to look for a rope model that will allow him to lose himself in the art of Shibari. Ricco was the Ferraro whom I was most drawn to in Shadow Rider, as I have always had a thing for the dark and broody bad boy. I liked the amount of character development that we had for Ricco. The things he went through as a teenager, and the level of stress and responsibility he felt thereafter definitely created a level of despondency and desperation for our hero. I am impressed that he he held it together for as long as he did. But when Ricco finds his matching Shadow Rider, things are not going to be smooth sailing - especially as she has come to kill him.

Monday, May 29, 2017

ARC Review: White Hot by Ilona Andrews

Series:     Hidden Legacy #2
Pub. Date:May 30, 2017
Length:416 pages

Well this book certainly grabbed me and wouldn't let go... until about 3am when I got to the final page. So I have Ilona and Gordon to blame for the deep dark circles under my eyes today. White Hot is an action-packed magical fantasy that sees our favorite couple heating up while battling a cold-hearted villain. 

Friday, May 26, 2017

Audiobook Review: Blame It on the Duke by Lenora Bell

Series:     Disgraceful Dukes #3
Pub. Date:Apr. 25, 2017
Publisher:Tantor Audio
Narrator:Beverley Crick
Length:9 hrs 24 min

I have been looking forward to this installment of The Disgraceful Dukes as it features Lady Alice Tombs, whom we met in How the Duke was Won as the intellectual eccentric who did not want to marry. This is my favorite installment of the series thus far.

Lady Alice is a unique and bookish young woman, who is engaged in the translation of an ancient Indian copy of the Kama Sutra. Longing to travel to Calcutta to share her discovery and work, Alice shuns marriage and finds creative ways to scare off fortune hunters and prospective husbands. This usually includes spouting random, detailed and grotesque facts about the topic of the moment, be it insects or murder. And if her bouts of TMI don't do it, Alice is ready with a trusty hat pin. I liked Alice and found her oddities to be refreshing. 

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Guest Review by Julie: Power Game by Christine Feehan

Series:     GhostWalkers #13
Pub. Date:Jan. 24, 2017
Length:464 pages

Ezekiel Fortunes is a skilled doctor, has the mad skills of a hunter, telepathic, and he's extremely loyal to the select few who've earned it. So he sounds like a total bad ass, yet he only adds to his credentials with his behavior towards Pepper and Wyatt's triplets. (see Spider Game for the backstory, but in short, the triplets were an experiment gone wrong and they produce venom in their systems that kill). He's a total marshmallow and thought nobody knew about his jaunts out with the girls, singing and telling stories..swoon worthy moment, lol! With babies on the brain, Ezekiel becomes aware of how empty his life is beyond the team and his siblings. He's a protector, but wants someone who is independent and not afraid to lean on him, and vice versa, when needed; a tall order that's hard to fill. 

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

ARC Review: Come Sundown by Nora Roberts

Pub. Date:May 30, 2017
Publisher:St. Martin's Press
Length:480 pages

I devour every J.D. Robb novel that comes out, but I don't often find myself grabbing the Nora Roberts books. I don't have any rhyme or reason for that, other than time and opportunity. I do have some of the Nora Roberts audiobooks lined up for a my road trip next month though, so I can at least start working on the backlog.

Come Sundown is a a modern western romance, set on a horse ranch and resort in the beautiful landscape of Montana. Between the horses and the detailed landscape, it really has me wanting to go spend some time on a dude ranch (and maybe rope me a cowboy)!

Monday, May 22, 2017

ARC Review: Positively Pippa by Sarah Hegger

Series:     Ghost Falls #1
Pub. Date:May 30, 2017
Length:352 pages

As a fan of Sarah Hegger's Sir Arthur's Legacy series, this is my first time giving her contemporary romance a shot. I'm not a huge reader of contemporary romance because I have gotten rather picky (it's a side effect of finding gray hair, I promise). But I will be adding Sarah to my trusted authors list for contemporary. Positively Pippa checked all my boxes with mature characters, a likable heroine, a fun flirty hero, a lovable secondary character, minimal angst and drama, and an awesome setting.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Audiobook Review: King by Eve Langlais

Series:     Space Gypsy #4
Pub. Date:April 25, 2017
Publisher:Tantor Audio
Narrator:Chandra Skyye
Length:8 hrs 47 min

I am sad that this fun and entertaining space odyssey romance series come to an end... it's been a wild ride! There have been some major twists and turns that hit me out of left field, and King is no exception.

Rafe, The Chosen One, is finally on the path to the lead his people home to the lost Rhomanii planet. Emma and Mikhail are along for the ride and following Rafe's lead by necessity. That doesn't stop Emma from being a ridiculous damsel in need of saving... but she amazingly still hasn't gotten on my nerves. I found her horrid helplessness amusing most of the time. Mikhail is still the odd man out, which made him a sympathetic figure. He is pining for Emma, hated by his people, and trying to understand a confusing relationship with his brother.  

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Guest Review by Julie: Hunting Ground by Patricia Briggs

Series:     Alpha & Omega #2
Pub. Date:Aug. 25, 2009
Publisher:Ace Books
Length:286 pages

Wolves, vampires and fae..oh my..

The wolves are gathering for negotiations about coming out publicly to humans. Not all in attendance are in agreement with the plan, and something sinister is afoot.

I loved this entry! Anna has come a long way since her initial introduction, Charles has more humor and romanticism than I thought he was capable of, and the wolf drama..I so enjoy when the villains get their comeuppance!

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Audiobook Review: Highland Blood by Melanie Karsak

Series:     Celtic Blood #2
Pub. Date:Jan. 5, 2017
Publisher:Clockpunk Press
Narrator:Lesley Parkin
Length:5 hrs 38 min

Highland Blood picks up after that cliffhanger that killed me in Highland Raven. There was too much time between me reading the books, so I went back and re-listened to  Highland Raven before starting this one. (It was just as good the second time around!)

The Celtic Blood series is a fantastical retelling of the life of Lady MacBeth (a/k/a Gruoch, a/k/a Ceredwyn), from the time she was a young girl and progressing through her life in Medieval Scotland. Highland Raven focused on Gruoch's early life and meeting of her soul mate, Banquo. In Highland Blood, Grouch has returned from her time in the Otherworld with a marriage contract solidified to Gille Coemgain. Gruoch had to learn to let go of Banquo and accept her fate as a pawn of King Malcolm II.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Interview with Maya Banks for New Release: Just One Touch

A suspenseful and sizzling story of a young woman who 
escapes a terrifying past… into a more uncertain future.

Slow Burn #5
Maya Banks
Released May 9, 2017
Avon Books

Multiple #1 New York Times bestselling author Maya Banks continues her Slow Burn series with a suspenseful and sizzling story of a young woman who escapes a terrifying past… into a more uncertain future.

Monday, May 15, 2017

ARC Review: The Other Einstein by Marie Benedict

Pub. Date:Oct. 18, 2016
Length:304 pages

Sadly, this is one of my blogger shame books - a review copy that I received last year, but that fell through the cracks and didn't make it onto the blog. I'm glad that I have finally worked it into the schedule, because I enjoyed it a great deal. Marie Benedict brought the history of the Einsteins to life in a meld of fact and fiction that captivated me from beginning to end.

Admittedly, I feel like I know very little about Albert Einstein. Other than crazy hair and the theory of relativity, very little about him stuck with me from what little we were taught in school. That could be due to the fact that I was not particularly interested in math or science (that's why I became a lawyer), so my curriculum in school just didn't touch on his life and accomplishments. That being said, from what little I was taught, I know that neither of his wives were mentioned. 

Friday, May 12, 2017

Audiobook Review: Slightly Tempted by Mary Balogh

Series:     Bedwyn #4
Pub. Date:Feb. 21, 2017
Publisher:Tantor Audio
Narrator:Rosalyn Landor
Length:11 hrs 29 min

The fourth installment of the Bedwyn Saga sees us leaving London and following the youngest sibling to Brussels in the days preceding the Battle of Waterloo. I liked the change of setting for this story, and I particularly enjoyed the time period. It seems that so many historical romances take place just after the Napoleonic Wars have ended, so I enjoyed we got some of the action and emotion of the fighting in this story.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Guest Review by Julie: A Tangled Web by M.L. Sparrow

Pub. Date:Feb. 1, 2017
Length:94 pages

I'm always leery of picking up a young adult story. I'm never sure if the story will be dripping in teenage angst or if it will be balanced teenage angst. Having said that, A TANGLED WEB turned out to be a really good-and reasonably balanced-read. And I admit it, I was leery when I started reading.

The story began slowly; teenage angst, lies, and misunderstandings played out before my eyes and had me questioning if I wanted to continue on. Happily I did, and found myself caught up in the earthquake, the ensuing aftermath and the wait to see what happened next. That part alone had me holding my breathe in high anticipation of an ending I wasn't sure would happen!

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

ARC Review: The Witchfinder's Sister by Beth Underdown

Pub. Date:April 25, 2017
Publisher:Ballantine Books
Length:336 pages

This is the second debut author I have read this week, and I very impressed by the new talent on the scene. Beth Underdown delivers a morbidly fascinating look at the witch hunt that occurred during England's Civil War told from the perspective of the fictional sister to the Witchhunter General, Matthew Hopkins. This idea of telling the story of a historical figure from the perspective of that person's sister/daughter/wife has been trending for the last year or more, and I have to say that I do enjoy this method of storytelling. It provides a fresh look at history interweaving fact and fiction in a way that keeps the reader engaged and interested.

Matthew Hopkins was a cold man, sullen and spoiled with a quiet and calculating manner. I think he would have utterly terrified me if I had lived during this time period, as he seemed to have an aura of questionable evil about him. I couldn't tell if he really believed in witches, or if his motives were purely for revenge and a dislike of women in general. Neverthless, it is believed that Hopkins was responsible for the death of over 300 "witches" from 1644-1646. The women he targeted were often old, widowed, physically disabled or mentally infirm - and he would torture them until they confessed to devilish deeds of their own, and also reported on other women in the area. Hopkins authored the book, The Discovery of Witches (1647) detailing his methods and manner of investigation.

Monday, May 8, 2017

ARC Review: The Black Witch by Laurie Forest

Series:     Black Witch Chron. #1
Pub. Date:May 2, 2017
Publisher:Harlequin Teen
Length:608 pages

The Black Witch is Laurie Forest's debut novel, and I envision a promising career ahead for this new author. I was initially daunted by the length of the novel, thinking that I didn't have time to fit it in my schedule. But all the controversy (more on this later) made me want to read this book for myself - and once I picked it up, I couldn't put it down. I read it over the course of a day and late into the night... and got killed by the cliffhanger! I got busy tweeting today to the author telling her to write fast because I need to know what happens... luckily she advises that the next installment is already written, so hopefully we won't have a horribly long delay.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Audiobook Review: Burn for Me by Cynthia Eden

Series:     Phoenix Fire #1
Pub. Date:April 18, 2017
Publisher:Tantor Audio
Narrator:Jillian Macie
Length:11 hrs 59 min

I am absolutely head over heels for Cynthia Eden's LOST series, so I have been wanting to try out some of her paranormals for a while now. I chose this series first because the paranormal characters seem unique - I can't think of any other phoenix stories that I have read. 

The long and short of it is that, aside from the romance, this is the story of an evil scientist conducting forced genetic experiments on supernaturals for the government. Richard Wyatt wants to make a super soldier assassin, one that can't be killed. He is well on his way to doing so with his favorite prisoner, Subject 13... until a pesky reporter shows up.