Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Until the Beginning (After the End #2) by Amy Plum

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Synopsis:

When Juneau's clan disappeared, she lost so much more than her friends and family. She soon discovered everything she thought she knew about her life was a lie. Her people's gifts were actually secret abilities that others wanted, desperately enough to kidnap an entire village.

Juneau and her new companion Miles's cross-country journey to find her clan has led them to a game preserve in New Mexico. Now Juneau's people are finally within reach, and she will stop at nothing to save them. But she has a target on her back too, because unbeknownst to her she is the key to unlocking everything. To rescue her people - and herself - Juneau must discover what she, and her abilities, are truly capable of.

Review:

Until the Beginning was a really great read. I love Juneau and Miles and watching them try and save her clan. The story was so much fun to read and when I got to the end I was very sad that was it. That there wasn't another book with more of their adventures.

At the end of the last book Miles wasn't in such good shape and Juneau was hopeful that she had saved him. When this one starts she is trying to figure out if she has been successful. Trying to stay positive and not think anything bad would happen. I really enjoyed her. I like the whole idea of how she can communicate with nature and use the forces to do things. How she struggled with being lied to her whole life and trying to figure out what she actually believed. She did that a bit in the first book, but she really had to solidify some of her beliefs in this one. It was great because most people I know went through the same kind of thing when they left home and were out on their own. Taking what you learned growing up and shaping it to fit you.

Miles was really great in this one. I didn't connect with him as much as I would have liked in the first book, but by the end of this one I loved him. I loved how he took to everything. How it was crazy and scary, but he worked through it. How he cared for Juneau and was always there when she needed him. How he wouldn't give up, how he was always ready to help her if need be.

Juneau was off to save her clan. She finds them and then has to figure out a way to safely get everyone out of where they are. The people who took them and how everything fit together was kind of awesome. I loved the ending and how everything went down. It was a lot of fun. And I want more! Like what happens next? I know they talk about it a bit, but I wasn't ready to let these characters go. I wanted to see them go out into the world and figure everything out. A really fun read.

Rating: ★★★★

Sunday, June 25, 2017

The Love Letter by Brenna Aubrey

Available on 

Synopsis:

Young doctor Mark Hinton is on the brink of a new beginning in his life, yet he’s still haunted by the past. Thanks to a caring older sister, a canny librarian, a cantankerous patient and Jane Austen, he finds the strength to search his own heart and discover the truth of a love that has never died. Influenced by Jane Austen’s PERSUASION, this short story is about finding love again after heartbreak.

This story was the Grand Prize Winner of the Jane Austen Made Me Do It Short Story Contest and was included in the critically-acclaimed anthology of the same name.

Review:

The Love Letter is a short story, 20 pages long, and not that good. I didn't understand the characters and it was a suddenly everything works out and I don't know why. I know it has the Austen in it, but...I read it and thought that is it? That is all we get? It is that easy to fix everything and live happily ever after? Not my favorite short story as it felt like it needed more, needed to be longer to really tell the story.

Rating: 

Friday, June 23, 2017

After the End (After the End #1) by Amy Plum

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Synopsis:

She’s searching for answers to her past. They’re hunting her to save their future.

World War III has left the world ravaged by nuclear radiation. A lucky few escaped to the Alaskan wilderness. They've survived for the last thirty years by living off the land, being one with nature, and hiding from whoever else might still be out there.

At least, this is what Juneau has been told her entire life.

When Juneau returns from a hunting trip to discover that everyone in her clan has vanished, she sets off to find them. Leaving the boundaries of their land for the very first time, she learns something horrifying: There never was a war. Cities were never destroyed. The world is intact. Everything was a lie.

Now Juneau is adrift in a modern-day world she never knew existed. But while she's trying to find a way to rescue her friends and family, someone else is looking for her. Someone who knows the extraordinary truth about the secrets of her past.

Review: 

After the End was a fun read. I liked Juneau a lot and the way she could connect with nature. It was fun to see where it would all go. 

Juneau grew up believing the world was destroyed many years ago and their little outpost in Alaska is one of the only remaining groups of people left. They have great respect for nature and have lived pretty much cut off from everything. It is all Juneau has ever known. Until she comes back from a hunting trip one day to find everyone gone. Taken by some men to who knows where. And she is the only one left to find them and save them. 

When Juneau realizes how she has been lied to over the years it is not that good. She still has to find her clan, but how can she trust people anymore? And how can she connect with nature like she used to if everything is a lie? She was great. I really enjoyed watching her discover the world and talk to the plants and animals surrounding her. How she was happiest out in the middle of nowhere instead of in a big city. How she was trying to figure out what was going on, who was after her and why. 

Along the way she picks up Miles as a guide and helper in her quest. Now my one small negative about the book is that I never really felt like I got to know Miles. Not like Juneau. I know I was told the things he did and how he was, but I never really felt it. So sometimes I didn't understand why he was doing the things he was doing. It was fine, I just wish there would have been a bit more to him so I could have known him as well as her. 

Overall this was a really fun read. Now I have to move on to the next book and see what happens!

Rating: ★★★★

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Reaper (Boston Underworld #2) by A. Zavarelli

Available on 

Synopsis:

Sasha.

He’s dark and mysterious. Quiet and lethal.
An Irish mobster.
Pure sin wrapped up in a beautiful package.
But there’s also something off about him.
He doesn’t feel anything. He shows no emotions.
Sometimes I question his humanity.
He hasn’t spoken to me in two years. Not a single word.
But we share a secret, he and I.
And if it ever comes out, I have no doubt in my mind…
He won’t have a problem killing me too.

Ronan.

I’ve slain for her. I’ll do it again.
When it comes to Sasha, there isn’t a line I won’t cross.
I watch her. She doesn’t know it.
She thinks I hate her. Sometimes, I think I might too.
But I’m always there, lurking in the shadows.
Craving her. Trying to keep the beast within at bay.
I’ll keep her safe. I’ll slaughter anyone who tries to hurt her.
The only thing I can’t do… is protect her from myself.

Review:

Reaper was amazing! I loved this story so so much! I have been on a roll recently reading amazing books and this was another one to add to the list. Oh, I loved Ronan! He was the best!

Ronan and Sasha have a secret. Something happened two years ago and if anyone found out if could be bad for both of them. Plus now Sasha thinks Ronan hates her since he won't talk to her. Not that he talks a lot, but he will occasionally say something to everyone but her. She has a lot on her plate and dealing with Mister silent sexy guy is just another thing to add to the list. Her mom is sick and dying, her sister hates her, she has been through more than someone should have to go through to keep her family safe, but they will never know. She was wonderful and gave up so much for those she loved. As soon as her mom passes she wants out. She wants to get far away from the Irish Mob as she can. She can't stay here...can she?

Ronan had an absolutely horrific childhood. He doesn't really know things most other people do. He is not at all experienced with women, he doesn't do well with emotions, he is great when someone tells him what to do, but if he has to figure it out himself he won't. I loved him so so much. He was...I loved how he wanted to understand things, but he just didn't. Like he gets a dog at one point and he has to take care of it. Only he doesn't know how. Someone tells him the dog is hungry at one point so now whenever he sees the dog do the same thing he thinks it is hungry. So he feeds the dog. Only she also wants love and attention. She liked Ronan and oh it was adorable! Him learning to be more human, the normal things we all take for granted, made me swoon.

Because of his dark past Ronan doesn't speak much. He also doesn't trust easily and he doesn't like people touching him. He is the guy the mob turns to to kill people and get information from. He doesn't mind doing it, but once he meets Sasha he thinks he can never be with her since she would hate what he does and who he is. These two don't talk much, but they both like the other. There is something there between them and if they could figure out how to communicate they might be able to figure this all out.

I loved this story. I cannot say enough good things about it. Ronan and Sasha were wonderful together. She doesn't judge him for the things he does/who he is and he always is there to try and protect her. Oh, Ronan, you stole my heart. Through the ups and the downs these two try and fight their way through. It was wonderful. Go. Read this story. it is amazing.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★1/2

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Hook Me (Men of Inked #2) by Chelle Bliss

Available on

Synopsis:

Michael Gallo found his calling in life – he wants to kick ass. He works at Inked as a piercer, but spends his mornings training and dreaming of winning an UFC championship. Michael is the road to achieving his goal when a chance encounter alters his world forever. The title is no longer enough – he must capture the woman of his dreams.

Dr. Mia Greco is dedicated to saving lives and helping those less fortunate. She doesn’t have time to meet Mr. Right with her busy schedule. She buries herself in her work and helping humanity. Fate steps in and sweeps the carpet out from under her. She tries to deny the pull to him, a man that uses his fists for gain, but the universe won’t let her walk away so easy and Michael isn’t one to take no for an answer.

He has a secret that may rip them apart. There are forces bigger than them at work; drawing them in and making their worlds collide – not letting either one of them walk away.

Review:

Did I read a different book from everyone else? This story was a hot mess for me. It needed an editor to make it more coherent. I felt like the conversations often didn't make sense and the same conversations were repeated again and again and again. I don't know how many times Mia was told Michael is part owner of a tattoo shop and a fighter, each time like it is new information. Or how Mia gets stressed out working in the ER and would love to work at the clinic full time, but they can't afford to offer her full time employment. Every time it comes up Michael asks again why she doesn't just work at the clinic full time like they had never had a conversation about it before. It was confusing to say the least. Oh, about the clinic one more thing. Michael's family is wealthy so he mentions having his family donate to the clinic so she can work there full time. Her first thought? What she immediately thinks? What did your parents do to make this money because if it was from illegal means she can't accept it. What? Really? Why oh why do you think they got rich in illegal ways?? Yes, they are Italian so that means they are in the Mob? Really? Ugh. I hated stuff like that in this story. It made no sense. Maybe if Michael had hinted at it or if she knew his family name in association with bad things then I could see it. But no, she just assumes because they are Italian that they are part of the Mob. They couldn't have made their money in normal ways...

Really Mia is very judgmental and stereotypes everyone. I hated it. Not only the Italian thing, but with everyone. Oh, if I didn't know them I would think they were super stupid meatheads who couldn't string two words together. Oh, this person looks like this negative thing, this person is like that even though I don't know them. I hated all the judgment based on nothing!!

*Spoiler alert*

So if all that wasn't bad enough we also have a big chunk of drama at the end. Michael's ex Tammy is crazy. Like seriously crazy. She works at the same hospital as Mia and one day she goes crazy on Mia how she is stealing her fiancé and shows her her ring and everything. Oh and Tammy is apparently pregnant with his baby. Michael knew Tammy was crazy and claiming to be pregnant, which he didn't really believe, but was trying to figure out what to do about it if she really was. Why didn't he tell Mia any of this sooner? Because then we wouldn't have this pointless drama! Okay so Michael tries to get Mia to listen to him, tell her how crazy Tammy is and how they are not engaged and everything, but Mia won't listen. She just keeps thinking how Michael was cheating on his fiancé even though he is adamant that she is not his fiancé. Then Tammy shows Mia their engagement photos...and yeah. It is just their heads on different bodies and totally crazy pants. So does Mia think oh, maybe I should call Michael? Maybe he wasn't lying because Tammy really is unhinged? Maybe they are not really engaged? No, she STILL thinks they are really engaged!!! It made NO SENSE!!! When you see how crazy Tammy is, just like Michael keeps claiming, why for the love of all things won't you listen to Michael?!?! Seriously. It was too much. It made no sense. None. The whole second half of the book was just me yelling at Mia and wanting to throw the book across the room. Not good. Not good at all.

Rating:

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Bad Penny by Staci Hart


 Now available & only $0.99! Grab your copy today from

Synopsis:

Nothing good comes after the third date.

See, date three is the crucial point when things get real, which is exactly why I bounce out the door, twiddling my fingers at whatever poor boy I’ve left behind. Because if I stick around, one of three things will happen: he’ll profess his undying love, he gets weird and stalky, or I’ll go crazy. Like, Sid and Nancy crazy. Like, chase-him- through-the- streets- begging-him- to-love- me crazy.

Seriously, it’s better for everyone this way.

So when I meet Bodie, I figure it’ll be the same as it ever was. It doesn’t matter that he doesn’t put a single string on me. Doesn’t matter that he’s funny and smart and jacked and can play my body like a grand piano. Because even though I’m built for love, love has only carved me up like a Christmas ham.

Resistance is something I can only hang on to for so long, and he has persistence in spades. But my heart isn’t as safe as I want to believe, and neither is his. And the second I ignore my cardinal rule is the second I stand to lose him forever.


Review:

Bad Penny was a cute read. Now I'll be honest it did take me awhile to warm up to the story. Or really to warm up to Penny. She was...her topics of conversation were a bit much for me. Or too much the way she talked about it. No judgment, it is fine if you talk like that/enjoy the way she talks, but it was just eh for me. Not my favorite. Though slowly but surely she won me over. Plus Bodie was freaking amazing and I loved him right from the start! Another great read from this author. 

Penny has rules. No dating past the third date. That is when things get tricky, when strings get added, and she does not want strings. She tried the whole boyfriend thing before and someone always gets crazy. Either she gets crazy, which she doesn't want, or they get crazy, which she also doesn't want. Though when she meets Bodie things start to get tricky anyways. Can she really keep seeing him past the third date and not have strings? Can she really keep her heart out of it when she is so attracted to him and he is kind of perfect? Will she risk it to see what will happen? 

Bodie is so freaking adorable and sexy and smart and hot and amazing! Seriously he is like perfect. Perfect for Penny, perfect for...well just perfect. He is patient, he knows if he comes on too strong he will scare Penny away. He never thought he would actually have a shot with Penny, but to do so he has to play it right. He knows she will get scared away if he just professes his love or something, so he is happy seeing how far this can go. Ultimately he will be with Penny forever, but if not then he at least will have as much time as he can with her. I loved Bodie. He was the best! Seriously. He knew exactly what to do and how to give Penny when she needed even if she didn't know it. He didn't get all possessive or jealous or want to keep her down. In fact he wants her to fly, wants her to stay the same as she is now. Only with him in her life as well. He never wants to hold her back, but breaking down those walls can take time. Will he be able to? Will he get is happily ever after? 

These two were so sweet together. I know it started off so so with Penny for me, but I loved her with Bodie. They were so hot together! And so much more. This was a really fun read. 

*Note: I received a free copy of this book for voluntary review consideration

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★


About the Author:

Staci has been a lot of things up to this point in her life -- a graphic designer, an entrepreneur, a seamstress, a clothing and handbag designer, a waitress. Can't forget that. She's also been a mom, with three little girls who are sure to grow up to break a number of hearts. She's been a wife, though she's certainly not the cleanest, or the best cook. She's also super, duper fun at a party, especially if she's been drinking whiskey. From roots in Houston to a seven year stint in Southern California, Staci and her family ended up settling somewhere in between and equally north, in Denver. They are new enough that snow is still magical. When she's not writing, she's reading, sleeping, gaming, or designing graphics.
Connect with Staci:

Escape from Olympus (The Falken Chronicles Book 2) by Piers Platt

Now available on

Synopsis:

After his escape from the prison colony Oz, Sirio Falken has found a new life as a safari guide on the planet Olympus. There, he helps tourists navigate the planet's exotic ecosystem, which is dominated by a single apex predator: a long-lived and sightless avian species called dragons. With exceptional hearing, the dragons are feared for hunting down anything that moves, including Falken and his guests, if they’re not careful. But unknown to Falken, criminal elements have plans to use him to plunder the planet's resources, whether he's willing to help them or not. He'll have to keep the lethal dragons at bay long enough to unravel a growing conspiracy … and escape from Olympus.

Review:

If you haven't read Piers Platt before you really need to. Seriously. His books are so. Much. Fun!! I love them and can't get enough.

Escape from Olympus is the second book in the Falken Chronicles but could be read as a standalone. You wouldn't have the backstory from the first book, but that is okay. You should read the first one anyways cause it is great, but I don't think you need to in order to enjoy this story.

Man this book was so much fun. I loved it. I couldn't put it down once I started, which my husband didn't appreciate since I started it on a short train ride when we were on vacation and all I wanted to do was read the rest of the day then until I finished! At least he knows me well enough to know I get like this sometimes...and doesn't mind too much.

In Escape from Olympus Falken is working on the planet Olympus. Or rather on a ship above the planet Olympus. The planet it inhabited by dragons that can very easily kill you in really terrible ways. You don't want to be stuck on the planet and try to survive them. He works for a tourism company where you can take a virtual reality tour around the planet and walk among the dragons. The goal is to see how long you can survive before they kill you. And you see and feel everything like you are really there. I can't imagine. That sound awesome! How crazy would it be to feel like you are really on this planet being hunted by these dragons? To feel like you are dying in terrible ways? Of course you can always come out of it whenever you want, but man. I so want to do that! I Want to see how long I would survive. In all honesty it probably wouldn't be long, but I would love every minute of it.

Now this is all fine and dandy, Falken loves his job, but of course there is more to the story. One of the things I love about this author's work is how he layers the characters. How you get the story from a few different points of view and it is not always obvious how each plays a role in what happens. How you sometimes have to wait until the end to see how it all ties together. All of the characters are so much fun, even the bad guys. I don't really know what the bad guys were thinking in this one cause it is intense, but so much fun to read. This second book is definitely more action packed than the first one. Everyone gets into some dicey situations and I couldn't put it down. I so enjoyed this story and the world this author created. I wanted to be a patron of Falken's business. Even if it meant I had to fly into outer space, which is probably my biggest fear, I wanted to be in this world. I wanted to experience this! Well maybe not everything that happens in this story, but Olympus Safari? Sign me up!

Overall this is a great read. Lots of action and adventure, lots of cool ideas, and dragons! Who doesn't love dragons? Go read this book. You won't be sorry you did.

*Note: I received a free copy of this book for voluntary review consideration

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★1/2