Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Webcam (Konrath/Kilborn Collective #7) by Jack Kilborn/J.A. Konrath

Available on

Synopsis:

Someone is stalking webcam models.

He lurks in the untouchable recesses of the black web.

He's watching you. Right now.

When watching is no longer enough, he comes calling.

He's the last thing you'll ever see before the blood gets in your eyes.

Chicago Homicide Detective Tom Mankowski (The List, Haunted House) is no stranger to homicidal maniacs. But this one is the worst he's ever chased, with an agenda that will make even the most diehard horror reader turn on all their lights, and switch off all Internet, wifi, computers, and electronic devices.

Jack Kilborn reaches down into the depths of depravity and drags the terror novel kicking and cyber-screaming into the 21st century.

WEBCAM
I'm texting you from inside your closet. Wanna play? :)

ABOUT THE KONRATH/KILBORN COLLECTIVE

The Konrath/Kilborn Collective is not a series. It's an ongoing collection of horror and technothriller novels that can each be read as a standalone. Some feature characters who appear in more than one story.

If you are a more sensitive (or adventurous) reader, the Konrath/Kilborn scale rates specific categories from 1 (lowest) to 10 (highest) to give you some idea if this is your kind of book.

WEBCAM by Jack Kilborn
Scary - 8
Violent - 7
Funny - 4
Sexy - 5
Crossover - Characters from WEBCAM appear in THE LIST and HAUNTED HOUSE

Review:

I love Jack Kilborn's books. The Afraid books are some of my all time favorites. So that is the kind of story I was expecting from this book. I haven't read any of the Jack Daniels or other of the authors mystery books, but they are on my list of to-read. Though after this one I might reconsider as I am not sure I like the way he writes the character interactions and conversations. 

Webcam is the story of a serial killer who is stalking and killing webcam girls named Kendall. He thinks he is saving their souls or something. Making them pay for their sins. And I wish we could have had more of the killer. More of what he did and what made him him. That was why I picked up this book to read for Halloween. I wanted a scary, horrifying read and I got glimpses of the book I wanted. The killer himself, the descriptions of the murder scenes and everything was shudder inducing. I cannot imagine what those girls went through. Seriously this author can make up some truly horrifying situatuins. And I  love it. 

But most of the book felt like it was about the detective, Tom, and how he is in love with his long distance girlfriend who is visiting. How he shouldn't be working, but he has to. How she gets upset that he leaves to do his job while she is there. How he wants to marry her, but they have an agreement that neither will ask the other to give up their jobs or move to be with the other. Their whole storyline? Well I will say this - maybe romance is not the authors strong suit. It didn't feel real. I never got any emotions between the two of them. I was told they were in love. I was told she would get upset or he would feel bad, but I didn't see it. I didn't feel it. I didn't care about them at all. So it wasn't that great. If I don't care what happens to your main characters then if something bad happens it is no big deal. 

You also have the story of one of the Kendall's the killer is stalking. His next victim. I liked those parts more than the detective's part. I liked that she is not actually who the killer goes for. She is not his normal victim. She thinks she might be crazy and making it all up. That was fun and I could have done with a bit more of it. The stalking was pretty creepy. 

Now as I said most of the book is focused on Tom and his investigation and how it affected his love life. The writing in those parts was not very good for me. It was stilted and just not what I expected from this author. I was still enjoying it well enough, but then I realized I only had a few minutes left in the book and a situation that had yet to be resolved and the whole ending felt very rushed. Like suddenly everything worked out tada! It didn't help with the meh feeling of the story when it felt like it wasn't fully flushed out at the end. Oh well. I have the other Afraid books to re-read when I want my horrifying situation fix. 

Rating: ★ ★1/2

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Ten by Gretchen McNeil

Available on

Synopsis:

Shhhh! Don't spread the word! Three-day weekend. Party at White Rock House on Henry Island. You do not want to miss it.

It was supposed to be the weekend of their lives—an exclusive house party on Henry Island. Best friends Meg and Minnie each have their reasons for being there (which involve T.J., the school’s most eligible bachelor) and look forward to three glorious days of boys, booze and fun-filled luxury.

But what they expect is definitely not what they get, and what starts out as fun turns dark and twisted after the discovery of a DVD with a sinister message: Vengeance is mine.

Suddenly people are dying, and with a storm raging, the teens are cut off from the outside world. No electricity, no phones, no internet, and a ferry that isn’t scheduled to return for two days. As the deaths become more violent and the teens turn on each other, can Meg find the killer before more people die? Or is the killer closer to her than she could ever imagine?

Review:

Ten was a meh read for me. I haven't read And Then There Were None, so I am not familiar with the source material people referenced in other reviews, so I just have this story to go on. And it was just okay. I didn't hate it, but it was nothing special either. Meh. 

Meg and her bestie Minnie are going to a house party on a secluded island. For three days. And no one knows they are there. Meg is our main character, the person through whom we see the story unfold and she was just blah. She puts up with way too much abuse from Minnie because Minnie has mental health issues? It was not good. Minnie was horrible to Meg and Meg had to constantly deny herself things because poor poor Minnie. Ugh. I don't really know why she stuck by her friend so much. I know they have been friends forever, but there is only so much abuse I would put up with so...when you are counting down the days until you can leave your "friend" behind and start your life again maybe that should be a red flag. 

Now Meg and Minnie both like this one boy TJ. And of course TJ likes Meg so she has to deny herself being with him because of Minnie. And Minnie sleeps around trying to get TJ to notice her. So it was...I don't know why Meg had to stay away. Minnie was a bit crazy and not a good friend at all. And who also ends up on the island? TJ! And a bunch of other people who I don't really know or learn that much about. Really 10 people was a lot to start with and I am terrible with names anyway, but it didn't really matter. The 10 people in the house for a party weekend start having fun, but then the bodies start piling up. Someone is killing everyone and they don't have a way to get off the island/contact anyone to get help. So they are going to have to figure this out for themselves before they all die. 

Now the murder mystery part was okay, but not great. The characters didn't really react like I would have imagined. They didn't seem to be as upset/terrified as I would have imagined, but it was alright. A light summer murder mystery book with a bit of a forbidden romance thrown in. Really it felt like mostly Meg and TJ trying to work things out and then a bit of people dying and trying to find help/a way off the island. As I said the story was alright, but the end? A bit lame. I...I won't ruin it but it was disappointing how it ends. Overall it was a forgettable book. Not terrible, but not something I will reread or think about again. 

Rating: ★ ★

Saturday, October 28, 2017

On the Move: A Life by Oliver Sacks

Available on

Synopsis:

When Oliver Sacks was twelve years old, a perceptive schoolmaster wrote in his report: “Sacks will go far, if he does not go too far.” It is now abundantly clear that Sacks has never stopped going. From its opening pages on his youthful obsession with motorcycles and speed, On the Move is infused with his restless energy. As he recounts his experiences as a young neurologist in the early 1960s, first in California, where he struggled with drug addiction, and then in New York, where he discovered a long-forgotten illness in the back wards of a chronic hospital, we see how his engagement with patients comes to define his life.

With unbridled honesty and humor, Sacks shows us that the same energy that drives his physical passions—weight lifting and swimming—also drives his cerebral passions. He writes about his love affairs, both romantic and intellectual; his guilt over leaving his family to come to America; his bond with his schizophrenic brother; and the writers and scientists—Thom Gunn, A. R. Luria, W. H. Auden, Gerald M. Edelman, Francis Crick—who influenced him.

On the Move is the story of a brilliantly unconventional physician and writer—and of the man who has illuminated the many ways that the brain makes us human.

Review:

On the Move was an interesting read. If it hadn't been a book club read I never would have made it past the first chapter. It started off so flighty and all over the place. It went from thing to thing to thing and was too much for me. Then it settled down some and was an okay read. Some parts were really interesting, but some parts I found to be really boring. 

I didn't really know anything about Oliver Sacks before reading this book. Because of that I might have had a different experience as opposed to someone who knew of him before hand (at least based on my book club discussion). Myself and another lady found Sacks to be humble bragging his way through the story. He would name drop and include sections of letters people wrote about how amazing he was. It came across as bragging to me, like look how awesome I am even so and so thinks so, but those who knew of him, had read some of his work, didn't find that to be the case. They saw it more as this lonely guy who didn't surround himself with many people, who was always riding off on his motorcycle, they found it really sad. It was interested how it was divided like that, the people who knew of him and the people who didn't. Our discussions were really great about the book and everything in it. 

As I said before parts of this book I found very interesting. When it got to the awakening part I found it fascinating, but at the same time I always wanted more details. Like what happened to the people who woke up, but then started to show negative effects from the drugs? What were the negative effects and such? It felt like you were supposed to already know things at times, already be familiar with him and his work before reading this one. One thing is for sure Sacks is a writer. He was always writing in notebooks and he said at the end how he has tons of them. He can't help himself, he has to write things down. He has published a few works, one is well known enough that I had heard of it, but even though I learned all of this I still felt like I didn't really get to know the man himself. He writes a lot about a lot of different things, but it never felt like I got a picture of him and what he was all about. The synopsis I read before reading the book made it seem like it wold be a bit different. For example about his bond with his schizophrenic brother - it was mentioned about the brother and he came up a time or two, but I never really got much out of that. I never saw a bond between them it was just a line or two here or there. 

This book also has a lot of passages from other things Oliver Sacks has written or other people wrote to him. This kind of drove me crazy as I hated the way they were set up - "As I wrote in such and such" and then a passage, or they didn't add much to the story for me. Like when he went to Canada and was traveling around we have lots of notes from him to his family and vice versa, but they didn't add a whole lot for me. I started skimming the added sections as...I found them annoying. He might be able to write his professional works, I haven't read them, but for me this book was a meandering mess at times. It was not very well written and I expected more from someone who writes so much. That and the way it was set up at times made no sense to me. He would be talking about one thing then suddenly jump to something else for no apparent reason. Like he was talking about publishing something, but his boss didn't want him to, but he ended up doing it anyways and then found out the boss has published Oliver's work as his own. I was interested to know what happened then, did he confront the guy, was the guys book taken down, did he get in trouble for it, anything? But the book just states that Oliver learned this then starts talking about one of his relatives he was close to. It didn't seem to have anything to do with what was happening and it felt like an odd place to put such a passage. There was a sentence towards the end that says something kind of about the book, but it didn't really tie in with the theme of the chapter. 

Overall this was an odd read for me. At times I was really interested and wanted to know more, at times I was so bored I had to force myself to keep going and skim some pages just to get through it. Without knowing Sacks beforehand the book felt like he was constantly humble bragging which was annoying. It wasn't really the book for me, though I might pick up The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat as it sounds interesting. 

Rating: ★ ★1/2

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Irresistibly Yours (Oxford #1) by Lauren Layne

Available on

Synopsis:

Meet the men of Oxford magazine! In the first captivating spin-off of Lauren Layne’s Sex, Love & Stiletto series, a not-so-friendly battle of the sexes turns into a scorching office romance.

Hotshot sports editor Cole Sharpe has been freelancing for Oxford for years, so when he hears about a staff position opening up, he figures he’s got the inside track. Then his boss drops a bombshell: Cole has competition. Female competition, in the form of a fresh-faced tomboy who can hang with the dudes—and write circles around them, too. Cole usually likes his women flirty and curvy, but he takes a special interest in his skinny, sassy rival, if only to keep an eye on her. And soon, he can’t take his eyes off her.

Penelope Pope knows all too well that she comes off as just one of the guys. Since she’s learned that wanting more usually leads to disappointment, Penelope’s resigned to sitting on the sidelines when it comes to love. So why does Cole make her want to get back in the game? The man is as arrogant as he is handsome. He probably sees her as nothing more than a barrier to his dream job. But when an unexpected kiss turns into a night of irresistible passion, Penelope has to figure out whether they’re just fooling around—or starting something real.

Includes a special message from the editor, as well as an excerpt from another Loveswept title.

Review:

Irresistibly Yours was such a cute, fun read. I loved Cole and Penelope. I loved how they work together and both like the other, but neither thinks they really want something longterm. Or Penelope is not willing to have another unrequited crush. These two were so cute together!!

Cole is a freelance sports writer for Oxford magazine. When a sports editor position opens up he wants it. He figures he is a shoe in and he will get the job. The interview will just be a formality and he has nothing to worry about. Only they said they are looking outside as well and have found another great candidate. If only he can figure out who it is and see what his chances are.

Penelope loves sports. She is used to being seen as just one of the guys. She hasn't really had much experience with relationships. After all her last crush left her pretty beat up. He used her and she is now more skeptical than ever. She moved cities to get away from him, away from everything she knew and is hoping to get the sports editor job at Oxford.

When Cole and Penelope first meet it was awesome. Cole is intrigued by her as she is just as focused on the game they are at as he is. Or he usually is. For some reason he can't stop looking at her and thinking about her. He doesn't know she is his competition for the job he desperately needs. Once he finds out it was fun. He is not a jerk. He still helps her however he can because he is such a great guy. I loved him.

These two were great together. They had to figure out what they wanted and how to make everything work. Penelope keeps guarding her heart and telling Cole she doesn't like him like that because she thinks he thinks she is just another conquest. Only she isn't and her rejection stings. So it takes them awhile, but these two were so much fun to read. I loved it. I loved how they both loved sports, how they could just hang out and be low key and it was fine, how everything played out. This was another great read from this author.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★1/2

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Release Day: A Little Too Late by Staci Hart


A Little Too Late, an all-new romantic standalone from Staci Hart is now live! This story was so good you won't want to miss it!

 
Now available on

Synopsis:

I wasn't supposed to fall in love with the nanny.

When my wife left, she took the illusion of happiness with her, and I've been caught in a free fall ever since. For nine long months, I've been fighting to figure out how to be a single dad, how to be alone.

For nine long months, I've been failing.

When Hannah walked through the door, I took my first breath since I'd found myself on my own. She slipped into our lives effortlessly, showing me what I've been missing all these years. Because Hannah made me smile when I thought I'd packed the notion of happiness away with my wedding album.

She was only supposed to be the nanny, but she's so much more.

The day my wife left should have been the worst day of my life, but it wasn't. It was when Hannah walked away, taking my heart with her.




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:

Monday, October 23, 2017

Need You for Keeps (Heroes of St. Helena #1) by Marina Adair

Available on

Synopsis:

When it comes to caring for the furry residents of St. Helena, California, groomer and pet rescuer Shay Michaels can handle anything. Humans are another story, though especially Deputy Jonah Baudouin. He's the town's resident superhero: upright, uptight, and jaw-droppingly gorgeous, even when he's investigating complaints about Shay's beloved foster animals. And that spells danger for Shay, a free spirit who can't risk trusting the wrong person again.

Jonah and Shay have been circling each other ever since she came to town, and he's running out of reasons to "not" kiss her senseless. But this deputy is a straight shooter with his eye on the sheriff's badge. He can't afford to get involved with Shay, a chaos magnet with luscious curves who's liable to turn his career and his life upside down. He enforces laws. She breaks them repeatedly. Keeping her out of trouble is becoming a full-time job and it's one he hopes is never going to end.

Review:

Need You For Keeps was a cute, fun read. Shay was adorable and I loved how much she cared for her animal friends. And Jonah was so sweet! He knows he should stay away from Shay, but he can't. There were perfect for each other.

Shay has a soft spot for animals. She is always rescuing strays and bringing them into her home. Even though you can only have so many, she doesn't care. She can't turn her back on an animal in need. Even if it might get her into trouble.

Jonah is a cop. He is supposed to be upholding the law, but when he has to investigate complaints against Shay and her animals things get a little tricky. He doesn't want to do anything to hurt her, he is running out of reasons not to kiss her silly, but he also has to do his job. He wants to become sheriff as he thinks he could really help the town, but is getting involved with whirlwind Shay really the way to do that?

These two were really cute together. Jonah tries to help Shay however he can and Shay gets him to open up a little bit more than he was. They were wonderful together and I loved reading all of the adventures they had. This was a really cute read. Now on to read more.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Saturday, October 21, 2017

When I'm With You (Hope Town #3) by Harper Sloan

When I'm With You
Available on
Amazon.comAmazon.deGoodreads

Synopsis:

Nate:

It’s nearly impossible to be surrounded by love but not understand it. My parents, my sister, and just about everyone around us has no trouble accepting that love. To give your trust to someone else and believe they would die before hurting you. I’ve witnessed it—I’ve seen the power of it—but I’ve also seen the pain. Because for me, I’ve only loved someone I could never have, and my biggest fear is that by giving her my love, all I would do is ruin her. I should have tried harder, but I’m not sure I can because I only feel complete when I’m with her.

Emberlyn:

The only time I feel like I belong is when he’s near. His infectious smile warms me straight to my bones. Any insecurities I have vanish with just a wink from him. A sliver of his attention makes me feel invincible. But all it took was one drunken night of truths for me to lose everything I had begun to crave. Now, I’m not sure how to move on because I only feel complete when I’m with him.

He said I was too young. I said he was perfect. He said our families wouldn’t understand. I said we could weather any storm. He said he would ruin me. And he was right.

Review:

Oh, this book. When I'm With You was such a great read. I loved Nate and Emm so so much! They are amazing together! Plus you still get to see all the guys from the Corps Security books as dads. Love it!

Nate and Emm don't have the smoothest of stories. Emm has always like Nate, but because of who they are it can be difficult to figure everything out. I mean if they did try to be together, but it didn't work out, it would ruin everything. Their parents are all friends, they spend a lot of time together growing up, so it is not just the two of them that would be affected. Oh, these two!

I loved Nate and Emm. They were wonderful together. Alpha dominant Nate was so freakin hot! I know he messed up a time or two, but when you read what he was thinking, at least that first time, it made sense. Then you feel for Emm as she is putting herself out there and getting nothing. I would have reacted the same way she did. It is hard to be so open with someone you like. Hard to have something happen, but then nothing actually does. Luckily Locke steps up and helps these two figure everything out. Or helps Nate figure out what he would be missing if he doesn't go after Emm. And then - phew! It was hot. The two of them together...yeah. I loved it.

One thing I really loved is how they talked everything through and how Nate tried to show Emm she was worthy of his love. He was so sweet with her at times and I loved every minute of this story. Yes, they grew up together and if things didn't work out it could end up being very awkward for their families, but sometimes it is worth the risk. To find your other half, to fall in love, to have a happily ever after is worth it. I am glad these two got that. They were amazing. Another great read from this author.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★1/2

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Excerpt Reveal: A Little Too Late by Staci Hart


A Little Too Late, an all-new romantic standalone from Staci Hart is coming October 24th!

 
Preorder today on iBooksNook, or  Kobo
Add to-read list on Goodreads
Amazon will be live October 24th, sign up here to get an email reminder here

Synopsis:

I wasn't supposed to fall in love with the nanny.

When my wife left, she took the illusion of happiness with her, and I've been caught in a free fall ever since. For nine long months, I've been fighting to figure out how to be a single dad, how to be alone.

For nine long months, I've been failing.

When Hannah walked through the door, I took my first breath since I'd found myself on my own. She slipped into our lives effortlessly, showing me what I've been missing all these years. Because Hannah made me smile when I thought I'd packed the notion of happiness away with my wedding album.

She was only supposed to be the nanny, but she's so much more.

The day my wife left should have been the worst day of my life, but it wasn't. It was when Hannah walked away, taking my heart with her.




Excerpt:

Hannah The first time I saw Charlie Parker, I didn’t see one thing at a time; I saw all of him. It was an assault on my senses, an overwhelming tide of awareness, and for a moment, the details came to me in flashes over what was probably only a few seconds but felt so much longer. 

His hair was blond and gently mussed, his face long and nose elegant. I could smell him, clean and fresh with just a touch of spice I couldn’t place. I tipped my chin up—he was tall, taller than me, and I hovered just at six feet—and met his eyes, earthy and brown and so deep. So very deep. 

And then he smiled. 

He was handsome when he wasn’t smiling. He was stunning when he was. 

I was so lost in that smile, I didn’t register the flying gob until it whapped against my sweater. Tiny splatters of something cold speckled my neck. 

This was the moment the clock started again, and the sweet serenity slipped directly into chaos. 

A blond little boy looked up at me from his father’s side with a devilish gleam in his dark eyes. The spoon in his hand was covered in blood-red jam and aimed at me like an empty catapult. 

Several things happened at once. Charlie’s face morphed into embarrassed frustration as he reached for who I presumed to be his son. The boy—Sam, I guessed from the names I’d been given by the agency—spun around lightning fast and took off down the hallway, giggling. Another child began to cry from somewhere back in the house, and a bowl clattered to the ground, followed by a hissed swear from what sounded like an older woman. 

I glanced down at the sliding, sticky mess against my white sweater and started to laugh. 

Charlie’s head swiveled back to me, his face first colored with confusion, then in horror as he looked at the Pollock painting on my sweater. 

“Oh my God,” he breathed, his apologetic, wide eyes dragging down my body. “Jesus, I am so sorry.”

 I was still laughing, almost a little hysterical. I couldn’t even tell you why.

I waved a hand at Charlie, and he took my elbow, guiding me into the house as I caught my breath. Another crash came from the kitchen, and a little girl came toddling out into the entry, leaving powdery footprints on the hardwood. 

Charlie’s face screwed up. “Sam!” he called, stretching the word, a drawn-out promise of consequences. 

A riot of giggling broke out in the kitchen. 

We both snapped into motion. I followed him as he scooped up his crying daughter and stormed toward the kitchen. The little girl watched me over his shoulder with big brown eyes, her breath hitching in little shudders and her small finger hooked in her mouth. 

Charlie stopped so abruptly, I almost ran into him. 

When I looked around him and into the kitchen, my mouth opened. I covered it with my fingers as laughter bubbled up my throat. 

A bag of flour sat in the middle of the floor, the white powder thrown in bursts against the surrounding surfaces and hanging in the air like smoke. The floor next to the bag was the only clean spot, shaped like a small bottom—the little girl’s, I supposed. A bowl lay upside down, its contents oozing from under the rim and slung in a ring from ceiling to cabinet to floor, as if it had completed a masterful flip on its way to its demise. And in the center of the madness stood an older woman with flour in her dark hair and dusted down the front of her. Clutched under her arm was a wriggling Sam, offending spoon still in hand. 

Her face was kind but tight with exasperation. “Please tell me this is the new nanny,” she said flatly. 

“I doubt we could convince her to stay at this point,” he said with equal flatness.

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:

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Most of All You by Mia Sheridan

Now available on

Synopsis:

A broken woman . . .

Crystal learned long ago that love brings only pain. Feeling nothing at all is far better than being hurt again. She guards her wounded heart behind a hard exterior, and carries within her a deep mistrust of men who, in her experience, have only ever used and taken.

A man in need of help . . .

Then Gabriel Dalton walks into her life. Despite the terrible darkness of his past, there’s an undeniable goodness about him. And even though she knows the cost, Crystal finds herself drawn to Gabriel. His quiet strength is wearing down her defenses and his gentle patience is causing her to question everything she thought she knew.

Only love can mend a shattered heart . . .

Crystal and Gabriel never imagined that the world that had stolen everything from them would bring them a deep love like this. Except fate will only take them so far and now the choice is theirs: Harden their hearts once again or find the courage to shed their painful pasts.


Review:

Oh, Mia Sheridan. How do you always write such wonderful characters? People who are not the typical romantical leads. People who others might not see, or not for who they really are, but make them shine so? I...her stories always make my heart feel so very full. So full of love and kindness and oh, I love it. I just finished this story and I feel like I am going to cry because it is so beautiful.

Crystal and Gabriel. These two. Man. I don't even know what to say about them. They are so similar yet so very different. The way they see the world is beautiful and heartbreaking. Gabriel. He is...Mia has a way of writing characters that love so beautifully and fiercely it always makes me think that you would be so lucky to find that in your life. To love someone and be loved like her characters love. Gabriel is incredible. I wish I had a way with words. I wish I could pour out everything I am thinking and feeling about this book into this review. But I don't. I try my best, but for books like this, for characters and stories like this, I don't feel I can do them justice. Gabriel is incredible. He has his baggage, but he also has a really beautiful way of looking at things. He loves so pure and so wholly it is breathtaking.

And Crystal. Oh, Crystal, my heart broke for you. She definitely has baggage and oh, to try and love someone who doesn't love themselves must be difficult. To be there and support them and try and make them see that they are worth it. That they are beautiful and worthy of love. I don't really know if I could be as selfless and kind as some of these characters were. I've seen this book paired with Archer's Voice and that is fitting in a way. It reminds me of that story, but also not. Not in the story itself, but the characters feel similar. In a way that sometimes you have to do what is right for you to heal and move on. Sometimes you have to face challenges that you didn't think you would ever want to. Sometimes to move forward you have to go back and visit your past. To make peace with it. To heal. 

Crystal and Gabriel were so perfect for each other. They really bring out the best in the other and their story is beautiful. I loved it. I couldn't put it down. If you are a fan of the author already you will love this story as well. If not maybe this will make you fall in love like I did. Incredible. 

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

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★1/2

Friday, October 13, 2017

Release Boost: Accidental Man Whore by Katherine Stevens


Now available on

Synopsis:

Ben Wright isn’t an escort.

Except when he is.

All he wants is to make some extra money to pay off his dad’s medical bills. He never intended to be tied to beds while making the Benjamins.

Miryam Wexler never intended to be dumped by her fiancé before their wedding.

But she was.

Now all she wants is to put her life back together and not tell her grandmother about her humiliation.

He needs money and she needs a stand-in fiancé. They can help each other, if they don’t kill each other first.

Two people with double lives equals four times the chaos and four times the comedy.


Excerpt:

I am not a male escort.

Okay, technically I am a male escort in the sense that I take money from women to go out with them and sometimes have sex with them. But it didn’t start out that way. I own my own business, for Pete’s sake. It’s not turning a huge profit yet, but it’s mine and I don’t have to answer to anyone. Now I have a madam and a Little Black Book. Except I couldn’t find a real little black book, so my escort contacts are scrawled across the pages of the October 2016 Men’s Health that I hide in a kitchen drawer. My whoring schedule is written on a Chinese takeout menu.

Life used to be simple. I barely remember that life now. The past several months are a blur of lies, and sex, and more lies, and a lot more sex, and yarmulkes. Now I’m standing at my door with some eager beaver Miami detective flashing his badge in my face and wanting to know why they found my contact info in a madam’s office during a prostitution bust. I don’t have an answer that won’t land me in jail. I missed the hooker orientation where they tell you to have prepared statements for events like this.

How did it start? How did I go from a guy who waters plants for living to a part-time escort? I would like to say it started with a woman, but it didn’t. It’s kind of a funny story. I took money to bang chicks for my dad. It’s only a little less creepy than it sounds. I wonder if this cop will get a laugh out of it.




About the Author:

When Katherine Stevens isn’t writing, she can usually be found opening juice boxes and looking for lost shoes. Her kids keep her quite busy and always zig-zagging across the line of sanity. She is a lifelong Texan with a terrible sense of direction and even worse memory. She thinks life is entirely too hard if you don't laugh your way through it.

As a child, she dreamed of being the most sarcastic astronaut in history, but her poor math skills and aversion to dehydrated food kept her out of the space program. Now she writes to pass the time until NASA lowers their standards. Your move, NASA.



Other Books by Katherine Stevens

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Dallas Fire & Rescue: Ghost Fire (Kindle Worlds Novella) by G.G. Andrew

Now available on 

Synopsis:

When tenacious writer Laney Stonewater ropes firefighter Lucas Moore into staying overnight at the supposedly haunted Cattleman’s Crossing Inn, both of them will get more than they bargained for. The inn was the site of a blaze that killed a man 20 years ago and left Lucas with a strange burn mark on his arm and memories he’d rather forget. Along with a psychic, the victim’s widow, and an amateur ghost hunter, Laney and Lucas set out to learn if Cattleman’s Crossing went up in flames due to a simple mistake…or something much more sinister.

As the night grows darker–and the inn grows warmer, stranger, and more surreal–Laney and Lucas discover they’ve got a connection that burns as hot as any blaze and could have staying power beyond the haunted walls of the inn.

But first they must survive the night…

Review:

Ghost Fire was a fun read. A bit spookier than the author's other stories which I enjoyed. 

Laney is writing a story for the 20th anniversary of the Cattleman's Crossing fire. One man died in the fire and to add a little more to the story she is trying to get the survivors back to stay the night there with her. To share their stories and add that personal touch even though she is a big ghost skeptic. She is sure it was just a normal fire and there is nothing to worry about.  

Lucas is one of the survivors of the Cattleman's Crossing fire. He was only 9 when the fire happened and what he saw that night haunts him to this day. He doesn't want anything to do with that place. He definitely doesn't want to spend the night there. When Laney asks him to, when she asks him to share what happened so long ago, he tries to stay strong. But there is something there between them and this fireman can't say no forever. How can he say no and let her spend the night in that place? What if something were to happen to her and he wasn't there to try and help? 

When the two of them spend the night, with a few other invited guests, things heat up pretty quickly. Will Laney be converted and believe in ghosts? Or will Lucas realize nothing happened all those years ago? This was a fun story and the author did a good job adding some spooky tension in there as well as the fun characters falling for each other. It was a lot of fun and a perfect Halloween read. 

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

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Release Day: Accidental Man Whore by Katherine Stevens


Now available on 

Synopsis:

Ben Wright isn’t an escort.

Except when he is.

All he wants is to make some extra money to pay off his dad’s medical bills. He never intended to be tied to beds while making the Benjamins.

Miryam Wexler never intended to be dumped by her fiancé before their wedding.

But she was.

Now all she wants is to put her life back together and not tell her grandmother about her humiliation.

He needs money and she needs a stand-in fiancé. They can help each other, if they don’t kill each other first. Two people with double lives equals four times the chaos and four times the comedy.


Review:

Accidental Man Whore was a fun read. Ben was so adorably clueless. He is not good at picking up the clues and knowing what is going on. Oh, he was fun. 

Ben works watering plants in an office building. He started this company not that long ago and makes enough to live, but is not making a ton of money. Some of his clients are a bit scary in how strong their personalities are, but he is a good guy and gets his work done. 

Miryam is getting married. To the perfect guy. They both are attorneys, they both know what they want, it is going to be great. Maybe not a grand, passionate relationship, but perfect for what she wants. 

When Ben's dad is diagnosed with cancer he will do almost anything to get the money to pay for his treatment. So he tries to get some more plant watering business, but his boss at the office building has another idea. Just go to some parties and keep the ladies happy. Easy peasy. And it pays a lot more than Ben could hope to make in an evening doing anything else. So of course he agrees. Oh, he was so adorable. He doesn't realize what is going on until he is in it. He was so much fun. 

Miryam thought her fiance was perfect, only to find out that he doesn't actually want to marry her. Right before the wedding. So now she will have to tell her grandmother, the person closest to her whose health is not the best, that she is not getting married. Her grandmother will be devastated so what will she do? Hire someone to play her fiance of course. Only Ben is that someone and they have had a run in before. But desperate times call for desperate measures. Now I will say I really didn't like Miryam for most of the story. She was soooo judgemental and awful! I was yelling at her a lot in my head while reading her parts. She thinks she knows Ben when she doesn't know anything. And she treats him not so good because of what she thinks she knows of him and ah! I didn't like her. But I still enjoyed reading her. Which is odd. 

Through all of this, through being a fake fiance and spending time together, these two grew closer. Oh I enjoyed this story. It was fun. Ben and Miryam and everything they go through. I so enjoyed reading thier story.

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

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★


Excerpt:

I am not a male escort.

Okay, technically I am a male escort in the sense that I take money from women to go out with them and sometimes have sex with them. But it didn’t start out that way. I own my own business, for Pete’s sake. It’s not turning a huge profit yet, but it’s mine and I don’t have to answer to anyone. Now I have a madam and a Little Black Book. Except I couldn’t find a real little black book, so my escort contacts are scrawled across the pages of the October 2016 Men’s Health that I hide in a kitchen drawer. My whoring schedule is written on a Chinese takeout menu.

Life used to be simple. I barely remember that life now. The past several months are a blur of lies, and sex, and more lies, and a lot more sex, and yarmulkes. Now I’m standing at my door with some eager beaver Miami detective flashing his badge in my face and wanting to know why they found my contact info in a madam’s office during a prostitution bust. I don’t have an answer that won’t land me in jail. I missed the hooker orientation where they tell you to have prepared statements for events like this.

How did it start? How did I go from a guy who waters plants for living to a part-time escort? I would like to say it started with a woman, but it didn’t. It’s kind of a funny story. I took money to bang chicks for my dad. It’s only a little less creepy than it sounds. I wonder if this cop will get a laugh out of it.





About the Author:

When Katherine Stevens isn’t writing, she can usually be found opening juice boxes and looking for lost shoes. Her kids keep her quite busy and always zig-zagging across the line of sanity. She is a lifelong Texan with a terrible sense of direction and even worse memory. She thinks life is entirely too hard if you don't laugh your way through it.

As a child, she dreamed of being the most sarcastic astronaut in history, but her poor math skills and aversion to dehydrated food kept her out of the space program. Now she writes to pass the time until NASA lowers their standards. Your move, NASA.



Other Books by Katherine Stevens

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Release Boost: Logan (Preston Brothers #2) by Jay McLean


Have you read Logan yet? If not what are you waiting for? It is a great read!

Now available on


Synopsis:

As a kid, Logan Preston was a brat.

Through his teens, he became the bad boy

Now, at nineteen, no one knows what the hell to expect.

***


High school dropout, Logan Preston is a

good-for- nothing stoner.

A black sheep.

A disappointment.

The worst Preston Punk of the lot.

At least that’s how everyone in his small town

makes him feel.

But Logan Preston has secrets.

Secrets so dark and so deep below the surface that the only way he can fight them is to stay high, high, high.

He wears cockiness as a mask.

Arrogance as his armor.

Until one girl, one night, asks one life-changing question:

What's beneath the bravado, Logan Preston?









Prior Books in the series (click title to go to my review):

Available on



The Preston Brothers Series is a spin-off of the More Than Series. Meet the More Than men in:


More Than This (Book 1) - Jake Andrews: Sweet jock

Available on




More Than Her & More Than Him (book 2 & 3) Logan Matthews: Arrogant asshat.

Available on


Available on




More Than Forever (Book 4) - Cameron Gordon: High school sweetheart.

Currently FREE!! Available on




More Than Enough (Book 5) - Dylan Banks: Broody, silent Marine.

Available on



About the Author:

She writes what she loves to read, which are books that can make her laugh, make her hurt and make her feel.

Jay lives in the suburbs of Melbourne, Australia, in a forever half-done home where music is loud and laughter is louder.

Jay McLean is an international best-selling author and full-time reader, writer of New Adult Romance, and most of all, procrastinator. When she's not doing any of those things, she can be found running after her two little boys, playing house and binge watching Netflix.

Facebook | Fan Group | Web | Twitter | Instagram | 


Friday, October 6, 2017

The Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America's Shining Women by Kate Moore

Available on

Synopsis:

The incredible true story of the young women exposed to the “wonder” substance of radium and their brave struggle for justice...

As World War I raged across the globe, hundreds of young women toiled away at the radium-dial factories, where they painted clock faces with a mysterious new substance called radium. Assured by their bosses that the luminous material was safe, the women themselves shone brightly in the dark, covered from head to toe with the glowing dust. With such a coveted job, these “shining girls” were considered the luckiest alive—until they began to fall mysteriously ill. As the fatal poison of the radium took hold, they found themselves embroiled in one of America’s biggest scandals and a groundbreaking battle for workers’ rights.

A rich, historical narrative written in a sparkling voice, The Radium Girls is the first book that fully explores the strength of extraordinary women in the face of almost impossible circumstances and the astonishing legacy they left behind.

Review:

Wow, Radium Girls was a fascinating read. I have been reading a lot of non-fiction recently, and I generally enjoy it, but a non-fiction story hasn't grabbed me like this one has maybe ever. I couldn't put it down once I started. It was horrifying and compelling and everything I wanted. Well almost everything. It did give me a few thing to look up and learn more about once I finished. I knew nothing about the Radium Girls before reading this, nothing of how radium was thought of and whatnot, and I am glad I read this. 

Radium Girls was a fascinating read. While it was horrifying at times, it made me really angry at times, it was interesting. Because I don't think that things have changed that much. Sure you have more protections as a worker, but corporations can be just as corrupt. They just have other ways of going about it. 

This is the story of the girls who worked for a radium watch dial factory. Who would dip their paintbrushes in the radium paint, but it in their mouth to point it, then paint on the dial. Many many times a day. They were told it was perfectly safe, the radium is actually good for you! But that was the thinking at the time, which looking at it from now and everything we know is crazy! And made me cringe every time they said they put the radium paint in their mouth. They ate with the dust of it all over the place. How they glowed when they left work and no amount of scrubbing would get rid of it. Oh, those poor women. And the company they worked for? Even when they knew beyond a doubt that the radium was making them sick, killing them, did they do anything? No. They didn't have to. They were vile, reprehensible, but like I said above I think a lot of companies still are. They will pay lobbyists and government to make it so they can do what they want. Look at the beef and dairy industry for prime examples. How about slaughterhouses? They are terrible places to work because of safety issues and the like, but the companies get away with it. So although these women helped worker's rights move forward, it didn't eliminate the problem of greedy corporations not treating employees right. 

The struggles these women went through I can't imagine. Living like they did, the pain and suffering the endured, I can't image. I don't know if I would have been as strong as some of them were. To fight with everything they had to try and change things. I really admire that about them. I found the whole thing fascinating. Their stories, before they worked there, working there, after, all of it. One of the best non--fiction books I have read. And everything these women helped us with, helped science with even after they died, is incredible. Unfortunate what happened to them, but at least they got to help others. Which is what some of them wanted in the end after they found out what happened. Really a great read that I highly recommend. 

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Blog Tour: Battle Scars by Jane Harvey-Berrick


Now available on 

Synopsis:

From the dusty plains of Afghanistan to the sleek corridors of the New York Times, journalist MJ Buckman seeks the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. What she doesn’t expect to find is a man who’s her complete opposite … and fits her perfectly.

Marine Sergeant Jackson Connor knows that relationships don’t work for men in the military. He’s living proof of that. But when a steely-eyed temptress in a flak jacket, who carries her moral cause in front of her, crosses his path, he’s furious, curious, and all kinds of in-lust.

* * *

A grown-up love story about two people who aren’t looking for love, but realize how precious it is when they find it. They don’t play games and there are no stupid misunderstandings, just life standing in their way.

Can they compromise? And what does that look like in a modern relationship between two driven people?

Assignment Vs deployment.

They’re always traveling in different directions. What relationship can survive that?
 

Excerpt:

A whole generation was growing up knowing only despair, death and destruction. How could there be lasting peace when children were encouraged to carry guns? How could life return to normal when these children had never experienced it? The problem seemed too big, too difficult, too impossible to solve.

And here and now, we were all suffering the effects of lives lived in hate.

Doctors and nurses worked with strained detachment as they attempted to triage a thousand people at once. Chaos was too polite a word for everything that I witnessed.

“Can I help?” I asked, a nurse rushing past.

She raised her shoulders in a helpless shrug, then pointed at a teenage girl who had a wound on her leg, bright red pooling around her.

“Apply pressure,” she shouted as she ran toward a child whose robes were dark with blood.

“Then what?” I yelled after her.

“Pray!” she shouted over her shoulder.

I turned to the girl whose jet-black eyes watched me without emotion. She’d wadded her dress, pressing it against the wound while blood soaked into the sand around us. I pressed down on her leg, trying not to gag as blood seeped between my fingers.

All around me, people were crying and begging for help, most of them young, so young. I knew that over half of the refugees at this camp were children, but seeing them like this…

I stayed with the girl, helpless to do anything except apply pressure to a wound that wouldn’t stop bleeding. I pressed down, pressed down, and I talked to her—trivial nonsense that meant nothing, important things that meant everything. I told her about Jackson. I told her all about the man who’d stormed his way into my life, his eyes blazing. I told her my hopes and fears, and when I’d told her everything I could think of, I prayed, reciting Bible verses that I’d last heard at my father’s funeral.

She didn’t understand me, of course, but maybe she understood the tone. Maybe she knew that I was praying for her.

And finally the blood flow slowed and I stopped talking. There was nothing more to say because the girl was dead, her dark eyes open and accusing.

And what could I do? I wasn’t a doctor, I wasn’t a nurse. I wasn’t even a fighter. All I could do was write about what I’d seen and heard, said and done, and hope that somebody cared. Maybe even someone who cared enough to help end the madness.

But when hatred is your birthright, hope seems a very long way away, and I wondered if God had heard my prayers.


About the Author:

Jane is a writer of contemporary romance fiction, known for thoughtful stories, often touching on difficult subjects: disability (DANGEROUS TO KNOW & LOVE, SLAVE TO THE RHYTHM); mental illness (THE EDUCATION OF CAROLINE, SEMPER FI); life after prison (LIFERS); dyslexia (THE TRAVELING MAN, THE TRAVELING WOMAN).

She is also a campaigner for former military personnel to receive the support they need on leaving the services. She wrote the well-received play LATER, AFTER with former veteran Mike Speirs. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hk1CyB8c0xA )