Thursday, August 25, 2016

The Cowboy Next Door by Roxanne Snopek

When single mother Leda Plett - who’s doing just fine on her own, thank you very much – goes next door to retrieve her wandering pooch, she doesn’t expect to find the neighbor’s handsome brother lounging about like he owns the place. She certainly doesn’t expect him to go after the deadbeat who abandoned her. She’s not looking for a know-it-all white knight with long, lean muscles and a sexy smile. He’s hot, but she’s already been burned.


Rodeo-star turned agent Eric Anders is used to managing people, especially irresponsible males, and he can’t stand it that some jerk has left Leda high and dry. Clearly, the boots-and-sundress wearing mouthy mama needs someone on her side. He could change her life, if only she would let him! And it has nothing to do with the fact that her sparkly exterior hides a spirit that is as sweet as it is strong – and irresistible.


In fact, Leda is more mature than her years. She feels the weight of her mistakes, and wants only to make sure her daughter doesn’t suffer for them. Eric’s hot gaze makes her weak in the knees but Leda’s track record with men is as bad as it is short. Can she trust the cowboy next door?


When Eric’s well-intentioned actions inadvertently reveal a shameful secret from Leda’s past, he realizes she never needed him at all. As he watches her rise above the humiliation, he knows he must find a way to make it up to her, or risk losing the one girl he now can’t live without.


Series: This Old House #3 | Publisher: Montana Born Books, an imprint of Tule | Genre: Contemporary Romance | Source:  Publisher| Rating: DNF

Challenges Read For: Blogger Shame
So, I picked this one because I’ve really enjoyed a few of Roxanne Snopek’s book plus Leda and Eric seemed like they would be fun characters.
Sadly, this one ended up as a DNF. I tried numerous times to get back into the story, but I couldn’t get past chapter five. Leda was just too in your face and Eric just seemed overly nosey. And the developing relationship between felt too forced. Then there was the dialogue, I roll my eyes every time I think about the odd dialogue. I think the author was trying overly hard to make the characters sound southern and it ended up coming off as annoying and awkward.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

His to Possess by Delores Fossen

Time passes, but passion—and vengeance—endure


The erotic memories are not Olivia's own, yet they shake her to her core. And she knows what it is to be shaken: years ago, a deranged stalker drove her into a life of isolation and distrust. But enigmatic Lucian Wilde will breach all Olivia's defenses, down to her bare skin and very soul.


Lucian believes he and Olivia host the spirits of two lovers brutally murdered decades before. He, too, is consumed by waking dreams of wild encounters with a woman he's never met, inhabiting heated flesh not his own. It's intoxicating, maddening, frightening. When he and Olivia meet, the sensual compulsion is irresistible. She is Marissa, he is Damien—and their desires won't be denied.


But the person who murdered Marissa and Damien is still out for blood. To entice the killer, Olivia and Lucian must give in to passion and possession…and pray that history won't be repeated.


Publisher: Harlequin E-Shivers |  Genre:  Gothic Romance| Source: Publisher | Rating: 3.5 Cups

Challenges Read For: Blogger Shame

Olivia and Lucian are having erotic dreams and memories that belong to a pair of lovers who were brutally murdered nearly thirty years ago. They soon realize that Marissa and Damien are possessing them and they must fight the possession and the erotic desire to discover who murdered Marissa and Damien before Olivia and Lucian meets the same fate.
I’ve never read an erotic gothic thriller before so this was definitely something different and interesting. Everything about it was so intense from the passion and pull Lucian and Olivia felt for each other to the mystery of who murdered Marissa and Damien.
While Olivia and Lucian were very interesting characters—both have interesting backstories—I was never really sure who Olivia and Lucian were because they spent nearly the entire book possessed by Marissa and Damien. Yet, that worked for this novella because it added to that gothic thriller quality it had. Although I will say that Marissa—the ghost—is a very prominent figure in the book, it was almost as though this was her story and the others were just acting it out.
The relationship between Olivia and Lucian was interesting. They were attracted to each other from the start but it was Marissa and Damien spurring the attraction on.
I really liked the way the murderer was revealed. Throughout the book, clues are given but it’s not until the ending that everything finally adds up. What I was slightly disappointed in was the way the possession was handled. Given the way the book went, I really thought there was more to the possession so I was a bit let down when that wrapped up.
Overall, I love gothic thrillers and this one kept me read until the very last page.

Do you enjoy reading thrillers?

Monday, August 22, 2016

Where the Wild Things Bite by Molly Harper

Delivering a rare book to a valued customer is definitely part of mild-mannered archivist Anna Whitfield's job description. You know what isn't? Protecting her precious cargo from mid-flight theft by the very pilot who is flying her to Half-Moon Hollow...while trying to appear as unappetizing as possible to the only other passenger, a vampire. Undead bookstore owner Jane Jameson could be waiting a very long time for her book. Possibly forever.


Fortunately, Anna's dashing fanged companion Finn Palmeroy helps her fend off the attack, but not before their plane crash lands in the forest hundreds of miles from civilization. Great, now she's stranded with a priceless tome and a rakish vampire whose bedtime is fast approaching. Why does everyone want this book so badly, anyway? Anna just wants to get it to Jane before Finn decides to turn her into dinner-or sweep her off her feet. Okay, the second option is really tempting. But they're not out of the woods yet...


Series: Half-Moon Hollow #5 | Publisher: Pocket Books |  Genre: Paranormal Romance | Source: Publisher| Rating: 4 Cups

You may have heard me mention it a time or two, but I’m so addicted to Molly Harper’s snark-filled goodness and Where the Wild Things Bite was no exception.  
Here’s what’s going on. Anna Whitfield’s a bit agoraphobic but she doesn’t feel right just shipping off the highly valuable one of a kind book to Jane Jameson, so she does what all well-respected archivists would do, she buys a ticket and boards a plane to Half-Moon Hollow, Kentucky with plans to hand the book over directly to her employer. There’s just one problem stopping her plan from going off without a hitch, the pilot wants the book. When he destroys the cockpit then jumps out of the plane, Anna has no choice but to survive the wild woods of Kentucky with Finn Palmeroy, the handsome yet rakish vampire who was also on the plane.
Since first meeting Finn in The Single Undead Moms Club, I’ve been wanting to know more about him. I’ve found him fascinating then and even more so now. He’s a bit more shifty than Dick Cheney, the vampire not the former VP, but Finn’s just got this handsome and smooth demeanor so it was fun watching him with Anna.

         “So…your name is Anna Whitfield, and you are carrying this book around like it’s made of valuable narcotics because…”

          I sighed. “I’m a bibliographer.”

          He pulled a face. “One of those people who has sex in libraries?”

Oh, poor Anna. I felt so bad for her. Even though she was one vampire betrayal away from a nervous breakdown, she held her own and realized she was one tough cookie. I was rooting for her the entire way through.
The relationship between Anna and Finn was great. Given they were stranded in the forest, they only had each other to rely on and it made for some interesting situations. Even though Finn was a bit shady, I wanted him to get things right.
While this is still in the Half-Moon Hollow world, it actually takes place outside the Half-Moon Hollow and I found that interesting as well. I like seeing new characters brought in but still getting a glimpse of the characters I know and love.
Overall, I loved this one. It was snarky and fun but it still had tender moments. I can’t wait to see what’s next in the world of Half-Moon Hollow.  

I know some of you have been wondering about the reading order of the Jane Jameson and Half-Moon Hollow books so I thought I would help you out with this reading guide.
The Jane Jameson Series (also referred to as the ‘Nice Girls’ series) started it all. It contains four books—and a short—and this is a complete series. These books work best if you read them in order.
1-Nice Girls Don’t Have Fangs
2-Nice Girls Don’t Date Dead Men
3-Nice Girls Don’t Live Forever
3.5-Nice Girls Don’t Sign a Lease Without a Wedding Ring (on Molly’s website)
4-Nice Girls Don’t Bite Their Neighbors
Then we have the spinoff series, Half-Moon Hollow. These can be read without reading the Jane Jameson/Nice Girls series—although characters from the Jane Jameson series and Jane herself often pops up. Most of these can be read out of order.
0 Fangs for the Memories (novella) This one actually happens in the middle of Nice Girls Don’t Dead Men—Jane Jameson #2.
1- The Care and Feeding of Stray Vampires
1.5-Driving Mr. Dead (novella)
2-A Witches Handbook of Kisses and Curses
2.5-Undead Sublet (short story found in the Undead In My Bed anthology)
2.6-Special Valentine's Day Half-Moon Hollow Story (on Molly’s website)
2.7-I’m Dreaming of an Undead Christmas (novella) This needs to be read before  The Dangers of Dating a Rebound Vampire
3-The Dangers of Dating a Rebound Vampire
4-The Single Undead Moms Club
5-Where the Wild Things Bite
5.5-Big Vamp of Campus (novella) This needs to be read before The Accidental Sire
6-The Accidental Sire (coming in 2017)

Friday, August 19, 2016

Six-Gun Showdown by Delores Fossen

"I'm not dead."


The voice mail rocks deputy sheriff Jax Crockett to his core. A year ago, Paige was murdered by the Moonlight Strangler. Yet his ex-wife just showed up at his ranch—out of options and out of time. There are only two reasons Paige would come back to Texas with a killer hot on her heels: Jax and their toddler son. Faking her death was the only way to keep them alive. But now it's Jax who's risking everything to protect his family. The cowboy lawman is also reawakening a powder keg of desire. A desire that's primed and ready to explode. Giving in will up the ante, igniting the embers of a love they may not live to claim.


Series: Appaloosa Pass Ranch #5| Publisher: Harlequin Intrigue |Genre: Romantic Suspense| Source: MLM Media| Rating: 3.5 Cups

Challenges Read For: Pick Your Own Genre Contemporary

Danger, intrigue, and a cast of potential suspects abound in Six-Gun Showdown.
Here’s what’s going on. Jax Crockett believes that his ex-wife was murdered by the Moonlight Strangler although a year later, Paige is back and has brought danger along with her. Now Jax must protect his son and his ex-wife while trying to figure out who is after Paige.
While I enjoyed the danger and the intrigue, I also struggled with parts of the plot.
I really liked Jax, he would do anything to protect his son. He’s also this strong alpha type hero but he’s not all in your face about it. Jax also has this whole cowboy/deputy sheriff thing going on, which, lately, I’ve been finding to be super sexy.
Paige just left a bad taste in my mouth. Rather than telling Jax that she survived the attack, she allows him to believe that she’s dead for an entire year before popping back into his life because she believed that Jax and her son was in danger. She also accepted the help of two people, one was someone who previously had feelings for her, and the other was a friend of Jax’s. I couldn’t really get behind her motives, which made her so unlikable to me. I had to question a lot about Paige, including some of the odd/stupid choices she made.
The romance in this one was entirely out of place. I never felt the connection or the chemistry between Jax and Paige. They were divorced before she ‘died’ and they apparently had a slew of problems so when she comes back to the land of the living and they start having these lusty thoughts for each other, it just felt forced.
I really enjoyed the suspense aspect of this book.  Someone—possibly the Moonlight Strangler—has been sending Paige threatening texts and calls and sending people after her. There’s a few suspects, including her son’s nanny, so it was never really clear until the end who was after Paige or the motives behind it.
It’s was suspense aspect that kept me glued to the book. Something was happening every second and at times, it bordered on that thriller type of feeling, which I highly enjoyed.
If you’ve read the previous books in the Appaloosa Pass Ranch Series (each book does work as a standalone) you may be slightly disappointed with the way things went down with the Moonlight Strangler. I’ve not actually read the series—and I did not have trouble following along—but the Moonlight Strangler seems to be part of the suspense arc of the series and the way it was handled in this book seemed like a bit of a letdown. Just from reading this book, I was expecting more, so I can imagine that people reading the series from the start will probably have the same feelings.
Overall, this was enjoyable for the suspense aspect. I think if Paige would have had different motives for staying away—or would have actually filled Jax in—I would have enjoyed her and the romance aspect a bit better.

Delores Fossen kindly provided a playlist for Six-Gun Showdown and I have to say this playlist really seems to convey the events and the emotions in the book.
Rod Stewart: I Don’t Want to Talk About It
Dierks Bentley: Different for Girls
Adele: All I Ask
Sam Hunt: Make You Miss Me
Phil Collins: Do You Remember
Berlin: Take My Breath Away
Sia: Salted Wound

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Audiobook Review: Wishing for a Highlander by Jessi Gage

Single-and-pregnant museum worker Melanie voices an idle wish while examining a Scottish artifact, that a Highland warrior would sweep her off her feet and help her forget her cheating ex. The last thing she expects is for her wish to be granted. Magically transported to the middle of a clan skirmish in the 16th-century Highlands, she comes face to face with her kilted fantasy man.


Tall, handsome, and heir to his uncle's lairdship, Darcy Keith should be the most eligible bachelor in Ackergill. Instead, thanks to a prank played on him in his teenage years, he is known for being too large under his kilt to ever make a proper husband. "Big Darcy" runs his deceased father's windmills and lives alone at his family manor, believing he will never marry.


But a strangely dressed woman he rescues from a clan skirmish makes him long for more. When the woman's claims of coming to Ackergill by magic reach the laird's ears, she is accused of witchcraft. Darcy determines to protect her any way he can, even if it means binding her to him forever.


Series: Highland Wishes | Publisher: Jessi Gage, Romance Author | Narrator: Marian Hussay | Length:  10 hours 42 minutes| Genre: Time-Travel Romance | Source: Purchased | Rating: DNF

Okay, so I picked this book up to help with Droughtlander and I was so very disappointed. But I really did try to finish this one out—I promise, I did. I actually made it through 80% before I finally couldn’t take any more of it.
Here’s what’s going on: Melanie is a museum curator. She’s single, pregnant, and wishing for a sexy Highlander from one of the Scottish romances she reads to come and take her back to his keep and make her forget all her problems. Well, she gets her wish when a Scottish artifact she’s examining magically transports her back to the 16th century.  Landing in the middle of clan skirmish, she finds herself rescued by sexy and kilted Darcy Keith. When Darcy takes her back to her Ackergill, he soon claims her and much to Melanie’s dismay and protests, they find themselves wed. Darcy then finds himself protecting Melanie from his uncle who believes her to be a witch. Escaping his uncle, they go on the run seeking protection from a neighboring clan, whose chief just so happens to be married to a time-traveler.
Sounds good, right? Well, mixed into the goodness were a lot of things that kind of crawled under my skin.
First, Melanie’s a historian who specializes in Scottish history and she has absolutely no clue about their customs or what’s going on around her. She’s constantly going around wondering what this or that is and wondering if they have this or that in this particular century. As someone that specializes in the era, she should have had knowledge of these things. Although I’m fairly sure Melanie was a bit too busy rambling on about how horny she was to actually think about anything else.
Then we have Darcy, who they call “Big Darcy”. There’s a reason he’s called ‘Big Darcy’ and it has to do with a troublemaking lass, once upon a time, telling him that he was too large under the kilt. Now he’s constantly, and when I say ‘constantly’ I mean like every time it switches to his POV, whining/complaining/groaning about how he’ll never be able to properly bed a lass because he’s too large. It seriously became annoying. Then we have the whole swearing his featly, except when they are fighting the Keith, to another clan thing that no actual Highlander would ever do.
Okay, so I had rolled my eyes so many times at this point, I was starting to get dizzy, but I kept on listening. Then this happened. A car popped up smack dab in the middle of 16th century Scotland right in front of our extra-large hero who, thanks to an off-the-page conversation with Melanie, knew how to drive said car.
Honestly, I should have walked away then and there but I continued on. I finally gave up when Constance, the other time traveler that Melanie befriended and wife of the Murray Laird, figured out what was going on based on the contents of a single thank you note.
Oh, and let’s not forget that they had tea served in teacups and saucers in the 16th century. Plus, Darcy kept referring to Melanie’s magical box as a box rather than a casket, which would have been the correct term for the era. And speaking of boxes, when Darcy goes to the furniture shop—yes, you read that right, it was indeed a furniture shop, in 16th century Scotland—to search out the maker of the box, noble couples were milling about in said furniture shop purchasing tables and upholstered armchairs and the clerk was ringing up their purchases.
Oddly enough, I really enjoyed the narrator, Marian Hussay. She was very easy to listen to and brilliantly portrayed the character’s emotions. I would gladly listen to more from this narrator.
Overall, this novel had potential to be a grand read but lack of research, odd plot choices, and having things conveniently tie up into a nice shiny ribbon when it suited the characters caused this novel to suffer.

 Does it take you out of the book when an
author fails to research the era their writing about?

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

House of Glass by Jen Christie

The glass chalet has enchanted Reyna since childhood. Built upon the cliff face at Devlin Manor, the luminous curiosity dangles over the Caribbean like a diamond pendant. Wondrous to behold from the water, the house is even more astonishing up close, as Reyna quickly learns when she comes into service at the estate.


Left untouched as a shrine to the beautiful and tempestuous Celeste St. Claire, the glass house beckons to Reyna. It exerts the same sensual pull upon Lucas St. Claire, the mercurial master of the manor. Both are powerless to resist. When the two meet within, their need is as transparent as the walls surrounding them.


But that passion may be indulged at dear cost. Seduced by the shimmering cottage—and the tortured man who built it—Reyna risks joining its former mistress in oblivion.


Publisher: Harlequin Shivers | Genre: Gothic Romance  | Source: Publisher | Rating: 4.5 Cups

Challenges Read For: Blogger Shame

There’s something about the employee/employer relationship that makes a gothic romance even more appealing—call it the Jane Eyre effect, if you will—and it hooks me every time.
Here’s what’s going on. Lucas St. Claire saved Reyna from falling into the sea when she was child and randomly gave her shell as a gift. Wanting to discover more about Lucas, she convinces her father to show her Devlin Manor, St. Claire’s estate, and from that point on, she’s obsessed with the glass house hanging from the cliff that Lucas built for his wife.
Ten years later, after her father disappears at sea, Reyna finds herself employed as a maid at Devlin Manor. Although the kind and caring man she once met is gone. In his place is a broody man who has been living with a cloud of suspicion hanging over him since his wife disappeared.
Both Reyna and Lucas find themselves caught in the hold of glass house. There Reyna can be the person she has always wanted to, passionate, forward, and unafraid of the consequences. The house seems to have the same effect on Lucas. As the two start a passionate affair, Reyna grows closer to succumbing to the same fate as Lucas’s wife. Will his love be enough to save her?
I’m a massive fan of gothic romances when they are done right and House of Glass was definitely done right. There’s danger, suspense, obsession, atmosphere, and isolation and I could not put this down.
Fans of Jane Eyre will really enjoy this one. The relationship between Lucas and Reyna mirrors that of Rochester and Jane in the sense that it’s an employee/employer relationship and Lucas is wealthy and Reyna must rely on him for a job and a home.
I liked both Reyna and Lucas. She’s a very mild until the house takes hold of her then she slowly starts spiraling out of control. Lucas is everything that I want in t gothic hero. He’s broody, slightly controlling, feels guilty, there’s suspicion surrounding him yet he’s very easy to like. He also has no problem letting Reyna in.
I really enjoyed the concept of the glass house changing a person. This house has the ability to make a person do an entire personality flip. They become obsessed with it and slowly the house starts to consume them. It was very interesting watching the characters change and discovering the reason behind the house’s ability to control people.
The romance in this was slow in one aspect but very intense in another. When Lucas and Reyna were in the glass house, their passion was front and center. It was impossible for them not touch each other. Although when they were away from the house, they were able to discover each other secrets and learn who they were. It was nice to see both sides.
So, while this was a short story, the pacing was brilliant. Nothing felt rushed or left out. The plot was fully developed as were the characters.
Overall, I really enjoyed this one. I also enjoyed that this was set in the early 1900’s.

Are you a fan of gothic fiction?
Do you like the employee/employer trope?

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Waking up with A Billionaire by Katie Lane

Famed artist Grayson Beaumont is the most elusive of the billionaire Beaumont brothers. He has a reputation for seducing any woman with only a look, word, or sensual stroke of his brush. But now Grayson has lost all his desire to paint . . . unless he can find a muse to unlock his creative-and erotic-imagination.


Chloe knew she might have to shed her clothes when she agreed to pose for the celebrated artist, but she wasn't expecting to shed all her inhibitions as well. Under his intense scrutiny, there's nothing she can hide...including a secret from her past that, once exposed, will change how he looks at her forever.

Series: The Overnight Billionaires #3 | Publisher: Forever | Release Date: 7/26/2016 | Genre: Contemporary Romance | Source: Publisher | Rating: 4 Cups

Challenges Read For: Pick Your Own Genre Contemporary Romance

Ooh, this was such a charming little book and I could not put it down. There’s a bit of everything in it: humor, romance, steam, a few serious points, and a touch of suspense.
Here’s what’s going on. Needing money, Chloe McAlister decides to finally allow Grayson Beaumont to paint her although there’s a tiny bit of a problem. Grayson has painter’s block—he can’t even paint an apple—thanks to Chloe. Although when he ends up kidnapping her for her own good, Grayson soon finds Chloe unlocking his creativity and his ability to fall in love. And they both end up sharing more than they planned. As Chloe’s secrets start unraveling, she’s worried they will change the way Grayson feels for her.
I absolutely loved Grayson. He’s a painter so he has this intense drive and it affects every aspect of his life, yet in a good way. He’s also broody, and I do so love a broody hero. There’s a few things he has to work through and they were all realistic issues.
I liked Chloe but I never fully understood her reasoning behind things. She’s a very strong-minded woman, so rather than sharing her problems she deals with things herself and that kind of irked me. She would rather hurt Grayson than to let him in on her problems, while I understood her reasoning behind it. I really wish she would have let him help her.
Grayson and Chloe was such a fun couple to visit with. He’s an artist with painter’s block and she’s the reason behind it so you can imagine the tension between them. Plus, they have an interesting history and Chloe hasn’t exactly been pleasant to Grayson.
They also have this insane chemistry and are very comfortable around each other. While the attraction is there from the start, the romance was slow to start, which I liked because it allowed them to actually get to know each other.  
This one was so close to earning a 5-Cup rating—so so so close. What brought it down to a 4 was two things. The first was the big reveal about why Chloe ran away from home. The buildup was so intense and riveting but when the reason was revealed, it left me scratching my head and saying ‘seriously, that was the cause of it’. The second thing that lowered the rating was the fact that rather than Chloe actually talking to Grayson to let him know the problem, she was okay with allowing him to think that she left him for another man.
Okay, so this was the third and final book in The Overnight Billionaires trilogy and it works brilliantly as a standalone. I skipped the first two books because I was getting a bit tired of the billionaire trope, as it seemed to be popping up everywhere, but I couldn’t resist this one because Grayson was an artist and I love reading about artists. I can’t wait to go back and read the first two books.
Overall, a few things could have been handled differently, but I found I really enjoyed this one. And I have to say the ending was brilliant.

The Overnight Billionaire Series

A Billionaire Between the Sheets

A Billionaire After Dark

Waking up with A Billionaire

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday {52}: Fates and Traitors by Jennifer Chiaverini

“Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.


I loved Mrs Lincoln’s Dressmaker, so I’m eager to see what Fates and Traitors holds.
Title:  Fates and Traitors
Author:  Jennifer Chiaverini
Publisher:  Dutton
Release Date:  September 13, 2016
The New York Times bestselling author of Mrs. Lincoln’s Dressmaker returns with a riveting work of historical fiction following the notorious John Wilkes Booth and the four women who kept his perilous confidence.
John Wilkes Booth, the mercurial son of an acclaimed British stage actor and a Covent Garden flower girl, committed one of the most notorious acts in American history—the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln.
The subject of more than a century of scholarship, speculation, and even obsession, Booth is often portrayed as a shadowy figure, a violent loner whose single murderous act made him the most hated man in America. Lost to history until now is the story of the four women whom he loved and who loved him in return: Mary Ann, the steadfast matriarch of the Booth family; Asia, his loyal sister and confidante; Lucy Lambert Hale, the senator’s daughter who adored Booth yet tragically misunderstood the intensity of his wrath; and Mary Surratt, the Confederate widow entrusted with the secrets of his vengeful plot.
Fates and Traitors brings to life pivotal actors—some willing, others unwitting—who made an indelible mark on the history of our nation. Chiaverini portrays not just a soul in turmoil but a country at the precipice of immense change.
 About the Author: 
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What are you lovelies waiting for?