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: 
Social Media:

Website | Facebook | Twitter | GoodReads 

What are you lovelies waiting for?

Monday, July 25, 2016

The Trouble with Temptation by Shiloh Walker



Love is the greatest risk of all.

 

 After seven days in a coma, Hannah Parker remembers nothing about the accident that landed her in the hospital—or how she ended up pregnant with Brannon’s baby, the man she’s loved since high school. Her body and heart have burned for him for years, and when she wakes up, he’s sleeping by her bedside, anxious to keep her safe at all costs. But as Hannah struggles with her amnesia, a threat looms closer—one that could have deadly consequences if she recovers her memories. She will have to trust Brannon completely if she is to keep what haunts her at bay…and their baby safe….

 

Brannon McKay spent the last ten years fantasizing about Hannah. In his mind, he’s explored every passionate scenario he can think of while, in real life, Brannon took their budding relationship and threw it away with both hands. Hannah doesn’t remember what happened but now that she is awake, Brannon would rather die than watch her walk away again. When Hannah and his unborn child’s lives are threatened, Brannon must stake claim to the woman who has held his heart captive for years…or risk disaster tearing them apart…

 

Series: McKay #2 |Publisher: St. Martin's Press| Release Date: May 3, 2016 | Genre:  Contemporary Romance| Source: Publisher | Rating: 3.5 Cups

Challenges Read For: Pick Your Own Genre: Contemporary



When Hannah Parker wakes up from her seven-day coma, she doesn’t remember a thing. Not the car accident that landed her in the hospital, not how she ended up pregnant with Brannon McKay’s baby, and not the murder she possibly witnessed. While she isn’t able to recall her middle name, she does have a feeling that she knows Brannon and with someone out to get her she knows she will have to trust him to keep her and her baby safe.
 
While Brannon can keep her physically safe, he knows that if Hannah remembers the events that unfolded between them on the night of the accident, there’s no way she will be able to forgive them. Although Brannon will do his best to make Hannah fall in love with him, even protect her from the person out to do her harm.
 
Okay, so it was the amnesia plot that first piqued my interest, plus I’m a sucker for romantic suspense although I struggled with this one.
 
I wasn’t aware that this was the second book in the series and, apparently, it picks straight up from the first book so I was completely lost when I first started reading it and I almost DNF’d it a few times. Given that threads from the first story seem to continue in this story, a little backstory would have been nice.
 
What kept me reading were Hannah and Brannon. I really liked both of them. Hannah, of course, has amnesia. She’s frustrated, which is understandable, and she knows that, while she can trust Brannon, he’s hiding something from her. Brannon, he’s a ginger, yay! it’s rare to see ginger heroes in contemporary romances and I really liked it. He’s definitely an alpha male yet he’s not an over-the-top-drag-you-to-my-cave type of alpha. He actually allows Hannah space yet is there for her.  
 
The romance angle was a little different and I was so curious to see how they worked out their problems. Hannah has loved Brannon most of her life and Brannon, while he harbored feelings for her, never really gave Hannah the time of day. They didn’t really have an actual relationship until the day of her accident. And there’s a few things that he’s hiding from Hannah because he knows that if she finds out, he’s probably going to lose her. There’s definitely chemistry and attraction between them but there’s also a few problems they have to overcome.
 
I really liked the way the amnesia plot was handled. It was believable and had a true-to-life feel to it. I also enjoyed the way her memories slowly came back rather than flood her all at once.
 
So, the suspense was riveting and I was eager to discover who the murderer was. While I have my suspicions, it wasn’t addressed in this book and I have a feeling that this thread is going to continue on throughout the series. What kind of became annoying was the fact that it seemed like every time Hannah was out and about, she getting attacked or accosted by this guy or that and none of these were the actual murderer. That aspect felt like it sort of overdone.
 
Another thing that pulled me from parts of the book and gave it a bogged down feeling was the fact there were so many threads and voices shoved in one book.  While I really enjoyed seeing things from the villain’s perspective, some of the additional stories and POVs from outside characters should have been placed in a short story or something.
 
Overall, I enjoyed the writing and I enjoyed watching Hannah and Brannon get their acts together. I would have enjoyed this one better if I had read the first book in the series, which I plan to do. I also plan of following this series as I am eager to see how it ties up.

  
 



Have you read a book with the amnesia plot?

Did you like it?


Friday, July 22, 2016

Friday Freebie: Under Pressure (Rhinestone Cowgirls #1) by Rhonda Lee Carver

Hello, Lovelies! I’m so excited to share with you this Friday’s Freebie: Under Pressure by Rhonda Lee Carver.  You know you want to check it out, the hero has been held hostage by rope and wax strips—yes, you read that right: rope and wax strips. How can you resist?

The oldest of three sisters, Jewels Stone takes care of everyone, especially those she loves. When she finds out the youngest Stone is duped, she plans to rope and wrangle the cowboy to teach him a lesson on how to treat a woman.

 

Tied to a bedpost and as mad as a hornet, Spark Ryder wants to toss Jewels over his knee and spank her. Problem is, he’d enjoy it too much. Held hostage by rope and wax strips, he tries to convince her that she has the wrong cowboy. But how can he convince her that he’s innocent when she’s out to settle a score against all men?

 

While seeking revenge, Jewels finds a passion that’ll have her hanging by a dream. The pressure is too much and loose threads holding the past begin to unravel. Her brain urges her to run while her heart wishes to stay.

 

Spark wants nothing but distance with Jewels, but when things start to heat up on the Rhinestone Ranch, he samples Jewels’ treasure and finds himself on the wrong end of the rope again—but it’s his soul that’s bound to a woman who will never trust.

 

He wants to stitch her broken heart, but will he walk before his own heart is in need of mending?

 

Get it FREE (for a limited time)

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00N57TK10/ref=series_dp_rw_ca_1
 
 
 

Don’t forget to pick up the rest of the
Rhinestone Cowgirls Series
 









Thursday, July 21, 2016

Audiobook Review: Unclaimed Legacy by Deborah Heal



It's like being there... only you can fast-forward and rewind.

"I call it time-surfing," Abby said. "It's like being there, except no one can see or hear us."

"Whatever you call it," John said, "that was crazy - what we just did. Beyond realistic. I mean, I was in that guy's head and knew everything he was thinking."

Abby's weird computer program is working again. And it comes in handy when she and her friends agree to help the Old Dears with their family tree.

Except Abby and John learn more about one of the ladies' ancestors than they ever wanted to know. Convicted in 1871 of murder and arson, Reuben Buchanan is a blight on the family's reputation. But was he really guilty? Abby and John must get inside the mind of a murderer to find out.

And while they're rummaging around in the Old Dears' family history, they also find Nathan Buchanan, a heroic relative connected to the Lewis and Clark Expedition - and a legacy waiting to be reclaimed. But the most important discovery they make is that God's promise to bless a thousand generations is true.

 
Series: History Mystery #2 | Narrator: Michelle Babb  | Publisher: Write Brain Books| Genre:  |Length: 7 hours 3 minutes  | Source: Narrator| Rating: Performance: 4 Cups  Plot: 3.5 Cups




When Abby and Merri agree to housesit, they find themselves using their odd time surfacing computer program, Beautiful Houses, to help their neighbors the ‘Old Dears’ with their family tree. They soon unearth a secret that the elderly twins have kept from each other for several decades as well as the truth behind a ‘bad apple’ on their family tree.


 

The ‘Old Dears’ believe that Reuben Buchanan was a murder and an arsonist and there’s no way he was getting an apple on their family tree project. Although things are not always what they seem and soon Abby, Merri, and John find themselves in a crumbling stage coach inn called Shake Rag Corner looking into the life of a possible murder and discovers a trail that leads them straight to Lewis and Clark.
 
Okay, so I struggled a bit with this one. While it was a great read, it sort of felt that some parts were a bit draggy, I think it was because the author was trying to squeeze so much information into parts of the book rather than just slowly revealing them that it made it bogged down. Thankfully, that cleared up 1/3 way into the book.
 
I found I really enjoyed the characters more in this book. There’s been a lot of growth with Abby and Merri. Both are so much more likable in this book then they were in the last. They have both changed for the better and I really enjoyed seeing a more mature, accepting version of them both.
 
Merri’s dealing with some tougher issues in this book regarding her father so it was nice to see the ‘Old Dears’ acting as grandmother’s to her. With her mother working so much and the problems with her father, the only person she has is Abby, so I liked that she has other people to shower her with attention and affection.
 
Abby and John finally start their relationship. It’s a very, very slow start. Abby wants more and John seems to be taking a step forward then two steps back, which occasionally became annoying. It was a nice build up but I found myself wanting to yell at him to just kiss her.
 
The time travel aspect is still the same in this book. It’s not actual time travel where the characters go back in time. It’s referred to in the book as ‘time surfacing’ and it actually takes place on a computer. So it’s actually more like watching a movie. Abby and Merri are starting to learn more about the program and how it operates and were thrilled to discover that you can use it in different places. They’ve also let John in their time surfacing.
 
Where book one was more about learning about the people from the past, this one has a bit of a mystery to it. Abby and Marri are searching for answers about what happened with Rueben and they end up stumbling over some unexpected finds.
 
So, while this book is geared more so for young adults, it has some heavier issues in it although I found them to be nicely handled.
 
This is the second book the History Mystery series. Like the first, it doesn’t really fit into a genre. It’s a nice mix of contemporary, historical, mystery, coming of age, romance, time travel (sort of), and inspirational. Even though that combination sounds like a jumble, it actually works.
 
Michelle Babb does an amazing job at bringing each character life. She’s such a delight to listen to.
 
Overall, once the pacing problem evened out, I enjoyed this one. The mystery was interesting as was the other discoveries made.
 

History Mystery Series
3-Every Hill and Mountain  
 

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday {51}: The Peculiar Miracles of Antoinette Martin by Stephanie Knipper




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

 

This one is a bit different than what I normally read but I keep hearing amazing things about it.
Title:  The Peculiar Miracles of Antoinette Martin
Author:  Stephanie Knipper
Publisher:  Algonquin Books
Release Date:  August 2, 2016
 
Sisters Rose and Lily Martin were inseparable when they were kids. As adults, they've been estranged for years, until circumstances force them to come together to protect Rose's daughter. Ten-year-old Antoinette has a severe form of autism that requires constant care and attention. She has never spoken a word, but she has a powerful gift that others would give anything to harness: she can heal things with her touch. She brings wilted flowers back to life, makes a neighbor's tremors disappear, changes the normal course of nature on the Kentucky flower farm where she and her mother live.
 
 Antoinette's gift, though, puts her own life in danger, as each healing comes with an increasingly deadly price. As Rose—the center of her daughter's life—struggles with her own failing health, and Lily confronts her anguished past, they, and the men who love them, come to realize the sacrifices that must be made to keep this very special child safe.
 
 Written with great heart and a deep understanding of what it feels like to be “different,” The Peculiar Miracles of Antoinette Martin is a novel about what it means to be family, and about the lengths to which people will go to protect the ones they love.

 About the Author: 
Social Media:

Website | Facebook | Twitter | GoodReads 

What are you lovelies waiting for?

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Pirate Hunters: Treasure, Obsession, and the Search for a Legendary Pirate Ship by Robert Kurson



Finding and identifying a pirate ship is the hardest thing to do under the sea. But two men—John Chatterton and John Mattera—are willing to risk everything to find the Golden Fleece, the ship of the infamous pirate Joseph Bannister. At large during the Golden Age of Piracy in the seventeenth century, Bannister’s exploits would have been more notorious than Blackbeard’s, more daring than Kidd’s, but his story, and his ship, have been lost to time. If Chatterton and Mattera succeed, they will make history—it will be just the second time ever that a pirate ship has been discovered and positively identified. Soon, however, they realize that cutting-edge technology and a willingness to lose everything aren’t enough to track down Bannister’s ship. They must travel the globe in search of historic documents and accounts of the great pirate’s exploits, face down dangerous rivals, battle the tides of nations and governments and experts. But it’s only when they learn to think and act like pirates—like Bannister—that they become able to go where no pirate hunters have gone before.

 
 Fast-paced and filled with suspense, fascinating characters, history, and adventure, Pirate Hunters is an unputdownable story that goes deep to discover truths and souls long believed lost.
 

Publisher: Random House | Genre: Non-Fiction | Source: Publisher| Rating: 4 Cups

Challenges Read For: Blogger Shame


Chatterton and Mattera had moved to the Dominican Republic to search for the treasure ship San Bartolome but with more countries adopting the UNESCO treaty declaring that shipwrecks belonged to the nations that lost them, they knew their window of opportunity could slam shut at any moment. They were determined to find the San Bartolome until a call from Tracey Bowden, a legendary pirate hunter, offered them the opportunity to search for the pirate ship the Golden Fleece.
 
Unable to refuse the chance to possibly discover an actual pirate ship, both men jumped at the chance and in Pirate Hunters, Robert Kurson brings their search to life as he recounts the perilous journey Chatterton and Mattera signed on for.
 
I was intrigued by this book from the start; it’s a thrilling true-life mix of adventure, danger, history, mystery, and, of course, pirates. I was also intrigued by the pirate and the ship in question.
 
In the world of Golden Age Pirates, you don’t hear much about Joseph Bannister or his ship the Golden Fleece. The story of the well-respected merchant captain turned pirate seems to have been buried under the more dangerous and daring tales of ‘Black Sam’ Bellamy, Captain Kidd, and Blackbeard. Until Pirate Hunters, I think I’ve only encountered his name one or twice in the many non-fiction pirate books I’ve read. So, I really enjoyed the way new information about Bannister was delivered in the book. His story wasn’t all laid out from the start, it’s wound in with the story of Chatterton, Mattera, and the search for the ship.
 
As much as this is a book about hunting pirates, it’s also about the hunters themselves and I really enjoyed getting to know Chatterton and Mattera. Both men have extraordinary stories to tell and I found myself just as intrigued by them as I was by the search. And both men are vastly different in the way that they approach things.
 
John Chatterton seemed harsh, in your face, aggressive, and a bit of hothead in the way he approached things. While I found his story interesting, he’s not really my cuppa tea but I came away admiring his determination.  
 
John Mattera’s life story drew me in; he was mixed up in the Gambino crime family before becoming a cop then starting his own personal security business before getting into the dive business fulltime. He was an inquisitive kid obsessed with Jacque Cousteau and determined to find the answers and that drive grew and formed him into a pirate hunter determined to search through dusty, forgotten about annals until he found the information he was searching for.
 
The search for the Golden Fleece had me at the edge of my seat. When Chatterton and Mattera started this search, only one pirate shipwreck that had been positively identified and that was the Whydah wreck discovered by Barry Clifford in 1984. The only reason it was positively identified was because the ship’s bell had the name of the ship on it. So, both Mattera and Chatterton knew that the chances of making a positive identification was going to be rare and require months of chasing historical documents and paper trails.
 
While I absolutely loved this book, I was a bit disappointed in the end. There’s so much detail as they look for the Golden Fleece and discover more about Bannister yet when they make the actual discovery the details that was provided probably wouldn’t even fill a thimble. It was 222 pages about the search and only 24 pages and some of that was taken up by snippets of a historical document dealing with Bannister’s last battle.
 
Overall, Pirate Hunters intrigued me and kept me glued to my seat yet I found I wanted more about the actual discovery.



Do you enjoy reading nonfiction?

Are you a fan of pirates?


Monday, July 18, 2016

Happy Ever After in Christmas by Debbie Mason



As her thirtieth birthday approaches, deputy Jill Flaherty decides it's time to live a little. When she walks into Sawyer Anderson's bar in her sexiest dress, she's not thinking that he's her brother's best friend or about the many women he dated during his years as a pro hockey player. All she's thinking is that it's finally time to confess to her longtime crush how she truly feels.
Sawyer is done being a player on and off the ice. Yet no one in the small town of Christmas seems to believe he's ready to settle down, not Jill, and certainly not Jack, who is determined to keep Sawyer from breaking his little sister's heart. But as Sawyer and Jill's relationship heats up, can he prove that he's her happy ever after?
Series: Christmas, Colorado #7 | Publisher: Forever | Genre: Contemporary Romance| Source: Publisher | Rating: 4 Cups

Challenges Read For: Pick Your Own Genre--Contemporary
Ooh, I’ve been waiting for this book and I have to say I wasn’t disappointed.
 
Here’s what’s going on. Jill Flaherty has been in love with her brother’s best friend for most of her life and now that she’s turning thirty, she’s finally decided to let Sawyer in on her feelings. Sawyer has earned his reputation as a player but he’s decided it’s time to settle down and when Jill walks into his bar wearing a sexy red dress, he’s finally seeing her as more than just his best friend’s kid sister. When their relationship finally heats up, Sawyer has to prove that he’s finally ready to settle down.
 
Okay, so I’m not going to lie, I plowed through chapter one only to get stuck on chapter two.  I had trouble getting into the second chapter and for some reason—perhaps because the hockey game—it felt a bit choppy to be. Although, thankfully, chapter three picked back up and I was hooked until the end.
 
Sawyer has always piqued my interest. He’s Jack’s best friend and there’s an interesting bit of history between Grace (Jack’s wife) and Sawyer. He’s earned his reputation as a player but he finally realizes that he wants to settle down and have a family. Jill’s always been one of my favorite Christmas, Colorado heroines. She’s very independent and she’s also a workaholic. I was so glad when she finally confessed her love for Sawyer and decided to act upon it.
 
The romance between Sawyer and Jill was slow burn, they really didn’t start anything until the end of chapter 15 yet they had this amazing chemistry. And I liked that their relationship felt real. They struggled and really had to work through a lot to finally get their HEA.
 
It’s always lovely to revisit the Christmas, Colorado. The residents are a bit meddling so I’m always intrigued to see what they come up with.
 
So, this is part of a series yet each book does work as a standalone. I’ve been slowly trying to catch up on this series and I haven’t felt like I’ve missed anything from not having read the entire series.
 
Overall, I really enjoyed Sawyer and Jill’s story. They went through highs and low and I really felt for them.



Christmas, Colorado Series

The Trouble with Christmas

Christmas in July

It Happened at Christmas

Wedding Bells in Christmas

Snowbound at Christmas

Kiss Me in Christmas

Happy Ever After in Christmas


Thursday, July 14, 2016

Audiobook Review: Big Vamp on Campus by Molly Harper



In Molly Harper's newest paranormal romantic comedy set in her beloved Half Moon Hollow, a vampire princess must learn how to navigate life as a college student - including living with her messy, annoying, frustrating new roommate.

Ophelia Lambert, 400-year-old vampire princess and college freshman, suddenly finds herself domesticated by humans and forced to suffer the indignities of dorm rooms, communal bathrooms, and a roommate with sticky fingers.

 
As one of the hundreds of undead venturing into postsecondary education, Ophelia has a lot more to learn than just "undead studies" - she has to learn to get along with her fellow vampire classmates and, worst of all, her human ones, along with getting back into the good graces of the World Council for the Equal Treatment of the Undead.


Can this once all-powerful vampire princess balance classes and campus life with romance, human and vampire relations, and not sinking her teeth into her annoying roommate?

Series: Half-Moon Hollow 5.5  | Publisher: Audible | Narrated by: Amanda Ronconi| Length: 2 hours and 36 minutes | Genre: Paranormal | Source: Publisher | Ratings--Story: 3.5 Cups Performance: 4 Cups

Challenges Read For: Pick Your Own Genre: Contemporary and Paranormal


 
I’m always a sucker for a new Half-Moon Hollow story, even if it is a quickie. And this really was a quickie, but a very satisfying one.
 
So, here’s what’s going: As her part of her punishment and rehabilitation, Ophelia Lambert has been sent to college. Yes, you’ve heard that right, the cold as ice (and not because she’s undead) Hello Kitty loving vamp with a major attitude and desire to wreak havoc has been sent to college, which means she has to get along with her co-eds and live in a dorm with vamps, humans, and an undead roommate who nicks her stuff.
 
Oooh this one was so good. I loved seeing the former head of the undead council adjust to being somewhat normal. If you’re a fan of the series, you’ll know that Ophelia isn’t a sweet little vamp. She’s been trouble since she was sired and used to getting her way. So, to see her actually making human friends and living a somewhat destruction-free life was very interesting. We also see her learning a bit more about herself.
 
I do want to warn readers that, while we learn about Ophelia, this novella is actually prepping readers for the next book The Accidental Sire so there are a few strings left hanging that will be addressed in the next book.

Once again, Amanda Ronconi is brilliant as the narrator. She’s delivers the perfect amount of snark and truly brings each and every resident of Half-Moon Hollow to life.
 
Overall, fans of the Half-Moon Hollow series will be delighted to see this new side of Ophelia. I’m not really sure that this book is suited for newcomers, so reader be warned.
 
 

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday {50}: A Promise of Fire by Amanda Bouchet




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

Sourcebooks Casablanca is releasing their first Sci Fi romance and I’m pretty excited about it.    
Title:  A Promise of Fire
Author:  Amanda Bouchet
Publisher:  Sourcebooks Casablanca
Release Date:  August 2, 2016
 
KINGDOMS WILL RISE AND FALL FOR HER…
 
“Cat” Catalia Fisa lives disguised as a soothsayer in a traveling circus. She is perfectly content avoiding the danger and destiny the Gods—and her homicidal mother—have saddled her with. That is, until Griffin, an ambitious warlord from the magic-deprived south, fixes her with his steely gaze and upsets her illusion of safety forever.
 
BUT NOT IF SHE CAN HELP IT
 
Griffin knows Cat is the Kingmaker, the woman who divines the truth through lies. He wants her as a powerful weapon for his newly conquered realm—until he realizes he wants her for much more than her magic. Cat fights him at every turn, but Griffin’s fairness, loyalty, and smoldering advances make him increasingly hard to resist and leave her wondering if life really does have to be short, and lived alone.
 
 

What are you lovelies waiting for?