Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Snippet Book #Review: Once Ghosted, Twice Shy ( Reluctant Royals 2.5) by Alyssa Cole .@AlyssaColeLit


Book Title: A Duke By Default (Reluctant Royals 2)
Author:  Alyssa Cole |WebsiteTwitter|  Instagram
Publisher: AVON
Genre: Romance, Interracial Romance, Contemporary
Series/Standalone: Book 2
Format: ebook, Mass Market 
Cost: $4.99
Pages: 384
How I got it: Purchased
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Publisher
Publication Date: July 31, 2018
Add To Goodreads
Synopsis:
Award-winning author Alyssa Cole’s Reluctant Royals series continues with a woman on a quest to be the heroine of her own story and the duke in shining armor she rescues along the way…

New York City socialite and perpetual hot mess Portia Hobbs is tired of disappointing her family, friends, and—most importantly—herself. An apprenticeship with a struggling swordmaker in Scotland is a chance to use her expertise and discover what she’s capable of. Turns out she excels at aggravating her gruff silver fox boss…when she’s not having inappropriate fantasies about his sexy Scottish burr.

Tavish McKenzie doesn’t need a rich, spoiled American telling him how to run his armory…even if she is infuriatingly good at it. Tav tries to rebuff his apprentice—and his attraction to her—but when Portia accidentally discovers that he’s the secret son of a duke, rough-around-the-edges Tav becomes her newest makeover project.

Forging metal into weapons and armor is one thing, but when desire burns out of control and the media spotlight gets too hot to bear, can a commoner turned duke and his posh apprentice find lasting love?

Ohhh my loves this is a friends to lovers romance that takes time. Listen I've mentioned before that slow burns are not my thing, but the way this one was done??!! I was all for it. I loved this progress of this story which started with Portia basically running from her life to take this apprenticeship in Scotland. She feels like she's a disappointment to her family and they don't help matters by insisting that the unconventional life she wants to live isn't a good one. They are business people and they only believe their way is the best. Ahh they must be Caribbean parents because they love to determine what you should do with your life and if you stray from that they let you know how they feel and how you're disappointing them, all. the.time. (Ok getting out of my feelings right now) Taking this apprenticeship should help her get a chance to figure out where she is going and what she wants from her life. Tavish is a grumpy silver fox who has not time for a socialite who he assumes doesn't know anything about swords. He likes his life the way it is, even if he feels like he could be doing more, how does he do that without disturbing those who rely on him??

I loved how the story came together, Portia is the best friend to Ledi and sister to Reggie. She's struggling to keep it all together and find what she wants despite what everyone things she should want. She decides to write about her adventure in Scotland for her sister's blog while she works this apprenticeship. While she's trying to get it all together, he sister sends her a few links that make her feel seen and understood and once she really begins to embrace the information in the videos her perspective changes.  She embraces the new life she's creating for herself and while doing so incidentally discovers that her reluctant boss is actually the son of a dukedom that is up for grabs at the moment. And then she kicks off a social media trend with #swordbae and life is just on a roller coaster after that.

Tavish isn't happy this woman is turning his life upside down, she's helping to create a social media presence for him, a man who can't even remember that he has a phone. He's fine with his life the way it is, even if he is struggling a bit to get it all together as well. Together they create a new social media trend and everyone is starting to go to his new and improved website, and now the orders are flowing and maybe she's not as incompetent as he believed before.  She's also disturbing him personally which he knows he can't act on as he refuses to be that guy.

I can't even begin to explain how much I loved this story. The slow progression of the relationship was done so well, there were sparks from the beginning but both determined they couldn't do this for their own reasons. As they got settled into their friendship and realized that this person helped them navigate life with a little more ease then they gave in, but only because they wanted to. I loved and kept saying to my sister how good it felt to read characters that didn't have it all together and even when they had some parts of their lives figured out they didn't have it all perfectly together. It felt good to read from the perspective of a black woman who had so many of the same issues we have and it was so good. I loved her relationship with her friends and how she relied on them to help her when she stumbled. I couldn't get enough of her and her sister figuring it all out and man oh man when they had their come to Jesus moment?? Bawled like a baby. Her moments of fantasy and self talk?? So real. Loved it!!! The moments when we get their group chat?? Made me laugh cause yeah some of my group chats look like that.

This story pulled it all together, it wasn't just a love story (although that part was awesome), it wasn't just a her finding herself story, even though that was shared and the journey was so worth it. It had everything good relationships for both of them to fall back on, amazing sibling relationships, people struggling to find their place in the world and let's face it some sweet and raunchy sexy times. I loved that they felt human and like people I would know (ok maybe not the prince or duke but the rest yeah). I enjoyed that even though this was a slightly different world it still was in ours (kind of a different one in the multiverse, because she gave him the Ducal title that currently belongs to the Queens husband so yeah a slightly different world than our current one) & they had their brands of social media as well, which made this feel even more rooted inour world.

Of course the back and forth between Tav and Portia really made this story go from sweet to raunchy fast. I loved how they both tried not to just fall into bed with each other from the start. The attraction was off the way and Tav's internal monologue had me cracking up so many times. As the story unfolded and we learned about his family history and him having to decide if he wanted to repeat the mistakes of the past or embrace hsi own path.

Those moments when it all seems like it's starting to unravel for them. I was so heartbroken, then angry because I couldn't understand why someone would gaslight and harm someone so badly just to hang on to something that was never theirs. UGHHHHHHH. I became so invested in this story I shared about it ont he group chat so we could read it and discuss because my gosh I loved it.

It just felt so fresh and modern, I don't know how else to explain how seen I felt reading it. I loved it and now I'm going to marathon the rest.
 ★★★★1/2☆
Series In Order
Happy Reading my loves, 

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Snippet Book #Review: Can't Escape Love (Reluctant Royals 2.6) by Alyssa Cole .@AlyssaColeLit

Book Title: Can't Escape Love (Reluctant Royals 2.6)
Author:  Alyssa Cole |WebsiteTwitter|  Instagram
Publisher: Avon Impulse
Genre: Romance, Interracial Romance
Series/Standalone: Book 2.6
Format: ebook, Mass Market
Cost: $4.99
Pages: 192
How I got it: Purchased
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Publisher
Publication Date: March 19, 2019
Add To Goodreads
Synopsis:
Regina Hobbs is nerdy by nature, businesswoman by nurture. She's finally taking her pop culture-centered media enterprise, Girls with Glasses, to the next level, but the stress is forcing her to face a familiar supervillain: insomnia. The only thing that helps her sleep when things get this bad is the deep, soothing voice of puzzle-obsessed live streamer Gustave Nguyen. The problem? His archive has been deleted.

Gus has been tasked with creating an escape room themed around a romance anime…except he knows nothing about romance or anime. Then mega-nerd and anime expert Reggie comes calling, and they make a trade: his voice for her knowledge. But when their online friendship has IRL chemistry, will they be able to escape love?
***Snippet Reviews: Called that because I don't want the review to be longer than the book***

I highly recommend this one and also recommend that you go on Alyssa's website and view the concept art for the manga series the book is 'based on'.

Reggie is the sister of Portia and the 'successful' twin who seemed to have it all together with a popular blog that she uses to help women geek out (I love that there are actually black geek websites that this reminds me of) called Girl With Glasses. She's a having a difficult time right now and she has never relied on anyone for anything and now she has to ask a 'stranger' to help her out.  She used to be one of the only viewers of livestream and now the owner has taken the archives down and she needs his voice to fall asleep. Using her skills she sends him a persuasive email requesting his help. when they start talking they discover that he needs help with a project for work that has to deal wtih her favorite anime. Like she's the biggest fan and even has all the paraphernalia throughout her home.

As the story advances the two get to know each other as not just two geeks who are sharing the love. Well really it's Reggie who loves the show and Gus who is learning what a romantic anime is about. I loved them together. I loved the rep that's in the book. I loved how they were both so strong in their careers but struggled with interpersonal relationships because #Same. There are so many different things tackled in this small story and really wish we had gotten more from them because I could totally read more about them for a few hundred more pages. It's a cute sexy romance that challenges your beliefs on those that are 'different' .

Also on a totally different topic, I need more publishers to print the ebooks, I love looking at my shelves and seeing these up there next to the book instead of just in ebook form. I know I might be in the minority but that's fine. I love them.

I highly recommend this one, especially because it doesn't just tackle the romance but has a great relationship between the sisters and them working to get back to being happy without their terrible parents.
 ★★★★
Series In Order
Happy Reading my loves, 

Monday, November 11, 2019

Book #Review: A Prince On Paper (Reluctant Royals 3) by Alyssa Cole .@AlyssaColeLit

Book Title: A Prince On Paper (Reluctant Royals 3)
Author:  Alyssa Cole |WebsiteTwitterInstagram
Publisher: Avon
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series/Standalone: Book 3
Format: ebook, Mass Market
Cost: $5.99
Pages: 381
How I got it: Purchased
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Apple Books
Publication Date: April 30, 2019
Add To Goodreads
Synopsis:
The Reluctant Royals series returns with a good girl searching for the life that’s not too big, and not too small, and the bad boy prince who might be just right for her…

Nya Jerami fled Thesolo for the glitz and glamour of NYC but discovered that her Prince Charming only exists in her virtual dating games. When Nya returns home for a royal wedding, she accidentally finds herself up close and personal—in bed—with the real-life celebrity prince who she loves to hate.

For Johan von Braustein, the red-headed step-prince of Liechtienbourg, acting as paparazzi bait is a ruse that protects his brother—the heir to the throne—and his own heart. When a royal referendum threatens his brother’s future, a fake engagement is the perfect way to keep the cameras on him.

Nya and Johan both have good reasons to avoid love, but as desires are laid bare behind palace doors, they must decide if their fake romance will lead to a happily-ever-after.
Oh my gosh, this was so awesome. I read this one a few months after reading the others and I'm so glad I finally got around to it. It was awesome. This is the story of Johan who is the stepson to the Prince of a small European principality, known as the playboy prince (even though he technically doesn't hold a title) he's in the paparazzi papers every single week for some wild exploit. We learned in A Duke by Default that Johan was more than he seemed to the average person because he was able to help  Portia when she needed a little help handling the press.

Nya's returning home after hoping that by leaving she would be bale to make the changes that prevented her from having that perfect life. However, once there NYC was a little too much, and going home isn't right either. When she returns for Theo's wedding she runs into Johan and has a few moments with him that make her look at things a little differently, especially when she starts to catch on that Johan might have a few hidden depths.

I loved the journey that both Johan and Nya go on. I loved that even though they didn't necessarily like each other they still helped the other out when given a chance. Nya's struggles were so relateable, wanting to be more but being imprisoned no longer by a physical person but by the words they have drilled down into you can be so daunting. It's a lot harder to break away from someone who is actively attempting to manipulate and keep you in line especially when you're vulnerable and seeking validation. I loved the lesson she learnt at the end of this especially about this particular person.   Johan has spent his whole life before the cameras once his mother fell in love with the Prince and went from an unknown to the Queen; and her death still hurts. He's spent the whole time doing what he can to make sure his brother doesn't have the same issues he has but doesn't realize that his actions form their own kind of prison.

I absolutely loved how Nya was when meeting his family and how accepting they were of her, especially his brother. Oh my gosh I hope we get the brother's story when it's time for that. I enjoyed how Nya shared how to make the connection without making them feel uncomfortable and it's certainly something I'm keeping in the tank for use. I loved that Johan casually thinks about his lovers without demeaning them to make Nya 'more' and at the same time owns his sexuality without it being a 'thing' and you know what I mean like how some authors write it in a way that totally others the character their trying to say they are being inclusive about?? Or being vague in the book and then saying it later that of course they were (I'm looking at you JK Rowling) I loved Johan's Grandmother, the way she called him to task, the easy way she shared her love.

 I really just fell in love with these characters and their journey. I found myself reacting the same way they were and LOVED that they became friends first then advanced their relationship. I loved how loving and slow and consent aware that Johan was and how he made sure that Nya knew whatever she wanted was fine with him.  I'm a huge fan of love stories and theirs was so awesome.  Listen, the girls that her friends?? Everything you could ever hope for in female friendships. Just everything. There were so many good moments and I just especially between Nya and Johan's brother, and the lessons she shared with Johan. Each of them had so much to learn about themselves and it didn't make their issues disappear but it certainly made them easier to bear. I loved that. Can't lie I also loved that this was a bit of a reunion book since everyone was together for the wedding. The wedding games had me cracking up.

I highly recommend my loves, especially if you haven't read the series, this one can be a bit of a standalone, the story will be great but the friends and the meaning they bring might be a little lost on you.
 ★★★★
Series In Order
Happy Reading my loves, 

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Weekly Wrap Up Post: November 1- 9th 2019


Hi my loves

I wanted to do a quick check-in and share how I'm doing on the reading challenge this week.  We finished out last month on a high and I love it. I took a few days to find what I wanted to read, bouncing between in-progress reads and starting a few new ones as well. Let's take a look at what's going on and see where we are:

Finished This Week:

Full reviews for all the books are pending:

I listened to the audiobook of Changling by Yasmine Galenorn and loved it. This world is expanding quickly and I can't wait to explore more. I do have another 16 books on my shelves so it should be interesting to see where the series goes.

I also listened to Locked In Temptation by Brenda Jackson and I'm officially in love with Ron Butler her narrator. I need her to have him narrate everything she writes from now on.

Currently Reading:
I'm in the middle of like 20 different books. A few historical romances, a few paranormal and just whatever else there is. Lol

In all honesty, I'm really reading and listening to the following:

The Exhibitionist by Tara Sue Me. I realized I needed some BDSM in my life and Scribd has this on audiobook so I'm going to be listening to this to and from work, it's only 7 hours so I'll finish this week.

Burn (Breathless 3)by Maya Banks.  I  picked this one up because it's the third and final installment in this series and I want to get some series get completed from the shelves.

 Also, so many of the options on Scribd have been timed out due to how many I'm reading I can't continue the Yasmine series until next month so I'm reading the ones I can.

I'm also in the middle of The Duchess War by Courtney Milan. It's going to be the second book by her that I have read and I'm taking my time with this one because I'm not really in the historical mood and I don't want that to determine if the book is good or not. 

A new ARC that I just started and can't wait to dive into is Awaken The Dragon by A.C. Arthur. Wasnt even sure what it was about other than dragons and then I read the first chapter and wow I'm definitely finishing this one this week as well.


Watching:

I actually have only watched one new movie this week and it's a favorite. 12 Dates of Christmas from Lifetime. It's such a great groundhog date style romance and I now need to do a full review on this one as well. 

Have y'all heard the controversy around the new holiday movie Last Christmas?? I mean we as romance readers on twitter pretty much called it the second the trailer dropped and earlier reviewers have confirmed it, you can check out this article from Vanity Fair if you're ok with spoilers which I totally guessed based on the music and the way the first trailer was set up. They, of course, didn't help matters that once we started speculating on twitter they changed the trailer and all the posters.

This is not a Holiday Rom-Com, and I'm kind of annoyed they think we're so dumb we wouldn't have spotted it. Listen ok, those of us love HEA can tell when a movie isn't going to give us those feels and trying to fool us isn't ok.

Listening To:

I have a general list of artists I tend to listen to, like when I'm working on the blog I have a playlist with specific songs that get me in the introspective mood to write. My latest obsession is from Sylvia Day, in her notes about writing Butterfly in Frost she shared that the song Happy by Marshmello & Bastile was part of her process and I have been obsessed ever since. Then from there I stumbled on Kane Brown & Marshmallo's song together. One Thing Right  Like where have I been??
I've been a Kane Brown fan since I heard him like two years ago and I'm so happy to hear this one from him as well. I have these two on loop even as I'm writing right now. Lol What are y'all listening to?? Anything new??

After that I have a few others I would like to check out but none on a solid list yet. What are you reading this week my loves?? What'd you finish recently???

If you haven't finished anything yet are you participating in NaNoWriMo?? I'm not a writer but I'm using the motivation to write my blog reviews and these posts as well.  Are you watching any new Holiday romances??

Hope your reading week is a great one. If you're participating in NaNoWriMo, good luck.


Saturday, November 9, 2019

Stacking The Shelves (2019) # 27: The Savers Haul & New Library Sale

Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks! If you want to find out more about Stacking The Shelves, please visit the official launch page! Stacking The Shelves now has a new host and check out that new image!!

So I moved!! I know I have mentioned this before. As a reward for myself to having a smooth move, I went to Savers and they appeared to have lowered their prices on the books. Before mass market was 1.99 to 2.99, now they are all 0.99. And the sale is 4 books get 1 free, so I snagged a few books.

Lori Foster When Bruce Met Cyn Old school rom-com

The Marriage Mistake by Jennifer Probst. I read the beginning of this series during the summer and can't wait to continue, so I snagged this for my shelf.

Then because I'm recollecting some of my old collection and authors I snagged this as soon as I saw it.
Cait London's The Cowboy and the Cradle (Part of the Tallchiefs series book 1 actually )

I have shared my love of Maya Banks plenty of times so when I saw this I had to have it for my shelves as well.
Colter's Promise

And because I'm a glutton for punishment I just know I'm going to get my books all moved in out of boxes,  set up my shelves and have this already but I couldn't leave it behind because what if I don't???
On The Way to the Wedding by Julia Quinn

And then I went to the local library and picked up  the following for $3.00

Ker Arthur Tempting Evil. I snagged a few of these during the big library book sale over the summer, so when I moved to this new town I decided to check out what the library looked like and found this. I grabbed it because of the author's name.

I read Bec McMaster's work for the first time last month; I loved Promise of Darkness Review when I saw this I had to snag it. My Lady Quicksilver. It was brand new for 0.50c. Yes madam you read that right.
Then I found a copy of second book to one I already own. I didn't know there was a sequel ** It's actually in putting this post together that i found out the book I already had is book 2 and this is number 1 so this worked out well.  **and I had to have it. Do you see that cover?? The Brass Bed by Jennifer Stevenson. If I can resist reading it until next July this will be a great addition to the "Jennifer in July Challenge" I host each year.

Then another with the nice cover and because it's Jennifer Crusie, I snagged The Cinderella Deal. Plus it's got a dog on the cover. Another for the challenge pile.

Finally I snagged a brand new trade paperback by Lauren Dane Opening Up no idea what it's about but that cover?? Yeah I'm here for it. Plus it's Lauren.

ARC from Publisher:
The Princess Plan by Julia London

And that's it. I do have a few e-arcs to share with you, but that's for next time.  Have you started watching holiday movies yet?? Check out my Holiday Reading List to see how I'm getting into the mood for the Holidays. What'd you get in your haul this week?? Share in the comments down below and I'll see you next week.

Happy Reading & Haulin' my loves

Friday, November 8, 2019

ARC Book #Review: The Billionaire Chef's Baby (McClellan Billionaires 2) by Leslie North .@leslienorthbook #TheBillionaireChefsBaby #NetGalley

Book Title: The Billionaire Chef's Baby ( McClellan Billionaires 2)
Author:  Leslie North |WebsiteTwitterFacebook
Publisher: Relay Publishing
Genre: Romance, Contemporary
Series/Standalone: Book 2
Format: ebook
Cost: $2.99
Free on Kindle Unlimited
Pages: 155
How I got it: Via NetGalley
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Publisher
Publication Date: October 15, 2019
Add To Goodreads
Synopsis:
Covered in tattoos, sarcasm, and muscles, Arthur McClellan is the best thing to come out of the kitchen since sliced bread. A billionaire from birth, his trust fund hasn’t stopped his drive to achieve his dreams of celebrity chef status. However, a dying wish from his mother has caused him to pivot his aspirations. Instead of being the “bad boy,” he now wants to join the ranks of the happy chefs of the Taste Network. It’s taken a lot of convincing, but he’s finally landed a show: a wedding special filming in the Bahamas. But the network doesn’t trust him alone. They want a romantic interest: a perfect, bubbly wedding planner to soften his edges. Arthur’s not mad when they pick a wedding planner he’d had a single, very passionate night with. In fact, she just might be the cherry on top of his food show cake.

Cassandra Kelly has been winning the wedding planner game for years, and she wants more: national coverage for her creative celebrations. So when the Taste Network offers her the position of wedding planner on their new pilot, Cassandra jumps at the chance. The only catch? She’s got to be the “girlfriend” of famous bad boy Arthur McClellan— a position not unappealing to her after a celebratory night of passion that left her with a continuous craving for the chef… and an unplanned bun in the oven.

Now, they’ve got to fake their relationship on screen while wading through their real relationship off. They both agree the baby should be kept secret until they’re ready to spill the beans. But when a careless conversation reveals all to the producer, who thinks a secret baby would make for a great reality TV series, they have to decide how real they’re willing to get and how much their romance can weather for their careers. For two people who want to live in the public eye, they must decide how much of their passion they want to keep private.
Cassandra has the perfect opportunity to create the reality show of her dreams, she's the wedding planner for the tv network's daughter and she needs this wedding to go off without a hitch. She's working with celebrity bad boy chef ( think Gordon Ramsey) Arthur, he's beyond creative in the kitchen but he's known for throwing tantrums and acting out. Arthur wants to move beyond his well-known image and this wedding is going to be his chance, even if the uptight wedding planner is on his case. He's not messing this up he wants his own show on Taste Network and he's going to prove that he's more than the bad-boy chef. After they pull off the wedding of the decade Arthur and Cassandra celebrate with a drink and a little more. Which of course leads to an unplanned pregnancy.

After a few weeks, these two find themselves being propositioned by the network but neither of them wants the offer they are being given, however, it's a foot in the door and they can't really turn it down. I loved the concept of the story and the flow of the story. Arthur wanted to be more than he was known for and when he gets the opportunity he's not going to lose it. Cassandra knows that unlike Arthur who has his family money to fall back on if all else fails she can't screw this up, and now that she's pregnant she needs to really get this nailed down. As the story develops and they both explore their chemistry while trying to keep it off the cameras how can you tell what is real and what's for the show??

Both had so many insecurities and hang-ups that they had to work through and neither knew how to do that and actually be vulnerable. Arthur was trying to be what everyone wanted and still change his image and he wasn't sure who he was supposed to be anymore, especially after making a deathbed promise to be better. Cassandra is so focused on her goals she's not looking to see all that Arthur is offering because she doesn't trust that anyone will give her what she needs. It's a lot of back and forth with steamy sexy moments, vulnerable awwww moments and then moments that are interrupted by the film crew demanding that they redo what should have been private moments. They are on the island with another couple who they are helping get ready for their wedding and while they keep the couple from tearing themselves apart for the love of the drama for the cameras they also have to figure out just what it is they want for themselves.

I felt that Cassandra never really gave Arthur the space to be vulnerable with her, when he was being genuine she kept accusing him of playing to the camera and when he explained what happens she doubts his words and actions all the time. While they had good chemistry I wasn't sure I wanted them to end up together, Cassandra didn't seem open to being in a real relationship, she had these ideas that she wanted and kept kicking Arthur for not knowing what she wanted even though she never verbalized it. Like he's not a mind reader dummy communicate.  They certainly had a few moments that made me chuckle and they were good together when they got out of their own way and were just them. It's a cute little romance especially when they figure it all out. They certainly had the swoon-worthy moments down, and I absolutely loved the moment when Arthur was going to cook for her, just so cute.

This is the second book in a series, however, I hadn't realized that when I requested it, so I don't know the history of the characters or the overall story if there is one. I did however like what I read.  It's a fast-paced read, and I certainly wanted to know what happened next *much like a reality tv show*
 ★★★☆
It's a fun fast read, I hope you enjoy
Happy Reading my loves, 

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Book #Review: Girl Blue ( Brown & De Luca 5) by Maggie Shayne .@maggieshayne

Book Title: Girl Blue ( Brown & De Luca 5)
Author:  Maggie Shayne|WebsiteTwitterFacebookInstagram
Publisher: Thunderfoot
Genre: Romantic Thriller, Romance, Paranormal
Series/Standalone: Book 5
Format: ebook, Mass Market
Cost: $5.99
Pages: 272
How I got it: Purchased
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Publisher
Publication Date: October 29th, 2019
Add To Goodreads
Synopsis:
GIRL BLUE

So, I’m going along in my blissful life, waiting for my guy to get off his ass and pop the question and trying to put my next self-help book to bed, when I’m interrupted by a mental intruder. I’m suddenly doing a ride-along inside some stranger’s head, while the attached set of hands strangle a guy in the back seat of a car.

It felt like I was killing the guy. But I didn’t, because I woke up cussing (not unusual) in my own bed beside my sexy cop and my blind bulldog. Said sexy cop then gets a text about a body, and I know it’s the man I just sort of murdered.

Turns out Mister Picture-Wire Necktie isn’t the only victim. One of the others was punched in the face by our 19 year-old sort of kid in front of 20 witnesses right before he vanished. Jeremy is brought in for questioning by Mason’s own co-cops.

The only other suspects are a woman who beams sweetness and light like a freakin’ earthbound angel, and an old horror movie star who’s supposed to be dead. And if those two are murderers, I’m Miz Manners.

Mason wants them to be guilty because it would clear Jeremy. He thinks I’m keeping things from him, which I am. He thinks I’m not putting Jeremy first, which I totally am. This whole thing is getting between us. So I’ve gotta solve it, fast.

Even if it means going face-to-face with a serial killer.

But the vigilante is more broken than I bargained for, and is determined to silence me. Permanently.
**Trigger Warnings for those who need them: Discussion of childhood sexual abuse ***

I really enjoyed going back into the Rachel De Luca world because she is such a fun character to get to know. Rachel is focused on moving her family into their new home, getting her office setup and hopefully getting Mason to move this relationship to the next level. When a nightmare wakes her, this one she's scared to discuss with Mason when he gets the call to go where a new body has been found.  They are jsut starting to get over what happened when Josh's friend went missing and now they are looking for a killer.

As the story develops we re-visit a story that L have loved for years The Gingerbread Man, which is a haunting romantic thriller, about missing children and a child predator. To this day that story haunts me, so it was good to see old friends again even if it meant dragging their story out into the light. Rachel is still trying to get a handle on her new ability to tap into the NFP knowing she has going on when she ends up meeting Lily Newman. As she digs deeper into how her gift is working now she accidentally uncovers a small mystery.

It appears a serial killer is on the loose and no one can figure out what the victims have in common. Until one of the men disappear, he just happens to be Jeremy's professor who called him a liar and Jeremy reacted by punching him in the nose. Now Jeremy is a suspect and Mason is losing it. He's trying to find a way to get Jeremy from under suspicion while finding the killer responsible before the missing man becomes a victim. Rachel is feeling the pressure to perform and quickly.

As the story unfolds, Mason and Rachel find themselves moving slightly out of sync. Mason is aware Rachel tried to lie to him, and now he's wondering what it is about this case that her covering for someone who could clear Jeremy. Rachel knows what she has seen can't be admitted into court and while she's never willing to risk her new family in this one case she's willing to bend the truth to protect Mason. Jeremy is starting to ask questions that Mason can't answer and it's all coming out and Mason is struggling.

It's awesome reading them struggling with getting it right as parents and lovers. They are in sync most of the time and this case, and what's happening with Jeremy is throwing them for a loop. They never seemed to have the growing pains of most relationships, but now they are working on it. I loved the tension between them forced them to get real clear about what they were looking for. I loved how they handled the growing pains they were having as a family as well with Jeremy admitting he was struggling with everything. They felt so real compared to how characters can be written sometimes. I loved that Rachel could turn to her sister when she needed advice but at the end relied on what she knew about Mason to help her make the right call for them.

The whodunit part of the story was well done and when it all was revealed I was like "holy hell". I knew based on what happened to Lily that it would have to do with child abuse but to realize how far some would go to try to 'cure' themselves made me sad. And yet I wanted to know like how could someone go that far in life and not realize that their plan wouldn't work?? Then I realize it's a human failing and was kind of thrown when she mentioned that the medallions were given to certain people and wondered if they all knew what had happened to them.  Then I wondered if the woman realized that she was just as bad as those she condemned?? I just was so addicted that I finished the story in one day.

I highly recommend the story my loves, especially because we get an update on previous characters that we love. I love that they didn't have a perfect life but a good realistic one even all these years later.
RECOMMENDATIONS
  • Lisa Jackson
  • Heather Graham
Happy Reading my loves, 

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Book #Review: Cry Wolf (Brown & De Luca 4.5) by Maggie Shayne .@maggieshayne

Book Title:  Cry Wolf ( Brown & De Luca 4.5)
Author:  Maggie Shayne |WebsiteTwitterFacebookInstagram
Publisher: Thunderfoot
Genre: Romantic Thriller, Romance, Paranormal
Series/Standalone: Book 4.5
Format: ebook, Mass Market
Cost: $0.00
Pages: 105
How I got it: Kindle Purchase
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Publisher
Publication Date: March 19, 2019
Add To Goodreads
Synopsis:
Hey, I’m Rachel and just so you know up front, I’ve got a mouth on me. Not in public–when I can help it. Cussing is bad for the image of a bona fide guru of self-help, or that which I call “the bullsh*t I write.”

Only, I’m not so sure it’s bullsh*t, because in trying it out, I got my eyesight back after 20 years. Yeah, the corneal tissue came from a serial killer, and yeah, I started seeing his crimes. But still, eyesight.

I also have the hottest detective in the universe attached to my proverbial–and, okay, wider than I’d like–hip. I got his 2 nephews with the package and I couldn’t fu–freaking love Jeremy and Josh more if I was their mother, which I’m way too young to be.

That’s a lie, Rache. They’re twelve and eighteen. You’re thirty–

Don’t interrupt, Inner B*tch, I’m on a roll.

I also have my amazing bulldog, Myrtle. I understand her. She’s blind like I used to be.

And I got a little something extra with my cornea transplant. “It’s a blessing and a curse,” said the greatest TV detective ever.

Only my something extra was…let’s say down. And one of Josh’s sixth-going-into-seventh-grade pals has been kidnapped. The sick prick snatched him off his bicycle and left a note behind. “Wait for instructions.” Only none ever came.

What a time for my antennae to be out of whack!

So my wires are down, there’s a kid missing, I’m bathing in my pity pool, and things get even worse. A big celebrity psychic shows up to help the cops find the missing kid. In my town.

Yeah. No.

So there’s all that. But I’m out of room, so…just get the book, and I’ll tell you the rest.

NOTE: This is a 25,000-word novella. There will be a new Brown and de Luca Novel, GIRL BLUE later in 2019.
This is another of the quick stories that movies the overall story ahead while giving us a brief case to solve and letting us know more about Rachel & Mason.  In this one Rachel and Mason are still rebuilding their home after the events of Deadly Obsession and living in an RV with the boys. It starts off at a local carnival with Josh hanging with his friends and having a blast.  When it's time to head to home Jeremy who is heading off to college soon comes to get him with his new badass car. Events lead to them heading away from home and on the way there discover that one of the boys from the group has been taken.

The events play out and a well known psychic is brought in to find the boy which pisses Rachel off to no end; as she is feeling blocked in her NFP and is wondering if it's left her. There is a lot of growth that happens here for Rachel and I really enjoyed her realizing that not appreciating a talent can destroy it just as easily as if you actually physically destroyed it. Rachel is determined to prove that the psychic is a fraud and help find the kidnapped boy. Rachel hates the word 'psychic' and hates that the woman seems to be getting things right, while her "Not Fucking Psychic" knowing seems to be blocked. She's not jealous of the woman she just hates people who take advantage of the vulnerable and she's going to prove this woman is a scam.  While she's not a fan of the psychic once she has a discussion she's given an idea of how to cultivate it and is shocked when it actually works.

How does Rachel balance her need to prove this woman wrong when it seems like her talents are being proven correct while Rachel herself is struggling to accept her gift and get it to work again.  For a novella it packed a bit in and I loved it. I liked Rachel's progression and the discussion of therapy for the boys. It's good to see them coming together as a family.

I highly recommend it, normally I used to skip the novellas while reading a series, now that authors are sharing such good tidbits in between and letting it move the series forward I'm not skipping anymore.
RECOMMENDATIONS
  • Heather Graham Krewe of Hunters series
  • Lisa Jackson 
Happy Reading my loves, 

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Audiobook #Review:Butterfly In Frost by Sylvia Day .@Scribd

Book Title: Butterfly in Frost
Author:  Sylvia Day |WebsiteTwitterFacebook| Instagram
Publisher: Brilliance Audio
Genre: Romance
Series/Standalone: Standalone
Format: Audiobook, Physical
Narrator: Emma Wilder & Joe Arden 
Audio Service: Scribd
Hours in Book: 4 hours 48 mins
Cost: $7.99
Pages: 199
How I got it: Purchased/ Listened via Scribd
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Publisher
Publication Date: 08/27/2019
Add To Goodreads
Synopsis:
From #1 New York Times bestselling phenomenon Sylvia Day comes a hotly anticipated and passionate new love story.

Once, I would never have imagined myself here. But I’m settled now. In a place I love, in a home I renovated, spending time with new friends I adore, and working a job that fulfills me. I am reconciling the past and laying the groundwork for the future.

Then Garrett Frost moves in next door.

He’s obstinate and too bold, a raging force of nature that disrupts the careful order of my life. I recognize the ghosts that haunt him, the torment driving him. Garrett would be risky in any form, but wounded, he’s far more dangerous. I fear I’m too fragile for the storm raging inside him, too delicate to withstand the pain that buffets him. But he’s too determined…and too tempting.

And sometimes hope soars above even the iciest desolation.

Emotional and heartrending, Butterfly in Frost marks a brilliant return by global sensation Sylvia Day, the #1 international multimillion bestselling author of the Crossfire saga.
Overall:
Trigger Warning:
***Go in with knowledge that there is discussion of grief, loss of a child and depression. ***

I was anticipating this book and pre-ordered as soon as the link popped up on her website, I didn't need to know what it was about and went right into it once I saw the audiobook on Scribd. While I didn't know the synopsis I dived right into the story. I liked the story the narration, however, left much to be desired.  The story flew by but with the narration I kept going back wondering if I missed something. Nothing about the synopsis tells you what the true story is about and I kind of liked that.

Narrator:
For a majority of the story, it's told in Teagan's voice and therefore told from Emma Wilder which was fine. I really enjoyed her because she was good at doing Teagan's voice and Roxy's and later when we meet a few others. Her inflections totally made the characters come alive. However, the last few chapters are from Garrett and they have Joe Arden narrate that. Please explain to me if you're going to hire a male voice actor why the HELL was Emma deepening her voice to do his parts in the first half????? Did the budget not kick in until later?? It totally ruined the story because I'm like why didn't he just do the voice the whole time?? Cause now this is a whole new character since Emma's been doing the voice completely differently. UGHHHHH Y'all need to get it together.  Did Not Like

Story:

While reading this I kept wondering if I had somehow skipped pages or if the book was missing pages. I love a good insta love story but this was fast even for me. Then I determined they must have known each other because Garrett was way too familiar in his habits for this to be the first time they try some of these things.

I was very glad that we had a character dealing ( or not really dealing ) with depression and grief. They were two people broken and finding comfort in each other, at least that's how it read until we got to the end and we learn more from Garrett.

I really loved that we got to meet up with Ava from the Crossfire series and in the process got some information on all the other characters, as this is in the future ( I won't tell you how far in the future but it was pretty cool). This was a pretty fast story that feels like it could have been fleshed out more, we could have learned more from them. They were both trying to cope with major changes, Teagan with a divorce that devastated her,. and Garrett with the loss of a child.

At the end of the story so much of their conversation make more sense and it fills in the cracks and makes the story richer, but when I was reading the first time through I kept feeling like I was missing something, honestly, I felt like Roxy at the end.

I did love it at the end, but man getting there was a little confusing. I ended up loving the story once it all unfolded. Especially after reading her notes on the book and the song choice for the theme of the book: Happier by Marshmello ft Bastille

 ★★★
RECOMMENDATIONS
Happy Reading my loves, 

Monday, November 4, 2019

Blog Tour & Excerpt: The KINGMAKER by Kennedy Ryan .@Kennedyrwrites

“Powerful, gripping, unflinchingly honest and sensuously gorgeous writing.”
-- Kristan Higgins, New York Times Bestselling Author


The Kingmaker, the first book in the addicting All The King’s Men Duet, from RITA ® Award-winning author Kennedy Ryan,
is available now!

Power. Passion. Betrayal.


Kennedy Ryan delivers the epic first installment of the All the King's Men Duet.
Raised to rule, bred to lead and weaned on a diet of ruthless ambition.
In a world of haves and have nots, my family has it all, and I want nothing to do with it.
My path takes me far from home and paints me as the black sheep. At odds with my father, I'm determined to build my own empire. I have rules, but Lennix Hunter is the exception to every one of them. From the moment we meet, something sparks between us. But my family stole from hers and my father is the man she hates most. I lied to have her, and will do anything to keep her. Though she tries to hate me, too, the inexorable pull between us will not be denied.
And neither will I.
Download your copy today or read FREE in Kindle Unlimited!


Pre-order the stunning conclusion, The Rebel King!
Releasing November 17th



Excerpt


“What do you want?”
           The look he pours over me is hot oil, burning me even through serviceable layers of cotton. His heated perusal caresses my face, sluices over my breasts and hips, and then pools at my feet.
           “Oh, that you won’t ever get again,” I say, my voice a soft, certain promise. “I don’t screw liars. I’m particular that way.”
           “Never say never,” he drawls, tilting up my chin with his finger.
           “Nev–”
           He crushes the word between our mouths. It falls apart in the scorching, sweet tangle of lips and teeth. With one hand, he digs his fingers into my hair. The other splays across my lower back, his grip on me almost convulsive, urging me up and closer. I’m in stasis. I’m completely startled by the kiss, unable to respond. I send a desperate message to my brain.
           Move. Pull back. Push him away.
           But the urgent glide of his hand down my spine to cup my ass melts my thoughts to liquid and they swim in my head. I can’t pull back, and all hope of resistance dissolves when he presses his thumb to my chin, prying me open. He stalks my tongue, hunts down a response, licking and sucking and groaning and growling. His hands tighten on me until I strain up to seek him, yanking his hair, pulling him even closer.
           “Dammit, Nix,” he mutters between kisses. His hand wanders down my neck and across my shoulder, and cups my breast, twisting the nipple through flimsy barriers of cotton and lace. He shoves up my skirt, pulling my legs wider, and pushes my panties aside, his fingers invading me. My body remembers this mad craving that claws out of my bones—that wants out. That wants him. Under his rough touch, my body blooms and my hips rock.
           “That’s it,” he says, taking my earlobe between his lips.
           My head falls back and I moan. It’s so damn good. His touch awakens me. His hands, his kisses bring me to life. It feels like I’m taking my first deep breath since we were last together, and it fills my lungs, seeps into my pores.
           “I missed you,” he says, sucking my lips and kissing the corners, quick, hungry. “I’m sorry. Baby, I—”
           “Stop talking.” I reach between us to loosen his belt, catching his zipper and dragging it down, dragging him out. “Shut up.”



A RITA® Award Winner and Top 25 Amazon Bestseller, Kennedy Ryan writes for women from all walks of life, empowering them and placing them firmly at the center of each story and in charge of their own destinies. Her heroes respect, cherish and lose their minds for the women who capture their hearts.
She is a wife to her lifetime lover and mother to an extraordinary son. She has always leveraged her journalism background to write for charity and non-profit organizations, but enjoys writing to raise Autism awareness most. A contributor for Modern Mom Magazine, Kennedy's writings have appeared in Chicken Soup for the Soul, USA Today and many others. The founder and executive director of a foundation serving Atlanta families living with Autism, she has appeared on Headline News, Montel Williams, NPR and other media outlets as an advocate for families living with autism.
 Find Kennedy on the Interwebs:

I have already pre-ordered my physical copies,  my loves. I can't wait to share with you my thoughts once I've read them. That excerpt was certainly steamy!! Hope you enjoy as well my loves,

Happy Reading,