Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Paranormal Telly: A Discovery of Witches .@ADiscoveryOfWTV .@DebHarkness


This was a feature on my previous blog and I want to bring it over. Here I will share my favorite paranormal television shows and of course make it a bit bookish by sharing books I think go along with it. Of course, if there is source material I will also link any reviews to the original books as well.

Show: A Discovery of Witches (Season 1)
Seasons: 1
Run Time: 60 mins
Air Dates & Time: Sundays @ 9pm
Reruns can be seen: Sundance, Shutter, Amazon Prime, AMC

IMBD Link
Synopsis:
Brilliant historian Diana Bishop is a witch denying her own heritage. But when she unexpectedly calls up an ancient, bewitched manuscript from Oxford's Bodleian library, one that was thought by the creatures to be lost and could answer the mysteries of their existence, she finds herself thrown into the heart of a dangerous mystery - and into the path of the enigmatic geneticist and vampire Matthew Clairmont. Matthew is driven to solve the looming threat of the creatures' decline and extinction, but their unlikely alliance to find the book before it falls into the wrong hands - and their deepening relationship - threatens to violate age-old taboos and shake the fragile peace that exists between the species.

Tagline: It begins with absence and desire. It begins with blood and fear. It begins with A Discovery Of Witches.

Trailer:

I absolutely loved this adaptation of Deborah's book. I watched this via Amazon prime. I watched it over a weekend and got absolutely nothing done because I was so absorbed.  Starring Matthew Goode and Teresa Palmer as Matthew and Diana I absolutely fell in love with their dynamic, their chemistry and the way in which they portrayed the characters.

The show is a cast of characters ranging from vampire, Daemons and Witches living within a hidden world right next to ours. Diana has spent her life running from magic until of course magic comes calling in a big way.  I love that this cast of characters are diverse, and you feel the mystery of who each of them are right from the get-go. None of the characters are any less than the others and the potential for betrayal ranges high when so many are seeking to retrieve the manuscript.  Within the book, we don't get as much background about the others as we do in the show, but the show makes all these different threads come together into a wonderful tapestry of a story.

There are a few changes in the show from the book, like when events occur and who gives some information, but the bare bones match and the story doesn't sacrifice anything for the telling. I will say the characters are more real and fleshed out in the show than they are in the book and we get more back story from the side characters in the show than we did in the book, which makes this way better. 

Since this is being told from so many different perspectives and each person has their own agenda you can feel the tension escalating as the story advances. Each episode giving us just enough to make you come back for more. And that final episode??? I almost fell out of my chair. DId they or didn't they make it?? We'll have to tune into next season to find out. 

I highly recommend for my paranormal lovers and for even those who thought they wouldn't love paranormal.  
Books In Series: ALL SOULS TRILOGY 
  • A Discovery of Witches (Review)
  • Shadow Of Night
  • Book Of Life

 ★★★★
RECOMMENDATIONS
Here are a few books and shows that would also suit your fancy if you like this one.

Shows

  • Midnight Texas
  • The Originals 
  • Vampire Diaries 
  • The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina
Books:
  • Katie McAlister (rom-com supernatural )
  • Christine Feehan's Carpathian Series
  • Susan Krinard
  • Maggie Shayne 
  • Karen Marie Morning's Highlander Series (This also contains a bit of time travel as well)
What else would you recommend my loves??? Have you had a chance to either read the book or watch the series yet?? Share in the comments down below and I'll see you tomorrow.


Monday, April 29, 2019

Monday Movie #Review: Avengers Endgame

Movie Title: Avengers Endgame
Released: April 29th, 2019
Directed by: Anthony & Joe Russo
Starring: Everybody in Hollywood named Chris (LOL)
Based on. Marvel Comics
Run Time:3 hours 2 mins
Premise: 

After the devastating events of Avengers: Infinity War (2018), the universe is in ruins. With the help of remaining allies, the Avengers assemble once more in order to undo Thanos' actions and restore order to the universe. via IMBD
Trailer: 



Hi my loves,

I haven't done one of these in a while. I really am excited to be sharing my thoughts on Avengers: Endgame. Now I will freely say I haven't been a devout watcher of all the Marvel Cinematic Universe (from now on in this review known as the MCU) I sporadically watched the movies over the years. Of course, I like just about every black person the world over (hyperbolic but that's what it felt like) watched the Black Panther movie and next Avengers movie because it had Black Panther in it. That wasn't just an addition to the MCU but a cultural moment for us and I watched in theaters a good 7 times. 

With that said, let's talk about Endgame. Going in we know that so many are lost after the battle with Thanos. The few that are left are desperate to find a way to right the wrong done to the universe & not just to their planet. However, there doesn't seem to be a way to bring everyone back. And this becomes the central plot point in the show. Interpersonal relationships are explored, grief and its outcome are explored and the question of is one person's happiness worth more than the lives of billions is asked several times.  

Beloved characters are seen and everyone assembles to battle for the soul of the universe. The question of what happens when heroes fail is answered, of couse, it wouldn't be a Marvel movie it didn't have a few jokes about that.  As the story progresses we get the question of is it better to try to move on past the pain or try to bring the others back.  We know from the trailer that Captain Marvel is now apart of the team and I absolutely love her showing up when she did.  I loved how each character showed up, and we learned how each dealt with the blow Thanos dealt the worlds.  There was humor as well as the discussion of grief. My favorite being Rocket being called Rachett, and a raccoon (which is a running theme throughout). 

I freely admit to crying several times throughout this movie. One of the first times was realizing that no matter what comes after this Stan Lee won't be making his appearances like always before. I've never been so grateful to have met him at BEA (book expo america) 2014. I wasn't watching the Marvel movies at the time so I didn't know who he was but my sister was fangirling fiercely and went to meet him. I'm so glad we got that moment.  (lucky girl has met him a few more times due to going to comic con). There are hard choices to be made by each character and by the group and when the final moves are made it breaks my heart. I squealed when events happened, I cheered on the Avengers when they formulated their plan and sobbed through the ending. Once I realized it was the end for the overall theme and characters I was saddened to see the saga end. Hopefully, there will be more from this universe 

I highly recommend the series but of coirse this movie as well. I loved the way it wrapped up the entire saga. It's definitely the end of an era.  I'm going to rewatch all the movies in timeline order and share my thoughts. Have you seen it?? Let me know what you think down in the comments my loves.
★★★★
Bring popcorn & tissues
and as always enjoy my loves,

Saturday, April 27, 2019

Stacking The Shelves (2019) #7: April: 2nd Hand Haul

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!!

Thriftbooks:

Hate To Want You by Alisha Rai
Wrong To Need You by Alisha Rai
The Exposure by Tara Sue Me. I have been working my way through the series and this was one of the few that I didn't own, I wish to end the series so I'm snagging these as well. 

Traded books on Paperbackswap:

I have been reading my way through the Blackout bookshelves and clearing my way through some of my backlog, so I have collected a few of my favorite authors works, so I'm working on pulling in:

Rochelle Alers:

Bittersweet Love

Long Time Coming

Della's House of Style (Anthology)

And that's it. I do still have more coming in and I will be going back to slowing down, but the more I read the more I haul. How about you?? 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, April 26, 2019

Book #Review: Enthralled (The Enslaved Duet 1) by Giana Darling .@GianaDarling

Book Title: Enthralled (The Enslaved Duet 1)
Author:  Giana Darling |WebsiteTwitterFacebook| Instagram
Publisher: Giana Darling
Genre: Dark New Adult, Dark Romance,
Series/Standalone: Book 1
Format: ebook, Trade paperback
Cost: $3.99
Pages: 394
How I got it: Purchased
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Publisher
Publication Date: March 2019
Add To Goodreads
Synopsis:
It was the biggest day of my life. I know most people say that about something joyous; a graduation, a wedding ceremony, the birth of their first child. My situation was a little different.

Sure, it was my eighteenth birthday, but it was also the day that I was sold.
Sold to a man with hair like a crown of gold and eyes blacker than the darkest pits of Hell.
He bought me to own me, to control me, and to use me as a means to an end.
I was his tool and his weapon.
And through it all, somehow, I also became his salvation.
There are so many feelings I have about this book, I'm not sure where I'm supposed to go with it. First I went into this based on the review of a fave booktuber (Jess from Peace Love, Books) and I'm just a mixed bag of emotions ever since the book finished.  There are so many things going on in this story and it's all so complicated. There are many moving parts and just...OMGawd. The story was extremely engaging and the writing wonderful even if a bit poetic at times but once you got used to the writing style it wasn't a problem. I will give trigger warnings for those who need them, discussion of anorexia, sex trafficking, and suicide are within this novel.

Ok let's start with the fact that the protagonist is being manipulated by so many different people that it's impossible to see where she's going. Everyone has their reasons for using her to get to the other and no one is including her in the choice, of course almost all the people manipulating her young heart and life are the powerful men playing at getting back at each other.

Cosima is a young model struggling to support herself and her family. Born into poverty in a town controlled by the mafia and its violence, she's one of the few people in her family trying to stay above water. Her father is a drunk who gambles the families livelihood away, her mother is a devout wife and Catholic who despite all the reasons she should leave to protect her children actually puts them in deeper harm. She's hellbent on penance and suffering, even though as a child and even now Cosima doesn't' see her failings. (she's an infuriating insufferable idiot but we don't learn all of that until later & I'm so effing pissed at this woman, like all of this could have been avoided if she wasn't such an effing coward).

Cosima and her twin brother are pushed into using their beauty as models so they can earn money to protect their younger siblings from the terrible decisions her parents are and have made.  She puts herself into a risky situation and saves a man's life, in doing so puts the crosshairs of unseen enemies unto herself. Once the ball gets rolling and debts are called in her father who is another massive coward uses her as his trump card and sells her to pay his debts. Cosima sees little alternative to aide her family as her father's enemies are powerful and she's afraid of it blowing back on her family.

Trapped with a beast who now owns her, she's furious when she realizes the ties she has to this person. Forced into sexual slavery, she discovers a part of her craves giving up control. This she fights the best she can until she realizes that she's only hurting herself even more. Her sentence is for five years, and she's negotiated a deal that aides her family in getting out, now she's here not because of her father's debts but because of her own deal. While their initial scenes maybe triggering for some, they are very darkly erotic.

Then the story just unfolds beautifully, we get more mystery as the hands that are pulling the levers begin to be revealed and until the very end, we don't know who all the players in this game are. We get mystery, murder and mayhem, which while going in I didn't expect. I wouldn't necessarily call this one a romance, it's an extremely dark new adult with a few erotic moments.  I will say I was very intrigued by all the moving parts, the mystery the who done it of it all. The past comes back full force and the part that an unsuspecting villain plays is heart rendering. There are moments when Cosima is close to seeing some of the true nature and yet she is unwilling to see it. As the story unfolds and we learn that even her beast has monsters who can and will harm him, I'm even more intrigued. Who scares the big bad?? Unfortunately, we are given the answer to that and I just can't deal. I wanted to reach into the book and break them all. That moment is when we realized even he was making the most of bad situation and it wasn't all that it seemed and we get a glimpse of the hidden man.

As I stated there are many hidden and moving parts. So many enemies masquerading as friends, and hidden friends among them all. It's so engaging that I finished it in one weekend because I just needed to know. I'm on pins and needles until the second comes out in May. I want to know how it all unfolds. I want to know more about her brother and what's happening in his life.   I definitely had a deadly book hangover when I was done and didn't know what to do with all these feels.

Once out of the book, it reminded me of another I read a year or two ago and also a true life story I read about trafficking that told of a fame similar to the one played in this book and by similar men ( I believe even a royal of Europe was arrested in the sting operation). It made it even more real and brutal to know that these games do truly exist.

At the end we are left on a cliffhanger, how does it all turn out?? I looked and saw that the second comes out May 31st (to which I have already pre-ordered) and that the other family members have books. I'm hoping she comes out with a book for the brother soon as well because hello?? That sounds awesome.
 ★★★★☆
RECOMMENDATIONS
Happy Reading my loves, 

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Book #Review: The Chase Is On ( Westmoreland 7) by Brenda Jackson

Book Title: The Chase Is On (Westmorelands 7)
Author:  Brenda JacksonWebsiteTwitterFacebook
Publisher: Silhouette Desire
Genre: Romance, Contemporary, African American Romance
Series/Standalone: Book 7
Format:  ebook, Mass Markey
Cost: $5.99
Pages: 192
How I got it: Purchased
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Publisher
Publication Date: November 15, 2005
Add To Goodreads
Synopsis:
WHAT CHASE WESTMORELAND WANTED...

Something sure looked tempting, and Chase knew it wasn't on his restaurant's menu. His new neighbor Jessica Claiborne was as deliciously enticing as the confections she created--so enticing, Chase was finding it difficult to concentrate on anything but the curve of her lips.

CHASE WESTMORELAND GOT!

Jessica couldn't deny the heat that sparked every time Chase was near. But she had a secret, one that could destroy the desire she saw burning in his eyes. Yet if she wanted a chance with Chase, she was going to have to reveal the truth and withstand the heat that was bound to go beyond the kitchen.
Told from dual perspectives we have a sweet romance tempered by a secret. Several years ago, a family friend betrayed the Westmorelands and this has caused bad blood between them. Jessica is a transplant to Atlanta from California and she's opening up a sweet confectioners shop right in the same plaza as Chase's successful soul food restaurant.

The day they meet Chase puts his foot in his mouth because he accuses her of being inconsiderate when she had actually shown up to apologize for the inconvenience her moving in might have caused. And the sparks fly from there. Chase is attracted to the fiery woman who called him out and now he has to make it up to her. From the start, Chase lived up to his name and even though Jessica didn't exactly give him a hard time in seducing her into a relationship.

Much like the other men in his family Chase has decided based on a college heartbreak to never get married and have children. He plans to pass the restaurant on to his nieces and nephews and maybe later in life marry for convenience. Jessica has had a deadbeat father who causes her and her mother nothing but strife and ultimately cost them even more. She's determined never to marry because she believes way too many men are like her father and she doesn't need that drama in her life.  When the two meet their affair seems inevitable they are so attracted to each other. Brenda loves to write the hell out of a lovemaking scene, their scenes are scorchers and just make you love the consideration that goes into a good relationship.

I loved that they both went in with their eyes open to how it's going to end and along the way re-evaluated. Chase is unaware of Jessica's big secret and as they get to know each other Jessica's secret goes from a mission to a burden. She's conflicted on sharing with Chase and one day the secret comes out. Chase makes his assumptions and they split.

I loved that separately Chase made the right decisions and when he realized his haste might have cost him more than his pride went all out to make amends.  I loved Jessica and her family because she turned to them when she needed to be bolstered.  The Westmoreland clan as always is welcoming to the new women in their family members lives and also give Jessica a sense that ATL could be for her, and I just love how awesome they are.

This being a romance we know there is going to be a happy ending. It's the journey to the ending that makes these worth reading and I loved their journey. I loved how they courted and how they journeyed from friends into lovers. Chase uses his skills as a cook to woo her and she used her chocolates as a way to soften him up. Their mutual love of food was a great base for their relationship and friendship to grow on. Plus the fact that they both own successful shops.

Of course, I enjoyed this one and the little bit of a mystery it had with it. Another to add to the TBR if you haven't read it and want a hot man who can cook who is hell-bent on getting his delicious delight.
 ★★★★☆
Books In Series
Happy Reading my loves, 

Monday, April 22, 2019

Book #Review: Jared's Counterfeit Fiancee (Westmoreland 6) by Brenda Jackson

Book Title: Jared's Counterfeit Fiancee ( Westmoreland 6)
Author:  Brenda JacksonWebsiteTwitterFacebook
Publisher: Silhouette Desire
Genre: Romance, African American Romance, Contemporary
Series/Standalone: Book 6
Format: ebook, Mass Market
Cost: $5.99
Pages: 192
How I got it: Purchased
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Publisher
Publication Date: May 10, 2005
Add To Goodreads
Synopsis:
Pretending to be Jared Westmoreland's fiancée wasn't high on Dana Rollins's list of priorities. But she owed him a favor, and Jared's persuasive charm and sinful masculinity--not to mention his sizzling kisses--were impossible to refuse. Helping Jared meant spending time together publicly, but the private moments they shared made Dana wonder how she'd ever survive this engagement with her heart intact.

A confirmed bachelor, Jared didn't want any of the sticky entanglements that went along with commitment. But the more he got to know his beautiful fake fiancée, the more Jared wondered if their romantic charade might be the real thing after all.
Back into the Westmoreland clan we go, this time spinning off from the main family we are here to see the love story of a cousin of the main clan. So far the baby girl of the family has been married off and her three older brothers have also found love, one with her best friend.  Jared is a cousin who is a successful divorce attorney and has seen the ravages of 'love' is determined to never go down that path. This just proves that despite the parents doing everything right the children can still by their own experiences learn the wrong lessons.  Even though there are successful marriages that last around him Jared is still gun shy.

When a mistaken moment is overheard by his mother, Jared's afraid to embarrass her in front of her guests lets her continue to believe her error. He plans to tell her what she had overheard wasn't the right information, and then it snowballs. He's made aware by his father that there are health concerns which put him and his brothers in the uncomfortable position of trying to be concerned without being overwhelming. Knowing that the belief that he's engaged is going to help her he pitches a deal to Dana to help him until they know more and seeing how close the family is she says yes.  Dana met Jared when he represented a client and the attraction was off the charts, but she's a bit gun shy.

Dana is a successful woman who was getting ready to get married when her fiancee drops a bombshell and she's devastated. She's alone in the world after her parents' death and now another person she thought she could rely on is leaving her. She has a great career and a few good friends she can rely on but it's not the same and when she sees how close the Westmoreland family is and how wonderful they are she's not able to turn Jared down.  This should have been an easy favor, but it's complicated by their attraction and the more they give in the deeper this mire gets.

I love this trope and Brenda does an amazing job spinning this tale. From the dates, tot he quite moments of recognition of the change in their paths; this couple made you want to root for them. Jared's fall into love was wonderful to read, as he re-evaluated and even sought the wisdom of his fellow men about what made them realize they were in love. I loved the glimpses we get of the families and the new brides integrating into the family.  I love how the women have formed their own little club within the family.

Reading positive stories about black love and black families is so affirming.  I also loved the mini story that took place within this one as well, because that helped Jared realize there were other choices out there. I loved the way in which they fell in love and of course, their lovemaking scenes were amazing!! They just clicked so well and I loved their journey into love.

You guys know I'm a sap when it comes to romance, so make sure to grab this one if you're looking for a sweet quick romance.
 ★★★★☆
Books In Series
Happy Reading my loves, 

Saturday, April 20, 2019

Stacking The Shelves (2019) #6: April : The Nora Roberts Haul

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!!

Hi my loves

I know I know three months no real hauls and then this deluge. I went to see my eye specialist this month and they happen to be right near one of the biggest library bookstores in my state, so you know I had to take a trip over there after my visit. Here are a few of the goodies I snagged. I'll be breaking this up into a few hauls as it was pretty large. 

Let's start with the Nora Roberts books. As you know I have a shelf of just Nora's books I plan to work my way through in this lifetime and I'm currently at 60 books on the shelf. 

Mysterious. Which contains three small romances. This Magic Moment, Search for Love & The Right Path. 
Lawless which is a historical romance.
Sweet Rain: Contaings Second nature & Lessons Learned

Red Lily which the final book in In The Garden series, I'm stuck in book two right now but I'm going to pick it up and finish it soon, so I grabbed this one for the shelves.
Worth The Risk contains Partners and the second book is The Art of Deception.

Temptation

Nora Roberts Shelf Final Count: 66

When I picked them up I hadn't realized how many were combination books, but hey more books for me. Have you read any of these, have any particular Nora Roberts romance you love and think I should read first?? Share it in the comments.

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, April 19, 2019

Book #Review: Riding The Storm ( Westmorelands 5) by Brenda Jackson

Book Title: Riding The Storm ( Westmoreland Book 5)
Author:  Brenda Jackson|WebsiteTwitterFacebook|
Publisher: Silhouette/ Harlequin
Genre: Romance, Contemporary Romance, African American Romance
Series/Standalone: Series Book 5
Format: Mass Market, ebook
Cost: $5.99
Pages: 192
How I got it: Purchased
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Publisher
Publication Date: April 11, 2006
Add To Goodreads
Synopsis:
Women called him the perfect storm because he could sweet-talk any woman into his bed, and regularly did so. Firefighter Storm Westmoreland used lovemaking the way other men used a long, hot shower-to blow off steam. Until a torrid weekend with a too-hot-to-handle virgin left a certain legendary player craving something other than mere physical gratification.

Caught in the eye of the storm, Jayla Cole was no match for the sexy fire chief or the emotional inferno he ignited inside her. But would she be satisfied with the mind-blowing, sex only relationship she shared with Storm, or was starting a family on her own still what she desired more than anything?
back to the world of the Westmoreland's we go. This sprawling family saga has us still within the original six family members getting their stories. This is Storm, a firefighter who recently received a promotion which sends him to New Orleans for a convention; while there he runs into his mentor's daughter Jayla and something about her this weekend is hitting all the right buttons for him. Storm was her first crush, after his rejection Jayla has decided that she doesn't wish to be with men like her father who controlled everything about her young life while raising her after her mother passed.

This is a bit of a second chance romance, or perhaps it's making up for lost time?! Either way, they have a past that allows Storm to try to hide behind his belief that she's still a teenager, but he's more attracted than he's ever been. When Jayla proposes they have a once in a lifetime weekend before she returns home to start a major new project Storm is at first resistant then onboard totally.  They say it's only for the weekend but at the end of it neither can forget the other. Jayla goes home to start working on her project and Storm returns to his life as the love and leave em firefighter, however, he's not as interested in loving them as he used to be and he can't wrap his head around it.

I loved the slow buildup and the reshaping of who they were to each other, as Storm had to learn that she was a grown woman with wants and needs similar to his own. Once he stopped acting like he knew best, he became a great character to root for. Jayla's secret plans meant that she was only looking for a steamy weekend affair, even though she didn't want to let Storm go, what she was working on was super important to her.  I loved that we saw her having a full life with great supportive (although her friends wanted her to see ALL the options like really good friends do ) friends, a career she was proud of and happy with and this one dream she was finally working on.

While Storm comes from a strong family, his life experiences have altered the way he views relationships and women's roles in them. I'm very glad that they both realized that the fundamental changes had to come from the person wanting the change and not from the other. Storm's hardlines were stemmed in his past love affairs and Jayla's stemmed from her relationship with her father and they had to work on their own issues and come to terms with them. I loved that they discussed these issues in a way that let the other know they weren't judging but why this thought mattered to them.

Let's just take a moment to enjoy that their chemistry was off the charts. They were very sexually compatible, and this made Storm see her in a whole new light, let me tell ya'. I guessed the ending only because it's what I wanted to happen. I did love the buildup to that ending and the way in which Storm's family played a part in helping him to get out of his own way.   Seeing some of the other couples that are being formed really made me glad I'm reading the series in order.

I loved the way that New Orleans played a part in their story. And of course, I immediately went looking into river cruises. I can't wait to read Ian's story and see how he falls.
 ★★★★☆
Books In Series
Happy Reading my loves, 

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Book #Review: Black Lace (Detroit/ NIA Book 3) by Beverly Jenkins .@authorMsBev

Book Title: Black Lace (Detroit NIA Book 3)
Author:  Beverly Jenkins|WebsiteTwitterFacebook|
Publisher: HarperTorch
Genre: Romantic Suspense, African American Romance
Series/Standalone: Book 3
Format: ebook
Cost: $6.99
Pages: 384
How I got it: Borrowed from Hoopla
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Publisher
Publication Date: Oct 25, 2005
Add To Goodreads
Synopsis:
The last thing Lacy Green needs is trouble—and handsome Mayor Drake Randolph has "danger" written all over him . . . especially when "His Fineness" accidentally runs her off the road. Despite Drake's sensuous charm, irresistible magnetism, and unwavering determination to make amends, she's thinking it might be smart to play it safe and keep her distance . . . if only his lips weren't so inviting.

But trouble comes from a different source when Lacy, as the head of Detroit's Environmental Protection Department, launches an investigation into the activities of a ruthless developer. Suddenly, Lacy becomes a target, dragged down into a swamp of greed, corruption . . . and murder. Now Drake Randolph might be the only one in Motown who can keep Lacy alive
I've been marathoning these books and I'm in love with this series. This is Mayor Drake's story and I love the development we get. While I liked the second book, it kind of had a different feel to it, maybe because it didn't focus in on Detroit the way the rest of the stories kind of do, but this one brings us back to the focus of NIA and why it truly exists.  Drake (incidentally another name of a dragon, this is relevant in the family crest and history) meets Lacy Green when his driver a former black indie driver runs her off the road during a surprise snowstorm.

Lacy isn't happy about the accident and the damage it's caused to her baby( her car) or to herself. She's the defacto head of the Environmental department for Detroit and since she only has a small staff she can't afford to be out sick.  Even though she's attracted to His Fineness as the mayor was called she's upset that his recklessness is going to cost her.  Drake is living his double life as a member of NIA and the Mayor of the city, he's burning the candles at both ends and he's beginning to question if this what he wants to do for the rest of his career and life. When he meets Lacy she really brings these questions into sharp focus, he's wondering how he can bring a wife and children into the double life while keeping them safe. 

Their attraction to each other is palpable and I loved that they decided to take it slow. Unlike his brothers Drake didn't put the courting question out there, he just did it. And he pulled out all the stops. Lacy is gun shy due to her previous relationship especially because it was to a powerful man in the limelight, she's got to figure out if she wants the same things with Drake even though she can't deny her attraction to him. While trying to distract herself she makes a pitch for a new department that would help to combat the blight happening in the city by giving this department teeth and the capabilities to go after criminals unlike before. This proposition brings on the ire of a city councilman who lets her know up front he'll be voting it down.  From the get-go we are aware of his corruption and his decision to go after Mayor Drake because he needs him out of the way to enhance his criminal activities. 

As the proposition gains momentum and begins to be implemented the opposition has pulled out all the stops to put an end to the new campaign. First, they try intimidation, and when that doesn't work they escalate. Listen, the lengths they went to?? I see the blight that happens when you drive into certain neighborhoods here in real life and it makes me wonder what happens in those departments. Recently on my way to work in an 'upscale' neighborhood, someone dumped a couch and chairs beneath the underpass, within a day it was gone. In poorer neighborhoods?? It would have sat there for weeks before anything would have happened to it. So this book was a whole lot more personal and real. 

I loved the way the story developed, seeing the corruption in local politics and the resolution to the corruption. Seeing how racism can be used environmentally as well social and societal construct. This isn't new to someone who went from living in NYC to living in a nicer neighborhood in CT. Seeing how something as clean air isn't even guaranteed and how that impacts the everyday health of children. Reading how that anger and being 'woke' to the issues can drive some to go to extreme lengths. Had that group turned the fire inside to better solutions?? This could have ended so differently, but when your options are limited, you don't always do what's right but what works. It was sad to see that his chances were taken from him, and yet know that he had options but wasn't able to see them. 

While the overall story gave us a hell of an adventure, the romance between Drake and Lacy was sweet and delicious. Their slow build up and the development of their relationship was outside of the craziness stemming from their jobs.  I loved the interactions of the bothers and the families they have created. The talk about how the Vietnam war impacted their lives and how it impacted their grandmother?? That moment took me out, I needed a second to get it together.  While this story wrapped up well several lines were left open. Will Drake run for office again?? And I don't believe he ever addressed NIA with Lacy. I'm hoping she left these open because she's going back into the world of NIA and needs a way in to do so.  There are also other agents that are never fully described that I would love to get their stories. In other words I don't want to leave this world alone. Keep giving me stories and I'll keep buying them. 

I can't recommend highly enough my loves, as an environmentalist, as a lover of suspense and romance, you need to get you a copy ASAP.
 ★★★★☆
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Happy Reading my loves, 

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Book #Review: The Edge of Dawn (Detroit/NIA Book 2) by Beverly Jenkins .@authorMsBev


Book Title: The Edge of Dawn (Detroit/NIA book 2)
Author:  Beverly Jenkins|WebsiteTwitterFacebook|
Publisher: HarperTorch
Genre: Romantic Suspense, African American Romance
Series/Standalone:  Book 2
Format: Mass Market, ebook
Cost: $7.99
Pages: 384
How I got it: Purchased from Thriftbooks
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Publisher
Publication Date: Jan 1, 2004
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Synopsis:
The beautiful daughter of a prominent Michigan doctor, Narice has never strayed anywhere near the wrong side of the law. Then her father is brutally murdered—and suddenly federal agents are swarming around her like flies, making accusations about a stolen North African diamond. But before they can interrogate her, she is wrested from their grasp at gunpoint by a shadowy figure—and Narice Jordan is on the run.

But is this dark, good-looking stranger, who calls himself Saint, her kidnapper or her savior? Narice knows nothing about any missing gem, yet there are two things she knows for certain: Only at Saint's side can she find her way to her father's killers.

And she'll have to trust this dangerous, ruthless, and deadly mystery man ... if she wants to keep breathing.
Going into this one I wasn't sure who the characters were going to be. I finished the first book then went right into this one with only a few hours of break in between. I was pleasantly surprised that Saint got his story and I couldn't wait to see what he was going to share with us.

Starting with Narice who is on the way home after her father passes away in a fire, she's quickly brought into an intriguing world that she's left unprepared for because she has no idea her father had any connections to this kind of life. As the story got started I was so anxious for her and wondering how she was going to get out of this situation because OMG who wouldn't freak out a little?? Then the next round of craziness pops off and the story is off and running.

I felt myself trying to read as fast as possible to get to what was happening; because what a world of intrigue. We get Narice who is in the middle of mourning her father, she's been rescued and told that her father's death may not be an accident and he was involved with the transport of piece that would aide in the fight for a monarch's place in her country. Narice is a successful teacher who has founded her own exclusive school back home isn't really someone built for a world of intrigue, spies and hunts for treasures, but to have her father's murderer exposed she's willing to become a Bond girl. Saint is a member of the shadowy group NIA who are trying to bring Detroit back from the brink by any means necessary, he also works for the government doing this and that, this is one of the cases the government can't have their fingerprints on.

This is for those who love history like I do a great journey through the south using a part of the Underground Railroad and it's hidden maps. I loved learning more about the history of these maps and of course I have put those books on the tbr pile for later in the year.

Narice and Saint meet with a Queen who gives them a mission and lays out the alternative in a way that let Narice know she really needs to do this.  As the adventure gets started and we are rolling through the south and heading towards the hidden treasure we have choppers trying to drive people off the road, missiles from hidden compartments, two or three other villains working to get to the treasure before Narice and Saint do. And with many missions, as the danger levels rise so too does the attraction between Narice and Saint. Saint has been doing these missions for a while and he's never been this attracted to a woman before, as the danger rises and she rises to the different challenges to help him stay alive he realizes he might have met his match. It's interesting to watch them try to navigate a relationship that fits the scenario while working towards claiming the prize before their enemies do.

As Narice is held to the fire each time the danger climbs she's discovering parts of herself she didn't realize were hidden. While as a person who believes a gun is a girls' best friend I understood her hesitancy but girl it's your life or theirs, and they won't be pulling their punches.  I loved how she and Saint discussed things and while he wanted to coddle her, he was also real about their options.

This story was a great mix of treasure hunting while making our way through some of America's history. The chemistry between the two was good to read.  We do get a glimpse of characters that will be in later books and of course we get to see the characters from the first book The Edge of Midnight.  I highly recommend for those who love adventure stories, history, kick-ass female lead and hot romantic moments between gun battles.
 ★★★
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Happy Reading my loves, 

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Book #Review: The Edge of Midnight (Detroit/NIA Book 1) by Beverly Jenkins .@authorMsBev

Book Title: The Edge of Midnight ( Detroit/ NIA book 1)
Author:  Beverly Jenkins|WebsiteTwitterFacebook|
Publisher: HarperTorch
Genre: Romantic Suspense, African American Romance
Series/Standalone: Book 1
Format: Mass market, ebook
Cost: $7.99
Pages: 384
How I got it: Paperbackswap
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Publisher
Publication Date: Feb 13, 2007
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Synopsis:
Blackboard bestselling author Beverly Jenkins launches her first contemporary romantic suspense with this exciting sizzler. Sparks fly when Mykal Chandler, the head of a covert government agency, fights to protect the woman he has fallen in love with.

Sarita Grayson is desperate. That's the only explanation for her late night rendezvous with a bag of stolen diamonds. But then a handsome stranger stands between her and a clean getaway. In the struggle for freedom, she accidentally shoots him.Mykal Chandler, head of a covert government agency NIA, can't believe he's been shot. He's shocked, he's furious, but he's also attracted to this sassy woman. Unfortunately, Sarita has stumbled unto a smuggling plot and he'll need to protect her, even if he has to kidnap her to do it. But Sarita isn't one to go quietly into the night...
I absolutely loved this one. I went into this one because once I posted my review of what turned out to be the fifth book in this series; Ms Bev corrected me in letting me know there was a series name and an order to read the books and I took my homework seriously.  With my new directions and a map of how to read these books, I was off to the races and I'm so glad I had them on hand. I finished this one in a day and I loved everything about it.

This is the series starter, in this, we meet Myk the head of a successful architectural firm and brother tot he mayor of Detroit. Myk's also head of secret experimental government agency called NIA. Nia's purpose is to aid in the restoration of Detroit by any means necessary, and for a few weeks now those means include busting in the doors of known drug houses.  While doing so they learn of a big deal going down and decide to intercept the goods before the deal happens.

Sarita is a good woman, the kind that aides her neighborhood anyway she can. She's fighting a losing battle to keep her neighborhood community center open, especially after she receives a letter letting her know the building is being foreclosed on. Desperate when offered a deal she can't refuse she takes it. Even if she hates the person offering her the help. All she has to do is steal some goods and she and her building are safe. Except Myk intercepts her in the process of stealing the goods and she needs to get away.

I laughed so much reading this one. Especially after the opening scenes. Myk wasn't prepared for the craziness that Saria would bring to his life and she wasn't prepared for the over the top opulence Myk was used to.  I loved their chemistry, the misunderstanding that led to them being in the situation they were in lead them on a bit of journey to discover who they were together.  Throw in a contract, Myk's secret life, someone wanting to get back at Sarita for the missing goods and you have one heck of a story. Like all the couples Beverly writes this couple had a healthy sexual relationship that blows you out of the water.

I loved that Saint popped up every once in a while and kind of added levity to the situation while giving Sarita a person to talk to who had her back completely.  Sarita was used to finding a way to make her life run with little and isn't sure what she's supposed to do with the abundance Myk keeps showering her with. Myk for his part isn't sure what he's supposed to do with his attraction to this woman who isn't anything like what he's gone for before. He can't charm her the way he normally does so he's had to learn to meet her where she is and build up the things she loves. He's fighting to save the city and she's fighting to save its future (the children) and it's soul (the neighborhood).  I loved that she talked about giving the kids discipline and making this a place they could be proud of.

I loved that Myk's family history was used as a way to bring them together, and I can't wait to read that historical novel because the Vachon ancestor sounds like a deeply romantic man.  I loved their romance and their explorations of each other, their love scenes were extremely hot. I loved the push and pull of their relationship, the doubts they both had, as well as the issues of trust. Could Mykal trust Sarita with his biggest secrets and what would he do if and when he had to tell her?? All of this while they tried to solve the mystery of who was after Sarita, who did the good really belong to and just how far would they go to get them back.

I love how her contemporary romances connect back to the historical romances she writes. I laughed so much when we found out who Sarita was related to because talk about being so much like her ancestor.   I highly recommend this one my loves. I was so addicted to this one. I started this at work during lunch and I was useless the rest of the day. I was hooked this was an amazing ride, & adventure to the end. I loved how they met and the mystery of who they were. 
 ★★★★
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Happy Reading my loves,