Thursday, October 31, 2019

Happy Halloween & Blessed Samhain 2019


This is Halloween!!!

Happy & Blessed Samhain to my pagan friends and Happy Halloween to you muggles who will be dressing up as all the fun things.

Just remember if a Boogie is at the door don't take the trick they tend to be deadly.

Have a fun and safe day my loves
I'll see you tomorrow


Wednesday, October 30, 2019

AudioBook #Review: Witchling (Otherworld Sisters of The Moon Book 1) by Yasmine Galenorn .@YasmineGalenorn

Book Title: Witchling (Otherworld/ Sisters of the Moon)
Author: Yasmine Galenorn |WebsiteTwitterFacebook| Instagram
Publisher: Tantor Media
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy
Series/Standalone: Book 1
Format: Audiobook Unabridged
Narrator: Cassandra Campbell
Audio Service: Scribd
Hours in Book: 10
Cost: $7.99
Pages: 276
How I got it: Scribd
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Publisher
Publication Date: December 15th, 2008
Add To Goodreads
Synopsis:
We're the D'Artigo Sisters: Half-human, half-Faerie, we're savvy--and sexy--operatives for the Otherworld Intelligence Agency. But our mixed-blood heritage short-circuits our talents at all the wrong times. My sister Delilah shapeshifts into a tabby cat whenever she's stressed. Menolly's a vampire who's still trying to get the hang of being undead. And me? I'm Camille--a wicked-good witch. Except my magic is as unpredictable as the weather, which my enemies are about to find out the hard way...

At the Wayfarer Inn, a portal to Otherworld and the local hangout for humans and beasties alike, our fellow operative, Jocko, has been murdered. Every clue points to Shadow Wing, the soul-munching, badass leader of the Subterranean Realms. He's made it clear that he aims to raze humankind to the ground, turning both Earth and Otherworld into his private playground. Our assignment: keep Shadow Wing and his minions from creeping into Earth via the Wayfarer. The demons figure they're in like Flynn. After all, with only my bumbling sisters and me standing in the way, how can they miss? But we've got a secret for them: Faulty wiring or not, nobody kicks ass like the D'Artigo girls. . .
Overall:
I listened to this over the course of two weeks, not because it wasn't good but because I enjoyed it then put it down for a few books for tour dates, I found that it was extremely easy to jump back in when I wanted to come back to the story and the narrator Cassandra was wonderful, her voice able to keep you entertained and engaged while keeping the story flowing.

Narrator
This was narrated by Cassandra Campbell and she was wonderful. She carried all the emotions and made them tangible without bogging down the story. I loved when she managed to make Camille's voice sound like an overall narrator while still sharing the story from her POV and sharing her funny as hell self talk. I enjoyed her voice a good deal.

Story:

I loved that this was an urban fantasy. In this world, the Fae and all the creatures of the paranormal world are out and they are all form Otherworld. Camille and her sisters who are all half-fae, half-human were more prepared to live among the human than most. They are guardians who really only have a few instances in which they have to step in. Until the day someone opens the portal to Otherworld and let in three dangerous creatures who immediately set about upsetting the balance of the town.  Something or someone is killing Fae and leaving a mess behind and now the sisters must work with their human liaison and try to find out just what came through and what it's got to do with the coming upheaval in Otherworld.

I loved that this world had so many complex courts and the lore that was included. It's going to be interesting to see all the stories that develop and come out of this world. Camille and her sisters are interesting, as each young woman has different strengths and weaknesses. Camille is the witch in the family but her spells don't always work, she's in love with a race of people that are looked down upon in the Otherworld ( because even in the fantasy world dark-skinned people can't catch a break le sigh). Knowing that the Svartans love to enthrall their lovers then leave them she cuts him from her life first and now that there is an upcoming battle the Svartan is back in her life. Can she trust him or is he here only to break her heart.

Her two sisters will have their own stories as one was changed into a vampire while on assignment and another has a tendency to shapeshift whenever she's stressed. That makes it hard for her to help during battles. As the story grows legends come to life, a long lost key comes into play and there is a hot dragon. Oh and several earth spirits including a drop-dead gorgeous Kitsune.  Camille has to complete a bargain of getting a demon finger, finding the murderer of the Fae, stop a powerful artifact from falling into the wrong hands and take on a seemingly indestructible Fae nicknamed Badass.

She's gotta do all of this while making sure her bookstore doesn't get protested by those who want the right to hunt their paranormal neighbors and of course protect the city.

I did wonder if this was a spin off of a established series, while the world building was good; I felt like a bit of the storytelling was a 'given' like you should know because you've been here before. Also the relationship that Camille is in was done really quickly as they are an established couple from before the story started.  There is also a weird relationship that develops with one of the sisters, and it happened off screen and we don't know how it all went down. The sisters were quirky but I'm hoping it's not too much of the chick lit quirk where they are so 'helpless' without the male protag. I enjoyed this one for the lore we were getting as well as Camille's view on things. She didn't have any too stupid to live moments which let's be real sometimes these books have the heroines do just so they can be rescued. Nope she was smart, and on top of it including being knowledgeable about the lore she needed to be able to save her family and stay one step ahead for now. I'm hoping this shapes up to be a polyamory story but I won't hold my breathe.

I enjoyed it, and can't wait to check out the rest of the series which I now own up to book 18 thanks to Savers over the summer.
 ★★★
Series In Order
  • Witchling (Book 1) 
RECOMMENDATIONS
  • Kitty Norville Series by Carrie Vaughn 
  • Merry Gentry series by Laurell K Hamilton ( I can only vouch for up to Swallowing Darkness after that y'all are on your own. ) 
  • Magic series by Cheyenne McCray
  • World of the Lupi by Karen Chance
Happy Reading my loves, 

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Book #Review: Deadly Obsession (Brown & De Luca # 4) by Maggie Shayne .@maggieshayne .@HarlequinBooks

Book Title:  Deadly Obsession ( Brown & De Luca 4)
Author:  Maggie Shayne|WebsiteTwitterFacebookInstagram
Publisher: Harlequin MIRA
Genre: Romantic Thriller, Romance, Paranormal
Series/Standalone: Book 4
Format: ebook, Mass Market
Cost: $4.99
Pages: 400
How I got it: Purchased
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Publisher
Publication Date: November 25, 2014
Add To Goodreads
Synopsis:
A cold-blooded killer with a burning obsession…

Rachel de Luca has a bad feeling about the new woman in Detective Mason Brown's life, the nurse taking care of him after he's injured in the line of duty. She'd like to think it's just jealousy, but intuition tells her it's something more, maybe something dangerous.

Mason knows Rachel's wary of commitment, and asking her to stay when he's in this condition would be the worst thing for their relationship. Then they receive chilling news that drives everything else from their minds.

Mason's psychotic sister-in-law has escaped from custody, putting her sons — the nephews he's raising — in the crosshairs. When his house is burned to the ground, he and Rachel are relieved that there are no bodies in the smoldering rubble, but now his nephews are missing and the clock is ticking.

As Mason and Rachel try to find the boys, she senses a new and unexpected danger stalking them. Soon, everyone close to Mason is in deadly peril — Rachel more than anyone….
While going on a date with Rachel, Mason happens upon a home on fire, when the neighbors mention they didn't see the family leave and that children lived there he runs in to rescue them.  This is a clarifying moment for Rachel because it makes her realize that she could lose him to his long before she could lose him because they don't suit ( which isn't true since they are perfectly suited)  but relationship fears aren't rational they just are. His heroism is caught on camera and reported in a glowing news report, which incidentally the firebug who started the fire sees and decides that Mason is the one for them. They are tired of being put as second best when the person they chose as a partner returns to their partners ( because oyu know getting with a cheater is how you guarantee your relationship..what a dumbass).

Mason is slightly injured and the Dr wants him to have visiting nurse services, which gives the firebug an in. Delusion thy name is this dumbass. They haven't even met Mason yet and is already spinning fantasies about killing everyone in his life so he will fall for them. I just. Really??? Form the getgo we know who the crazy is and we get insight into their lives and why they are doing it, for me this ratcheted up the tension because I kept screaming at my book, How doesn't Mason see the crazy gleam in their eyes??  Every time the villain would have been in a room with Rachel they found a way out so that Rachel couldn't read them.

This was a fantastic read and I flew through this one as well. Told in alternating perspectives, we get the crazy insights, Rachel's insights as she tries to navigate the new knowledge she has of her full feelings for Mason, and Mason as he goes through the case of the arson. While this going on it's time for his oldest ne[hew to graduate high school, due to the case from the last book a family member is in an institution and when the incidents involving them escalate they believe it's the family member who has escaped.  The family member escaped because the arsonist wanted to be able to blame someone else when they committed their crimes and this would work perfectly. Except despite having a mental breakdown the family member is all about protecting the family and even if they can't express that to everyone they still do their best to protect everyone.

This is perhaps the most amount of characters POV we have gotten from these books and it all worked well. It flowed together well. The last book ended a case but left some overall questions especially with Mason's comments to Rachel, who of course is now running scared until that night and now she's trying to navigate it all.  I loved the young love we're getting from her niece and his nephew, and how practical this twin is. It's pretty good actually how refreshing the kids are in this story, especially after the events of the last book.

Of course, Rachel is full of snark and sass throughout the whole story and I love the way she and mason interact with each other. I love her sister and their relationship. I also love how her friendship with Abby, her assistant who is great at making her see reason. They are amazing together.  This one flew by really quickly and I enjoyed myself the entire time.
RECOMMENDATIONS
  • Krewe of Hunters Heather Graham
  • The Protectors Series Brenda Jackson 
Happy Reading my loves, 

Monday, October 28, 2019

Book #Review: Innocent Prey (Brown & De Luca # 3) by Maggie Shayne .@maggieshayne .@HarlequinBooks

Book Title: Innocent Prey (Brown & De Luca 3)
Author:  Maggie Shayne|WebsiteTwitterFacebookInstagram
Publisher: Harlequin MIRA
Genre: Romance, Paranormal Romance, Romantic Thriller
Series/Standalone: Book 3
Format: ebook, Mass Market 
Cost: $4.99
Pages: 320
How I got it: Purchased
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Publisher
Publication Date: October 01, 2014
Add To Goodreads
Synopsis:
To save innocent lives, they'll have to risk their own.

Self-help superstar Rachel de Luca and Detective Mason Brown have finally given in to their overwhelming attraction to each other, but neither of them is ready to let physical passion turn into full-blown romance, so they carefully maintain an emotional distance. Then a judge's daughter disappears, and Mason has a terrible sense that it's connected to the most recent case they solved together: the abduction of Rachel's assistant.

The discovery of a string of missing women—all young, all troubled—seems like a promising lead. But there's no clear connection between the missing girls and the high-profile young woman Mason is trying to find. He realizes that once again he'll have to rely on his own well-honed instincts and Rachel's uncanny capacity to see through people's lies in order to catch a predator and rescue his captives. But can they do it before Rachel becomes his next victim?
**** Trigger Warning: For violence towards women, discussion of trafficking of women***

This harkens back to the case we started in on in Dream of Danger. Young women have been going missing for a while, then Amy was snatched and while they were able to catch one of the men involved it appears this case is bigger and has far-reaching corruption. Just how far?? Well, that's what we're going to find out in this care.

I absolutely loved this one. I felt like Rachel and Mason had really hit their stride after the first three cases and are now dealing with more than what is happening within their family circle.  This time this case doesn't originate from the original decision Mason made, and they are scrambling to fit all the pieces in. Rachel also has to make a decision about what she really wants from Mason as there is promotion up for grabs and she wants Mason to go for it, but does he want it?? How will it impact their relationship??   This one feels right on time considering all the reckoning that's happening (much deserved and for some way too lenient) her in the US right now.

Once again the story starts off wild, with the victim and we just know that the tiny glimmer of hope she had was not going to be enough. I actually flinched reading that passage.  Then we get to Rachel and Mason who are working on their relationship (is that what they have or nah??)  and they end up with a case that needs to be off the books as the victim's dad doesn't want it spread about that his daughter is missing. Mason's instincts are screaming and he turns to Rachel for help and from there we get one hell of a ride.

We jump back and forth from Mason, Rachel and the young woman who is missing. She's realizing just how vulnerable she is now, and even though she's not alone she's trying to make sure the others with her hold out hope. When given the chance the young women attempt to escape and one of them pays with her life but this is the break Mason needed to make this case an official bring in the big guns case and they are off and running.  So much happens from Rachel having to face some home truths to Mason realizing that there is more going on than even he believed and young women fighting to stay alive long enough to be rescued.

Rachel has a few moments here that make her a too stupid to live character, but at the same time, it was the most realistic response to what would happen that I had to laugh and totally understood at the same time why she did it.  I loved Rachel's snark as it helped her get through so many tough situations while allowing her to speak the truth. I loved the development of the characters that we have seen and wish we could get a bit more about Mason's best friend.

Once agian the case took a big chunk of the story while peppering bits about their personal lives without the story of the case being sacrificed. I loved the balance between the two; I found the case and the characters engaging and needed to know how it all was going to be resolved.  I read this one pretty quickly as well and can't wait to see what the next one has for us.  I enjoyed that she also leaves little stings to be pulled in other books, never quite giving us a full scoop on Mason and Rachel's issues as that would be too neat.
 ★★★★☆
Series In Order
RECOMMENDATIONS
  • Heather Graham Krewe of Hunters Series
  • Lisa Jackson
Happy Reading my loves, 

Sunday, October 27, 2019

Stacking The Shelves (2019) #26: Harlequin 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!!

I jumped back on the Harlequin website the other day to see some of the new and upcoming Christmas/Holiday titles and anything new by some fave new authors and this is what I snagged.

First let's discuss the non holiday themed books, most of these were due to name recognition and the others because the tropes sound right up my alley.

Ready for the Rancher by Zuri Day

Sin City Vows by Zuri Day

At the CEO's Pleasure (The Stewart Heirs 1) by Yahrah St. John

A Baby Between Friends ( Sweet Briar Sweethearts Book 6) by Kathy Douglass

American Fairytale (Dreamer #2) by Adriana Herrera (I picked up the first book in this series recently so why not have the others as well)

Second Chance Temptation by Joss Wood

Now for the Holiday/ Christmas romances:

Christmas with the Billionaire & A Tiara for Christmas by Niobia Bryant & Carolyn Hector

Her Christmas Wish & Designed by Love by Sherelle Green & Sheryl Lister

His Christmas Gift & Decadent Holiday Pleasures by Janice Sims & Pamela Yaye

I'm still hoping they will come out with another of the Holiday anthologies like the one they had with Maggie Shayne. So many of us have been talking about the lack of representation during the Holiday season in romance, almost all the books act as if Christmas is the only holiday celebrated during that time and it's not. We want more holiday rep, more romance, more people falling in love and sharing their faiths. Alright end rant.

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

Saturday, October 26, 2019

ARC Book #Review $ #GIVEAWAY: Finding Home Again (Catalina Cove # 3) by Brenda Jackson .@AuthorBJackson .@HarlequinBooks .@Netgalley #FindingHomeAgain #NetGalley

Book Title: Finding Home Again ( Catalina Cove 3)
Author:  Brenda Jackson |WebsiteTwitterFacebook
Publisher: HQN Books
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series/Standalone: Book 3
Format: ebook, Mass Market
Cost: $5.99
Pages: 384
How I got it: NetGalley
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Publisher
Publication Date: October 29, 2019
Add To Goodreads
Synopsis:
First love. Second chances. In Catalina Cove, anything can happen…
Bryce Witherspoon’s heart races every time she sees Kaegan Chambray. Everyone in town knows they can’t stand each other, but the truth is, even though the man broke her heart ten years ago, she still feels that irresistible, oh-so-familiar jolt of desire.

When Kaegan returned to Catalina Cove to run the family business, he knew there’d be no avoiding Bryce. The woman he thought he’d one day marry was instead the biggest heartbreak of his life. But when Bryce lets slip a devastating secret, he discovers just how wrong he was to let her go all those years ago.

He knows they both still feel the spark between them, but it’ll take more than attraction to convince her. Kaegan will pull out all the stops to show Bryce he’s the man who can give her the future they once dreamed of—if only they give love a second chance.
Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway
ahhhhh I'm so excited this is the third book ( and hopefully not the final) in the Catalina Cove series and we are going to finally learn just why these two have been angry with each other for ten years.  And what a story it was. A second chance romance with a bit of a mystery that makes the couple face their issues and finally admit what they truly feel for each other.

Kaegan, Bryce & Vashit have been best friends since childhood. Kaegan's father didn't believe in education and had kept his son from school, once Bryce's mom found out she pushed the community to get him to go to school and realizing he couldn't hold out against them the old man grudgingly sent his son to school but in doing so Kaegan was two years behind. From the first KGee, nicknamed that because Bryce couldn't say his name, was friends with the girls as the older kids ignored him and the others didn't engage. He's been their protector and friend for as long as they all can remember.

While Vashti was sent away during her pregnancy, Kaegan and Bryce leaned on each other and their friendship bloomed into love. And as with all young lovers untested by life believed that their high school romance would go smoothly into an adult romance. But life and some of the towns' people couldn't leave well enough alone and the young lovers split based on a misunderstanding that bloomed into a bitter fight.

And that fight and bitterness have defined their relationship for the past ten years. After drifting apart Kaegan moved away & Bryce moved on and became a successful business owner. Still angry with each other they have taken every opportunity to swipe at each other since KGee moved back home to Catalina Cove. Their bitter battle has placed Vashti in an awkward position because she knows more about the story from each of them than they know and she keeps trying to get them in the same area so they can air it all out.  This tragedy finally comes to a head and they both hurt each other again before separating, finally, Bryce breaks and tells her truth to Kaegan and he's left realizing his actions were based on lies.  He's devasted but determined to make it up to her and win her back. Also, I could understand his POV especially with all the misinformation he had been receiving, and the events of that night; Bryce acting as if she can't understand why he was angry doesn't fly. Girl reverse it, you would have lost it and wouldn't have believed him either.

This is a sweet second chance romance, where the couple now have to not only learn about each other as adults but learn to forgive each other for the mistakes they made as their younger selves.  It's hard to fight through the past while trying to hang onto the good memories; they both help and hinder them. Kaegan starts a campaign to gain her forgiveness and Bryce is afraid to trust again. Add to this he decided to win her back when she's decided to move on completely, she's trying to find someone who can replace the way Kaegan made her feel and she starts dating. As they try to move on, they just keep hurting each other and I wanted them to just get therapy cause y'all need to work through everything.

I really loved the strength of the friendships in this one, as they were the best sounding boards for both of them as they tried to find their ways back home to each other. Bryce has to learn to trust again and since this man has shown that he can break her heart this is a little harder to do than one would think. I loved that it wasn't an easy journey back to each other, as this means they will appreciate the love more.

However, while they are trying to make their way back to each other, someone has decided to wage a campaign against Kaegan, there are several incidents with each escalating in severity and then the ending happened.  Listen ok, I was yelling at the book no no no no don't go, call someone, send a text something anything. it was like watching a horror flick and commenting the whole time. I loved it.

This story flew and I loved that there was tension not only within the relationship but without as well, this kept me engaged and the story flowing well. Giving the characters time to develop and share with us their true motivations. I loved that we had several small stories within as well. We get to see Vashti and Sawyer's family and their progression. We learn what happened to the budding romance between the girl's grandparents while catching up on Ray & Ashley and their growing relationship.

I loved visiting this town again and hope it grows. I would love to see what happens to Jade in a few years.
 ★★★☆
Series In Order
RECOMMENDATIONS
  • Robyn Carr (pick any of her series LOL) 
Happy Reading my loves, 

Friday, October 25, 2019

Audiobook #Review: Forget Me Not (Catalina Cove # 2) by Brenda Jackson .@HarlequinBooks .@AuthorBJackson .@Scribd

Book Title: Forget Me Not (Catalina Cove 2)
Author:  Brenda JacksonWebsiteTwitterFacebook
Publisher: Harlequin
Genre: Romance, Contemporary, African American Romance
Series/Standalone: Book 2
Format: Audiobook, ebook, Mass Market
Narrator: Ron Butler
Audio Service:  Scribd
Hours in Book: 10 hours 30 mins
Cost: $5.99
Pages: 376
How I got it: Scribd
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Publisher
Publication Date: March 26th, 2019
Add To Goodreads
Synopsis:
Brenda Jackson welcomes you back to Catalina Cove, where love is waiting to be reclaimed...

Ashley Ryan never doubted that her husband, Devon, was the love of her life. Even now, three years after Devon died in a car wreck while on a business trip, Ashley can't bring herself to move on. But when her girlfriends surprise her with a getaway to beautiful Catalina Cove, Louisiana, she gets the shock of her life when she encounters a man-bearded, more rugged than before, but unmistakably her Devon.

Ray Sullivan moved to this quiet coastal town after waking up in a hospital with amnesia. Haunted by a life he can't remember, he's built walls around his heart and a quiet life running boat tours-a life that includes no recollection of Ashley, a woman he suddenly finds himself irresistibly drawn to.

Doctors warn Ashley of the danger in forcing her husband to remember the past. Though she longs to tell him the truth, she finds herself falling all over again for a man she knows may never truly come back to her. In this place where healing and second chances are just a heartbeat away, can love take root once more? (

Overall:
This is the second book by this narrator and I love it. Ron manages to make each character wonderful and unique. I absolutely loved his accents for each and how he helped to convey the emotions each character was feeling. I highly recommend him as a narrator and of course Brenda's work is phenomenal as well.   It's ten hours and I listened to it at 1.5X speed and finished this one pretty quickly as well.

Narrator:

Ron Butler is fantastic, Great melodic voice that conveys all the emotions of each scene without being overly dramatic. I loved the way he was able to use inflection and tone to convey seriousness of  different situations and at the same time convey the humor of a moment. I really found myself loving the story more because Ron was sharing it with me.

Story:

This is a second chance romance for a couple  where one doesn't realize he was a part of the couple. On the way home after a successful business trip, Devon Ryan has a moment of being a good Samaritan and because no good deed goes unpunished he ends up brutally beaten and left for dead. He's found and rescued but he was in a coma for a few weeks, during that time his family is informed that he has been killed. This sets off a series of events that lead us here, Devon wakes up but has amnesia ( I know soap opera levels here, but it's done extremely well, so just rock with me for a moment) and because unbeknownst to him his family already believe him to be deceased they have no reason to be searching for him, once they are unable to establish his identity the government give him one and he become Ray Sullivan.

Ashley is Devon's wife and when the police come to tell her that her husband passed away it devastated her. It's been three years and she still hasn't recovered, her mother however believes it's time she has moved on and has commenced shoving 'suitable' men on her. Being her best friends and sympathetic to her feelings, they gift her with a two week break from her mother and her manipulations; it's a two week stay in beautiful Catalina Cove, she's going to be staying in Vashti's renovated Bed and Breakfast. 

Once she's there enjoying the scenes Ashley has an incident and she believes she hears her husbands voice. Ray Sullivan steps in to save her and when he goes with her to the hospital he can't understand why he feels protective about this particular woman. In the three years he's lived in this town he's refused to date a woman because he believes he's married but because he can't remember he refuses to put himself in that position. This is the first woman to make him challenge this decision.

The story unfolds and Ashley requires the help of the two best friends and Vashti to help her win her husband back. How many of us have the chance to not just fall in love with our soulmate but do it twice?? There are so many moments that make Ashley wonder if she's doing the right thing, as she wonders what will happen if his memories of her never return?? Can she love this new man who inhabits her husband's body?? Can she love Ray who is totally different from Devon?? Can she let go of the memory of Devon long enough to give Ray a true chance?? Or will the memories of her past love stop her from learning if this man could be her next love.

I really loved how the story came together. Even if her mama got on my last nerves. I enjoyed that Ashley created a safe haven for herself with her friends and had people she could rely on, who loved her unconditionally. I loved the small town feel f the story and I can't wait to what's going on with the final bachelor in their friend group. This story flowed so well and I was hooked to finding out how it all would end. I really felt my anxiety go through the roof in those final chapters as the truth came out and we get the big reveal.

I highly recommend the story and of course the narrator.  I normally say that I love romance because you go into it knowing there's going to be a HEA, but I have to say with this one I wasn't certain because she kept repeating to herself the statistics and boy I knew it was a good story but I feared for them a few times. You know it's a good romance when you know the ending but are addicted to seeing how the journey gets them there.

Real World moments intruding here: I would hate to be in their shoes when they have to deal with the insurance about him being declared deceased and here he is alive. That's going to be a tangled web to unravel. Then there are all his debts and accounts, getting back his license. Just the headache from thinking about it. My gawds ok moving on now. Enjoy the story my loves!!!
 ★★★★☆
Series In Order

RECOMMENDATIONS
Happy Reading my loves, 

Thursday, October 24, 2019

Audiobook #Review: Love in Catalina Cove (Catalina Cove #1) by Brenda Jackson .@AuthorBJackson .@HarlequinBooks .@Scribd


Book Title: Love In Catalina Cove (Catalina Cove 1)
Author:  Brenda JacksonWebsiteTwitterFacebook
Publisher: Harlequin Audio
Genre: Romance, African America Romance, Contemporary
Series/Standalone: Book 1
Format: Audiobook, ebook, Mass Market
Narrator: Ron Butler
Audio Service: Scribd
Hours in Book: 13 hours 7mins
Cost: $5.99
Pages: 459
How I got it: Scribd Subscription 
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Publisher
Publication Date: Jan 22, 2019
Add To Goodreads
Synopsis:
In her brand-new series, Brenda Jackson welcomes you to Catalina Cove, where even the biggest heartbreaks can be healed...

In the wake of a devastating teen pregnancy that left her childless and heartbroken, Vashti Alcindor left Catalina Cove, Louisiana, with no plans to return. Now, over a decade later, Vashti reluctantly finds herself back in her hometown after inheriting her aunt's B and B. Her homecoming gets off to a rocky start when the new sheriff, Sawyer Grisham, pulls her over for speeding, and things go downhill from there.

The B and B, a place she'd always found refuge in when it seemed like the whole world was against her, has fallen into disrepair. When a surprising benefactor encourages Vashti to reopen the B and B, Vashti embraces a fresh start, and soon old hurts begin to fade as she makes new memories with the town and its handsome sheriff. But some pasts are too big to escape, and when a bombshell of a secret changes everything she thought was true, Vashti is left reeling. With Sawyer and his teenage daughter determined to see her through the storm, though, she's learning family isn't always a matter of blood sometimes it's a matter of heart.
Overall
I hadn't tried to read a romance novel as an audiobook before. I decided to give it one chapter and if I couldn't do it then I could go back to reading the book in physical form. I'm so glad I gave it a chance.

My reason for hesitating has nothing to do with being a snob about reading in different formats. I have no problem using the format for non-fiction titles.  I've mentioned before that I have a disease which means eventually I will go blind and then audiobooks will be my only choice; for me I have been holding off on adopting the format because starting to use it felt like giving in. Yeah Yeah Yeah I know it's stupid don't give me those looks, I'm well aware that I'm coping poorly, just give me the time I'm working on it.

Narrator
Anywhoo, back to the review, I got so sucked into this one that the 13 hours flew by. I also listened to this at 1.5X speed and that cut the reading time down from the full 13 hours. I started this on a Saturday while cleaning and I can tell where previously I couldn't get into the story (any fiction story on audiobook) this one, I was drawn right in and got lost in the story, I believe a good chunk of that had to do with the narrator's voice. While it's a man reading the story after a while I couldn't even tell that, Ron was able to bring tone, bass, and accent to each character in a way that separated them and made them unique.  I got lost in his voice and I certainly don't want to come out. Ron's voice was melodic and great for the characters, he was able to convey some really good emotions.  And he certainly caught me by surprise several times when the story called for it.

Story:

I legit wrote in my notes "wild as F*ck" and honestly that still stands. I wanted to not believe people could do this; then I remember where I volunteer and remember that truth is always stranger than fiction even though it's the first decade into the 2000s people still do the wildest shyt in the name of 'respectability'.  Especially if you add in religion to it.

This story starts off as a chance for this young woman to get a leg up after it appears her marriage has come apart. If she can sell the resort her Aunt left her then she would be able to live her dream life of traveling the world and seeing the places her Aunt had never been able to see. There's just one hitch, she has to return to the town that treated her like a pariah when she needed their support the most and convince them to allow the new changes the prospective buyers are offering the Cove.

Vashti hasn't been home since moving away for college and now she needs to return, sell this property and get out before the memories can get to her. On her way there she gets pulled over for speeding by the new sheriff Sawyer. It appears that even if to her the town hasn't changed at all, it has changed somewhat to have hired a good looking sheriff. And as the story developed we go from Vashti having a plan and a way to execute it, to the hands of fate stepping in and finding a way for her to confront the past, while giving her a chance at future happiness. After the sale falls through Vashti decides to still sell the property, runs back to NYC only for her life there to fully fall apart, then comes a visit from someone she would have never expected from and she's given a new lease on life if only she's willing to return to the Cove.

I absolutely loved the development of the story, and even though I didn't expect some of the turns it was going to when we got to certain parts and we began seeing the reactions of people I started to get hella suspicious.  Whew chile, some people are truly trash and I don't care what anyone says you don't have to forgive anyone, The story was shared partially from the POV of Vashti who has several reasons to despise the town and it's treatment of her; she also has some serious heartbreak to deal with before she can give Sawyer the fair chance he deserves.

Sawyer for his part has convinced himself that since his wife has passed away, he's going to invest in his daughter and raise her, then he'll think about having a life.  I absolutely loved that his daughter wasn't here for that. She was hilarious and a fun character to listen to as she challenged him and pushed him towards happiness. I loved their relationship and that she knew she was loved unconditionally and this allowed her to view the world differently than most.

Once the characters were established the story moved extremely quickly and I loved it. The characters were well developed and I fell in love with them. I needed this story and the love was so good.  I loved that the landscape played such a large part in this story, the town was as much a part of the story as the human characters. And with all Brenda's work, she peppers in some history the enriches the story.  As the story was shared, a few other POVs in the book add depth to the story. I can't wait to see what happened to the two best friends and what their deal is. I also can't wait to read Ray's story.

I loved that the story had amazing friendships and familial relationships, including the found families that the characters created. Vashti's friends are truly some of the best. They gave great support and love even when those who should have didn't. I'm glad I didn't read the synopsis and just went into it. I loved everything about this one.

I highly recommend it, especially in the audiobook format.
 ★★★★
RECOMMENDATIONS
Happy Reading my loves, 

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

ARC Book #Review: Wake To Darkness ( Brown & De Luca 3 2) by Maggie Shayne .@maggieshayne .@HarlequinBooks .@Netgalley

Book Title: Wake To Darkness (Brown & De Luca 2)
Author:  Maggie Shayne|WebsiteTwitterFacebookInstagram
Publisher: Harlequin MIRA
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Romance, Romantic Thriller
Series/Standalone:  Book 2
Format: Mass Market, ebook 
Cost: $7.99
Pages: 368
How I got it: ARC via NetGalley
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Publisher
Publication Date: November 26, 2013
Add To Goodreads
Synopsis:
Stranded with a murderer...

Rachel de Luca's uncanny sense of perception is the key to her success as a self-help celebrity. Even before she regained her sight, she had a gift for seeing people's most carefully hidden secrets. But the secret she shares with Detective Mason Brown is one she has promised to keep. As for Mason, he sees Rachel more clearly than she'd like to admit...

After a single night of adrenaline-fueled passion, they have agreed to keep their distance—until a string of murders brings them together again. Mason thinks that he can protect everyone he loves, including Rachel, by taking them to a winter hideaway, but danger follows them up the mountain.

As guests disappear from the snowbound resort, the race to find the murderer intensifies. Rachel knows she's a target. Will acknowledging her feelings for Mason destroy her...or save them both and stop a killer?
In an attempt to protect his family from the repercussions of his decision in book one, Mason takes them away to a holiday ski resort. Only the killer has followed them there and a snowstorm has cut them off from getting help or getting out of there. This one had some of my favorite romance & thriller tropes snowbound in a remote area; unknown killer amongst the guests; and secrets are threatened. Yep, it's all in there.  And I flew through this one trying to get to the end and discover just who the killer was.  And I was so satisfied when we got the answer.

Bodies start turning up with grisly details and once Mason realizes what the connections between the victims are he tries to isolate everyone who could possibly be a victim. Only the killer seems to be one step ahead of them and while locked in the resort two new victims turn up.  It's the holidays and the resort is fully booked, how can Mason discover who the killer is without alarming the other guests?? Even though everyone was told not to share the information with anyone, someone did because there are new faces amongst the guests.  Once again Mason's decision from book one comes back to haunt him, and now he's scrambling to determine who could be cleaning up his mess from before. What is the motivation for this new killer??

Once confined to the resort, Mason starts to see the cracks in the facade of his family, his nephews aren't doing as well as he thought especially his oldest nephew who has taken to different ways to cope with the pain of his father's loss.  His sister in law doesn't appear to be doing so well either and isn't handling the loss of her husband and the difficulty she's having with her son too well. Mason has to juggle all of this while dealing with his difficult mother, and his relationship with Rachel and of course find out who is killing all these people before Rachel becomes the next victim.

As the story progresses and the youngest nephew gets on everyone's last nerve (including mine) little secrets get revealed; Rachel & Mason confront their feelings and they work towards unraveling the mystery. The story had a good balance between the whodunit and the romance. We really focused in on the whodunit as the mystery built and had a few red herrings as well. I certainly didn't peg the killer until the end a well.  I love stories like that because I'm looking back at the other scenes and going OMG that's what that meant or so that's why?? Yeah totally worked for me.  Mason's decision coming back to bite him the ass is just perfect. I know I shouldn't revel in it because I understand why he did it and I know the fallout would have been really rough, but now he's getting a glimpse of how deep this one goes and who else will get hit when it eventually does come out.

We got some more about his best friend/ partner and his partner's wife but considering this is supposed to be his best friend not as much as I was hoping. The story progresses quickly and once the crazy starts flying we don't stop until the killer is caught. There are so many moments when the secret almost tumbles out and you see how others begin to react and you just know it would have been worse before. Now Mason has to decide how to move forward with his family and Rachel. Rachel has to decide how to handle being in a relationship with Mason, adjust to having these visions and having her sight back as well. All without letting the world know she is a bigger cynic than they would believe.  And yes she's still gotta celebrate the holiday as well.

This story managed to bring you in and kept you hooked until the full reveal, and even then it's not as cut and dried as you would have believed.  Again we understand why they are doing what they did and the circumstances leading to it. I mean they are wrong but still, you can see what lead to their conclusion.
RECOMMENDATIONS
  • Heather Graham Krewe of Hunters Series
  • Lisa Jackson (Non-Paranormal) 
  • Seized By Seduction by Brenda Jackson (Non-Paranormal but has Psychic protagonist) 
Happy Reading my loves, 

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Snippet Book #Review: Dream of Danger (Brown & De Luca # 1.5) by Maggie Shayne .@maggieshayne .@HarlequinBooks

Book Title:  Dream of Danger (Brown & De Luca 1.5)
Author:  Maggie Shayne|WebsiteTwitterFacebookInstagram
Publisher: Harlequin MIRA
Genre: Romance, Paranormal Romance, Romantic Thriller
Series/Standalone: Books 1.5
Format: ebook
Cost: $7.99
Pages: 67
How I got it: Purchased 
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Publisher
Publication Date: November 01, 2013
Add To Goodreads
Synopsis:
She didn't want to need him.

Murder brought self-help guru Rachel de Luca and Detective Mason Brown together. Their shared secrets drove them apart. But now they're together again in this riveting novella that begins where New York Times bestselling author Maggie Shayne's Sleep with the Lights On ended.

She may have been blind for twenty years, but Rachel's always had an uncanny gift for seeing through people—and she distrusts her assistant's new boyfriend at first sight. Amy isn't interested in Rachel's misgivings, though. She's too eager to celebrate Thanksgiving by introducing her family to the new man in her life.

Then Amy doesn't show up for the holiday….

Desperate to find her missing friend, Rachel has no choice but to turn to Mason. Their investigation into Amy's disappearance takes them ever deeper into danger—and reignites the attraction that they've both sworn to resist. Now it's a race against time as these reluctant partners fight to stave off passion and save a life.
I snagged this one even though I wasn't reading the series yet, and I'm so glad I did. This picks up a few months after the events of book one.  Mason & Rachel have decided to give themselves some time to come to terms with what happened and also Rachel is new to having sight and wants to make sure she's really getting to know the 'new' her.

However, this new talent she's developed won't let her have some time. She senses when a friend is in grave danger and goes to Mason to get help. This is a brief story, really it's a chance to advance the narrative and give them a quick case to solve. Even though this isn't completely solved at the end. It's a way for Rachel and Mason to realize what was happening between them wasn't based on the case and it isn't going anywhere.  We also get the beginning of a new case and one that wasn't solved and you just know it's going to come back to haunt them as well.

I enjoyed this quick read and can't wait to see where the full case goes.
 ★★★☆
Series In Order
RECOMMENDATIONS
  • Heather Graham
  • Lisa Jackson
  • Julie Garwood ( not Paranormal but Romantic Suspense) 
I can't wait to see how this story fully develops.  What do you think is going to happen?? Happy Reading my loves, 

Monday, October 21, 2019

Book #Review: Sleep With The Lights On (Brown & De Luca # 1) by Maggie Shayne .@maggieshayne .@HarlequinBooks

Book Title: Sleep With The Lights On ( Brown & De Luca 1)
Author:  Maggie Shayne|WebsiteTwitterFacebook| Instagram
Publisher:  Harlequin MIRA
Genre:  Romantic Thriller, Romance, Paranormal Romance
Series/Standalone: Book 1
Format: ebook, Mass Market
Cost: $4.99
Pages: 384
How I got it: Purchased
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound
Publication Date: August 13,  2013
Add To Goodreads
Synopsis:
Through the eyes of a killer...

Rachel de Luca has found incredible success writing self-help books. But her own blindness and the fact that her troubled brother has gone missing have convinced her that positive thinking is nothing but bull.

Her cynicism wavers when a cornea transplant restores her sight. The new eyes seem to give her new life, until they prove too good to be true and she starts seeing terrifying visions of brutal murders - crimes she soon learns are all too real.

Detective Mason Brown's own brother recently died, leaving behind a horrific secret. In atonement, Mason donated his brother's organs, though he's kept the fact quiet. Now he wants to help Rachel find her brother, but when he discovers the shocking connection between her visions and his own brother, he suddenly has to do everything in his power to save her from a predator who is somehow still hunting from beyond the grave.
This is a fantastic start to a new series that kept me engaged right up until the story ended.  The case drew you in and makes you wonder how the story is going to progress overall. All the main characters were well written, I mean we start the story with the serial killer in the process of hiding a body. Right from the get-go we knew the story was going to be wild.  We got to learn the motivation of all the characters as the story progressed and even though I understood why certain characters did what they did a good chunk of the shyt happening wouldn't have if they hadn't made the choices they did. Or you could say Fate would have stepped in anyway.  Either way, the story was so good.

I was fascinated by Rachel because she was a woman who was selling the idea of positivity like a drug but she refuses to believe it herself.  And as the story progresses and the changes come, her snark and the way she handles it all?? Just so good. While Rachel is one of my favorites, Mason really makes my heart hurt because I understood his motivations. He so badly wanted to protect his family from the fallout, yet his decision carries with it a lot of repercussions even he couldn't have foreseen. And you just know that somewhere down the line the other shoe is going to drop and when it does?!!! Shrapnel everywhere.  That moment in his apartment, when the instinct to protect overruling everything else?? That's a moment I can totally identify with.

Some of the secondary characters were well written a few were a bit one dimensional. We didn't focus on the outside people too much, just those within the case. I'm hoping as the series progresses we get more from them especially his partner. I haven't read a thriller in a while so having the book start with the POV of the killer?? Listen I was so hooked like my gawd this man is a trainwreck; which even he had to acknowledge and yet he couldn't stop.  When we go from him to Rachel and she's so normal that it's jarring to realize how far gone the killer is. As we progress we get Mason's side as well and between the three we get one hell of a story, as each character shares more from their perspective that enhances the story and I was just hooked.  Sadly as with any of these books, the plot was way too believable especially because serial killers seem to abound on the ID channel. It was all too real from Mason's choices and actions to what the killers did (even if their motivations didn't always add up).

As a first book in the series, it established really well how Mason and Rachel become a team and why it was necessary; while laying the groundwork for the other books to come.  The central case was the killer being identified (and that was easy, as we the reader knew who it was from the beginning, but the rest?? yeah that took a while) but how do you stop a killer who is supposed to be dead?? How do you accept the knowledge you now have?? How do you undo your mistake?? How do you protect the innocent without there being fallout for everyone?? While we knew the killer would have to be apprehended the ending was still very suspenseful and unpredictable. At least I didn't see all the twists that were coming but they didn't feel too far out from the plot so yeah, I was addicted to the very end.

I gotta say as a person who will eventually have to have the surgery Rachel had, I liked that Maggie didn't try to go too hard on the medical information but shared just enough so you knew what was happening. ( Also this is my wheelhouse and I hate when authors don't get it right, just share just enough to be believable but not enough for me to get annoyed when you get it crazy wrong).  My favorite scene is when post-surgery Rachel kinda freaks out but still tries to be 'strong' while quietly losing it on the inside. I also loved whenever Rachel talked because she constantly challenges Mason but at the same time is learning about herself now as a sighted woman.  Her snarky side has to be one of the reasons I love her, the other reasons are her family, she had an amazing relationship with her sister which I could totally relate to.

There are so many good moments in the book that made me marathon read it. I am however forever and always going to side-eye Mason for his choice, I mean I understand as there isn't anything I also wouldn't do for family, but being who is?? Way too many of his real-life counterparts make those choices and they aren't always for the altruistic reasons he did it.

I also liked (even though normally I wouldn't) that this was a slow burn romance, the story focuses more on the development of the case and the characters the romance takes a backseat (as it should as we are trying to survive here) and yet it still flavored their interactions and when they finally give in??? Awesome!! Must read the next ones immediately!!
 ★★★★☆
RECOMMENDATIONS
  • Lisa Jackson
  • Heather Graham
  • Julie Garwood ( No paranormal slant but the Romantic Suspense) 
Have you read this series my loves?? Or can you recommend a few more like this??
Happy Reading my loves,