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Thursday, April 24, 2014

Review: Live Free and Love (Military Erotic Romance) by Emily Stone



From Amazon.com: The daughter of an angry alcoholic father and a mother who preferred to turn a blind eye to everything, Kristina was more than happy to leave behind the small town of Humble, Texas for the cities and freedom of the East Coast to become a journalist. 

But in doing so, she left someone behind: her childhood best friend Danny, who was the rock of her life, who had always been there for her when she needed him, and who stole Kristina's heart with a blushing kiss one warm summer night when they were children. Danny enlisted in the Marines like all the other men in his family. Though the two promised to keep in touch, the sheer distance of their world and Danny's deployment to Afghanistan slowly widened the rift between them until he all but disappeared from Kristina's life. 

When she comes home years later and spies Danny at the annual fair, she finds herself tumbling head-over-heels for the boy--now a man--who stole her heart all those summers ago. Now, it's Kristina's turn to be Danny's rock and be there for him when he needs her the most. But Danny's imminent re-deployment looms over their reunion and soon Kristina must come to terms with the harsh reality that just as they're finally together after all this time, he might be taken from her once again. 

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 My Rating: 1 star out of 5

The premise of this one really struck home with me. As the wife of a veteran of the US ARMY, I know all too well about dealing with PTSD and the threat of re-deployment. However, there were just too many things wrong with this book for it to be what I was hoping for. 

To start with, it would benefit from an edit or two. There were a lot of grammatical errors scattered throughout, and even times when the author would write "and/or". It definitely was enough to take away from my overall experience reading this. 

The sex scenes were written in such a way that they were laughable. Especially when one minute Danny is reaching orgasm, and in the next sentence, he hasn't. Instead of adding to the story-line (although they do come into play later on), there were so many that they actually took away from the overall plot. 

Another thing that I couldn't comprehend, was Kristina's complete lack of knowledge about PTSD. In one of the first scenes she shares with Danny, they attend a local fireworks display, only to have him have a "flashback" and freak out. Unfortunately for him, Kristina has no idea what is going on, which left me staring at my kindle in utter disbelief. 

For the most part, I didn't really believe in the characters, some of the things they said, and the way they reacted to certain events just did not seem in line with what the author was projecting about them. 

I was very disappointed in this book, and will not be reading anything else by this author. 



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Live Free and Love (Military Erotic Romance)  is available from Amazon.com

Monday, April 21, 2014

Review: Ghosts in the Graveyard by Kim Bowman


Print Length: 48 pages
Publisher: esKape Press (October 14, 2013)

From Goodreads.com:  While most kids can’t wait to dress up in costumes and go out trick or treating, Charlie, Jack, and Millie Foster dread Halloween. Even the promise of receiving a slew of candy doesn’t interest them. How could it when they know the truth about All Hallows Eve? That it’s really a day to fear, a day when the dead walk the earth again.

With their house sitting directly behind a graveyard, they are prime targets for the spirits to haunt.


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 My Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

The overall story of this novella was something that I have seen before (although that was a movie and not a book), however I felt that it was approached in a way that made it feel as though it was still a unique story. While there were some circumstances that were very similar to the other story, overall, I thought this was a well done approach to the concept. 

At only 48 pages, it is definitely a short read, however in my opinion it would be a perfect way to pass the time either while camping, on a dark and stormy night, or on Halloween especially as the events do take place during Halloween. You could feel the brotherly bond between Charlie and Jack, and the way that they were especially protective of their baby sister Millie was endearing. I could picture them, preparing to protect themselves against the ghosts, even though they were terrified at the thought. 

As for recommendations, I think this book would appeal more to the tween/teen crowd. This is something that although it is definitely creepy, would be something that I would allow my almost ten year old daughter to read. Paranormal fans may also enjoy this work.

DISCLAIMER: I received a complimentary copy of this novella in exchange for my honest review. This has not affected my review in any way. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are 100% my own. 


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Ghosts in the Graveyard is available from Amazon.com


Friday, April 18, 2014

Review: Blood Wine by John Moss



From Goodreads.com: The summer before 9/11, Toronto homicide detective Miranda Quin wakes up to find her lover dead beside her, yet has no memory of going to bed with him. Horrified by the results of the forensic investigation, the normally feisty Miranda moves through events in a daze while her partner, Detective David Morgan, offers support.

Because Miranda is the prime suspect, neither she nor Morgan are able to pursue the case officially, freeing them from jurisdictional constraints. They find it impossible to avoid being pulled into the rush of events that follow from one mysterious death to another in a quirky narrative that brings in a New York policeman who reads Thoreau and a beautiful and dangerous European wine expert who is not what she appears to be. As the plot moves from Toronto to New York and London, a deadly fraud leads to explosive revelations of drug smuggling as a cover for international terrorism.

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 My Rating: 4 stars out of 5

I was drawn to this book, not only because of the intriguing synopsis, but also because of the title. And while it did suck me in pretty much from the beginning (and make me worry that the theme of underground terrorists sounds all too plausible), I did find myself getting confused quite a bit. However, this had more to do with the fact that I was unaware when I requested it that it was the fourth book in a series, so there was a lot of back-story and groundwork between the characters already laid that I had missed out on. 

Even with that, I found this novel to be a fast paced and gripping mystery, filled with thrills and "I-can't-put-this-down" moments. I found myself carrying my kindle around with me in an attempt to keep reading even when there were other things I had to do. I worried about the characters, I found myself anxious to find out where things were going, and how deeply the characters would be impacted.

I would definitely recommend this to anyone who likes mysteries and thrillers, especially those that are as multi-layered and engaging as this one was.

DISCLAIMER: I received a copy of this novel in exchange for my honest review. This has not affected my review in any way.


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Blood Wine is not yet available. Links will be added once it is published (tentatively June 2014).

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Review: Dark Moon by Victoria Wakefield


Print Length: 203 Pages

From Goodreads.com: Lana Luna had never told anyone about that night at summer camp. She was fifteen and her boyfriend, Damon, tried to force her to have sex with him. With a power she didn't know that she had, Lana punched Damon over and over again, nearly killing him. She couldn't understand how it was possible - until her parent's confession shortly after her eighteenth birthday: Lana isn't completely human. 

After she accepted the truth about herself, Lana vowed to never burden another soul with her cursed existence. She would live a solitary life, devoid of human interaction. 

Now twenty years old, Lana has mostly stuck to her resolve, only letting herself become close to her bubbly college roommate, Maryanne. With plans to become a pediatrician, Lana volunteers at the local hospital to gain experience to add to her medical school application. But when Lana catches the eye of the sexy oncologist, Dr. Michael Reynolds, she is instantly attracted to him. 


Michael, a young, handsome doctor, is drawn to Lana as well. And as much as she tries, Lana can't fight the overwhelming feelings that she has for Michael. But, as Lana soon discovers, the past doesn't stay buried forever.

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 My Rating: 2 stars out of 5


This book left much to be desired. 

Lana did have an interesting secret, and it was not something that I was expecting, but overall... the book just did not hold my interest. 

The characters were very close to being "too good". I prefer characters with a lot of depth to them, and with the exception of Lana (and even she was a bit "Mary Sue" sometimes), these characters did not have that. They were all lacking something that would draw the reader in and make them care about their plights. 

The majority of the book is about Lana's relationship with Michael. They have sex on like the second date, are saying "I love you" by the third, then they start spending all of their time together (eventually moving in with each other). I would say about 80% of their time together is spent having sex. Now I'm not a prude in any way, but I do like to read books where the relationship is about more than the sex they are having (no matter how good it is). There was no build up, no hesitation (even though Lana is supposedly a virgin when they meet), it was just "this guy is hot and gave me good sex and now I will love him forever" kind of deal.

Towards the end of the book, the action does pick up, and the potential for the story to redeem itself comes about, and then BOOM. Conflict resolved, book over, and the reader is left wondering if that was really it. 

Although this is book 1 in a series, I did not find myself caring enough about these characters to continue. 




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 Dark Moon is available from Amazon.com

Monday, April 14, 2014

Sneak Peek! Kissing the Maid of Honor A Secret Wishes Novel By: Robin Bielman


Title:  Kissing the Maid of Honor A Secret Wishes Novel
Author: Robin Bielman
Event organized byTasty Tours


Book Blurb:

Sela Sullivan is resolved to be the best maid of honor ever, even if it means tolerating the best man. Insufferable, too-handsome Luke Watters is not only the guy who humiliated her at a kissing booth in high school, but he also happens to be her best friend’s older brother. Positive he’s the same arrogant jock, Sela vows to focus on her duties and steer clear of the frustrating—and frustratingly tempting—Luke.
As a world-renowned extreme-sports photographer, Luke is used to undertaking life-risking adventures. But risking his heart for the beautiful Sela Sullivan, who clearly still hates him for his rejection all those years ago? He didn’t see that coming. Sela inspires a passion he’s never known, and the more time they spend together, the more he craves her. But can he prove to the maid of honor he’s become a man of honor?

You can purchase this book from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, ITunes or Kobo



About the Author: 
Robin Bielman lives in Southern California with her high school sweetheart husband, two sons, and crazy-cute mini Labradoodle, Harry (named after Harry Dresden from Jim Butcher's Dresden Files books). When not attached to her laptop, she can almost always be found with her nose in a book. She also likes to run, hike, and dip her toes in the ocean. Filled with wanderlust, she longs to visit many different places and fulfill her curiosity. She wouldn’t mind indulging her sweet tooth in every location either. She’s a lover of sticky notes, cable television shows and cafĂ© mochas. Writing is a dream come true, and she still pinches herself to be sure it’s real. She writes contemporary and paranormal romance and loves to connect with readers.

You can learn more about this author by visiting: Her WebsiteTwitterFacebook or GoodReads

Friday, April 11, 2014

Review: Song for Sophia (Rougemont #1) by Moriah Densely

Print Length: 300 pages
Publisher: EsKape Press (September 23, 2013)

From Goodreads.com: To win a man’s heart, a woman must have the mind of a diplomat, a general, and Cleopatra, all in one.

Desperation has led Anne-Sophia Duncombe to a life of exile. Still, she is always just one mistake away from capture and a marriage she would rather die than endure. As a last resort to remain hidden from her former life, Sophia attempts a radical scheme; a life of humility and disguise.

Rumor has it Wilhelm Montegue, the Earl of Devon, is insane. A tormented war hero haunted by scandal, he is only tolerated because of his brilliant mind and swarthy good looks. His unmentionable “condition” which keeps him confined to his country home is also the source of his talent for composing music.

When a new housemaid is hired at Rougemont, Lord Devon is perplexed to find himself fascinated by her. He knows the exquisite beauty is keeping secrets but her siren’s voice draws him ever closer, and he can’t resist the intoxicating scent of danger surrounding her.


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 My Rating: 5 stars out of 5

There was so much about this novel that made me fall in love with it! To start, the main character Wilhelm Montegue has a form of autism. This is the first time that I've ever read a novel where the hero was plagued by a disability of this type, and I found that Ms. Densely captured it perfectly. The main heroine had also been subject to abuse of her own, such that would have made a weaker woman cower, and yet she found the determination to keep going. 

Throughout this novel, you suffered with him and Anne-Sophia as they not only found their way together, but found a way to make their relationship work. I was not only completely won over by the two leads and their "ghosts", but I was also completely enamored with their companions AKA the dogs Wilhelm kept on his property. More than once, I saw something of my own loyal dogs in them, and they just kept clawing their way into my heart until they earned a mention in my review as well. The way that they defended Sophia was nothing short of heroic. 

There was romance to this novel, but it wasn't "just another romance" in my eyes as it also contained drama, angst, and a whole lot of page turning suspense. Would their love be enough or would the circumstances seemingly piled against them be enough to triumph? 

Filled with witty dialog, characters you can't help but love, and unexpected events at every turn, Song for Sophia is a novel that is sure to please! Ms. Densely has definitely earned a new fan in me and I can't wait to read more from her! 

NOTE: I received a complimentary copy of this novel in return for my honest review. This does not in any way reflect upon my review. All thoughts/opinions of this novel are 100% my own.


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Song for Sophia (Rougemont #1) is available from Amazon.com

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Review: Friday Night Alibi by Cassie Mae


From Goodreads.com  With her fresh, charming, and hilarious take on New Adult romance, Cassie Mae introduces readers to a soon-to-be college freshman who’s cashing in on her sweet reputation—and the unlikely guy who turns her life upside-down.

In the wealthy town of Sundale, Kelli Pinkins has hatched the perfect plan to capitalize on her sweet reputation. For a generous fee, she will be every trust-fund baby’s dream: a Friday-night alibi, the “girlfriend” or “BFF” that parents dream about. With college approaching in the fall, Kelli’s services are in demand more than ever, which means that her social life is nonexistent. But Kelli is A-okay with that. She’s raking in cash for school. Besides, relationships are tricky, and sometimes very messy. She’d rather be at home on Xbox LIVE, anyway. Then the unexpected happens: She meets college stud Chase Maroney.
 
Chase isn’t like the preppy, privileged guys Kelli usually meets in Sundale. For starters, he’s twentysomething, always wears black., and he shoots back one-liners as fast as she can dish them out. But Kelli’s attempts to drive Chase away falter when she realizes that he treats her like he really knows her, like he cares about knowing her. When Kelli finally gives in to the delicious kiss she’s been fighting for so long, she faces a tough decision: make Chase a real-life boyfriend and risk her heart . . . or keep her clients and lose her first true love.

                                              
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 My Rating: 2 stars out of 5

This book was one of those books that while the synopsis comes across as potentially interesting, the book doesn't live up to it. For one thing, the writing comes across as very juvenile, making this whole novel read more like a young adult novel instead of the new adult novel it claims to be. Even then, I'm not entirely sure even young adult would apply to a novel in which I am constantly reading words like "'cause", "sucktacular" "superdelish", "fake-a-roni", "yuckville".. I could go on, but you get the idea I'm sure. 

Secondly, the characters just were not interesting to me in any way. There is no chemistry between Kelli and Chase, making it hard to buy into their supposed romance. Although it is mentioned in the synopsis that Kelli is a soon-to-be college student, I don't remember there being one instance in this book where she actually plans, or thinks, about going to college. There is no mention about leaving for college, no plans about what college she plans to attend, nothing. She spends more time playing video games than anything else. 

Overall, this was not a book I could really get into, or care about. I will not be reading anything more from this author. 

DISCLAIMER: I received a copy of this novel in exchange for my honest review. This has not affected my review in any way.



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Friday Night Alibi is available from Amazon.com