Monday, November 16, 2015

Review: Phantom Heart by Kim Bowman

Print Length: 189 pages
Publisher: EsKape Press (September 29, 2015)

From  Luke Wainwright doesn’t remember leaving, can’t recall where he’s been for the past several weeks, and hasn’t a clue how he came to be so far from home. The only thing he knows is that he woke up one morning desperate to get back to his wife. But Rachel’s reception breaks his heart. She has questions he can’t answer, and even though he vows never to leave again, she refuses to let him in. 

Time all but stops for Rachel Wainwright when she loses the love of her life. She still goes to work every day, but she isn’t really living, doesn’t remember how to exist without Luke. Just as she picks herself up and starts to recover, he returns. Her mind can’t quite believe he’s back for good like he claims… even if her heart wants to trust that they’ve been given a second chance. 

Just when things are looking up for Luke and Rachel, a mysterious stranger threatens to destroy their fresh start. Rachel lost Luke once, and it was nearly her undoing. That was something she never wanted to go through again. But as each secret is revealed, as the story begins to unfold completely, the choice might not be hers to make. 


My Rating: 4 stars out of 5 stars

The first things that I am going to tell you is that the synopsis of this story does NOT do it justice. When I was first asked to read this story, I was expecting a completely different story than the one I got - and that is definitely a good thing in this case. 

What I was expecting was either a paranormal story where the main character falls in love with the actual ghost of her husband, or some campy story where her dead husband came back as some sort of zombie (without all the flesh eating). 

What I got was a powerful and deeply meaningful story about love, loss and second chances. In Phantom Heart (an appropriate title if I do say so myself), we meet Rachel Wainwright, who is still deeply grieving the loss of her husband Luke. While at work one night, a stranger comes into her place of employment and collapses at her feet after calling her a pet name that was only known to her and Luke. After rushing to the hospital to demand answers from the man, she is instead thrust into something she cannot begin to comprehend. This stranger was the recipient of Luke's heart - and now due to what the doctors' call cellular memory - all of Luke's memories and mannerisms are now the stranger's. 

Unfortunately, I can't give away any more than that without spoiling the rest of the story - and this is really one of those stories that you have to read for yourself. It speaks deeply of painful loss, and starting over - and the difference between just being alive and actually living. 

The one thing I will say that I did not like was the ending. It wasn't a matter of the story not being wrapped up as it was completely, it was more the fact that at the end a certain character does something that I cannot agree with. Its not that I don't understand their reasoning because I do, but I don't feel as though their decision was the right one. If I had been in that situation it is something that I would have wanted to know. 

Overall, this did not take away from the story as a whole, and I rather liked the way that things seemed to be better for everyone at the end (in more ways than one) than they were when the story began. 

DISCLAIMER: I received a complimentary copy of this novel 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.

Phantom Heart is available from

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Book Tour & Review: The Duke's Temptation (Men of Circumstance, #1) by Addie Jo Ryleigh

Print Length: 384 pages
Publisher: Soul Mate Publishing  (October 14, 2015)
Author: Addie Jo Ryleigh
Genre: Regency Historical Romance
Tour Organized by: Tasty Tours

DISCLAIMER: I received a complimentary copy of this novel 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. 

Book Blurb : A Duke. A Runner. An Earl.
Three men, each born into different circumstances.
Each fighting to overcome their own adversity.
All striving to change their past.

Gabriel St. James, Duke of Wesbrook, desires any birthright other than being the son of a hideous man. Unfortunately, Gabe knows the exact moment he became like his father—a night that has haunted him for seven years. Resigned to his future, he is unprepared when his illegitimate—and more importantly unbeknown—young daughter appears on his London doorstep. With no one to care for her but him.

Lady Elizabeth Blakely has loved only one man—her brother’s longtime friend, Gabe St. James. Not even his rakish and, oftentimes, wicked behavior dissuades her. Yet it all seems hopeless as he continues to overlook the woman she has become.

When Elizabeth learns Gabe is in need of assistance with his daughter, she seizes the opportunity. Gabe, less than thrilled with the situation—mostly due to his fierce desire for his best friend’s sister—has no option but to concede. Besides, a more sinister threat lurks; someone is blackmailing Gabe with his darkest secret. Through it all, Gabe vows to resist Elizabeth, no matter how tempting.

Sometimes it's better to surrender . . .

Book Excerpt: He’d even gone so far as to place his hands on the surface to push himself from the chair before he realized his intention. What the hell was he thinking? He hadn’t a notion what to do once he reached her.
Embrace her? Try to atone for the father he wasn’t?
No. He needed to stay where he was.
When she got close he felt like he’d taken a punch to the gut. The nearer she came, the more her cornflower blue eyes shone with unmistakable happiness.
Since he usually went out of his way to avoid her, he didn’t know why he would incite such delight. Whatever the reason, the sight of her childish glee melted a chunk of hardness inside him. To be honest, she’d been taking solid chinks out of it since the day she’d appeared on his doorstep.
He didn’t know what he’d do the day she finally broke through the wall. And break through it she would. Not even a cold blackguard such as himself could lock this sweet child from his heart forever. Besides, she was his daughter. His attachment to her went beyond mere affection. His worry stemmed from something deeper. Dread that allowing her into his life would bring her nothing but misery. Maybe now, to a child, having him as a father held some appeal, but as she grew and finally learned who her father was, she would come to hate him.
Even if his future held nothing else, he couldn’t find it in him to turn her away. Though he might only have the scamp’s affections for a short time, every moment of despair when she finally spurned him would be worth it.
She eventually reached the edge of the desk and instead of staying on the side nearest the door, she didn’t stop until she stood beside his chair.
Tenderness warming over his nerves, Gabe pushed the chair back. “May I help you?”
Downright terrified at what her answer might be, the calm of his voice surprised him.
Instead of answering with some crazy childlike request, she set her dolls on his desk—disregarding the papers that fell to the floor with her efforts—and crawled onto his lap. Her response had him frozen stiff in the chair. 
She started to toddle on his knees and his arms quickly encircled her waist, afraid she would lose her balance and fall to the floor. At his gesture, she snuggled closer to his chest until her mop of curls rested just below his shoulder.
Her easy display caused his throat to tighten. Unable to restrain himself, he tightened his hold and found himself enjoying the feelings of tenderness as they worked their way through him. 

   The Duke's Temptation (Men of Circumstance, #1) is available from 


My Rating: 4 stars out of 5

WARNING: This novel does contain scenes of a sexual nature occurring before marriage. If that is not your cup of tea, then you probably will not enjoy this novel. 

 Now, after getting what I believe could potentially be this books biggest downfall for some readers, I can move on to the rest of my review. 

For the most part, I thoroughly enjoyed this novel. I felt that the characters and circumstances surrounding their plights were done in a very realistic way. This was not one of those stories where the Hero is presented with something out of his control (in this case finding out he had a child) - and immediately knows everything about raising children, spends every waking moment with said child - and becomes her knight in shining armor. No, this was a novel that explored the very real feelings of a man who not only just had his world shifted on its axis, but who had no idea what to do about it. And because of this, the reader gets the enjoyment of watching the relationship between father and daughter blossom. We get to watch as the proverbial walls come crashing down around Gabe's heart as his daughter gets through his defenses and forces him to accept the part of him that he's long since kept guarded. 

I also enjoyed the fact that this was not solely just a romance novel (although that is the main theme of the story). This was also a story with mystery, as well as a story about redemption. 

My one complaint was that there were time when Phoebe acted (or spoke) in a way that seemed much more advanced for her tender age of three. Other than that, I was easily lost within the pages of this story, eager to see if a real relationship would ever become possible between our Hero and Heroine, and if the villain was who I thought it would be (spoiler alert - it wasn't!). 

Overall, I believe readers of this genre may have, I do believe that this novel will appeal to a wide audience and I would definitely read more from this author myself. 



The author is giving away Two (2) $10 Amazon Gift Cards)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

About the Author:
 Addie Jo Ryleigh writes historical regency romances that feature rakish heroes and strong feisty heroines.

Addie Jo lives in the same cold winter and hot summer area of Minnesota where she was born and raised. And frankly, wouldn’t live anywhere else. Sharing in the raising of her three extremely rambunctious boys is her very understanding husband that so graciously enabled her to fulfill her dream of writing. Keeping Addie Jo company while she writes (besides her wonderfully loud children) is her yorkipoo, Bella, who is never far from Addie Jo’s side.
Addie Jo has always had a love and passion for romance books and became engrossed in historical romance (particularly Regency) soon after graduating from Lurlene McDaniel’s young adult books. Currently, Addie Jo reads any genre that has a great emotional story that keeps her reading into the early hours of the morning.
Addie Jo has a bachelor degree in accounting and is a financial coordinator when not driving her children around central Minnesota, cuddled up with a good book, or writing her next story.

You can learn more about this author by visiting her website, Facebook or Twitter

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Review: The Reluctant Duchess by Sharon Cullen

Print Length: 128 pages
Publisher: Loveswept (November 10, 2015)

From Perfect for fans of Mary Balogh and Eloisa James, Sharon Cullen’s seductive new historical romance ignites as a shy country girl and a hotheaded duke surrender to dangerous temptations.

Lady Sara Emerson was jolted out of her dull provincial life by her cousin’s murder. Now that the killer seems to be targeting her, Sara seeks help from the man who was once her cousin’s fiancé, Gabriel Ferguson, Duke of Rossmoyne. With his towering frame and fiery personality, Ross cuts an intimidating figure. Living under his protection, however, has its own hazards—like the sudden urge Sara feels to take their relationship in new, exquisitely inappropriate directions.

Dazzled by the social graces of his betrothed, Ross never noticed her shy, blushing cousin. Looking at Sara now, though, he’s drawn to her lovely eyes and calm disposition. Funny how a year away from the hustle and bustle of the ton changes a man. But Ross has no intention of allowing a woman to interfere with his plan to return overseas. He will simply capture the murderer and set sail once again. The problem is, with her beguiling lips and heavenly touch, Sara makes him never want to leave home—or his bed—again.

My Rating: 4 stars out of 5

This novel was a perfect blend of a regency romance and a suspenseful "whodunit". In fact, one of the things I thoroughly enjoyed about this story is that neither aspect of it overshadowed the other. The characters were not only engaging and obviously well thought out, but the fact that their romance bloomed slowly over the course of the story earned major points with me. I enjoy a story where the romance itself takes time to build and unfold rather than happen all of the sudden. 

One of the underlying messages of this story (that I picked up on at least)  is that of growth. While engaged to Meredith, Ross was a completely different person with different priorities, so to see him reflecting upon that while also trying shelter Sara from having to try and overcome her social aversions, while at the same time showing and helping her to overcome them was a welcome change from most novels of the same ilk.  

I also thoroughly enjoyed this author's writing style. She has a gift with words that allows the reader to fully see and experience what the characters are going through. I won't go into too many details as I don't want to spoil it for anyone, but I will say that when they go into the less than desirable parts of society, I could totally picture their change in dress and demeanor.
All things considered, I would definitely recommend this novel (and author) to fans of a well thought out regency romance! 

DISCLAIMER: I received a complimentary copy of this novel 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.
The Reluctant Duchess is available from

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Review: Over A Fence by Ruth J. Hartman

Print Length: 79 pages
Publisher: EsKape Press (September 29, 2015)

From Romance novelist Cora Dumont needs a place to land after college. So when her parents ask her to housesit for a year, she jumps at the chance. Being home stirs up feelings for Drew, a former neighbor. Too bad he’d never given her the time of day. 

When Drew Dunkirk moves back home, he doesn’t expect to run into Cora. Seeing her brings back the crush he had on her in high school, has him hoping to finally act on those feelings. But Drew’s fence becomes a point of contention between them and the fur flies. Will the fence separate them in more ways than one? 


My Rating: 4 stars out of 5

This is one of those rare stories that manages to be both endearing as well as funny. The scenarios are very realistic, and the characters each have something about them that makes them relate-able to the reader. We either see some of the same qualities in ourselves, or we see them in other people. I do have to say that Drew really aggravated me at one point (I can't go into too much detail without giving away spoilers, however I can say it was a reaction to something that I felt he blew way out of proportion), it seemed so out of character for him (based on what we had seen up to that point), that if I had been Cora, I would have had some serious second thoughts about him. 

While we are on the subject of the characters, I have to fully admit (with pride) that Cora's cat Chubbs was my favorite character hands down. Yes, the human characters were witty, and likable, but that cat had so much personality that you couldn't help but laugh at his antics (and if you are a cat lover like me I guarantee you've had at least one cat during your lifetime that displayed a lot of the same personality as Chubbs). 

All things considered, I have to say that Over A Fence is a short and hilariously sweet story that will appeal to a wide audience. 

DISCLAIMER: I received a complimentary copy of this novel 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.
Over A Fence is available from

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Review: Hard Love (The Hacker Series book 5) by Meredith Wild

Print Length: 304 pages
Publisher: Meredith Wild (September 15, 2015)

From Days after their nuptials, Blake and Erica Landon embark on their honeymoon—a journey that deepens their bonds and promises to fade the scars of their past. 

Just when their troubles seem safely behind them, scandal surrounding would-be Governor Daniel Fitzgerald’s election threatens their newfound peace. Back home, Blake finds himself at the center of the controversy, haunted by the transgressions of his hacker past that he has no wish to relive.

With Blake’s freedom at stake and their future in peril, Erica will stop at nothing to clear his name. But when Blake defies the authorities and refuses to seek out the truth, their world gradually begins to crumble. Will he let his past win? Or can Erica convince him that their life together is worth fighting for—now more than ever...


My Rating: 3 stars out of 5

My Review: Those of you that have followed my blog for awhile, know that I have made my hatred and utter disdain for the Hacker series very well known. In fact, none of the previous four books in the series got anything above a 1 star rating from me, and in fact I likened scenes from book number three to rape. I hated the sniveling brat Erica became after getting involved with Blake and I completely loathed the abusive jerk that was Blake Landon. 

So how did I end up in possession of the fifth and (thankfully FINAL) book in this series? Simple. I found it on Netgalley - and the masochist in me requested it just so I could see if the ending of this series was just as horrible as the beginning of the series. 

And actually.... it wasn't that bad. There was more plot this time around, and thankfully a lot less of the repetitive sex that I had come to expect from this author. Don't get me wrong, there were still sex scenes in this book, they just didn't (pardon the pun) dominate this novel the way they had in all prior novels. 

I also enjoyed the return of "back-bone Erica" - or rather the head-strong, take no prisoners Erica that she had been when we first met her in book one (before Blake got a hold of her). 

On the flip side of everything, there seemed to be certain story-lines that were brought up, and then just forgotten about, as well as other story-lines that were already in play (I can't go into detail without giving away spoilers), that I would have loved to have seen more of, but felt they were horrendously downplayed. 

All things considered, whilst I am glad that I took a chance and finished this series, and I do feel that the author has redeemed themselves in my eyes (to an extent) -  I do not think this story is worth the $6.99 a book price tag that comes along with them. 

DISCLAIMER: I received a complimentary copy of this novel 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.

Hard Love (The Hacker Series, Book 5)   is available from

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Review: RIP by Rachel van Dyken

Print Length:  pages
Publisher: Rachel Van Dyken (October 20, 2015)

From  Pretty things aren't meant to be broken. 
But I broke her, and now we both have to pay the price.
I'm her nightmare.
I'm her savior.
And now that I have her signature on an ironclad contract, I own her body and soul.
She doesn't remember me.
She will.
It's inevitable.
Because as much as I know I need to stay away, for fear of unlocking the memories I helped her father bury--I can't.
She was the apple in the Garden, dangled in front of me, her core so tempting and sweet. A voice whispered. Just. One. Bite.
I bit.
I tasted.
I fell.
Welcome to the world of the Russian mafia, where death, is your only future.

My Rating: 5 stars out of 5

Before we get into my review, can we all take just a moment to admire this cover? Its ok, I'll wait - I know it takes a few minutes to really take in all the details. Now that we've all gotten that out of the way (oh and did I mention that's Rachel's husband on the cover?) we can move on to our review.

RIP takes place within her well-established Eagle Elite world, however, like the rest of this series, this novel can be read as a stand alone as well. There are no cliff-hangers and while characters from her other novels are present as well, you wouldn't be missing anything if you jumped into this series beginning with this story (although the entire series is so good, why would you want to start now and not with book one)? If you have been reading this series from the begining however, I will say that I would read this book after you have already finished Elude as the timelines do sort of over-lap. 

As with her other stories, the characters featured in RIP are all extremely complex and well developed. And even though this has been an on-going series, Rachel still manages to throw in some unexpected twists and surprises that leaves the reader in awe. 

Overall, I would definitely recommend this book not only to fans of Rachel, but also to people who are looking for a good mafia based story, or just someone wanting a story that will grip them tight and take them on a well-written and engaging ride. 

DISCLAIMER: I received a complimentary copy of this novel 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.
RIP is available from

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Review: The Queen (The Original Sinners #8) by Tiffany Reisz

Print Length:400 pages
Publisher: Harlequin MIRA (October 27, 2015)

From Once upon a time, Nora and Søren made a fateful deal—if he gave her everything, she would give him forever. 
The time has finally come to keep their promises. 
Out of money and out of options after her year-long exile, Eleanor Schreiber agrees to join forces with Kingsley Edge, the king of kink. After her first taste of power as a Dominant, Eleanor buries her old submissive self and transforms into Mistress Nora, the Red Queen. With the help of a mysterious young man with a job even more illicit than her own, Nora squares off against a cunning rival in her quest to become the most respected, the most feared Dominatrix in the Underground. 
While new lovers and the sweet taste of freedom intoxicate Nora, she is tempted time and time again by Søren, her only love and the one man who refuses to bow to her. But when Søren accepts a new church assignment in a dangerous country, she must make an agonizing choice—will the queen keep her throne and let her lover go, or trade in her crown for Søren's collar? 
With a shattering final confession, the last link in the chain is forged in The Original Sinners saga. It's the closing chapter in a story of salvation, sacrifice and the multitude of scars we collect in the name of ecstasy—and love.

My Rating: 5 stars out of 5

This is the conclusion to The Original Sinners series. And what a conclusion it was! It was everything that I have come to expect from this world. There was heartbreak, there was betrayal, there were sacrifices to be made, and through it all there was a bond, already forged, that would be tested and strengthened. 

I have nothing but good things to say about this series. The characters are complex, deeply flawed, and (in some cases) no good for each other. And through it all, they form a bond that is tighter than the strongest chain. You want to know these people - hell you want to BE these people. 

I think I especially enjoyed this novel as it was the rise of the Red Queen. We all know how the story ends (at least for the most part from the Red Years part of this series), but to actually be there to witness first hand the rise of Mistress Nora and the adversaries she faced along the way was truly amazing. The conclusion to this epic saga was everything I had hoped it would be, bringing the entire cast of characters full circle as they shared one last gift between them is something that will surely be remembered. 

I do have to admit that I am deeply saddened that this will be the final book with these characters, as this has taken the number one spot in my book as my favorite erotica series. I bow to Mistress Tiffany with profound gratitude for sharing these amazing characters, and their journey, with me. 

DISCLAIMER: I received a complimentary copy of this novel 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. 

Link to order will come as soon as it is available