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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

Monday, April 7, 2014

Review: A Miracle of Hope (The Amish Wonders #1) by Ruth Reid

Print Length: 352 pages
Published By: Thomas Nelson (December 31, 2013)

From Goodreads.com: How far can God's mercy reach?

Lindie Wyse is pregnant out of wedlock and thinks an arranged marriage is the only way to preserve her future. Josiah Plank is certain he'll never love again, but he needs someone to care for his eight-year-old daughter, Hannah. The two take on their arrangement tentatively at first but soon realize they are each in for more than they imagined.

Lindie experiences a breakthrough with Hannah when she recognizes Hannah's special gifts, but a risky pregnancy and serious health issues threaten to demolish the foundation Josiah and Lindie are building. Will their growing love survive despite their struggles, or will their hearts become as cold as the northern winter?

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 My Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Lately, I have been craving more from the novels that I have been reading (after all a person with tastes as eclectic as mine can only be satisfied with one genre for so long), and A Miracle of Hope more than delivered on what I was searching for.

Immediately, I was intrigued by these characters. I wanted to know what secrets they were hiding (for instance would their relationship would develop into more than just a "marriage of convenience" between two complete strangers).

A Miracle of Hope is a sweet, engaging, and clean romance full of hope, love and second chances in the face of odds that are very unfavorable. Each of the characters brings something different to the table, from Josiah, who is not only battling his own personal struggle, while also mourning the loss of his first wife all the while struggling to raise his deaf daughter Hannah, to Lindie, harboring a pregnancy resulting from unexpected events that took place in her own community and which resulted in her being "arranged" to marry Josiah by her brother Eli. You couldn't help but fall in love with these characters, and I felt that as they grew throughout the novel, so did the reader. It gave a message of hope, even in the most dire of circumstances that I believe anyone can relate to and learn from. 


I thoroughly enjoyed Ms.Reid's novel, as not only was her writing style easy to follow, but the ending was tear inducing. I was afraid that I would be left a sobbing mess in my bedroom, but thankfully, the tears were short lived, and the ending was just as perfect as the rest of this novel.

Overall, I would definitely recommend this novel to anyone who enjoys Amish romances, Christians romances, or who are just looking for a well developed and engaging romance who doesn't mind an Amish setting with mentions of God and faith.

DISCLAIMER: I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. This has not affected my review in any way, all opinions contained in this review are my own.



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A Miracle of Hope (The Amish Wonders #1)  is available from Amazon.com

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Review: A Kiss in the Dark by Tiffany White


From Amazon.com: 
To supplement her meager salary as a book editor, Brittany Astor answers an ad to read aloud for a client. Expecting a nice little old lady, Brittany is shocked to instead find notorious playboy Ethan Moss. Temporarily blinded, Ethan was in hiding.

It is the perfect opportunity for a shy book editor to live out her fantasy of having a wild fling with the man of her erotic dreams.

But how will she bear it when the fantasy ends and Ethan no longer needs her? 


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 My Rating: 2 stars out of 5

This was one of those "it was ok" kind of books. It could have easily been finished in a day, but I found myself constantly putting it down to move on to something else and having to come back to it. The characters were flawed which was a plus, but there was something about the overall novel that made it hard for me to stay interested. Maybe it had something to do with all the secrets between them, or Brittany's stalkerish scrapbooks on Ethan's life, or perhaps it was the "erotic literature" scenes between them (when Brittnay is reading to Ethan), that I felt took away from the overall story rather than add to it. Whatever the problem or shortcomings, I was able to finish this novel, and I definitely think there are some people would there to whom this book would have a greater appeal. It just wasn't for me. 


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A Kiss in the Dark is available from Amazon.com