Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Random Review: In Your Eyes by Cardeno C. #Review #Giveaway



Author: Cardeno C. 
Book: In Your Eyes
Series: Mates #3
Publisher: The Romance Authors
Publication date: July 15, 2015
Length: 226 pages


Reviewed by Meredith


Synopsis

Raised to become Alpha of the Yafenack pack, Samuel Goodwin dedicates his life to studying shifter laws, strengthening his body, and learning from his father. But despite his best efforts, Samuel can’t relate to people, including those he's supposed to lead.

When Samuel meets Korban Keller, the son of a neighboring pack's Alpha, he reacts with emotion instead of intellect for the first time in his life. Resenting the other shifter for throwing him off-balance, Samuel first tries to intimidate Korban and then desperately avoids him. What he can't do is forget Korban's warm eyes, easy smile, and happy personality.

When a battle between their fathers ends tragically, Samuel struggles to lead his pack while Korban works to break through Samuel’s emotional barriers. Two very different men with a tumultuous history must overcome challenges from all sides and see past their society’s rules to realize they are destined for one another.








Review

Of all the books in this series, this one really tugged at my heart the most. Samuel is such a brilliant Alpha Presumptive when we first meet him. His father, the Alpha, is absolutely loved by his family and son and is a true leader. I knew when we (the reader) met him that somehow, some way, Cardeno was going to break hearts. I was right.

Korban Keller is the Alpha Presumptive of a neighboring pack. A pack that is led by a horrible leader. One that feels rules don’t apply to him and because of that Korban is, sadly, cast aside as less than in his father’s eyes.

Cardeno has such an amazing way of adding a unique twist on each of her shifter stories. Where some drag on, in a typical fashion, hers tend to have something special. In some ways it’s haunting. Others funny and clever. In this one it’s emotional and rule bending. She shows that the old ways aren’t always the right ways and in doing this brings a clarity and freshness to a modern day shifter story.

In Your Eyes is a terrific addition to her Mates series and it has such a lovely ending that absolutely warmed my heart.


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Release Day Review: Olive Juice by TJ Klune #Review #Giveaway




Author: TJ Klune
Book: Olive Juice
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Publication date: April 26, 2017
Cover Artist: Reese Dante
Length: 121 pages


Reviewed by Erin


Synopsis

It begins with a message that David cannot ignore:

I want to see you.

He agrees, and on a cold winter’s night, David and Phillip will come together to sift through the wreckage of the memory of a life no longer lived.

David is burdened, carrying with him the heavy guilt of the past six years upon his shoulders.

Phillip offers redemption.



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Review

As an avid reader who averages reading about 5 books a week across all genres, I have a lot of authors I love, but I only a few are immediate auto-buys that don't even require a blurb, a cover, or hell even a title. TJ Klune is one such author for me. Regardless of genre or subject matter, the man NEVER fails to deliver a story that is brilliantly written, imaginative, emotional, and guaranteed to stick with you long after you finish the last page. His new release, Olive Juice, is all of that. And more. 

If you follow TJ at all on social media or if you're one of those that scrolls through your Goodreads feed you've no doubt seen it mentioned MANY times that Olive Juice is best read without ANY spoilers of any kind. I can't agree with this more strongly ... you absolutely need to read this book without knowing anything about it. Remember what I said up there about not even needing a blurb for TJ's books? I started this book without even an inkling as to what it was going to be about and I can't begin to tell you how much better my experience was for it. Another thing I'd recommend, don't try to figure out where TJ is going while you read or try to guess what comes next. Just sit back and experience what's going on as it happens. Trust me. 

It is impossible to say much at all about Olive Juice (which has one of the most meaningful and compelling titles ever) without giving anything away. I can tell you that in true TJ Klune style, this book will completely enthrall you from the first sentence and keep you hooked until you reach the end. I recently read a blog post of TJ's where he recommends reading the book in one sitting ... DO THIS! It's meant to be read that way and the impact you'll feel at the end will be all the more powerful if you're able to do this. But believe me when I say, once you start you won't want to stop. 

As with any TJ book, the writing is beyond fantastic. There is love and hope and despair and so much pain that it's almost unbearable. There are flawed characters that are so real you'll swear you know someone just like them. Be prepared for an emotional onslaught while reading Olive Juice. Expect for your heart to break and for there to be tears. Expect to be angry and sad. Expect for there to be hope. Most of all, expect that this might be one of TJ Klune's best books yet.




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Release Blitz: Well-Tailored by Silvia Violet #Giveaway



Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK | iTunes | Barnes & Noble | KOBO

Cover Design: LC Chase

Length: 62,000 words

Thorne and Dash Series

Professional Distance (Book #1) Amazon US | Amazon UK
Personal Entanglement (Book #2) Amazon US | Amazon UK
Perfect Alignment (Book #3) Amazon US | Amazon UK

Blurb

Marc longs for a grand romance, but he doubts he’ll ever be that lucky. Then he meets Darius, an arrogant tailor who pushes all his buttons. When Darius offers him a job, Marc hesitates—he needs a direction for the future, not another man who doesn’t believe in relationships.

Darius lives by a few unbreakable rules: never sleep with employees, fashion should be simple, and romance is for fools. Marc, with his shimmery-sweaters collection, makes him want to break every single one.

They quickly give in to desire, but Darius wants to protect himself and Marc refuses to repeat past mistakes. It’s only when they let go of assumptions, that love has a chance to take hold.

Well-Tailored is a companion novel to the Thorne and Dash series. It can be read as a standalone. 

Author Bio

Silvia Violet writes fun, sexy stories that will leave you smiling and satisfied. She has a thing for characters who are in need of comfort and enjoys helping them surrender to love even when they doubt it exists. Silvia's stories include sizzling contemporaries, paranormals, and historicals. When she needs a break from listening to the voices in her head, she spends time baking, taking long walks, curling up with her favorite books, and spending time with her family.

Newsletter: http://silviaviolet.com/newsletter
Website: http://silviaviolet.com
Facebook: http://facebook.com/silvia.violet
Twitter: http://twitter.com/Silvia_Violet
Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/silvia.violet/
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/silviaviolet/


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Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Audiobook Review: The Necromancer's Dance by SJ Himes Narrator Joel Leslie #Review #Giveaway




Author: SJ Himes
Narrator: Joel Leslie
Book: The Necromancer's Dance
Series: The Beacon Hill Sorcerer #1
Length: 8 hours 14 minutes
Publication date: March 21, 2017


Reviewed by Morningstar


Synopsis

In a world where magic is real and evil walks amongst humanity, a young sorcerer is beset by enemies, both old and new.
Angelus Salvatore is the only necromancer in all of Boston, and his name is whispered warily by the undead and fellow sorcerers alike. He and his brother Isaac are the lone survivors of an attack by an army of the undead, in which Angel used a spell so powerful it forever marked his place in history. Now, years later, Angel struggles to balance his career as a teacher of the higher magical arts, his role as big brother, and a tenuous relationship with an Elder vampire from the local clan. When his brother's boyfriend is used as a pawn in a mysterious plot to draw Angel out, Angel is once again drawn back into the old hostilities that fueled the Blood Wars and led to his family's death.
Leaning on others for help is something Angel cannot do, and while he searches for clues as to who may be targeting him and his brother, Angel finds his heart steadily growing occupied with Simeon, Elder and vampire. Dealing with death magic and vampires on a daily basis may leave Angel jaded when it comes to life and staying that way, but the more time he spends fending off the ancient vampire's attention and affections, the more he realizes he wants to give in.
Can Angel find out who wants him dead, and keep his heart safe in the process? How can he fall for a vampire, when his whole family was torn apart by an army of the undead? Death stalks the streets of Boston's historic Beacon Hill...and there is no one more suited to battle against death than a necromancer.






Review

I read this book when it first came out early last year and fell in love with the characters and the setting that this author created. Her world building and imagination know no bounds.

Angel is this powerful sorcerer who is feared by many. Necromancers are rare, and as one of the only on the east coast in a city dominated by Vampires, things aren’t always easy. He does what he has to protect his even if that is a pact with the local coven. Family and friends are a priority even if they are a pain in the butt.

Angel wasn’t expecting Simeon to come into his life the way he did but it was easy to fall for these two and how well their personalities play off each other. They just fit. The devotion and love that Simeon has for Angel is strong and unbreakable. The mystery of who is after Angel is not easily figured out which in a story that is so detailed and has many branches to it is not easy to accomplish. This author has the words in her that give life to every scene she creates. Bringing forth images with full color and sucking you so deep you find it hard to leave.

The narrator, Joel Leslie, gives an extra layer, or ten, to an already well-built story that I never thought possible. With every accent and unique voice given, with every emotion that came through I fell in love with this story even more than I was already. I seriously never thought that was possible. With her brilliant words and characters and him giving them life, they are a dynamic duo that I wouldn’t pass up. I can’t wait to listen to The Necromancer’s Dilemma when it’s completed.





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Random Review: Forgotten Paradise by Shira Anthony #Review #Giveaway





Author: Shira Anthony
Book: Forgotten Paradise
Series: Dreamspun Desires #32
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Bree Archer
Publication date: April 15, 2017
Length: 238 pages


Reviewed by Morningstar


Synopsis

It’s dangerous diving for secrets.

When a mega company threatens to take over his family-owned business, programming prodigy Adam Preston escapes the stress with a much-needed vacation in the Dominican Republic. There he meets attractive, intelligent, insightful Jonah James, a scuba dive instructor, and what starts as a holiday fling soon blossoms into much more.

But Jonah has a secret: ten years ago he woke up on an island beach with no idea how he got there… or even who he is. Their paradise may not be as perfect as it seems. When Jonah’s memories come crashing back like waves on the sand, will it be Adam clinging to the proverbial life raft, or will the two men find a safe harbor to ride out the storm?




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Review

Wouldn’t we all want to get a second-chance? To make things right, to be who we felt inside, to let go of the bad letting in the good?

This is a story of not just one second-chance but two. Jonah woke up on a beach ten years prior with no memory of who he was and a sense of dread if he ever found out. Jonah made a life for himself on the beach and in the ocean, one that he was content with. Then Adam came along and somehow that contentment turned to happy. Until one night it all changes. Sometimes remembering the past isn’t such a good thing.

Adam lost his beloved father, grew the company that he had built bringing it to heights his father never could. But now a big company wants to force a sale and his brother, Roger, is standing in opposition of their father's legacy.

Things are not always what they seem on the surface. People’s actions and reasons are never as clear cut as we like them. This story had that concept locked down in so many ways. From Jonah to Adam to Roger to Phil. Each one had reasons for what they want and the actions they take to get it. I loved how the story was both sweet & sexy and intense & sad. I easily felt the connection between the two main characters, wanting them to find their happy together. I was held at the edge of my seat as to who Jonah had once been. It wasn’t a great mystery since the author had dropped clues but Jonah’s and Adam’s reactions to the news was what counted the most.

I love Karen and Katherine, Adam’s sister and mother, were fun characters that made me laugh and they really had Adam’s back even when he was faltering. I wasn’t sure how “bad” Phil was as I was reading. He was unclear but I felt that was intentional and I loved how the author used that character to help further Jonah’s storyline.

I could go on and on about the little things that really tied this story together but overall it was a great fun read with wonderful writing that sucked me into the world these men lived in.




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Release Day Review: Darkest Hour Before Dawn by Charlie Cochet #Review #Giveaway





Author: Charlie Cochet
Book: Darkest Hour Before Dawn
Series: THIRDS #9
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: LC Chase
Publication date: April 25, 2017
Length: 224 pages


Reviewed by Erin


Synopsis

THIRDS Team Leader Sebastian Hobbs and Chief Medical Examiner Hudson Colbourn are as much in love now as they were nearly seven years ago when a tragic event on the job destroyed their relationship. The two drift together only to be pulled apart time and time again. When Hudson draws the interest of dangerous enemies, both within and outside the organization, Seb wants nothing more than to protect the man who still means everything to him.

As life and death events, an uncertain future, and startling truths draw Hudson and Seb to each other yet again, they must make a choice: trust their love and take strength from what they share, or lose what matters most for good this time.



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Review

So like any tried and true THIRDS Nerd, I was sooooooo anxiously awaiting Seb and Hudson's book. Ever since we first met these two way back in the earlier books of the series, like many of you I couldn't wait to know more. And really after that cliffhanger at the end of Smoke and Mirrors, I didn't think this book could come soon enough. Darkest Hour Before Dawn is everything you wanted from the brilliant and talented Charlie Cochet. There's action and a bit of heartache and some really funny moments and then, yeah, a few times when your heart will melt all over the place. Not even joking, Seb is just ... *all the sighs* 

Like with the other books in the THIRDS universe, you really can't just jump in without having read the preceding books of the series. These aren't meant to stand alone as there are a few plot arcs that continue and if you haven't been following along, you will be lost. And seriously, being a THIRDS Nerd is all kinds of awesome, so if you've been thinking about joining in to see what all the very well deserved hype is all about, don't wait. Anyway, onto Seb and Hudson. First and foremost, Darkest Hour Before Dawn is about second chances. Is there anyone that deserves and needs to be together more than these two? I think not, and after reading more about the how's and why's of how our tender-hearted tiger Therian Sebastian and feisty and stubborn wolf Therian Dr. Huson Colburn fell apart, well, these two are definitely meant for one another. 

I won't spoil anything because in true Charlie Cochet fashion, we learn more about what's going on with TIN and Wolf and the strange going's on all around Sloane, Dex, Seb, Hudson, and the rest of the gang. There is a lot of information to process so be ready. There is also a good bit of action and that's always fun and one of the strongest aspects of the entire series. There are feels aplenty as Seb and Hudson work their way back to one another, but I will admit to getting VERY frustrated with Hudson and the way he continued his push/pull thing with Sebastian, not to mention the over the top sense of martyrdom he had going on. Ugh, so not my favorite, but the swoony moments made up for it and Sebastian is just fantastic. The end, as always, was awash with lots of action, some definite surprises, and a driving need for the next book NOW. I am excited to see where the TIN's series takes us and I am really looking forward to getting back to Sloane and Dex and all the badassery that captivated us all as they do their thing to bring down the bad guys.

I am thrilled we got Seb and Hudson's story and it's clear we'll see more of them as the series focuses on TIN and the new developments (just wait!) Charlie throws at you at the end of Darkest Hour Before Dawn. I think we're in for one hell of a ride as we move forward, and I can't wait!




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Monday, April 24, 2017

Release Day Review: Fishy Riot by Lindsey Black #Review #Giveaway




Author: Lindsey Black
Book: Fishy Riot
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Angsty G
Publication date: April 24, 2017
Length: 236 pages


Reviewed by Meredith


Synopsis

Most people think riot squad officer Taylor Jameson is an asshole. Little do they know his apparent indifference stems from having a meddlesome family always butting into his business. And little does Taylor know he’s about to stumble into a situation that’ll make indifference impossible.

When everything goes horribly wrong at a political rally on a harbour ferry, Taylor encounters Sietta Salisbury. The son of a wealthy politician, Sietta is a revered—but presumed dead—musician, and an enigma who is so strange, Taylor is compelled to look into his background. What he discovers draws him into a bizarre mess of prisoners, politics, and attempted murder that makes him realise what he’s been missing.

Falling in love isn’t hard. Trying to convince someone else you’re worth loving despite your crazy family and the people trying to kill you? That’s a whole other can of worms.



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Review

I really enjoyed this book. I'll admit when it opened it took me a bit to get used to the author's style. I never read Lindsey Black before so I knew this was a possibility. But I caught on quickly and just enjoyed the ride.

There are so many characters in this book. We have Taylor, who is an identical twin with Clay. Both are part of the Riot Squad. It's how Taylor meets Sietta and how the insanity begins. Of course, you know the second you meet Sietta that something is wrong. You also know that Taylor isn't one to sit on his butt and ignore it.

What Sietta has endured in his life is beyond heartbreaking.  Truly heartbreaking. And if it wasn't for Micah, Sietta's younger brother, lord only knows if Sietta would have been saved.

Taylor's family is insane. Really insane. From all the brothers and sisters to the niece and nephew. Of course, Sietta and Micah love them and are brought into the fold without question. There were times I was shocked at the family's antics but as you read on and see them all together many times, it's natural.

Clay and Taylor's twin thing wasn't intuition or anything. They have been inseparable their whole lives but they didn't need it. It just was. Of course, Clay is in a relationship and then Tay meets Si and things get different.

This wasn't so much a mystery as it was suspenseful at times, full of humor and insanity, and some serious action.

It's a great entertaining read!

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