Tag Archives: book reviews

For the First Time

For the First Time: Twenty-One Brand New Stories of First Love

Naughty Wishes is a new short story written by Sarah Castille. Now, I will be honest, normally I am not a huge fan of short stories. They can be either rushed or end some what short, for my taste. But I was very happy with Naughty Wishes. It proceeded at a believable pace and wrapped up very nicely.Kylie and Dan have been happily married for years. As with many married couples, the fires have cooled and been replaced with comfortable routines. So, for Kylie’s birthday, Dan attempts to stoke those flames once again. I won’t go into detail as to not ruin your reading experience, but it was a very steamy and lovely story.

I have begun to love anthologies. They give you the opportunity to try out other writers you may not have otherwise given a shot. My adoration for all things Sarah Castille is a given. However, in this anthology I was given an opportunity to read a new story by my favie and sample some others. I can say I was not disappointed.

I highly recommend this anthology. It is very cheaply priced, I mean it’s 99 cents for cripes sake! With the anthology containing 21 stories you have great odds of finding many stories you will enjoy. But don’t take my word for it, skip the soda from the vending machine and buy the anthology instead. After all, water is better for you anyway!

This ARC was provided by Sarah Castille in exchange for a honest review.

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Sinner’s Steel by Sarah Castille

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I received this ARC in exchange for a honest review and I am not disappointed. I love the newest installment in the Sinners Tribe series. O.K. so I may be a little biased here because there isn’t a book by Sarah Castille that I haven’t liked. Whatever she puts on paper I instantly adore. This book is no exception.

Zane is VP in the Sinner’s Tribe MC. He’s good at his job and has no regrets, except one….Evie. She is the proverbial “one that got away”. Having grown up with Evie, Zane has loved her for most of his life. She has always been in the back of his mind, never forgotten. Circumstances beyond his control forced Zane to leave Evie many years ago. But fate brings them together once more.

Evie has built a life for herself and her son. She has a successful business and his dating a local biker. That is until Zane walks back in her life. While they both care for each other, is there too much water under the bridge to begin again?

I really enjoyed this book. While this is the third book in the series, it can be read as a standalone. I haven’t read any of the previous books and I was able to follow and keep up with things happening. I highly recommend this book

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Hard to Break by Bella Jewel

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Oh Tazen…..Tazen….Tazen… Tazen Watts is a celebrity in the car building world and has always been an unobtainable God until the day he walks into Quinn’s auto repair shop. Quinn has been working on cars for as long as she can remember. She works hard to prove herself as an accomplished mechanic, in a male dominated field. She also works tirelessly running her father’s shop. She is doing the best she can but the shop is failing anyway. The mortgage is overdue and the bills have pilled up, which causes Tazen Watts to take notice.

Tazen wants to buy Quinn’s shop and turn it into a custom build shop. He values the location and sees a great business opportunity. The only problem is, Quinn has absolutely no interest in selling. She has poured her life’s blood into the shop and isn’t going to let it go without a fight. Let the sparks fly!!!

Hard to Break is a definite enemies to lovers story. Quinn hates the arrogant nature of Tazen and his blantant come-ons. Tazen is drawn to Quinn’s fiery nature and loves how she doesn’t fall down at his feet, but he needs Quinn’s shop and she is standing in his way.

I love the story’s progression. At different times throughout the book I found myself disliking each character. Tazen comes across as an arrogant jerk and indifferent to Quinn’s plight. Quinn starts out as a strong-willed woman but can be somewhat bratty. But, in my opinion, these flaws only highlight their character and relationship evolvement.

While Hard to Break is the second book in the series, it can be read as a stand alone. There are no cliffhangers and you get a definite resolution. I received this ARC in exchange for a honest review, and I can say I thoroughly enjoyed the book and look forward to reading the next book in the series.

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Sue Duff Takes on ComicCon

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Sue Duff celebrates the release of her newest novel, Masks and Mirrors, by attending the Denver ComicCon convention.

If you haven’t heard about Masks and Mirrors then let me educate you by providing a synopsis.

Ian Black’s commitment to safeguarding Earth has come at a price. His career as an illusionist is at a standstill and attending to the planet’s needs has distanced him from his best friend, his guardians, and the woman he loves. When presented with an opportunity to perform, Ian seizes the chance. But moments before he takes the stage, Ian encounters the mysterious Jaered and a rebel force fighting to protect Earth alongside the Weir.

Jaered is determined to stop a malevolent Weir from releasing a drug capable of wiping out the last vestiges of their race and plunging Earth into self-destruction. But when Jaered is willing to sacrifice an innocent child to obtain the drug for himself, Ian risks everything to uncover the secrets of the rebel forces and their true intentions for Earth’s survival.

Sue Duff in Author Alley

Author Sue Duff

Sue Duff on Author Panel

Sue Duff on Author Panel

Fade To Black T-Shirts

You can find Sue Duff at her website: http://sueduff.com/

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Full Contact by Sarah Castille

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OH Sarah Castille you have done it again. I can’t help but love everything I have read by this woman. I can say now and truly I am Sarah Castille’s bitch. I will line up to buy whatever she puts to paper and shamelessly beg for an ARC. Which I did. I am little biased since I am such a fan but I will endeavour to give you a honest review.

This newest installment in the Redemption series focuses on Sia, a talented artist and Ray, the P.I. we saw in the previous book. This is the third book in this series and I will say you need to read the other books first. Yes, you may be able to follow it but you will miss some of the significance of these characters. So suck it up buttercup and buy the other books. You will not be disappointed.
I love the way Sarah Castille writes. Her books have a very good flow and move along quickly. The only thing that bothered me was Ray’s patois. He began his sentences in a almost philosophical manner. “A man needs to….” “When a man finds…” All the ” a man” crap got annoying. Speak English!!  Also, his vernacular didn’t quite match who he is.  He’s not some bumpkin.  He is a somewhat educated and well-traveled man. The stunted speech seemed to me as a way to make him seem more basic.  Which didn’t work for me.  He is somewhat complex and not that simple at all.

These characters have a dark past. Sia has suffered a traumatic event and has since given up a part of who she was once. Ray is equally tortured and has a secret that serves as a big turning point in the book. I found myself liking the characters very much. They were well-written and they developed and evolved nicely. While this book is the third in a series it is a stand alone story and you do get your HEA.

Overall, I gave the book four solid stars and would highly recommend this book and author to anyone.

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Garrett by Sawyer Bennett a Cold Fury Hockey Novel

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I received this ARC in exchange for a honest review.  Sawyer Bennett brings back the Cold Fury boys in this second installment. While the book is a bit formulaic, it is an enjoyable read. You don’t need to have read the first book in the series to enjoy this book. Bennett does a great job of filling in the blanks a first time reader may face, without becoming repetitive.

Garrett is a player that leaves a string of women in his wake. Hockey is the number one priority in his life and he makes no apologies for that fact. That is until Olivia enters his life. With a little bit of lust at first sight, Olivia quickly becomes a major part of Garrett’s life.

Olivia is somewhat of a free spirit. She is very self-assured and strong. She is instantly taken with Garrett but she has a secret and isn’t sure Garrett is something she should take on at this point in her life.

I enjoyed how we see Garrett lose his man-whore ways and become a committed partner. His character becomes more dimensional and evolves throughout the book. I wish I could say the same for Olivia. She began kind of flat and that’s how she ended. Don’t get me wrong, she was a great character. She was independent and went after what she wanted. But maybe that’s the way she needed to be in order to illuminate Garrett’s complete turn around.

Overall, I enjoyed the story. It flowed nicely and you get both characters’ POV. While the book is the second in a series, it is a stand-alone story that wraps up nicely in the end. If you enjoyed her first book then I recommend you check out Garrett. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

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To Enternity by Daisy Banks

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To Eternity is the second book in the Timeless Series.  I did not read the first book in the series and I did feel as though I had missed out.  I was able to follow the book and piece together the important parts, but it’s sort of like eating pizza without cheese.  Yeah, you’re full and you can say that you had pizza for dinner but it just isn’t as satisfying.  To Eternity starts out right in the middle of things so there is no recapping or catching up.  Now normally I love this in a series.  I hate reading pages upon pages of summary.  I love for the second book in a series to hit the ground running, which is exactly what Bank did in To Eternity.  So I greatly advise that before giving this book a try you take a step back and read the first book, Timeless.  It will be worth it.

Now, what I did learn is that Magnus is a brooding werewolf with a deep love and affection for his would-be mate, Sian.  Imagine Heathcliff strolling the moors with an impressive set of fangs.  Sian has a major case of the I love yous and wishes to join Magnus by getting a set of fangs for herself and immortality to boot.

The book was well written.  It had some dark overtones and the writing and setting reflected that perfectly.  I really enjoyed the style of writing and it was nice to get a new twist, so to speak, on the whole werewolf genre.   Magnus wasn’t too pushy for me.  He was a nice mix of brooding, mysterious, alpha.  I didn’t connect as well as I could have with Sian.  It may be due to the fact that I did not read the first book.  Sian comes across as strong and determined.

I enjoyed reading this book and I can definitely say I will be giving the first book a try.

I give this book three solid I like it stars.

Happy Reading!!

 

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Dark Watcher by Lilith Saintcrow

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Dark Watcher by Lilith Saintcrow is the first book of the Watcher Series.  The story comes to an ending per say, there are no cliffhangers, but things are left open for the next installment.

In a modern world where witches are hunted, the watchers are their guardians.  Theo is a rare witch called a Lightbringer.  Unfortunately for Theo, her ability brings unwanted attention from mean ugly things that are meant to hunt her down.  Enter Dante.  Dante’s sole purpose in life is to watch over witches.  He is supposed to protect them from the aforementioned mean ugly things.  Dante is a tortured sole whose suffering will not be eased until he finds the one special witch that is meant to be his and his alone.  In other words, he hurts until he finds The One.  You know, the yin to his yang, the peanut butter to his jelly, the cheese to his crackers.  As it just so happens, Theo is the one for Dante.  The story involves them dancing around each other while trying to find a way to fight the evil forces that be.

The world Saintcrow has created is somewhat original.  Consisting of witches, demons, and crusaders a group of women and their watchers have to stave off the evil that is after them.  The plot isn’t bad, it is a pretty simple and straightforward one of good vs. evil.  Saintcrow’s writing is smooth, and is easily read.  It is just the characters and the action of the story that I had some problems with. I hate to criticize any writer’s body of work.  But I was given this ARC in exchange for an honest review so honest I must be.  That being said, I will be as respectful as I possibly can.

The characters seemed a little flat to me.  They didn’t seem very deep and didn’t evolve very much, if it all, throughout the story.  They very much are at the end who they were in the beginning.  In a novel such as this, I would have liked to see a little development.  Also, the action seemed a little stagnant.  Nothing every really seemed to happen.  Sure you had a few fights between Dante and the creepy crawlies, but I felt like the characters were going around in circles most of the time.

The choice of dialogue was somewhat nice.  It was clean and lacked some of the more unfavorable descriptive terms often found in romance novels.  Just to be clear there are no naughty scenes in this book.  It is PG rated. For example, words like slurp, juices, etc. were not to be found. However, the dialogue was a bit repetitive.  Everyone just kept saying the same things over and over.  Nothing ever seemed to get accomplished really, just voicing the same thoughts again and again.

Overall, the book wasn’t bad (trust me I’ve read worse), just a little boring to me.  The events and dialogue of the story just didn’t hold my attention.

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No In Between by Lisa Renee Jones Goes All the Way!

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I received this ARC in exchange for an honest review. I had fallen in love with the first two books of the Inside Out series.

If I Were You (Inside Out, #1)                                                 Being Me (Inside Out, #2)

Chris was deliciously tortured and Sarah was learning to stand strong and find her own way. Then the third book arrived.

Revealing Us (Inside Out, #3)

I didn’t hate it, I just didn’t love it as much as the first two. Now Lisa Renee Jones has released her fourth installment in the series. I have to say I like this book much better than her last.

First of all, the story progresses nicely. While the previous book focused mainly on Chris and his demons, this newest installment gets back to the core of Chris and Sarah. They are finally trying to learn how to face their problems together and stop running.

Having arrived back from Paris, Chris and Sarah have to deal with the psycho Ava and the aftermath of her admission of murder and the attempt on Sarah’s life. Chris is still somewhat moody and controlling, but would we really want him any other way? Sarah, well Sarah has learned to pick her battles well. Finally! I really liked the progression of their relationship and how we, as the reader, can see the depth of character growth. We also finally get some Mark action. But it is less sexy alpha and more tortured shell of a man. Sarah always the super sleuth, is not happy to let the police take care of the investigation into both her missing friend and the psycho Ava. So her and Chris are constantly hypothesizing and trying to determine the truth.

This doesn’t end in a cliffhanger per say, but the story is definitely not finished. You will have to read the previous two in order to understand this newest installment.  Now that being said, Lisa Renee Jones has produced a ton of other, what I like to call, supplemental books that go along with this series.  I have read none of those.  Jones has wrote each of the main four books in a way that frugal readers such as yours truly can read, enjoy, and understand without having to go broke buying the others.

Overall I gave this book four stars. There were a few things I didn’t see coming and the plot moved along nicely. I definitely recommend.

Happy reading!!!

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Her Special Forces by Sophia Roslyn

22718538     Kacey, a former special forces pilot, is enjoying retirement in her hometown. She has her everyday routines; morning run, coffee and muffins with the local sheriff, and horrible night terrors. Kacey tries to pretend that her time overseas hasn’t affected her. But her friends know otherwise. Not only has her military service given her emotional trauma but it also gave her Nathan Weatherly. Nathan is a former SEAL who is has recently taken a job in Kacey’s idyllic hometown. But Kacey is less than pleased to see her former lover. But Navy SEALS are nothing if not persistent. This sets up the cycle of Kacey and Nathan’s relationship. Kacey runs but Nathan always follows. I enjoyed seeing a strong military woman depicted in this novel. Kacey is strong, competent, stubborn, opinionated and wait, did I mention stubborn? She is capable of taking care of business and doesn’t need a man to swoop in and save the day. As a matter of fact, she can swoop in with her helicopter and get things done. To quote the great Aretha Franklin, “sisters are doin it for themselves!” The book is an easy read and pretty predictable. You figure out the bad guys very quickly. Plus the blurb is a little misleading. It mentions some great secret that Kacey holds. Ummm….what secret? You find out within in the first chapter Kacey’s problem. I kept waiting for some big, bad horrible thing to emerge. Nope. Didn’t happen. But that being said, if you are looking for a quick read that leaves you with happy feels then I highly recommend this book. Overall I gave it 3 stars for a strong female lead, decent plot, and good writing.

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