Monday, January 22, 2018

Book Review: Need To Know by Karen Cleveland

10:06 AM 1 Comments
Author: Karen Cleveland
Series: N/A
Audience: +18
Genre: Mystery & Thrillers
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Release Date: January 23rd 2018
My Rating: 4 Cups
Source: Netgalley
Blurb (from Goodreads):
In pursuit of a Russian sleeper cell on American soil, a CIA analyst uncovers a dangerous secret that will test her loyalty to the agency—and to her family.

What do you do when everything you trust might be a lie?

Vivian Miller is a dedicated CIA counterintelligence analyst assigned to uncover the leaders of Russian sleeper cells in the United States. On track for a much-needed promotion, she’s developed a system for identifying Russian agents, seemingly normal people living in plain sight.

After accessing the computer of a potential Russian operative, Vivian stumbles on a secret dossier of deep-cover agents within America’s borders. A few clicks later, everything that matters to her—her job, her husband, even her four children—are threatened.

Vivian has vowed to defend her country against all enemies, foreign and domestic. But now she’s facing impossible choices. Torn between loyalty and betrayal, allegiance and treason, love and suspicion, who can she trust?
*Disclaimer: I received an eARC from Netgalley and Penguin Random House in exchange for an honest review. This does not influence my rating or the content of my review in any way.

Friday, January 19, 2018

Blog Tour Book Review: Batman: Nightwalker by Marie Lu

4:21 AM 0 Comments
Author: Marie Lu
Series: DC Icons #2
Audience: +16
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Superheroes
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers
Release Date: January 2nd 2018
My Rating: 5 Cups
Source: Penguin Random House
Blurb (from Goodreads):
Before he was Batman, he was Bruce Wayne. A reckless boy willing to break the rules for a girl who may be his worst enemy.

The Nightwalkers are terrorizing Gotham City, and Bruce Wayne is next on their list.

One by one, the city's elites are being executed as their mansions' security systems turn against them, trapping them like prey. Meanwhile, Bruce is turning eighteen and about to inherit his family's fortune, not to mention the keys to Wayne Enterprises and all the tech gadgetry his heart could ever desire. But after a run-in with the police, he's forced to do community service at Arkham Asylum, the infamous prison that holds the city's most brutal criminals.

Madeleine Wallace is a brilliant killer . . . and Bruce's only hope.

In Arkham, Bruce meets Madeleine, a brilliant girl with ties to the Nightwalkers. What is she hiding? And why will she speak only to Bruce? Madeleine is the mystery Bruce must unravel. But is he getting her to divulge her secrets, or is he feeding her the information she needs to bring Gotham City to its knees? Bruce will walk the dark line between trust and betrayal as the Nightwalkers circle closer.
*Disclaimer: I received an ARC of this book from Penguin Random House in exchange for an honest review. This does not influence my rating or the content of my review in any way.

While I wasn't always a big comic book reader, I've always wished for a written version of the superheroes. I was super excited to hear that some very famous superheroes were getting their own books and I jumped at the chance to read one of these stories.

One of my biggest expectations was to have a glimpse into the life of the person behind the superhero mask. And I was very happy when I realized that that's what I was getting. I knew of Batman, but never of Bruce Wayne. Bruce has always been a mystery to me. This book allowed me to understand the man underneath the Batman costume a little bit more. We meet Bruce when he's about to turn eighteen, and the Bruce I met at the beginning of this book was a boy with big dreams, one that is still suffering after the loss of his parents, but one that still holds a small thread of innocence inside of him, the idealism of someone so young. He decides to take it upon himself to help out the police, which doesn't get him any "thank yous", but instead lands him some community service time at the Arkham Asylum. And in that environment you can see his idealism and the innocence I was talking about, because he thinks he can not only help the police, but also help redeem one of the prisoners there. By the end of the novel though I got to see a glimpse of the Batman I've always known of, from the animated show, movies and even the occasional comic books. Bruce starts to realize that some people can't be redeemed, that some people don't just need another chance, and while it's a tough lesson for him to learn, it's one that he needed. He also learned that sometimes you have to do some really risky things in order to save the people he cares about.


Another thing that Bruce learns is how to deal with some tough love from people who don't know him beyond him being the rich orphan, heir to the Wayne empire. The police officer who came up with his punishment represents something that Bruce hasn't had in a very long time: a mother figure. I know he's always had Alfred, but this was different. It was interesting to see Bruce faced with expectations from someone who doesn't care about the fact that he lost his parents, but who at the same time is trying to teach him a valuable lesson. The added element of the lesson coming from an authority figure adds a seriousness to that lesson, and it doesn't allow Bruce to charm his way out things. While Bruce is a smart young man, one who is pretty mature for his age, he also knows how to charm the people around him. And while he accepts that he needs to be punished for what he did, I don't think he really believes the punishment will be that harsh.

The novel uses a lot of mind games, and it's probably the reason why I enjoyed it so much. Madeleine, the inmate that befriends Bruce, is very smart, and she knows just what to say and how to say it to make Bruce take her side, without Bruce even realizing it. While Madeleine isn't one of the good guys, I found myself rooting for her. She's certainly smart, and she certainly shares with Bruce some form of truth, some reality mixed in with the mind games meant to have things play out the way they're supposed to, and I myself didn't really see through it from the very beginning. But the tiny truth that Madeleine shares is heartbreaking and you can see how Bruce could have ended in Arkham himself had he taken different choices, had Alfred not been there for him. That parallel between Bruce and Madeleine hit me harder I think than I expected, and I liked seeing that Bruce himself wasn't immune to Madeleine's tales.

The other thing I enjoyed seeing was the little Easter eggs that Lu masterfully snuck inside the story. I won't go into them, because I want you to discover them, but let's just say that there were a few details and characters in this book that were familiar and that had the nerd in me do a little wiggle.

The ending of the book was interesting and surprising. While I anticipated a few of the things that happened, the ending surprised me, and I'm curious to see if it will somehow reflect in the Catwoman book. All in all, I really enjoyed this story and I am very excited for more superheroes to get their stories told.



Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Cover Reveal: Aqua by Tracy Korn

1:36 PM 0 Comments
Today I'm helping reveal the brand-new cover for the first book in the Tracy Korn's Elements series, AQUA! The cover was designed by JKorn Photographics. Are you ready to see the cover? Check it out below!

 
12 years to prepare for one chance to succeed...

Being afraid of failure is normal, but no one fears success except eighteen-year-old Jazwyn Ripley, who has worked her entire life for a chance to become more than the scant apprenticeships in the Seaboard North stacks can offer. It's all too clear that at the bottom, there's nowhere to go but down. Only the best can begin career training at Gaia Sur, the elite academy on the ocean floor, but when Jazz begins receiving cryptic messages from past Gaia cadets originating from within the earth's core, she and her friends discover that the road to everything they've ever wanted now leads somewhere they never intended to go.

Fast-paced, character-driven, and full of plot twists you'll never see coming, take a deep breath and dive into AQUA, the first book in The Elements series.
Title: AQUA (Book One of The Elements Series)
Author: Tracy Korn
Release Date: January 23, 2018
Publisher: Snowy Wings Publishing

The all-new, revised edition of AQUA releases on January 23. You can add it on Goodreads here!

Author Website: www.tracykorn.com
Series Website: www.theelementsseries.com
Twitter: www.twitter.com/tracybonics
Instagram: www.instagram.com/tracy_korn

Monday, January 15, 2018

Blog Tour Book Review: The Sea Devil by Eliza Knight

8:00 AM 1 Comments
Blog Tour Book Review: The Sea Devil by Eliza Night

Celebrate the release of THE SEA DEVIL, the newest installment in USA Today Bestselling Author Eliza Knight’s swashbuckling series, Pirates of Britannia: Lords of the Sea.

“This series never disappoints, it just gets better, like a good bottle of wine, the more you have, the more you want.”—Goodreads Reviewer

Add THE SEA DEVIL to your TBR pile on Goodreads! Then keep reading to get an EXCLUSIVE sneak peek and enter the giveaway for a pair of Let Your Heart Be Your Compass earrings or an eBook from Eliza!

Blog Tour Book Review: The Sea Devil by Eliza Night
Author: Eliza Knight
Series: Pirates of Britannia: Lords of the Sea #3
Audience: +18
Genre: Histoical Romance
Publisher: Knight Media, LLC
Release Date: January 16, 2018
My Rating: 4 Cups
Source: Barclay Publicity
Blurb (from Goodreads):
A daring brotherhood, where honor among thieves reigns supreme, and crushing their enemies is a thrilling pastime. These are the Pirates of Britannia.

Thornley “Thor” MacLeod, captain of The Sea Devil and prominent member of the Devils of the Deep is out for one thing and one thing only—revenge against Santiago Fernandez, leader of Los Demonios de Mar. Tormented by the demons of his past, he knows the only relief to his pain will be spilling the blood of his enemy. When he learns that Santiago seeks to find a child he abandoned nearly two decades before, Thor is determined to find the precious treasure first. Which means, Thor may have to sacrifice his honor in order to exact the perfect vengeance.

Orphaned at a young age, Alesia Baird has grown up along the harsh coasts of Scotland, bearing witness to many a nightmare. With the hangman’s noose dangling ever closer to her neck, she has to find a way to escape the only life she’s ever known. When she overhears a pirate mention he seeks the child of Santiago Fernandez, Alesia takes the leap, knowing this could be her only way out.

Alesia must keep up the ruse long enough to escape with her life, and perhaps a sack full of jewels. But when it comes time to jump ship, she finds her destiny may have led her in a different path. Will the hardened Highlander allow a lass into his heart—or is she destined to be alone forever?
*Disclaimer: I received an eARC of this book from Barclay Publicity in exchange for an honest review. This does not influence my rating or the content of my review in any way.

**Disclaimer: Just letting you guys know that this book contains mature content and as such my review will reflect that.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Wrapping up 2017 and Goals for 2018

11:08 AM 5 Comments
Hey everyone!Happy Saturday!

Now that the craziness of the holidays has died down, and life kind of goes back to being its boring self, I decided to take a moment and look over 2017 a little bit, because it was a pretty important year for me, both for my reader self and for my blogger self.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Excerpt Reveal: Beautiful Broken Hearts by Kami Garcia

11:30 PM 1 Comments
   

From the #1 New York Times bestselling coauthor of BEAUTIFUL CREATURES, comes BROKEN BEAUTIFUL HEARTS—a red-hot romance that will break your heart and put it back together again! Don’t miss this stunning new title from Kami Garcia!

BROKEN BEAUTIFUL HEARTS releases on February 6, 2018. Pre-order your copy today!

   

BROKEN BEAUTIFUL HEARTS Synopsis:

From #1 New York Times–bestselling author Kami Garcia comes a red-hot romance that will break your heart and put it back together again.

Her heart has to break before it can open.

When star soccer player Peyton Rios receives an offer from her first-choice college, senior year starts off exactly as planned. But when Peyton uncovers her boyfriend’s dark secret, she confronts him—and finds herself falling down a flight of stairs. Peyton’s knee—and maybe her dream of going pro—is shattered. Everyone is talking: Was she pushed, or did she fall? Peyton knows the truth, even if no one believes her.

He has to let someone in before it’s too late.

With her future on the line, Peyton goes to stay with her uncle in a small Tennessee town to focus on her recovery. Dating is the last thing on her mind—until she meets sweet, sexy Owen Law.

But Peyton doesn’t trust her heart, especially when she senses that Owen is hiding something. When their secrets are finally exposed, Peyton has to decide if love is worth fighting for.

   

Preorder BROKEN BEAUTIFUL HEARTS here!

    EXCERPT:

   

From the #1 New York Times bestselling coauthor of BEAUTIFUL CREATURES, comes BROKEN BEAUTIFUL HEARTS—a red-hot romance that will break your heart and put it back together again! Don’t miss this stunning new title from Kami Garcia!

BROKEN BEAUTIFUL HEARTS releases on February 6, 2018. Pre-order your copy today!

   

BROKEN BEAUTIFUL HEARTS Synopsis:

From #1 New York Times–bestselling author Kami Garcia comes a red-hot romance that will break your heart and put it back together again.

Her heart has to break before it can open.

When star soccer player Peyton Rios receives an offer from her first-choice college, senior year starts off exactly as planned. But when Peyton uncovers her boyfriend’s dark secret, she confronts him—and finds herself falling down a flight of stairs. Peyton’s knee—and maybe her dream of going pro—is shattered. Everyone is talking: Was she pushed, or did she fall? Peyton knows the truth, even if no one believes her.

He has to let someone in before it’s too late.

With her future on the line, Peyton goes to stay with her uncle in a small Tennessee town to focus on her recovery. Dating is the last thing on her mind—until she meets sweet, sexy Owen Law.

But Peyton doesn’t trust her heart, especially when she senses that Owen is hiding something. When their secrets are finally exposed, Peyton has to decide if love is worth fighting for.

   

Preorder BROKEN BEAUTIFUL HEARTS here!

    EXCERPT:

“Ever feel like you’re screwed no matter what you do?” Owen’s question comes out of nowhere.

All the time. Part of me wants to say it out loud. “Once in a while.” “Any advice?” He gives me a half smile.

I don’t know this guy, but he seems nice—and unhappy. I can relate.

He’s waiting for me to respond. I shrug. “Sometimes life only gives you two options. Bad or worse. So you go with bad.”

“Makes sense.” He studies me like he’s taking inventory, checking off boxes on a mental list. The competitor in me wonders how I’m scoring. What if I’m giving him advice about his girlfriend, possibly a delightful friend of April’s?

The faint sound of laughter from the party floats through the air.

“Why did you come to Black Water?” Owen asks. “I’m guessing itwasn’t for the social scene.”

I tap on my brace. “I tore my PCL, the ligament that runs behind my knee. My doctor said I’ll need a lot of physical therapy to get my knee back in shape, and I only have four months to do it.”

“What happens in four months?”

“I’m a soccer player. I need to get back on the field in March, when the season starts.”

“What if you need more time to recover?” It sounds like he actually cares about the answer.

“If I work hard enough, it will heal by then.” I hope.

Losing my spot at UNC isn’t an option. I practiced soccer drills with Dad every day after school and on weekends—and it paid off. I’m not letting Reed destroy my dreams.

“Don’t they have physical therapists where you’re from?” he asks.

“In Washington, DC? Sure.”

“You left Washington, DC, to come here? Why?” Owen is smart and nosy. Not the best combination when I’m trying to keep certain parts of my life private. But he does have an amazing smile.

“Why not?” I counter.

“How about because Washington, DC, is a major city with museums and concerts and the subway, and Black Water is . . . Black Water.”

“In DC, we call it the Metro, not the subway.”

He smiles at me again. “In Black Water we don’t call it anything, because we don’t have one.”

“That’s the point. There are no distractions here.”

“How did you hurt your knee?”

I didn’t.

“I fell down a flight of stairs.” It’s the truth, but for some reason leaving out the details makes me feel like I’m trapped in a room that’s too small and could get smaller any minute. “I’m a klutz when I’m not on the soccer field.”

“That sucks. I’m sorry.” Owen looks me in the eye and says it, like he really means it.

“It could be worse.” But with my scholarship hanging in the balance, it doesn’t feel that way.

“It still sucks.”

Why am I letting Owen ask me so many questions? I’ve known him for fifteen minutes. The incident with Reed taught me how easy it is to misjudge someone. I thought he was the kind of athlete who would never resort to doping and cheating.

I’ve always relied on my gut instincts about people—the little voice in the back of my head. But I don’t trust it anymore.

Owen cocks his head to the side and grins. “So do you still want to know if I have a girlfriend?”

Heat crawls up the back of my neck. “I never asked you that.”

“When I got off the phone, you asked if I was fighting with mygirlfriend.”

“I was making conversation, not fishing.” Okay, I sort of was. “I’m not hunting for a boyfriend if that’s what you think.”

“Your cousins made that pretty clear.”

I’m going to strangle those two. “What did they say?” So I know how much salt to dump in their breakfast tomorrow.

Owen leans back against the bales. “I saw them coming out of the locker room after the game and I mentioned that we met, and they said you don’t date.”

The Twins are dead.

They made it sound like I’m joining a convent after graduation. The heat spreads from my neck to my cheeks. I should ditch Owen and go back to the party before this conversation gets more embarrassing.

But I want to stay.

The last three weeks have been full of lies and accusations, surgery and doctors’ appointments, threats and depressing calls from an ex who won’t stop calling me and a best friend who never wants to speak to me again. My conversation with Owen makes me feel normal. It’s one of the few I’ve had in weeks that didn’t revolve around my injury or Reed.

I want it to last a little longer.

I also don’t want Owen thinking I’m convent-bound. “For the record, I do date. I’m just not interested in dating right now. There’s a difference.”

Owen holds up his hands in surrender. “I’m just telling you what I heard. Is that the reason you’re back here instead of hanging out at the party?”

“No. I’m just antisocial.”

His eyes flicker to my mouth. “I don’t believe that.”

I pull my hair back in a ponytail and secure it with the elastic around my wrist. Anything to keep from making eye contact with him. “You don’t even know me.”

Owen leans forward and rests his elbows on his knees. His arm grazes mine and he looks over at me. “Not yet.”

   

Add it to your Goodreads Now!

   

Something wonderful happened to me as I read this—I fell in love. Genuine, shattering, deep, heart-pounding love. Thank you, Kami Garcia, for Peyton and Owen. We need their story." —Jennifer Niven, New York Times bestselling author of All the Bright Places and Holding Up the Universe

   
About Kami Garcia:

Kami Garcia is the #1 New York Times, USA Today & international bestselling coauthor of the Beautiful Creatures and Dangerous Creatures novels. BEAUTIFUL CREATURES has been published in 50 countries and translated in 39 languages, and the film Beautiful Creatures released in theaters in 2013, from Warner Brothers. Kami’s solo series, The Legion, includes the instant New York Times bestseller UNBREAKABLE, and the sequel UNMARKED, both of which were nominated for Bram Stoker Awards. Her other works include THE X-FILES ORIGINS: AGENT OF CHAOS and the YA contemporary novels THE LOVELY RECKLESS and the forthcoming BROKEN BEAUTIFUL HEARTS (February 2018).

Kami was a teacher for seventeen years before co-authoring her first novel on a dare from seven of her students. If she isn’t busy watching Supernatural, Kami can teach you how to escape from a pair of handcuffs or bake a Coca-Cola cake. She lives in Maryland with her family, and their dogs Spike and Oz (named after characters from Buffy the Vampire Slayer). Visit Kami at www.KamiGarcia.com.

   

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Pinterest | Tumbler | Instagram | Snapchat | YouTube

        “Ever feel like you’re screwed no matter what you do?” Owen’s question comes out of nowhere. All the time. Part of me wants to say it out loud. “Once in a while.” “Any advice?” He gives me a half smile. I don’t know this guy, but he seems nice—and unhappy. I can relate. He’s waiting for me to respond. I shrug. “Sometimes life only gives you two options. Bad or worse. So you go with bad.” “Makes sense.” He studies me like he’s taking inventory, checking off boxes on a mental list. The competitor in me wonders how I’m scoring. What if I’m giving him advice about his girlfriend, possibly a delightful friend of April’s? The faint sound of laughter from the party floats through the air. “Why did you come to Black Water?” Owen asks. “I’m guessing itwasn’t for the social scene.” I tap on my brace. “I tore my PCL, the ligament that runs behind my knee. My doctor said I’ll need a lot of physical therapy to get my knee back in shape, and I only have four months to do it.” “What happens in four months?” “I’m a soccer player. I need to get back on the field in March, when the season starts.” “What if you need more time to recover?” It sounds like he actually cares about the answer. “If I work hard enough, it will heal by then.” I hope. Losing my spot at UNC isn’t an option. I practiced soccer drills with Dad every day after school and on weekends—and it paid off. I’m not letting Reed destroy my dreams. “Don’t they have physical therapists where you’re from?” he asks. “In Washington, DC? Sure.” “You left Washington, DC, to come here? Why?” Owen is smart and nosy. Not the best combination when I’m trying to keep certain parts of my life private. But he does have an amazing smile. “Why not?” I counter. “How about because Washington, DC, is a major city with museums and concerts and the subway, and Black Water is . . . Black Water.” “In DC, we call it the Metro, not the subway.” He smiles at me again. “In Black Water we don’t call it anything, because we don’t have one.” “That’s the point. There are no distractions here.” “How did you hurt your knee?” I didn’t. “I fell down a flight of stairs.” It’s the truth, but for some reason leaving out the details makes me feel like I’m trapped in a room that’s too small and could get smaller any minute. “I’m a klutz when I’m not on the soccer field.” “That sucks. I’m sorry.” Owen looks me in the eye and says it, like he really means it. “It could be worse.” But with my scholarship hanging in the balance, it doesn’t feel that way. “It still sucks.” Why am I letting Owen ask me so many questions? I’ve known him for fifteen minutes. The incident with Reed taught me how easy it is to misjudge someone. I thought he was the kind of athlete who would never resort to doping and cheating. I’ve always relied on my gut instincts about people—the little voice in the back of my head. But I don’t trust it anymore. Owen cocks his head to the side and grins. “So do you still want to know if I have a girlfriend?” Heat crawls up the back of my neck. “I never asked you that.” “When I got off the phone, you asked if I was fighting with mygirlfriend.” “I was making conversation, not fishing.” Okay, I sort of was. “I’m not hunting for a boyfriend if that’s what you think.” “Your cousins made that pretty clear.” I’m going to strangle those two. “What did they say?” So I know how much salt to dump in their breakfast tomorrow. Owen leans back against the bales. “I saw them coming out of the locker room after the game and I mentioned that we met, and they said you don’t date.” The Twins are dead. They made it sound like I’m joining a convent after graduation. The heat spreads from my neck to my cheeks. I should ditch Owen and go back to the party before this conversation gets more embarrassing. But I want to stay. The last three weeks have been full of lies and accusations, surgery and doctors’ appointments, threats and depressing calls from an ex who won’t stop calling me and a best friend who never wants to speak to me again. My conversation with Owen makes me feel normal. It’s one of the few I’ve had in weeks that didn’t revolve around my injury or Reed. I want it to last a little longer. I also don’t want Owen thinking I’m convent-bound. “For the record, I do date. I’m just not interested in dating right now. There’s a difference.” Owen holds up his hands in surrender. “I’m just telling you what I heard. Is that the reason you’re back here instead of hanging out at the party?” “No. I’m just antisocial.” His eyes flicker to my mouth. “I don’t believe that.” I pull my hair back in a ponytail and secure it with the elastic around my wrist. Anything to keep from making eye contact with him. “You don’t even know me.” Owen leans forward and rests his elbows on his knees. His arm grazes mine and he looks over at me. “Not yet.”    

Add it to your Goodreads Now!

   

Something wonderful happened to me as I read this—I fell in love. Genuine, shattering, deep, heart-pounding love. Thank you, Kami Garcia, for Peyton and Owen. We need their story." —Jennifer Niven, New York Times bestselling author of All the Bright Places and Holding Up the Universe

      About Kami Garcia: Kami Garcia is the #1 New York Times, USA Today & international bestselling coauthor of the Beautiful Creatures and Dangerous Creatures novels. BEAUTIFUL CREATURES has been published in 50 countries and translated in 39 languages, and the film Beautiful Creatures released in theaters in 2013, from Warner Brothers. Kami’s solo series, The Legion, includes the instant New York Times bestseller UNBREAKABLE, and the sequel UNMARKED, both of which were nominated for Bram Stoker Awards. Her other works include THE X-FILES ORIGINS: AGENT OF CHAOS and the YA contemporary novels THE LOVELY RECKLESS and the forthcoming BROKEN BEAUTIFUL HEARTS (February 2018). Kami was a teacher for seventeen years before co-authoring her first novel on a dare from seven of her students. If she isn’t busy watching Supernatural, Kami can teach you how to escape from a pair of handcuffs or bake a Coca-Cola cake. She lives in Maryland with her family, and their dogs Spike and Oz (named after characters from Buffy the Vampire Slayer). Visit Kami at www.KamiGarcia.com.    

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Pinterest | Tumbler | Instagram | Snapchat | YouTube

       

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Book Review: Small Town Siren by Lexi Blake

2:19 PM 4 Comments


Author: Lexi Blake, writing as Sophie Oak
Series: Texas Sirens #1
Audience: +18
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Erotic Romance
Publisher: DLZ Entertainment, LLC
Release Date: January 9th 2018 (2nd edition)
My Rating: 4 cups
Source: InkSlinger PR
Blurb (from Goodreads):

Re-released in a second edition with a prologue and three new chapters.

Two cowboys looking for love…

Jack Barnes and Sam Fleetwood met in foster care. Over the years, they’ve become best friends and partners. They share a business as cattle ranchers and a house. There’s only one thing missing: a woman to share. The men are sure they’ve found that woman when Abigail Moore arrives in their small town, Willow Fork, TX.

A woman trying to find her place in the world…

Abby left her hometown twenty years before under a cloud of scandal. She’s raised a daughter, forged a new life for herself, and is ready for the next phase when she meets the handsome cowboys.

One small town that’s ready to explode…

They’re a dream come true—Jack is the sexy Dom, and Sam the playful lover. It’s everything she’s ever fantasized about. There’s only one problem. She’s still not welcome in Willow Fork, and someone is willing to kill to keep her away.
*Disclaimer: I received an eARC of this book from InkSlinger PR in exchange for an honest review. This does not influence my rating or the content of my review in any way.

Just when I think I can't be surprised by Lexi Blake, she blows my mind. I had no idea she was writing as Sophie Oak as well. Had I known this, I probably would have bumped this series up on my TBR list a long, long time ago.

The story is focused on Abby's journey to reaching that point within herself to fight back, to defend herself from people who want to harm her for one reason or another, and to reach out for what she wants most. I enjoyed reading about her journey of self-discovery, really. She goes from the scared, terrified pregnant teenager, to being a strong, brave woman. I liked that she turned something vile, like being run out of town, into something good, like getting a proper education and raising a daughter. There were a lot of tragic outcomes that were possible in this story, yet Abby fought with everything in her to take advantage of the blessing in disguise that it was, and I was really impressed by that. I respect Abby for her strength and bravery. At the same time, it seems inevitable that old insecurities would completely stay away, so I kind of understood her reluctance to stay with Jack and Sam, once her old enemy threatens to make their lives miserable if she stayed in Willow Fork. I liked Abby a lot, to be honest.

Jack and Sam are two very different men, yet they are such a powerful team in this book, there's really no way for me to think about one without having the other one popping into my head. While Jack is all serious, dark and broody, Sam is all about having fun, making jokes and being just a tiny little bit immature. While Jack is demanding, dominating, Sam is the giver, the one who likes to serve. Jack seems to have perfected the art of patience, while Sam kind of reminded me of an overeager puppy at times. It was fun to see them work together, and to discover a little bit about their pasts. It was also heartbreaking to realize why they are the way they are, why Jack is the serious, scary one, while Sam is the fun, immature one. Maybe immature is a strong word, but Sam definitely doesn't behave like you'd expect a man of his age to act. I love how they really are a team, how they defend and protect Abby from the people who want to harm her. I also liked the fact that Sam understood that Abby needed to fight her own battles and discover her own inner strength to fight back.

Reading about small towns is always an interesting experience. Having grown up in a big city, where you can meet a new person each day and still not know everyone in that town, I find it refreshing to read about the calmness of small towns. I liked that there was also a little bit of drama sprinkled here and there, because while it may seem fun at times that everybody knows just about everybody, I do imagine that at times it can be stifling to know that you don't have any secrets. Blake also did a great job at portraying the way power and money corrupts even the so-called righteous people, and the lengths they would go to in order to defend what they perceive to be right and proper, as well as their fortune.

The book is pretty fast paced and I read it in one sitting. As already expected from a Lexi Blake book, this one is full of hot, steamy sex. I enjoyed seeing Abby getting her happy ending, and I thought this book was a great series starter. I do however want to see Sam get his happy ending. I didn't expect him to acknowledge what he truly wanted, because he's been so good at denying it, that he doesn't even realize there's a need and a want to begin with. It's going to be interesting to see that aspect of Sam being explored in the next book in the series.

All in all, a pretty good story and I can't wait to return to Willow Fork as soon as possible.

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      The door to the women’s room slammed open. Abby practically jumped, ready to beg whoever was walking through to give her some privacy. Jack filled the doorway with his presence.

“You can’t come in here, Jack.” She smoothed down her uniform and swept back her hair, trying to retain as much dignity as she could.

“Why not, darlin’? I am going to admit that I’m not a man who tends to let things like social conventions keep me out of a place I really want to be in.” Jack walked right up to her. The man really wasn’t big on personal space.

Sam walked in and closed the door. He leaned with his back against it. One boot rested negligently against the painted pink door.

“Sam, tell him he can’t come into the women’s room.”

“You’re the one who chose the venue for this particular conversation, Abigail.” There was nothing vaguely resembling a joke in Jack’s voice now. Abby looked to Sam for help.

Sam shook his head. He was grinning like an idiot. “Hell no, honey. You’re gonna have to learn that when Jack gets that hard edge to his voice, he means business. Besides, I’m happy with the way things went. Thank you, baby. You made this so much easier. Jack was talking about dating you and treating you like a lady. That was gonna take forever. It’s much simpler this way.”

“What’s simpler?” Abby was unable to keep the trepidation out of her voice.

“Taking you home, taking you to bed, and showing you where you belong,” Sam replied with a wink.

“Where do I belong?” Abby couldn’t take her eyes off Jack. There was a simple smile on his face that held a wealth of arrogance. He’d been serious. He really had been playing the gentleman. Abby got the feeling she was about to get a full dose of Jack Barnes, and damned if she wasn’t looking forward to it.

“Always between me and Sam.” Jack reached out and put his hands on her shoulders, his expression intense. “Tell me you don’t want us, Abby, and I’ll walk away right now. I won’t bother you again.”

“Don’t give her ultimatums.” Sam sounded a bit desperate. “I thought we’d give her a taste before we forced her to make a decision. Baby, why don’t you let us play around a little? I promise you’ll want us.”

She looked up into Jack’s forest-green eyes. They were very serious as he stared at her. His hand came up to cup her face. He forced her to look at him and Abby felt his will. It should scare the crap out of her, but she found it amazingly sexy. This was a man who would always keep his promises, no matter what it cost him.

“She already wants us.” Jack brushed his thumb across her mouth. It was all she could do to not open her mouth and suck his thumb in. “She just needs to admit it. Can you tell me you haven’t spent the last few weeks thinking about this? Thinking about you and me and Sam coming together in bed?”

“No,” she said. Jack’s eyes flared, and she felt compelled to continue. “I have thought about it, but I’m scared.”

The time for honesty was here. She could run, and they would probably accept her decision. She could give in and enjoy the sex and walk away. Or she could ask for what she wanted. She could be brave and tell them what she needed and what she was scared of. If she did that and it all fell apart, then she would have to forgive herself. She’d learned that one of the great joys of maturing was learning how to forgive herself.

“What are you scared of?” A deep crease appeared in Sam’s forehead. He walked up to her and leaned forward. “Honey, we want to take care of you. We don’t want to hurt you.”

She felt tears pricking at the edge of her eyes. Everything in her was screaming for that to be true. She wanted them. She craved them.

“You could be lying to me. You could want to make me look bad.” She could hear her teenaged self in the statement. She felt every bit as vulnerable as she had then. The last month she’d spent with these two disparately different men had been one of the best of her life. Every evening they’d spent together over the last month had made her want them more. More than once, she’d fantasized about them sweeping into the diner and carrying her away. Lately, when things went wrong, her first thought was to call Jack. Now that her fantasy seemed to be coming true, she didn’t trust fate.

Jack’s hands came out and soothingly rubbed the back of her neck. He hadn’t stopped touching her once. “Sweetheart, why would you say something like that? Why would we want to make you look bad?”

“Because the Echols family wants me out of town.” Her heart soared when she saw the complete confusion on their faces. They couldn’t make that up.

“Are you talking about that crazy old biddy who runs the church socials?” Jack seemed to struggle to place a name with a face. “She always looks at me funny.”

“Ruby. That’s her name.” Sam frowned. “She’s real unpleasant to me. Why would we do anything for her? For that matter, why would she care that you’re in town?”

Hope swelled inside her. They really weren’t gay, and they really weren’t working for Ruby Echols. If that was true, then she had to assume they wanted her. It suddenly didn’t matter that they were in a bathroom in a public place. She couldn’t wait to feel their mouths pressed to hers. It wasn’t forever. The universe didn’t work that way, but she could have this moment. She could have a few weeks with them.

“It doesn’t matter. Kiss me.”

“Which one?” Sam asked.

Abby continued to smile, looking from gorgeous man to gorgeous man. “It doesn’t matter, but one of you should kiss me.”

Jack’s eyes never left her face. “Sam, take care of that door. We wouldn’t want anyone walking in.”

Sam cursed and bemoaned his fate, but he walked back and took his previous position.

Jack took Abby’s face in both his hands. “I’m completely crazy about you, Abigail Moore.” He leaned over and finally, after what seemed to Abby like a lifetime of wanting, pressed his mouth to hers.

Abby felt helpless against the onslaught of desire that rocketed through her as Jack took her mouth. He plundered it, his tongue gently forcing its way in and dancing strongly around hers. She held on to his lean waist for dear life as he slanted over her mouth again and again. He poured his will into her and everything inside her responded. She felt that kiss in her pussy and already she was slick and warm. Jack’s hands reached up and pulled at the band that held up her hair. He set it free and pulled back to look at the mane of auburn locks he’d unleashed.

“You’re so fucking gorgeous,” Jack breathed almost reverently as he stroked her hair. In that moment, with Jack’s green eyes looking at her like she was some goddess he was worshipping, Abby felt gorgeous.

“Why don’t we take this home, people?” Sam’s voice was tight. Abby looked back at Sam, and his blue eyes were dark with passion.

He wanted to go home so he could join in. He wanted to have his turn. The thought should have turned her off, but all it did was get her hotter.

Jack’s lips turned up in a lazy smile. “You’ll have to forgive Sam, darlin’. He’s always so impatient. Always has been.” Jack suddenly lifted her up and set her on the counter. He looked back at his friend with great affection. “Do you have any idea how many times I’ve told him that anticipation is the best part?”

Jack’s hands pushed up the skirt of her uniform.

“Anticipation is damn frustrating, Jack. And I’ve been anticipating for weeks,” Sam complained.



NY Times and USA Today bestselling author Lexi Blake lives in North Texas with her husband, three kids, and the laziest rescue dog in the world. She began writing at a young age, concentrating on plays and journalism. It wasn’t until she started writing romance and urban fantasy that she found the stories of her heart. She likes to find humor in the strangest places and believes in happy endings no matter how odd the couple, threesome, or foursome may seem.



FACEBOOK / TWITTER / WEBSITE / AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE

Monday, January 8, 2018

Release Day Blitz: Executive Ink by Carrie Ann Ryan

8:00 AM 0 Comments

You can get your hands on EXECUTIVE INK by Carrie Ann Ryan today! Find out more about this sexy release from Carrie Ann Ryan and pick up your copy now!

   

About EXECUTIVE INK

Ashylnn didn't want him…she craved him. That was her first mistake, but not her last. She's the boss of her life and decisions. She doesn’t have time for a bearded, inked man. But he may just make her yearn for it.

Jax thought it would only be for one night but now he wants more. She’s the straight-laced executive to his leather-and-jeans life, and she makes him desire more. She is so much more. But how much, he may never know.

Author Note: Executive Ink is a Montgomery Ink short story and a little different than what you’re used to from me. It’s shorter than my other novellas at only ~12,000 words. It has a complete HEA, and is perfect for a steamy evening, one-sitting read.

Executive Ink was previously published in the Alphas of Danger Anthology.

Get your hands on EXECUTIVE INK now!

✦Amazon http://amzn.to/2BnTD0Z ✦iBooks http://apple.co/2BEj5zq ✦Barnes & Noble http://bit.ly/2BGyizU ✦Kobo http://bit.ly/2kLfs4j ✦Google Play http://bit.ly/2zl6K17 ✦Amazon Paperback http://amzn.to/2CFAzeU
 

 

Find out more about SECOND CHANCE INK, a newsletter exclusive Montgomery In romance, here!

 

About Carrie Ann Ryan

Carrie Ann Ryan is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of contemporary and paranormal romance. Her works include the Montgomery Ink, Redwood Pack, Talon Pack, and Gallagher Brothers series, which have sold over 2.0 million books worldwide. She started writing while in graduate school for her advanced degree in chemistry and hasn’t stopped since. Carrie Ann has written over fifty novels and novellas with more in the works. When she’s not writing about bearded tattooed men or alpha wolves that need to find their mates, she’s reading as much as she can and exploring the world of baking and gourmet cooking.

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Blog Tour Book Review: Whiskey Secrets by Carrie Ann Ryan

12:30 PM 0 Comments
Author: Carrie Ann Rayan
Series: Whiskey and Lies #1
Audience: +18
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Self Published
Release Date: January 2nd 2018
My Rating: 4.5 Cups
Source: InkSlinger PR
Blurb (from Goodreads):

Sparks fly between a former cop-turned-bartender and his new innkeeper in the first installment of a Montgomery Ink spin-off series from NYT Bestselling Author Carrie Ann Ryan.

Dare Collins is a man who knows his whiskey and women—or at least that’s what he tells himself. When his family decides to hire on a new innkeeper for the inn above his bar and restaurant, he’s more than reluctant. Especially when he meets the new hire. But he’ll soon find that he has no choice but to work with this city girl and accept her new ideas and the burning attraction between them.

Kenzie Owens left her old life and an abusive relationship behind her—or so she thought. She figures she’ll be safe in Whiskey, Pennsylvania but after one look at her new boss, Dare Collins, she might still be in danger, or at least her heart. And when her past catches up with her despite her attempts to avoid it, it’s more than her heart on the line. This time, it might mean her life.


Friday, January 5, 2018

Book Review: House Of Shadows by Nicola Cornick

9:57 AM 2 Comments
Author: Nicola Cornick
Series: N/A
Audience: +18
Genre: Historical Fiction, Mystery
Publisher: Graydon House
Release Date: October 17th 2017
My Rating: 5 cups
Source: Publisher
Blurb (from Goodreads):
The wooded hills of Oxfordshire conceal the remains of the aptly named Ashdown House--a wasted pile of cinders and regret. Once home to the daughter of a king, its secrets will unite three women across four centuries in a tangle of romance, deceit and destiny...

1662--A queen

Bound by sex and birth to live for everyone but herself--and to love always in secret--Elizabeth Stuart entrusts a pair of arcane artifacts to her faithful cavalier to keep safe for her rightful heir. But fate will not be generous to the Winter Queen, throwing the question of succession into turmoil, the aftermath of which will resonate through the generations.

1801--A courtesan

Lavinia Flyte wanted so much more from life than to be a courtesan at the mercy of the cruel Lord Evershot. He has brought her to Ashdown, the home of his ancestors, for reasons he guards greedily. But the maids' whispers of hidden treasures--a pearl with the power to foretell the future--consume her with a curiosity she confides only to her diary, unaware of the misfortune that threatens.

And the mystery that binds them

Alarmed to hear her brother has gone missing at Ashdown Park, Holly Ansell is inexplicably drawn to the clues contained in the journal of a Regency courtesan who was living at the historic home when it burned to the ground two hundred years ago. Lured by the tragedy at Ashdown, Holly's search leads her not only to the truth about Lavinia, but deeper into her own connection with the Winter Queen.

For fans of Kate Morton and Barbara Erskine comes an unforgettable novel about the power one lie can have over history.

Disclaimer: I received an ARC of this book from Harlequin Books in exchange for an honest review. This does not influence my rating or the content of my review in any way.

Every once in a while I get to return to my first love in life, history, through the magic of books. More accurately, I get to enjoy the thrill of trying to piece together the puzzle of people's pasts, while also going on a hunt for lost artifacts. House Of Shadows has that and more.


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