Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Teaser Blitz: Broken Beautiful Hearts by Kami Garcia

   

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!

       

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.    


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Excerpt Reveal: Whiskey Secrets by Carrie Ann Ryan - 1st Chapter

Carrie Ann Ryan's WHISKEY AND LIES kicks off in just under a week...but we couldn't wait to share the first chaper of the first book, WHISKEY SECRETS, with you! Read it below below, find out more about the series (and how it ties into the Montgomery Ink series!) and preorder your copy today!


Wednesday Chatter #20: Why Being International Is Awesome

Wednesday Chatter is a weekly feature at Ruby's Books where we'll be talking about anything and everything related to books and reading. Click here if you want to see what we talked about in the previous weeks


WARNING: Some bad words might be used in the following post. Don't say I didn't warn you!



Hey everyone! I think it's safe to say that, by now, you all probably know about the limitations Netgalley and Goodreads have put on authors and international readers. You've seen the posts, the tweets, the confusion and anger, which I've felt, as well as many, many other international readers and reviewers. It's only natural

list
Source: Giphy

And before anyone starts thinking "OMG, yet another international blogger complaining about ARCs", the point is so not about the ARCs here. The entire situation is not about that. I'm one of the lucky, privileged bloggers that do get ARCs even if I'm international. But the ARCs are not the point.

And this post isn't about the negative side. It's about the positive side. Here's why:

After people started discovering the changes in Netgalley and Goodreads, a bunch of international bloggers started getting together. And lo and behold the International Book Bloggers group was born. And here's why it is absolutely awesome:

1. Meeting new people and making friends

It is fantastic to discover bloggers. I love the feeling, because we're not only united by a common passion, which is books, but I got to discover the people behind the blogs. I can safely say I've made new friends. They're truly awesome people and beside following each other and supporting each other, we're really just people having fun, talking, making friends, and being nice.


2. Support Group

This is obviously one of the "perks" if you want to call them that, but not only do we follow each other, we also support each other. There's no competition over there to be the "best", the most popular or to one up one another. Which is something I think a lot of bloggers have forgotten a little bit. We've all heard the talk about the competitive side of the community, but when you dig deep enough, you realize it's actually not competitive at all. Which to me never made any sense. It's not as if certain books are available only to a certain group of people, while the rest of the population doesn't have access to them. We're not in the middle ages, basically. In the time I've been in that group, the members have shared giveaway links, tutorials, blogging hacks and ideas, arc announcements, they've commented on each other's blog posts and have been offering encouragements. If that doesn't prove that this isn't a competitive group, I don't know what will.

3. Non-bookish Support and General Fun

Before you go thinking that we're only talking about books, let me tell you, it is not true. We talk about everything and anything. Wanna talk about fitness? You can do that. Video games? They're your people. TV shows and movies? Most definitely. Vent about something? You can do that too. Want a virtual party? You guessed it, we got that too.

It's a safe place and I don't say that to get on anyone's good side.


It just has that feeling, you know?


Do I need to go on? No? Thought so.

In case you're wondering who these awesome human cupcakes are, Pagan over at Paperback Kingdom compiled a list including all of them, a list that's growing constantly by the way, so be sure to check it regularly. Also, check out Fanna @ Fannality, as she interviews each of the members of the group who signed up for an interview/guest post over on her blog. As a side note, my dear friend Rafael from The Royal Polar Bear Reads also has a blogger spotlight feature where he interviews bloggers, but I don't know if all of them are in the International Book Bloggers group. I may be wrong, but I'm not sure.

Anyway, this is why being international is awesome. And I'm glad I get to end 2017 with this Wednesday Chatter, because I can only imagine how much better 2018 will be with these amazing people.

P.S.: If you want to be a part of such an awesome group and if you're international, send me a tweet over on my Twitter account and I'll see what I can do.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Top Ten Tuesday #17: Top Ten Books I'm Looking Forward to In 2018


Top Ten Tuesday is weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish.

Happy Holidays my dear bookworms! The year may not be over just yet, but I've been getting excited about 2018 for months now. Why? Because it's a really good year for literature in my opinion. I am dying to get my hands on a ton of books and I'll try really really hard to stick to just ten of them. So without further ado, here's Top Ten Books I'm Looking Forward To In 2018:

1. Legendary by Stephanie Garber - After reading and loving Caraval I cannot wait for Legendary to be out.
2. Ash Princess by Laura Sebastian - The blurb reminds me a little of Ruined, which I loved. Plus, I love revenge stories :D
3. Thirteen by Kelley Armstrong - I decided 2018 will be the year I'll read series endings, and one of the series I need to finish is Armstrong's Women Of The Otherworld
4. Sea Witch by Sarah Henning - Ursula. Need I say more?
5. Dealing In Dreams by Lilliam Rivera - There's something about this book that calls to me. I can't exactly tell what, but I usually don't question this feeling, as it's helped me discover great books that I love. I cannot wait to see the cover.


6. Indiscretion by Hannah Fielding - I've had by eye on this book for a while now. I love the sensual feel of the story, and the cover art is fantastic.
7. The Forest Queen by Betsy Cornwell - One of my other auto-read theme is Robin Hood. And this book is a retelling of Robin Hood's tale and I cannot wait to get my hands on it.
8. The Smoke Thieves by Sally Green - Fantasy. I don't need a better reason than that.
9. Furyborn by Claire Legrand - I love books told from dual POVs, especially when they don't happen simultaneously, but a length of time separates the two main characters.
10. Between The Blade And The Heart by Amanda Hocking - I love the myth of Valkyries and I try to read as many books with them as I can.


My list is way, way longer than this to be very honest, but I decided to limit myself at just 10 books. What about you? What are ten books you cannot wait to read in 2018?

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Comic Book Tuesday #31: The Altered History Of Willow Sparks by Tara O'Connor

Author: Tara O'Connor
Series: N/A
Audience: +15
Genre: Comic Book
Publisher: Oni Press
Release Date: March 6th 201
My Rating: 3.5 cups
Source: Netgalley
Blurb (from Goodreads):
What happens when you can finally get everything you ever wanted?

Willow Sparks and her best friend Georgia Pratt are at the bottom of the social ladder at Twin Pines High School, just trying to get through each day relatively unscathed. But when Willow finds a mysterious book that allows her to literally change her life, it feels like her luck is finally turning. Becoming more and more popular with each entry into the book, her old life, including her friendship with Georgia, seems miles away. Yet as Willow will discover, every action has a reaction, and the future has unusual—even dangerous—ways of protecting itself.
*Disclaimer: I received an eARC of this book from Netgalley and Oni Press in exchange for an honest review. This does not influence my rating or the content of my review in any way.

Have you ever read a book that made you wish you had something similar back when you were a teenager? That's what this book made me think once I finished reading it. I wish I had this book back when I was an awkward teen.

The idea of the book is pretty simple: you have a regular teenage girl, Willow, working at a library in her spare time, that isn't popular, and is bullied, alongside her best friend, Georgia, by a group of really popular kids. After an incident in the library, she discovers some books, one of which carries her name. Once she realizes what this book really is, she takes it, and tries to write herself a better story. Simple, right? Something I most certainly would have done had I been in Willow's shoes. Because what teen doesn't want to escape those years, when it's all awkward, and when acne, bad hair days, not being noticed by your crush, and not being picked for one of the teams in sports class seem like the worst thing that could ever happen.

But as simple as it may seem, it's also really complex. Because in doing so, Willow has to face the consequences of her actions, one of which is losing her best friend. The other visible effect of Willow altering her life in such a way is the signs that she has on her, some marks that look like lines made with a pen. I kind of get the symbolism behind it, but I would have wanted a bit more time spent on that aspect. I loved the fact that Georgia, Willow's best friend, lectures her on the fact that she's using this book to have an easier life, when she should find a different way to deal with life. At the same time, Georgia is going through some changes in her life, and seeing Willow exchanging their friendship for the company of the popular kids in school hurts her enough to stop trying to reason with Willow.

While the story itself is great, and some of the effects of Willow's tampering are mostly explored in this book, there were a few things that were left untouched, like the parents angle. I would have wanted Willow's parents to notice something. There's an interesting moment that shows the limitations of the book, but it wasn't completely explored. I am hoping that there's a volume 2 in the works, because the ending was a bit too abrupt. While I do remember how fights between friends resolved at that age (God knows I've had some of the most "epic" fights with my BFFs that ended in tears 5 minutes afterwards and promises to never fight again), I feel like Willow needs to face the school crowd without the help of the book, she needs to be exposed to the same popular kids after she returned her book. I'd love to see how she's going to do that.

Aside from that, there's a wonderful moment of someone having a crush on somebody, and it turns out that somebody is a gay character, and it's a beautiful conversation between friends that warmed my heart, really.

The artwork is pretty simple. It wasn't the best I've seen, but it's cute and it's in line with the story. The drawings are black-and-white, which is a nice change for me. The panels were easy to follow, and they weren't too crowded by dialogue. I liked the fact that the author shares, at the end of the book, a little bit of this book's history, with the changes in artwork that went on over the years. I've said this before, but I really enjoy seeing this behind-the-scenes type of segment in comic books.

Overall, this was a pretty good book, but I would have wanted a bit more. I hope the story will be continued in the future, and I'll definitely read the next volume if and when it comes out.


Monday, December 18, 2017

Obsessed With Covers #44: Onyx & Ivory, Sea Witch

Y'all know how much I love a pretty cover. I think about...40% of the books that end up on my shelves (be they physical or digital) do so because of the covers. Call me shallow but you have to admit that a pretty, shiny cover will catch your eye faster than a dull, boring one. Two, simple rules that I'll follow:


  • 1, 2 or 3 (no more than 3, though) covers per week;
  • books should be new-ish; no more than 2 years old.
Oh, before I share the covers that made me drool or want to stare at them for hours and hours, I have to say something. This is a semi-original idea. Why semi? Because almost every book blogger has something similar. The only thing I came up with was the title. If by any chance there's another blogger with a similar feature with the same title, I assure you I'm not stealing your idea. I'm just THAT bad with titles. Believe me, I'd love to be smarter and have a witty name for this feature, but I don't. So, no copyright infringement/theft/steal or anything of the sort was desired. All I can say is sorry :P



So, here are the prettiest covers I've seen this week.

Sunday, December 17, 2017

2018 Reading Challenges: The Master List

Heya there bookworms! Since I decided to dedicate a lot more reading time to backlist books next year, I've also decided to sign up to a bunch of reading challenges. And since there are many, many challenges I want to sign up to, I decided to make a Master List instead of individual sign-up posts. Here are the challenges I want to take a part of.


Friday, December 15, 2017

Christmas Tag

I was tagged by the wonderful Abbey over at Abscape to do the Christmas Tag. It's been ages since my last tag and so I decided to do this one as fast as possible.

Use one noise to describe how excited you are for Christmas.
Yaaaaaaayyyyy!

Do you open any presents on Christmas Eve?
I open all presents on Christmas Eve. It's my family's tradition to all get together on the 24th and open prezzies.

What holiday traditions are you looking forward to most this year?
Cooking with mom out family recipes.

Is your Christmas tree real or fake?
Puppy-proof fake. Which means it's made out of cardboard and tinsel. Maybe I'll share a photo, as I'm very proud of my artwork :)

What is your favorite Christmas film?
I have no favorite Christmas movie really. I love a lot of seasonal movies, but I don't have  a go-to movie. Usually I binge watch Harry Potter, but I wouldn't call it a favorite.

Where do you usually spend your holiday?
At home, in bed, watching TV shows and reading. Drinking hot tea that's Christmassy-flavored. This year, with a pupster (that may or may not be the reincarnation of the inspiration behind Cujo) I don't think that's in the cards for me *nervous laughter*

What is your favorite Christmas song?
So, so, so many. Eartha Kitt's Santa Baby, almost any Christmas songs Dean Martin sang, there's an awesome interpretation of Baby, It's Cold Outside by Carmen McRae & Sammy Davis Jr. that I adore. There's one version of The 12 Days Of Christmas that is amazing, but I can't find anywhere and I haven't listened to it in ages and that makes me sad.

What is your all-time favourite holiday food/sweet treat?
Just...the entire dinner, really.

Be honest: do you like giving gifts or receiving gifts better?
Ooohhhh...see, I like both, really.

What is your favourite thing about Christmas?
The cheer and the air of hope that's present everywhere, really.

When do you start getting excited for Christmas?
Well...Usually right after Halloween, as soon as the Christmas decorations start appearing in the shops. At the same time, I'm also the weird person that listens to old Christmas songs as soon as August is nearing the end, so I can't give an honest answer here.

What is the best Christmas gift you’ve ever received?
This is book related, obviously, and I've told this story many many times, my aunt and uncle got me the first three Harry Potter books one Christmas, and then it sort of became tradition for them to get me the newest Potter book each Christmas.

What is the worst present you’ve ever received?
Can you believe I've never actually hated a gift I've gotten? I usually appreciate the thought. My great-grandma usually gets us "kids" chocolate each year and that is just my go-to present really. Plus my family has a weird tradition: if we're really unsure what to get the other person (kids not included in this) we usually tell that person "Listen, here's the money I have in mind for your Christmas gift, let's go wherever you want and get your gift together", which is something I've always loved, because I always get books.

As a kid, did a sibling ever receive a present that you wished was for you?
No, because my baby cousin (who I've always thought of as a little sister really) came along when I was 13, so our gifts were totally different by then.

What would be your dream place to visit for the holiday season?
New York. I'd love to see the decorations they put up each year.

Most memorable Holiday moment?
The first time my cousin realized that Santa was "here", and to the delight and amusement of everyone, she begged her Daddy to sing a song for Santa, in order for her to get gifts. It was hilarious and heartwarming at the same time.

Do you make New Years resolutions? Do you stick to them?
I make resolutions probably even before New Years is near. Somewhere mid-November. I only stuck to one of them in my entire life. Best thing I could ever stick to, but yea...pathetic when you think about how many resolutions I actually have each year.

What makes the holidays special for you?
Being with family.

What’s the best part about Christmas for you?
The house smells like Christmas, being with family, having that childlike wonder that is inspired by the holiday, the snow...Man, I miss the snow in my home-country.

You have been granted one Christmas wish…what will it be?
Hmmmm....This one's tough. Maybe....I don't know. Oh! I do. For my puppy to be calmer. Not for him to have a complete personality change, but it would be so awesome if he could be less energetic about everything around him. I love him to pieces but that is one hyperactive puppy. In all seriousness, I hope everyone in my family is healthy and happy, including my pupster. That would be the best thing to have, really. Anything else is just secondary.

Wow, sorry for that sadness-inducing phrase. I was just listening to the news and it seems everything is doom and gloom right now. Anyway. That's my Tag. I'll tag a few of you on Twitter. As for the rest of you, if you want to do this tag, leave me a comment so I can visit :D

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Cover Reveal: Nobody Does It Better by Lexi Blake



 

A spy who specializes in seduction

Kayla Summers was an elite CIA double agent, working inside China’s deadly MSS. Now, she works for McKay-Taggart London, but the Agency isn’t quite done with her. Spy master Ezra Fain needs her help on a mission that would send her into Hollywood’s glamorous and dangerous party scene. Intrigued by the mission and the movie star hunk she will be shadowing, she eagerly agrees. When she finds herself in his bed, she realizes she’s not only risking her life, but her heart.

A leading man who doesn’t do romance

Joshua Hunt is a legend of the silver screen. As Hollywood’s highest paid actor, he’s the man everyone wants to be, or be with, but something is missing. After being betrayed more than once, the only romance Josh believes in anymore is on the pages of his scripts. He keeps his relationships transactional, and that’s how he likes it, until he meets his new bodyguard. She was supposed to keep him safe, and satisfied when necessary, but now he’s realizing he may never be able to get enough of her.

An ending neither could have expected

Protecting Joshua started off as a mission, until it suddenly felt like her calling. When the true reason the CIA wanted her for this assignment is revealed, Kayla will have to choose between serving her country or saving the love of her life.

ADD TO GOODREADS  

PRE ORDER NOW

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Kobo, and Smashwords coming soon!

“Kayla?” Her eyes came up, a flash of recognition there. “Yes?”
“Are you going to sign the contract or do you have more questions?”
She picked up the pen sitting on top of the contracts that would bind the two of them together for the next six months. They would reevaluate the relationship at that point in time, but for the next six months, she was his. His bodyguard. His submissive.
Bought and properly paid for. He would take care of her and she would give him what he needed.
She signed with a flourish and sat back, a gleam of curiosity in her eyes.
He was curious, too, and there was zero reason to not satisfy their curiosity. Hard and soft limits had been gone over. They would find their communication style as they went along. But first she should understand that he was in control.
“Come sit on my lap.”
She didn’t hesitate. She stood and turned, shifting so she could maneuver her way onto his lap.
Her weight came down on him and he wrapped an arm around her waist. Damn but she made him feel big. He’d seen her take out a man twice her size, but sitting here in his lap she felt small and vulnerable, and fuck him but that did it for him.
He slid a hand along her knee, letting himself indulge in the silky smooth feel of her skin against his palm. “Did you do as I asked?”
He was well aware his voice had gone husky, deeper than normal.
“Yes, Joshua.” She squirmed the tiniest bit, as though trying to find a comfortable position. It might be difficult for her because she was sitting right on his cock, and it was harder and thicker than he could ever remember it being.
“How can I trust you?” This was all part of the game he loved so much. Here he could let go and play out the darker of his impulses—to control, to take, to possess. See. Want. Have.
“You’ll have to check,” she replied. “Though shouldn’t we go inside?”
He reached out and picked up his cell with his free hand, pushing one number and connecting to the security room. He put them on speaker. She needed to understand what she was up against in order for the game to be fair. “Landon?”
“This is Burke,” the deep voice replied. “Shane’s on patrol. What can I do for you?”
“Burke, I would like to fuck my submissive on the third-floor balcony. Is anyone watching us? Can you see any cameras pointed our way?”
A low, masculine chuckle came across the line. “No, Mr. Hunt. And given the angle relative to the beach, you should enjoy your evening without worry. The only peepers I would worry about would be your next door neighbor, and Jared is out for the night.”
“I wouldn’t care if he wasn’t. Keep up the good work.” He hung up and his hand tightened. “I would prefer when we’re playing that you don’t question me like that. I know where I want to fuck you. I know when I want to fuck you, and I’m in charge. If I want you in the middle of a crowded freeway, your only response is a yes or a no. Not to question me.”
She seemed to relax back against him, as though she was giving up the struggle and choosing to submit. “Yes, Joshua. Yes, I understand, and yes to the sex. Please.”
He liked the breathy little please and loved how she squirmed. Still, he wasn’t absolutely sure she’d obeyed him, and he was a man who required proof. He slid his hand up her thigh. “Spread your legs for me.”
             

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

Trailer Reveal: Whiskey Secrets by Carrie Ann Ryan

Carrie Ann Ryan's WHISKEY AND LIES kicks off in January...but we couldn't wait to share the trailer of the first book, WHISKEY SECRETS! Check it out below, find out more about the series (and how it ties into the Montgomery Ink series!) and preorder your copies today!

 

About the WHISKEY AND LIES series

The Montgomery Ink world just got a big larger. Dark heroes, tragic pasts, and heroines who rock their worlds…the Collins Brothers are about to see what happens when their small Pennsylvanian town gets shocked to its core.
The Collins Brothers just want to go about their business and live their lives. They’re in no mood for what happens when three women come into their lives when they’re least expecting it. One comes to change what was lost, another comes to prove what could be, while the third reveals what’s already been there all along.
Whiskey, Pennsylvania just got a little bit bigger and this town might not be ready for what’s coming.
Tabby’s Brothers from Ink Exposed get a series of their own.
Each book is a complete stand alone and can be read in any order.
 

About WHISKEY SECRETS (Whiskey and Lies #1)

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.

WHISKEY SECRETS releases January 2nd, 2018 - preorder your copy now!
✦Amazon http://amzn.to/2oIB7KT ✦iBooks http://apple.co/2j4i3qE ✦Barnes & Noble http://bit.ly/2tkoES5 ✦Kobo http://bit.ly/2hLUb63 ✦Google Play http://bit.ly/2stO9gP ✦Amazon Paperback http://amzn.to/2nHuho9
 

 

See the WHISKEY SECRETS Trailer:

 
 

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.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Top Ten Tuesday #16: Top Ten Favorite Books of 2017


Top Ten Tuesday is weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish.

Hello everyone! Here we are with another round of Top Ten Tuesday and we're discussing the Top Ten Favorite Books of 2017

Well. It's still early to decide, since I still have some books I need to finish. Also, compiling this list has made me realize I've read way more adult books this year than YA. Might go on and rectify that next year, just to keep a balance of things. Anyway, here's my favorite books I read in 2017 so far, in absolutely no particular order:

  1. Blood Red Kiss by Kresley Cole, Larissa Ione & Gena Showalter - It's really no surprise I love this book, since it has stories from three of my favorite authors. Read my review here.
  2. Beauty of the Beast by Rachel L. Demeter - This is probably my bookish discovery of the year in the adult department. I absolutely adored this book and I really encourage you to read this book if you love the Beauty and the Beast fairy tale and you want a new, non-fantastical, non-magical, take on the fairy tale. You can also read my review here.
  3. Pillow Thoughts by Courtney Peppernell - This was my first poetry book in way, way over a decade. It was recommended to me by Ray from The Royal Polar Bear Reads and I had a ton of fun reading it. You can read my review here.
  4. Monstress Vol 2: The Blood by Marjorie M Liu - Are you surprised that this book is here? This was my favorite comic book EVER. I may still be a newbie in this genre, but I can safely say this book will probably be my favorite comic book for a very, very long time. Read my review here.
  5. Caraval by Stephanie Garber - If there's one super popular YA book that I am thankful for giving in and reading it is this one. Caraval was fantastic and I am very excited for the next book to come out. Read my review here.
  6. Originally Human by Eileen Wilks - This was my first audiobook ever, guys. And it was everything I hoped for. It's a GraphicAudio production, and at the time I listened to it it a freebie. It reminded me of the old theater plays I used to listen to on vinyl as a kid. 
  7. The Becoming by Jeanne C Stein - This was a book I bought on impulse at a second hand store, and I am super happy I got it. It felt like one of the older urban fantasy books I used to read and I really enjoyed it.
  8. Storm of Ecstasy by Setta Jay - Although I absolutely love the entire Guardians of the Realms series, this book showed a widening of the mythology and the entire world within that series, and it reminded me of one of my favorite movies, Stargate. 
  9. Master Bits & Mercenary Bites - Girls Night by Lexi Blake & Suzanne M. Johnson - I couldn't not have a Lexi Blake book on this list. It's just not possible, guys. Okay, so the reason I loved this book is that it took two of my favorite things, mashed them up together perfectly and put them into a single book: food and romance. The recipes are fantastic, the snippets are awesome and I am keeping my fingers crossed for more of these books to come out in the future. Read my review here.
  10. Razr by Larissa Ione - This story was not only fantastic, but I feel it kinda changed the world of the Demonica series a little bit. There were some things going on in this book that I wonder what kind of effects it will have on the world of my beloved demons and angels and horsemen and horsewoman. I am definitely hoping that this will be explored in the future. Read my review here.
This is it guys. The top ten books I've read so far in 2017. I'm not ready for the year to be over though.

What about you? Which books will end up on your Top Ten list for 2017?

Monday, December 11, 2017

Book Review: Denying Ecstasy by Setta Jay

Author: Setta Jay
Series: Guardians Of The Realms #3
Audience: +18
Genre: Erotic Romance, Paranormal Romance,
Publisher: Self Published
Release Date: June 28th 2014
My Rating: 5 Cups
Source: My copy
Blurb (from Goodreads):
A headstrong sassy mortal, Rain is a Mageia living in Tetartos, the Realm of beasts and Immortals. Her nights have been restless, filled with sensual dreams of a big blonde Guardian whose glares indicate he wants nothing to do with her. She is determined to shake off the odd feelings until she finds out her dream lover is responsible for her rescue from a demented Demi-God. In doing so, his touch ignites something rare and coveted. Something that she’s never anticipated… Something he should have told her about. Rain is set on making him explain and then feel the full force of her ire.

After a devastating betrayal resulting in the loss of a close friend a century ago, Dorian refuses to trust or engage with Immortals other than his Guardian family. His years of brutal fighting in the underground Immortal rings are over. He patrols the Realms and slakes his lust with the humans on Earth. Existing, but not living as he used to. He knows the moment he scents Rain that he has found his mate and after touching her he plans to avoid her as long as he can... Until he learns she is in danger. Raging, his beast demands that he go to her, but taking her from their enemy has repercussions he fully plans to escape at all costs.

For Dorian, finding a way out of mating Rain means he could succumb to madness and harm those that mean so much to him… but giving in to his burning urge for her means losing control in a heated mating frenzy sure to ignite them both and link them forever.
The story of the Guardians of the four realms of the Earth continues in Denying Ecstasy and let me tell you, it was fantastic.

Dorian is a male that's been betrayed in the past, a betrayal that resulted in the death of a really close friend. That betrayal makes him reject the fact that he might have a mate, no matter how badly resisting the frenzy hurts him or Rain. He is a very proud male that doesn't trust easily, and for that reason he tries really hard to resist being with Rain. At the same time, though, he can't help but be drawn to her. He's a very strong, very powerful, very loyal male, and because of his status as one of the twelve Guardians he can't get over the fact that his behavior, his lust, resulted in his best friend dying. He's being really hard on himself, and while his refusal to accept that he's found his mate might seem a bit exaggerated, it kinda makes sense. I saw his refusal as a form of self punishment more than him not trusting Rain, since his best friend will never get the chance to find his fated mate. Sure, there's some mistrust there on his part, since he was betrayed by a female he knew, but I still think it was more him punishing himself than anything else. I really felt sorry for Dorian, because I could tell how truly sorry he was, how much he regretted the past.

At the same time we have Rain, who is the perfect female for Dorian in my opinion. She is Alyssa's best friend, and while Rain is not necessarily jealous of her childhood friend, she's definitely feeling her mortality a little bit. I loved the fact that that she didn't let Dorian walk all over her and that she called him out a few times when she had the chance. At the same time, I also felt sorry for her, because the actions of one hateful woman had so much power over Dorian, and by extent, over Rain herself.

While the focus of the story is mostly on Dorian and Rain, we do get some Brianne and Vane scenes that I love. I kept wishing for them to be mates, because they truly love each other. So I'm really curious to see what will happen with these two.

As already used to from the first two books of the series, this book was HOT. And I do mean steamy, guys! The immortals in this book are sexual creatures and the mortals that are mated to them are just as affected by the mating frenzy as the immortals themselves. So do keep that in mind.

There were a few things going on in this book that made me very, very curious to find out what's next for the Guardians and the world in general. I like the way this story is going and I cannot wait for more.



Sunday, December 10, 2017

Book Review: Love And Let Die by Lexi Blake

 Love And Let Die by Lexi Blake
Author: Lexi Blake
Series: Masters and Mercenaries #5
Audience: +18
Genre: Erotic Romance, Contemporary Romance, BDSM
Publisher: DLZ Entertainment LLC
Release Date: October 1st 2013
My Rating: 5 Cups
Source: Author
Blurb (from Goodreads):
Ian Taggart and the whole McKay-Taggart Security team return in Love and Let Die.

A Tragic Love Story

Charlotte Dennis’s mission was clear: distract and misdirect CIA operative Ian Taggart by any means necessary. If she failed, she would never see her sister again. With her training, it should have been simple, but after one night in Ian’s arms, she knew that saving her sister would mean losing the man of her dreams. Ian was tracking a terrorist when he met the beautiful American daughter of a Russian mobster. His instincts told him Charlotte was trouble, but his body craved her like a drug and his heart would not be denied. She took his ring and his collar. For once he was truly happy. But as he closed in on his target, her betrayal cost him his mission while her sacrifice saved his life. As she died in his arms, Ian vowed he would never love again.

A Dangerous Reunion

For six years, Charlotte has thought of nothing but returning to her husband, her Master. Working in the shadows, she has devoted herself to earning a chance to reclaim her place in Ian’s life. But forgiveness isn’t a part of Ian’s vocabulary. Nothing is more important to Ian Taggart than his new mission. But the information he needs is firmly in the hands of the woman who betrayed him. To catch his most dangerous prey, Ian will have to let Charlotte back into his life. As the hunt takes them to some of the world’s most exotic locations, the danger grows and their passion reignites.

Will Ian forgive his wayward submissive…or lose her again?
*Disclaimer: I received an e-copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. This does not influence my rating or the content of my review in any way.

The big guy of this series is finally getting his story told and let me tell you, I'm a really happy reader.

You already know about my love of Ian and Charlotte Taggart, so it's no surprise that I love their book as much as I do. I may or may not have read this book multiple times too, because that's just what I do with stories I love as much as this one, I obsess over them.

I finally understood why Ian was as dark as he was in the beginning of this series. And as reckless as he was. It all makes sense. I also kinda understood why he did what he did in the first book of the series, Sean's book, when he made a decision that put his relationship with his brother at risk. But I get it. Everything made sense when I read this book. The fact that Ian survived the emotional pain of losing his wife shows just how strong he is. And I say survived, but definitely not recovered from it, because we know he never truly did recover from it. Charlie was the one for him. And I completely understood the way he treated her in the beginning of this book. He basically got his heart broken twice by the same woman, so him being a bit angry, hurtful and mean makes a lot of sense.

At the same time I couldn't help but love Charlie. She had to overcome a lot of tough shit from her past, and while she had to do some really bad stuff along the way, she didn't lose her humanity or her soul in the process. I loved how throughout the book she and her sister Chelsea are shown to be complete opposites. Chelsea, her younger sister, is darker, more lost due to the horrors of her childhood, while Charlie still has some pureness in her.

I really liked how the issue of commitment in a BDSM relationship was approached in this story. Here we have a guy whose wife died and tried everything in his power to survive that pain and did everything he possibly could to cope and to live in the fantasy of being with her one last time, while at the same time we have a woman who knows her husband is alive and well, and she did everything her Dom told her to do, even after she left him. I liked that aspect, as well as Charlotte's reasoning behind doing some of the things she did to honor her contract with Ian.

There were some funny moments too. As already used to from future books when these two appear, I already knew Ian and Charlie are a really funny couple, so I was very glad to see that this was also present in their book.

The plot was really interesting and it shows how cunning the villain was, and how dehumanizing ultimate power can be for some people. It also kind of explains the first arc of this series really well and it shows that sometimes there's a fine line between good and evil. We also understand what ties together certain events and certain characters, because this book adds a piece to the puzzle that shows exactly those details. The ending was really fitting and I liked how in the end Ian chose Charlie above everything else, even when everything seemed to be pointing towards her not being a trustworthy person. So I liked that he took a chance with her. As always, we get a glimpse in the future of the series and Damon is next. I am very excited to see what his story will bring.


Monday, December 4, 2017

2018 Beat The Backlist Sign-up Post



Well hello my dear bookworms! The reading challenges for 2018 are starting to appear and I'm trying to decide which one to sign up to. One of the challenges I just know I'll sign up to is Novel Knight's Beat The Backlist challenge.

I previously signed up for the 2017 edition of this challenge, however life happened and I wasn't able to even hit the half mark on my initial goal. Which makes me sad, but that's another story. Anyway.

Because I want to read those books I signed up with last year, I'll keep the list the same, taking out those books I've already finished (the amazing, unbelievably huge number of 2, if you want to know), and adding a few more books that I probably won't get to finish before the year is over. So, without further ado, here's my list for Beat The Backlist:

  1. The Pelican Brief - John Grisham
  2. The Firm - John Grisham
  3. The Gathering - Kelley Armstrong
  4. Roverandom - J.R.R. Tolkien
  5. The Children of Hurin - J.R.R. Tolkien
  6. Outlander - Dianna Gabaldon
  7. The Book Thief - Markus Zusak
  8. Wedding Night - Sophie Kinsella
  9. Unrivaled - Alyson Noel
  10. Evening Class - Maeve Binchy
  11. Dangerous Creatures - Kami Garcia, Margaret Stohl
  12. Dangerous Deception - Kami Garcia, Margaret Stohl
  13. The Taxidermist's Daughter - Kate Mosse
  14. The Square Root Of Summer - Harriet Reuter Hapgood 
  15. Girls In The Moon - Janet McNally
  16. City of Weird: 30 Otherworldly Portland Tales - Gigi Little
  17. The Palace - Chelsea Quinn Yarbro
  18. Started For Ten - David Nicholls
  19. Legacy - Hannah Fielding
  20. The Chic Boutique On Baker Street - Rachel Dove
  21. The Children Of Freedom - Marc Levy
  22. Matilda - Roald Dahl
  23. Charlie And The Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl
  24. Ariel - Donna McDonnald
  25. The Soul Summoner - Elicia Hyder
  26. The Treemakers - Christina L. Rozelle
  27. The Last Priestess - Elizabeth Baxter
  28. More Than Exes - Elizabeth Briggs
  29. Nefertiti's Heart - A.W. Exley
  30. Netherworld - K.N. Lee
  31. Novelista Girl - Meredith Schorr
  32. Puck Buddies - Tara Brown
  33. Finding Home - Lauren K. McKellar 
  34. Unseen - Stephanie Erickson
  35. The Color Of Water In July - Nora Carroll
  36. Aurora Sky - Nikki Jefford
  37. Dirty Little Secrets - Liliana Hart
  38. Embers - Karen Ann Hopkins
  39. The Faerie Guardian - Rachel Morgan
  40. The Language of Souls - Lena Goldfinch
  41. The Language of Sparrows - Rachel Phifer
  42. Shimura Trouble - Sujata Massey
  43. Graveyard Shift - Angela Roquet
  44. Suspended - Sarah Noffke
  45. Atlantis Riptide - Allie Burton
  46. Marked - Elisabeth Naughton
  47. The Dark Of Twilight - Kate Danley
  48. The Illusionist's Apprentice - Kristy Cambron
  49. A Kiss of Venom - Hailey Edwards
  50. Frostbitten - Kelley Armstrong
  51. Waking The Witch - Kelley Armstrong
  52. Spell Bound - Kelley Armstrong
  53. Thirteen - Kelley Armstrong
You can also check out my progress on my Goodreads shelf dedicated to this challenge, that I'll update with books as I read them/as I decide to read more backlist titles. Right now, there are 53 planned books for this challenge for me to read. 

Are you signing up for this challenge? What's your goal?

Edited to add: I'm on the Book Bards team


Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Book Review: Master Bits and Mercenary Bites - Girls Night by Lexi Blake and Suzanne M. Johnson



 
Author: Lexi Blake, Suzanne M. Johnson
Series: Masters & Mercenaries
Audience: +18
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Erotic Romance, Cookbook
Publisher: Evil Eye Concepts, Incorporated
Release Date: November 28th 2017
My Rating: 5 Cups
Source: InkSlinger PR
Blurb (from Goodreads):
From the creators of Master Bits and Mercenary Bites, New York Times bestselling author Lexi Blake and Southern food expert and USA Today bestselling author Suzanne Johnson, comes a new look at the Masters and Mercenaries world—Girls Night.

Join us for easy to cook, delicious recipes and stay for the stories of the women of McKay-Taggart. From slow cooker special dinners to cocktails that will elevate your game, Suzanne will show you that easy can be delicious.

Lexi dives into what happens after happily ever after. Charlie and Ian try to have a night out—but their kids prove that anything can happen when Taggarts are involved. Faith and Ten get a gift they never expected. Karina and Derek go on a stakeout. And Serena finds the meaning of Bliss. All these stories and more explore what it means to be a wife, a mother, a woman navigating love and responsibility.

Good meals, good times, good friends.

Bon app├ętit!
*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.

The awesome authors Lexi Blake and Suzanne Johnson have done it again! After the amazing short stories/cookbook they released last year, they've once again managed to blow my mind with this new book.

Let's start with the short stories. I LOVED them. First of all, they offer readers a way to catch up with some of their favorite couples. The stories were short, sweet, funny, sexy, and all around amazing. I was giggling like a loon at some of the stories, while fanning myself at others, and okay, wiping my eyes at most of them. I said this in a tweet right after reading the book, that these are my favorite kind of short stories, because they truly warm my heart. And I loved that they focused on the women. It showed powerful, strong women being amazing mothers, amazing partners, sexy and feminine, kickass, happy and sad, and everything in between. I loved it!

Next are the recipes. Now... There are some that use a crock pot, which I have never used in my life, but now I just might if I can find one, and some for regular cooking. There were quite a few that had me drooling and taking mental notes, because I am definitely trying them out. AND, the best part, there were some cocktail recipes in there. If there's anything I love as much as cooking, that would be cocktails. The ones in this book sounded divine. Now I just need to find an excuse to make those cocktails.

I am truly, truly hoping that there will be more of these books coming out in the future, because I'm having an amazing time reading them. All in all, I loved this book and I recommend it to anyone who loves finding out new recipes, combined with some great sneak peeks into the life of already established couples.



Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/2glwCGM 
Google Play: http://bit.ly/2gGEuPY 
Print: Print: http://amzn.to/2zjgg5p   

      
Excerpt from Rough Night

“You taste better than any pie, my Charlie,” Ian whispered against her lips. His hands tightened on her and she felt one of those big palms stroke her thigh. “Why don’t you straddle me and let’s see what happens.”
She knew what would happen. She placed the tray of treats on the table beside them and gingerly shifted, twisting so she straddled her Master’s lap. Yes, there it was. His cock was right against her pussy. All she had to do was…
Ian groaned as she rolled her pelvis. “That’s right, baby. Now give me some of that sweet, sweet lemony goodness. Ride me and feed me. That’s what I want. Let me watch you come.”
“And if I can make you come?” It was a fun little game. She would try to see if she could get that big dick of his to go off before she did.
“Then I’ll walk around for the rest of the night a bit on the uncomfortable side,” he replied, his hands finding her hips. He shifted and she found herself with her clitoris in the perfect position. “But that’s not going to happen. I know exactly how to make you moan, Charlie baby.”
She felt her phone vibrate. Charlie winced. “It’s another text.”
He pumped his hips up against hers. “Answer it. If it’s anyone except Malone telling us one of the children is missing, I’m texting them a dick pic and asking them to leave us alone. Let’s see if you can text while I do this.”
His erection slid over the perfect place and Charlie could feel the orgasm starting to build. How could he still do this to her? All he had to do was start touching her, using that deep Dom voice on her, and her whole body was ready to comply to his any and every whim.
Did she have to answer? It probably wasn’t anything important. Was anything in the world as important as the way this man made her feel?
“Give me a taste of that tart, baby. Or better yet, pull those pretty nipples out and let me taste them. Let me lick and suck and bite on those sweet nipples.”
Her vision was going soft as he hauled her close.
And her phone vibrated again.
“Ian,” she started.
“Do what you need to,” he replied as he licked her collarbone. “I’ll do what I have to.”
She was going to kill whoever was texting her. It was probably Malone, trying to figure out where the damn marshmallows were.
She bit back a groan and reached for her phone. It better be so good because she was getting close, and the minute Ian started sucking on her breasts she wouldn’t be able to hold…
Do you have a fire extinguisher?
“What?” Charlie shifted, trying to get a better grip on the phone.
And the chair under Ian kind of exploded.
Charlie hit the floor, her knees knocking on the tile. Ian had gone backward but he’d managed to twist his body so he landed on his shoulder instead of knocking the back of his head against the windowsill.
Panic flooded Charlie’s veins. She scrambled to find her phone. “Ian?”
“I’m fine,” he groaned. “Call him. Damn it. Can’t we have one fucking night out without the world coming to an end? Ah, yeah, this is going to hurt.”
Had he thrown out his back again? She couldn’t stop and find out. Sarah Stevens was here somewhere and she was a nurse. Surely she could help.
Charlie grabbed the phone from the midst of the now fallen lemon tarts. The tray had turned over, but there were still several that had landed on the table. She would have to shove those in her purse if they were about to flee home. With shaking fingers she dialed the number for Michael.
“Hey, Charlotte, I think I got the fire out. Boomer stopped, dropped, and rolled on it. That did the trick. The girls thought it was hilarious, but we’ve got another problem now,” Michael was saying.
“There was a fire?” She practically screamed the question.
“Tell Boomer to sit on it,” Ian said from the floor. “Put him on speaker.”
She didn’t need his sarcasm, but he had the right to listen in. She clicked to go to speaker. “Where was the fire, Michael?”
“Well, you see when I told the girls we could have a campout in the living room, I kind of thought we would build a fort made out of sheets, you know what I’m talking about,” Michael continued, his Texas drawl slow and steady. “Damn, Charlotte. I didn’t think the girls would take it so literally.”
Her girls took everything literally. “The girls tried to start a fire? In my living room?”
“It was minor,” Michael promised. “Mostly because they couldn’t take apart the furniture to burn. That was their plan. Apparently Ian taught them how to use whatever’s around to stay warm in case they find themselves out in the woods at night. I saved the sofa, but they did manage to get that wicker basket of yours to burn. Kala said she had to use it because she couldn’t get to the hatchet.”
Charlie turned to her husband. “Why would our daughters know how to use a hatchet?”
He was a nice shade of pale and his shoulder seemed weird. “You told me to teach them some life skills.”
She was going to kill everyone.
       

About Lexi Blake: NY Times and USA Today bestselling author Lexi Blake lives in North Texas with her husband, three kids, and the laziest rescue dog int eh 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



About Suzanne Johnson: Suzanne Johnson is family-trained, a south Georgia native who’s been cooking all of her life, creating not only some really unique food, but precious memories that re-occur every time she smells something simmering in the oven.  In all of her books, Suzanne shows that making a delicious meal doesn’t have to be complicated — it just has to be made with love. So go ahead, don’t be bashful, dive right in.  Who knows?  You might just make a few memories of your own.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Book Review: Sanctum by Lexi Blake

Author: Lexi Blake
Series: Masters and Mercenaries #4.5, Shades of Naughty
Audience: +18
Genre: Erotic Romance, Contemporary Romance
Publisher: DLZ Entertainment, LLC
Release Date: November 14th 2016
My Rating: 4 Cups
Source: Author
Blurb (from Goodreads):
A contract broken…

Ryan Church and Jill Paxon enjoyed their life as Master and submissive until the day Ryan's entire world crumbled. No longer able to fulfill his end of the contract, Ryan did what he thought was best for Jill. He let her go.

An unexpected reunion…

Eighteen months later, Ryan is working for Ian Taggart as the Dom in Residence at the elite BDSM club Sanctum when his former submissive walks through the door looking for a job. Jill has changed, but his desire for her is still insatiable. Jill, shattered by his past rejection, can't trust Ryan, but she needs the job. Back in the community where she once felt safe and secure, she longs for the life she lost and the man she loved.

A last chance for love…

Ryan is presented with an opportunity to restore his wealth and name, but it could cost him his last chance at rebuilding a life with the woman he loves. When the secrets Jill has carefully hidden from Ryan are exposed, a terrible twist of fate might take her out of his life forever.

A Masters and Mercenaries Novella by Lexi Blake
*Dislaimer: I received an e-copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. This does not influence my rating or the content of my review in any way.

Sanctum is not only a story about second chances, but also a story about how important communication and honesty are in both vanilla and D/s relationships.

Ryan is a guy who has had a bit of bad luck in his life, and he's the type of guy that can't do things half-way. His way of dealing with things falling apart around him is to make sure that, even though it isn't his fault, it ALL falls apart, even the thing he cares about the most. Which doesn't really make sense in the beginning, but then I realized that he has a pretty unique interpretation of what it means to be a Dom and a sub.

Jill gave me the impression of a woman who tried really hard to keep the man she loved next to her, even hide her own personality in order to do that. Which is part of the reason why, ultimately, their relationship would have ended no matter what. And I loved the fact that Ryan addresses that and shares his feelings about her behavior during their first time together.

Ryan and Jill both made mistakes in their relationship, and I like that the story showed that clearly and pretty brutally. Like I said, Ryan is a guy that has a pretty unique view of what being a Dom is, and it certainly is the main reason why ultimately his relationship with Jill ends. At the same time though, Jill also makes some mistakes based on her past and that gives her a strange interpretation of what a sub should be like, and instead of being completely honest she gives Ryan the best version of herself without any of the bad moments. It's basically a painful experience to see being talked about by both characters, but it's also really important and eye-opening. It's rare that I get to read about how the BDSM contract works in relation to the simple human interactions, and I found it fascinating. Blake did a really great job at showing how both Ryan and Jillian broke that contract by doing little things, the things most common in traditional, vanilla relationships - hiding stuff, not being honest, not saying what they truly wanted and so on.

At the same time, maybe also because of my background in psychology, I was fascinated by the way Blake showed how one action can be viewed differently by different people, so much so that they end up being seen as two opposite actions. And it wasn't necessarily due to the difference between the male and the female minds, but more because of the misinterpretation of the roles these two people had in their relationship. And I liked the fact that this was talked about, and Blake did a great job addressing that.

All in all, this was a short, but really complex story, that is a great addition to the series and definitely a nice way to take a break from the usual strong, fast pace full of danger at any turn.


Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Book Review: Ripper by Lexi Blake

Author: Lexi Blake
Series: Hunter #1, Thieves #6
Audience: +18
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Publisher: DLZ Entertainment LLC
Release Date: January 20th 2015
My Rating: 4 Cups
Source: InkSlinger PR
Blurb (from Goodreads):
A New Heroine Rises...

Kelsey Atwood is a private detective with a problem. She came from a family of hunters, growing up on the wrong side of the supernatural world. Tracking down bail jumpers and deadbeat dads may not make her a lot of friends, but it’s a lot safer than the life she turned her back on. She was hoping to escape from the nightmares of her past, but her latest case has brought them right back to her door.

A young woman has gone missing, and she didn’t go willingly. When Kelsey discovers that the girl is actually a shifter, she knows she should drop the case and walk away. But this shifter was a sweet kid, and she’s in serious trouble. More females are missing and the evidence points to a legendary killer. Bodies are piling up, and her case is becoming center stage for a conflict that could shatter the fragile peace between wolves and vampires.

As the hunt intensifies, she finds herself trapped between two men—Gray, a magnetic half-demon lawman, and the ancient vampire Marcus Vorenus. Both men call to her, but when a shocking secret about Kelsey’s family is revealed, it could ruin them all. To stop the killer, she will have to embrace the truth about who—and what—she truly is.
*Disclaimer: I received this ebook from InkSlinger PR in exchange for an honest review. This does not influence my rating or the content of my review in any way.

I love Lexi Blake's Masters and Mercenaries books, and when I saw she also had a paranormal series I knew I had to try it out. I am super happy I got my courage on and tried it out, because I had a ton of fun reading it.

This felt like a classic story within the urban fantasy genre, with Kelsey a PI being hired for a job she's not really willing to take on. I loved seeing her struggle with the idea of going back to the supernatural world. I also liked her work ethics. Once she was in she was all in, and she did her job spectacularly, which isn't always a given. But she was professional and no matter her personal feelings about going back to the world she swore never to return to, she didn't let her fears, doubts or feelings affect the way she did her job, and that was really important to me.

Gray is a guy who didn't really convince me, really. He felt too possessive, too "in love" with Kelsey, and I kept thinking I didn't really like him all that much. And his relationship with Kelsey felt fake and too. But, as I have come to expect from Blake, she explained it all in the end of the book and I had a kind of "Ah-ha!" moment. At the same time I realized that I had to give Gray props, because he did kind of warned Kelsey and the reader that something fishy might happen.

Then you have Marcus. Marcus is one very strange vampire. He didn't feel all that put together as he wanted Kelsey to believe, and throughout the book we see him kind of having weird reactions to certain things and situations. I assume a lot of this is explained in the original series, so I won't judge him too harshly.

The pacing is perfect and I managed to read this book pretty fast. I loved how we also got to understand Kelsey's past and her reasons for not wanting to have to deal with the supernatural world. I do wonder if she'll finally get to tie up the loose ends of her childhood, if she will ever get revenge on what the man who raised her did.

I loved reading this book and I most definitely loved the difference between this book and the Masters & Mercenaries series that I love and adore. Because they are different, not just in the obvious genre department, but also in the feel of the story. Which is awesome. I also loved that this book proved that I could trust Blake to make sense and to steer the story in such a way that makes sense in the end. Definitely read this book if you're an urban fantasy/paranormal lover.


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