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totallyaddictedtoreading

TOTALLY ADDICTED TO READING

I am an avid reader who loves sharing the stories I have read with my fellow readers. I enjoy reading Mystery, Legal and Political thrillers, Horror and all types of romance.

  

 

Currently reading

Red Hot Obsessions
Sky Corgan, Olivia Rigal, Ember Casey, Blair Babylon, Molly McLain, V.J. Chambers, Lacey Silks, Daizie Draper, Clarissa Wild, J.C. Valentine
Progress: 80%

BOOK REVIEW: MAD ABOUT MOON by MELISSA FOSTER @Melissa_Foster @beckvalleybook #ContemporaryRomance

Mad About Moon - Melissa Foster

 

Josie Beckley caught my attention when I met her in the previous installment, Wicked Whiskey Love. I wanted to know her story, why she harboured so much anger towards her sister. When I learnt that Mad About Moon would be her story I was on that baby like white on rice.
 
Josie is a widow and a single mom to a six-year-old boy. She grew up in an abusive environment, but she ran away and started a new life. This new life taught her how much she deserved to be loved. However, tragedy turned her life upside down and now she is down on her luck, homeless and living in a shelter.  She lost touch with her siblings, but fate brought her to the same town they lived. When she finally built up the courage to reconnect with them she reconnected not only with her siblings but also with Jed Moon, whom she never expected to see again.
 
Jed Moon has borne more than his fair share of pain and loss. He is a prospect for the Dark Knights, the biker group, who rescued him when his life was spiraling out of control.  Jed met Josie several years ago, but that one meeting made a lasting impression. He hoped he would once again see the girl who played a role in changing his life. So when Josie came looking for her siblings he saw this as the perfect opportunity to have her back in his life.
 
The sparks and chemistry, which burned between them years ago, was still alive.  
Given their history, the pace at which the romance developed came as no surprise. I enjoyed every aspect of their romance, which I found to be sweet and spicy.
 
My first impression of Josie, which occurred prior to this installment, was not flattering. My opinion changed after learning of her past. Her doubts and fears leapt off the pages. The reasons for her anger towards her siblings became so much clearer, but it was misplaced. I loved that she tried to make amends even though she was fearful at first, a fear that grew out of guilt.
 
I adored Jed. He has a huge heart. The way he embraced Josie’s son spoke volumes. Then there were the moments with his mom and sister. Jed is one of those persons who cannot turn their backs on someone who needs help.  I loved how he treated his mom despite her treatment towards him and her sister, while growing up. Never once did he give upon her.
 
Mad About Moon is an emotional read which features a cast of wonderful characters.  I enjoyed how much they loved and supported each other. Their actions showed that family does not necessarily have to comprise of blood relatives. Family is all about having people you can count on to be there for you through thick and thin.
 
Conclusion/Recommendation
Another heart-warming story by Melissa Foster and a great addition to the series.  Fans of spicy, heartwarming stories will appreciate this latest offering from the Ms. Foster.
Source: http://totallyaddictedtoreading.blogspot.com/2019/04/book-review-tour-mad-about-moon.html

BOOK REVIEW: CARESSED by a CRIMSON MOON by AMANDA J. GREENE @AmandaJGreene1 #Paranormalromance

Caressed by a Crimson Moon - Amanda J. Greene
Caressed by A Crimson Moon is the third book in the Rulers of Darkness series. It tells the story of Eva a half-breed shifter and Hadrian Lucretius, the mad vampire king of the Validus Clan.
 
Eva is considered an abomination to her pack because of her half-breed nature. She lived in the world of humans until the death of her mom when her father took her to live with his pack. Eva’s treatment by the pack was unpleasant. Unable to take animal form or have children her pack treated her like a pariah. The pack had an agreement with the vampire clan, where the alpha would send one of his daughters to be a ward to the vampire king. Because of the madness that had consumed the king the alpha decided Eva would be the perfect candidate, believing the vampire king would have her destroyed.
 
Hadrian is known as the beast among vampires, the mad king. Haunted by a past riddled with torture, death and blood-lust he descended into a state of madness, which saw him renouncing his throne. 
He has returned to claim it after 350 years of self-imposed exile, thus triggering the death curse. A curse which would eventually kill him should he not find his mate. 
 
From the moment Eva and Hadrian met, sparks flew. Eva had difficulty keeping her distance despite humorous warnings from Falcon, Hadrian’s second in command. Hadrian tried resisting the attraction out of fear and he did not desire to disrespect her pack. She is his ward and therefore under his protection, but when information regarding Eva’s heritage became known the excuse of her being his ward went out the door.
 
I understood Hadrian’s hesitance to get close to Eva, but after sometime his push and pull, actions became annoying. Despite this, I enjoyed seeing them together. What I loved about their relationship was how they helped each other grow.  They became each other’s saviour.
 
Eva saw herself as being unworthy and I understood why, given the abuse she had endured but the constant belittling of her worth became tiresome. Thankfully, she outgrew this phase and became the voice of reason for Hadrian. 
 
I enjoyed learning about Eva’s true heritage, but I would have been nice to see her father’s reaction now that the truth came to light. In addition, it would have been good to know how he took the news that the daughter he saw as an abomination was the mate of a powerful vampire king. I am curious as to the reason Eva’s father took her live with the pack knowing they considered her an abomination. What did he hope to achieve? 
 
This is an engaging and fun story with interesting characters and great world building. It was great reuniting with the characters from the previous installment.
 
Conclusion/Recommendation
Another great addition to the series. I would recommend this series to fans of paranormal romance. I am looking forward to reading the next book in the series.

BOOK REVIEW: THE LIAR'S GIRL by CATHERINE RYAN HOWARD #Mystery #Thriller @cathryanhoward

The Liar's Girl - Catherine Ryan Howard

I discovered The Liar’s Girl through Barnes and Noble serial reads. I started out using that medium, however as the story progressed, my curiosity could not survive the wait for the daily installments so I purchased the book. Well worth the money spent.

The story started out slow, but it gradually progressed and pulled me in page-by-page until I found myself deeply invested. I had to know the identity of the Canal Killer.

Will is considered Ireland’s most prolific serial killer. Found guilty for the stalking and drowning of five young college females at nineteen. Currently serving time in a Psychiatric hospital in Dublin. However, ten years later when a young woman’s body is found in the canal and the evidence shows similarities to the murders they sentenced Will for, it gave rise to questions. Was Will innocent or did he have an accomplice?

Allison has spent the last ten years of her life trying to escape her past. Knowledge that she dated a serial killer and the fact her best friend was one of his victims weighed heavily on her. Just when she believed she had it under control, the Gardai showed upon her doorstep requesting she returned to Ireland has Will had information they needed and would only share it with her. 

What followed was a tale rife with secrets, uncertainties and questions. I kept wondering is Will guilty or innocent. After all, he confessed but then you discover they coerced his confession, and it raises more questions. 

The story moved between the past and present. In doing so we get a contrast Allison’s, emotional struggles then and now. It would have been nice if Will’s perspective then and now was provided, throughout the story. It was not until near the end that things were revealed through his eyes and what a revelation. 

Allison struggled not only with the memories from the past but also with the bombardment from the media. After all she is the ex-girlfriend of a serial killer. In addition, she struggled with believing Will’s Innocence I understood why she would feel that way and it could not have been easy for her.

The contrast between Allison of the past and present showed how much she had grown. Allison of the past was young, immature and gullible. Allison of the present was smarter and not easily led.

Conclusion/Recommendation
Overall an exciting read. I am glad I got the chance to read this one. I would definitely read more from this author.

Source: http://totallyaddictedtoreading.blogspot.com/2019/04/book-review-liars-girl-by-catherine.html

AUDIO BOOK REVIEW: MIST WARRIOR by KATHRYN LOCH #MedievalRomance #Highlands

Mist Warrior - Kathryn Loch

Mist Warrior is the first book in the Legacy of the Mist Clans series. This is not my first time entering a world created by the author so I had high expectations. The story did not disappoint.
Mist Warrior is a story of loss, love and revenge.

Witnessing his mother’s death at the hands of the man whom he believed was his father could not have been easy for Brenan. Then to make the situation worse he learnt that the same man murdered his biological father. Filled with rage Brenan is on the run as his enemy was determined to end his life and steal his legacy. His journey took him to his father’s land in Scotland. After 10 years of being on the rum, the time came for him to return to England and reclaim his birthright. However, tragedy and mayhem greeted him on his return and he found himself thrust into what would become greatest battle of his life.

I loved this story. Well written and engaging, which came as no surprise. I had difficulty putting it down. The descriptive details as it relates to the medieval times, the characters, the language, customs, and the battles had me turning the pages.

I enjoyed the romance, but I was disappointed with how it worked out in the end. The heroine (Catriona) was betrothed to someone else while in love with the hero (Brenan). The journey to their HEA was rife with jealousy, angst and danger. 

The characters helped to drive the story. I admired Catriona for her strength, devotion and her archery skills. She is strong willed, a trait her betrothed despised. He underestimated her ability to take care of herself and tried everything to make her feel inferior, but he failed in his attempts. She carries the guilt of her parent’s death as she felt she did not do enough to save them. She saw Branan has her means of getting justice and she willingly accepts her betrothed treatment to see this happen. There were times, however where she acted like a whiny child and It was those moments I wanted to shake her. Thank goodness, these occurrences were rare.

Branan has a temper, which was fueled by his need for revenge, which he needs to keep under control or he risks becoming like his stepfather. He despises men who abuse women and occurrences like these fuel his anger. It was a stark reminder of what his mother endured prior to her death. 

The secondary characters added provided great support to hero and heroine, whether as a friend, a loyal servant, bodyguard or enemy. 

Narration
Brian J Gill narrated the story, and I thought he did an excellent job. He voiced both genders and the Scottish accents well. I would definitely listen to more of his work.

Conclusion/Recommendation
A good listen and I look forward to listening/reading the next book in the series.
 

Source: http://totallyaddictedtoreading.blogspot.com/2019/04/audio-book-review-mist-warrior-by.html

BOOK REVIEW: A PINOT NOIR TO DIE FOR by WAYNE KERR @waynekerrnovels #Mystery

A Pinot Noir to Die For (Black Swann Investigations #2) - Wayne A.D. Kerr

Basking in the glow of clearing her name of a murder charge, with a book deal under her belt, Reggie Swan has become the most sought after private investigator. 
Despite this. Reggie still struggles with her reintegration into a life outside of prison. Social Media, smart phones and all the latest technology proved a challenge, but the one thing that has not changed is her ability to solve a crime. 

In this installment, Reggie has quite a few cases on her plate, but none has challenging has the case of the Trans Canada killer. All that would change when the lead singer of one of Canada’s famous rock bands, Aurora, was found drowned in a vat of wine in his winery. The coroner ruled his death an accident, but his wife refused to accept this and requested the help of Reggie to solve her husband’s murder.

Based on my experience with Dead Ringers, I was looking forward to a good mystery. The mystery was not bad, in fact I took a while to figure out the identity of the murder. The victim had many enemies, making the suspect pool large. My issue is with the fact that a small portion of the story was dedicated to this case. Despite this, the story kept my attention and had me turning the pages.

Parts of the story focused on an identity theft case. We also see a Reggie finding love. I enjoyed this aspect of the story as much as the mystery element. After all she had been through, she deserves happiness. Both elements combined provided an entertaining read.

Conclusion/Recommendation
Overall, A Pinot Noir To Die For is a great addition to the series. Although I preferred the first book, this was still an enjoyable read. I am excited to get my hands on the next book in the series. I would recommend this series to fans of the mystery genre.


I received an advance review copy free via Book Sirens, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.

AUDIO BOOK REVIEW: WAR OF HEARTS by KAREN LYNN

A War of Hearts: A Dark Romantic Psychological Thriller: - Karen Lynn

War of Hearts by Karen Lynn is the first novel in the Hearts in Torment series, dubbed a dark romantic suspense. I read/listen to this novel as I was in the mood for something different. I jumped into this one expecting a dark, twisted and suspenseful read.

Dark and suspenseful it was not, but it sure claim the title of being twisted. Here we have two men, (Logan and Jake) in love with the same woman, (Kristen), but was it really love or was it an obsession? 

It took some time for me to get into the story. I put down the book for a while before I finally got the courage to trudge through the end. I have mixed feelings about this story. It was not until the 90% mark that things became interesting. Prior to this there was so much back and forth that, my head spun, but for some strange reason I had to know how it would unfold. I saw the disaster a mile away, but could not look away.

To be honest, the characters got on my nerves. Several times, I wished I could knock some sense into them. I found it difficult to drum up any form of sympathy for Kristen. She knows Logan is not good for her. After twelve years of marriage, she has finally had enough or so she believes. She keeps going back to Logan despite being in a relationship Jake. It is clear she has no clue what she wants. Indecisive, clueless and habitual liar are the words to describe her.

Logan is the ultimate manipulator. He knows which of Kristen’s strings to pull to get what he wants. A narcissistic sociopath by nature

Jake is opposite of Kristen and Logan. Yes, he had issues from his past, but he never allowed to ruin his dreams. He desperately loved Kristen, to where he overlooked her deceitfulness, which was not healthy has it led to him have jealous rages. He struggled with insecurities, which contributed to his acceptance of Kristen’s treatment towards him.

Their behaviour lacked the maturity one would expect from an adult. 

Despite my issues with the characters, I enjoyed the author’s writing style. Her attention to details and her descriptions made each scene come alive. 

The story did not end in the manner I expected. I suspected that tragedy would strike, and it did, but not how I expected. The ending left me with lots of questions, which my curious mind need to know the answers to. The biggest question I have concerns the growth of the characters. Will they act like the adults they are?
I found the story to be quite long. I believe there were many unnecessary details, which contributed the slow pacing of the story.

Narration
Claire Riley did an okay job with the narration; however, she did mispronounce a few words... I borrowed the ebook through KU and I recognized that that a few paragraphs were left out of the narration. She did an ok job with the character s’ voices. There were moments where I believed; she went a bit overboard with the display of emotions.

Conclusion/Recommendation
In the end not a bad listen, but had the potential to be much better.

BOOK REVIEW: MOIRA ASHE: KINDRED SPIRITS

Moira Ashe: Kindred Spirits - Brendon Bertram

After, finishing Moira Ashe: The Enemy Within I was eager to discover what was in store for Moira now that her secret was out. Will she continue her work as a hunter or will she stay below the radar? Moira Ashe: Kindred Spirits gave me the answers I needed to know.

The story continued from where the first book ended. The exposure of her secret forced her to abandon the life she built in Quinn. She arrives in Trident Bay intending to secure passage to Quesius. However, her efforts proved futile, as no one will transport her.  She received a reprieve, when Caspian the man in charge of the Bay offered to transport her in exchange for killing a sea monster dubbed The Terror of Trident Bay. Desperate to get away she accepted the offer. Besides her hunting The Terror, she would find herself caught up in an uprising, which placed her plans of escape and keeping her secret in jeopardy.

I found Moira to be an intriguing character, and the author did a good job fleshing out her role. Her struggles stood out in this installment. Because of her secret, she couldn’t live a normal life. Forging friendships and maintaining relationships was not something she could entertain.

She has great fighting and hunting skills, which had made her the most sought after hunter.  Her desire to protect others regardless of the danger to herself was a testament to her selfless nature.

I loved the characters introduced in this installment. The one that fascinated me most was Caspian. Throughout the story, I kept wondering if Moira could trust him. Did he want to help Moira or was it a ploy to gain more power?

I enjoyed this installment. Intense and action packed, the story engaged my interest from start to finish.  The blurb hinted at a romance, however in my humblest opinion I didn't consider it as such.   It was more of  a satisfying of physical needs.  Honestly, I did not see the need for that thread. The story involving the sea monster was tied up nicely. The ending, however, shows that there is more in store for Moira and I am keen to know what is coming next.

Conclusion/Recommendation
If you enjoy fantasy and kick ass heroines will enjoy this latest offering from Bertram.

BOOK REVIEW: LAYLA'S CHANCE by MIKA JOLIE

Layla's Chance - Mika Jolie

Layla’s Chance by Mika Jolie is a steamy romance with heart. It tells the story of Layla a forty-year-old lawyer and Chance a 27-year-old rock star who found their happily ever after in each other’s arms. Their journey to this point, however, was not without its challenges. 

More than a romance as this story demonstrated what it means to let go of one’s fears and follow one’s dreams. It delved into the older woman and younger man relationships and how society perceives it. Love does not see age, race or physical structure.

Layla lived her life in order to escape pain and heartache. She avoided relationships as much as she possibly can because of her fear of abandonment. Everyone she ever loved ended up leaving her. She threw herself into her work, but that too proved a disappointment when the promotion she had her sights on was given to a younger counterpart. On receiving this devastating news she took a trip to Martha‘s Vineyard to celebrate her fortieth birthday and reevaluate her life. What she never expected was her chance meeting with a hot, young and sexy rock star who would set her body and heart on fire.

Layla’s struggles leapt off the pages. She craved Chance, but he was the embodiment of everything she has avoided for the past 21 years. Her heart and body wanted all Chance offered, but her head kept pulling her in a different direction. 

Although the story was told primarily from Layla’s POV, I gained insight into Chance’s feelings. Without a doubt, he cared for Layla, but he was not the type to push. He had his share of uncertainties, but he is not afraid to go after what he wants.

I thought they made a great couple. Chance was exactly what Layla needed even if she did not recognize it.

This story is about taking a leap of faith, stepping out of your comfort zone and finding love when one least expects it and with the unlikeliest of persons. 

Layla’s Chance is a strong novella. Story and character development was good. Although the relationship started out fast, I enjoyed the romance. It was sweet, hot and refreshing.

Conclusion/Recommendation
This was another great story from this author and I am eager to know what next she has in store for her fans. If you enjoy spicy May/December romance, then take a chance on Layla’s Chance.
 

BOOK REVIEW: YOU CAN'T FORCE LOVE by MARIE DRAKE

You Can't Force Love (Locked Hearts #1) - Marie Drake

There are some stories, from the moment you start reading, you know you will be taken on a heart-wrenching journey. You Can‘t Force Love by Marie Drake was that book for me.

It tells the story of two teens, Jordan and Kimberly, who were broken, battered and abandoned by those responsible for their wellbeing. Their mothers failed to protect them from the men in their lives. I cannot understand how a mother chooses a man over her child; well this was Jordan’s experience. Kimberley’s mom preferred drugs, alcohol and sex to her daughter’s wellbeing. Eventually, she was subjected to physical and sexual abuse at the hands of the many men in her mother’s life.

Tragic circumstances led to their paths crossing when they both ended up in the same foster home.

Their actions showed the effect the abuse had on them. Kimberly turned to sex, as she believed it would keep the demons at bay. She did not believe in love, seduction was her game. She never believed that anyone could love her and that she was not capable of loving anyone. She saw herself as damaged goods.

Jordan tried to be a better person as he believed on doing so his mom would take him home. Unlike Kimberly, he refused to travel the road that led to self-destruction. However, Jordan would learn no matter how hard he tries to walk the straight and narrow, something or someone would set off a trigger and he would go down a path he tried so hard to avoid.

I did not like the path Jordan and Kimberly took, but judging them was not an option. After such a tragic past, their actions were understandable. My heart grieved for them, and I hoped they would be free of their demons.

An engaging story with believable characters, You Can’t Force Love drew me in from the first page. I had a hard time putting it down. I enjoyed the author’s writing style and the way she made me feel, I was a part of the story.

My, only issue with the story was the cliffhanger ending, it took me by surprise and left me feeling disappointed.

Conclusion/Recommendation
You Can’t Force Love is a story that addresses real-life issues. It demonstrates how the actions of selfish parents can cause irreparable damage on their children’s’ emotional stability. Overall, an interesting and thought provoking read. I am eager to learn what is in store for Kimberly and Jordan

BOOK REVIEW: FEAR by JOHN W. MEFFORD

Fear (A Ball & Chain Thriller #2) - John W. Mefford

Fear by John W. Mefford is the second book in the Ball and Chain series. Although it features a different case, it is recommended that the books be read in order of release, as this will allow readers to follow the lives of Willow and Cooper. I enjoyed book one and looked forward to spending more time with the characters. 

I liked this installment, but it did not have the wow factor I expect from the author. The excitement was missing. It took some time for me to get into the story. The first 40% focused on the events in the character’s life since the first installment. There were hints of nefarious things happening but that aspect of the story did not develop until the 40% mark. Just when I thought things would take an exciting turn, the story tapered off, and the focus was on Cooper and Willow’s personal issues, than on their investigation into the missing athlete. There was a moment during these events where I found myself on the edge of my seat. This was because of the loan shark/mobster who wanted to keep Cooper under his thumb. Meanwhile, someone is kidnapping persons whom they perceive to be racists and torturing them, but it was not until 80% into the story that this thread took life. 

Cooper is juggling several things in his life. A nosy neighbor, a loan shark, his feelings for Willow and a cop who wants more than friendship and the investigation. Meanwhile he is trying to revive his career as a sports writer. Willow and Cooper have yet to come to terms with their feelings for each other. 

I loved the interaction between Willow and Cooper. From their cheesy banter to the dangerous situations they find would themselves in. Their chemistry was undeniable, but past and current events proved a hindrance.

The story had several plot threads with an interesting cast of characters. 

Conclusion/Recommendation
Despite this not being my favourite by the author I still liked the story and I am curious to discover what is in store for Willow and Cooper.

BOOK REVIEW TOUR: BAYSIDE ESCAPE by MELISSA FOSTER @Melissa_Foster @beckvalleybook #ContemporaryRomance

Bayside Escape (Bayside Summers, #4) - Melissa Foster

From the first moment I read her work, I became a fan of Melissa Foster’s novels. Her stories of family, love and friendship always leave a lasting impression. Once again, she delivers a gripping and emotional tale about love, family and friendship.

I first met Violet in Bayside Desires and since then I wanted to learn more about her. Secretive and complex in nature, I could not wait to peel away her layers and learnt what made her tick.

Violet has no filter. She says what she feels and makes no apologies. However, behind the feisty exterior lay a heart which had the capacity to love beyond measure. The thing is, few people has seen this side of her. Prickly in nature she allows no one to get close to her, until her sister, whom she never had much of a relationship with, and her crazy friends wormed their way into her heart without her even realising it. Only one other person had accomplished this, but her fears got in the way and she made a decision that would change both their lives. Fate however has a way of stepping in and shaking everything up as Violet would discover when her past collided with her present.

Andre spent three years trying to get over the woman who turned his life inside out, then up, and left him with no warning. All attempts failed, not even his new venture as it reminded him of her. Therefore, an offer from a free spirited woman to spend time in the Cape seems like the perfect solution. Then he came face to face with Violet and all the emotions he thought were buried came bubbling to the surface.

I loved both Violet and Andre. Andre is such a sweet person. Despite being hurt before he is still willing fight for Violet and their love. He saw beyond her tough facade. He knew all her issues, but loved her in spite of them.

My heart went out to Violet. I could not imagine having the life she had has a child. The lack of stability, afraid to get close to anyone, knowing she will not be staying in one place too long.

I loved how Violet found her own and opened herself to family, love and friendship. There is a side to her she did not share with her sister and newfound friends. They saw her as a trash talking biker chick, but there was more to her. She was selfless, artistic and sweet, traits only Andre were privy to.

I could not help but root for them and I hoped they would both get it right the second time around.

Conclusion/Recommendation
Bayside Escape is an emotional story about second chances and coming to terms with the pain of your past. It is about forgiveness, letting go of the pain and hurt and opening up yourself to love. I recommend this latest offering from Ms. Foster to fans of contemporary romance.
 

BOOK REVIEW: VERITY by COLLEEN HOOVER @colleenhoover #thriller #romance #suspense

Verity - Colleen Hoover

Verity:  Something that is true, as a principle, belief, idea or statement.

At what point does one separate fact from fiction? Which, version of the truth is the correct one? These questions came to mind after I finished this latest offering from Colleen Hoover. This is my second time reading her work and I must this woman is brilliant. She knows how to engage her fans and keep them coming back for more.

To say I am in a state of shock is an understatement. Up to this point, I am still not sure what the hell I just read. All I can say is that this is one story I am not sure I will forget anytime soon.  Unpredictable, chilling and suspenseful are the most fitting words to describe this tale.

I have to admit this story elicited varying emotions. There were moments when I had to know what next was coming and there were those instances where I feared knowing what would unfold.
However, my curiosity stomped all over my fears and I found myself devouring every word. 

The complexity of the characters was what made this story so shocking. Their thoughts, decisions and actions were compelling, which made it difficult for me to figure out who was the villain in the story.

Then that ending, OMG!  Who would have thought? I do not consider it a cliff hanger. This an ending where the reader can draw their own conclusion.

Verity depicts an author’s power to make their readers believe their written words, be it fact or fiction. I for one believed what I read until that twist at the end, which had me doubting everything I had originally believed. Now I am left wondering what was the real truth.

Conclusion/Recommendation

Verity is the most disturbing yet entertaining book I have read in a long time. If you enjoy stories that messes with your mind and have you questioning what is real and what is not then you are likely to enjoy Verity.

Today I'm showcasing a fantastic sounding novel, Law and Addiction, by author Mike Papantonio that reviewers call captivating, intriguing, enthralling, suspenseful, page-turning, riveting, unpredictable, and thought-provoking.
 
Jane Wesman Public Relations is sponsoring a #giveaway of this novel, see details below
 
 
 
Title:  Law and Addiction
Author: Mike Papantonio
Publisher: Waterside Productions 
Publication Date:  May 7, 2019
Genre(s): Legal Thriller
Pages: 250 Amazon LAW AND ADDICTION is based on Papantonio's experiences fighting Big Pharma on behalf of hundreds of Americans devastated by the opioid crisis
 
Law and Addiction by [Papantonio, Mike]
One week before Jake Rutledge is scheduled to graduate from law school, he receives the devastating news of the death of his fraternal twin, Blake. What makes this death even more terrible for Jake is that his brother died of a drug overdose. Until hearing of his death, Jake had no idea his brother was even using drugs. When Jake returns home to Oakley, West Virginia, he takes a hard look at the circumstances of his brother's death. In the five years Jake has been away for his schooling, his hometown has drastically changed. Because of the opioid epidemic, and the blight it has brought, many now call Oakley Zombieland. Jake can see how his town's demise parallels his brother's. Undeterred, the newly minted lawyer takes on the entrenched powers by filing two lawsuits. Jake quickly learns what happens when you upset a hornet's nest. The young attorney might be wet behind the ears, but is sure there is no lawyer that could help him more than Nick Deke Deketomis and his law firm of Bergman/Deketomis. Deke is a legendary lawyer. When he was Jake's age he was making his name fighting Big Tobacco. Against all odds, Jake gets Nick and his firm to sign on to his case before it's too late
 
 
 
Walking down the row toward Blake’s grave, his thoughts on the past, Jake saw a figure working in front of a headstone. He paused, not wanting to intrude, and as he did so, she got to her feet and began to move away. 
“Anna?” he said, shocked by the familiar face.
 
She turned. “Jake?” she said, her voice unsure.
 
Anna Fowler looked much the same as she had in high school. Her blue eyes sparkled, and her long chestnut-brown hair swayed against her shoulders. The two of them walked toward each other and then embraced in a big hug. As they disengaged, Anna’s gardening basket hooked on Jake’s shirt. 
“Don’t move,” she said. “I don’t want to tear your shirt.” 
With careful fingers—did Jake imagine it or were her fingers trembling?—she disentangled the shirt from her basket. “Sorry about that,” she said. 
“You could always hook ’em without even trying,” said Jake. He hoped his smile said he was kidding—sort of. 
“Listen to you,” said Anna. “It’s so good to see you. How is it that we both live in the same town and we never run into one another?” 
She seemed to be struggling to speak and smile at the same time; he could see the sweat trickling down from her forehead, though the day wasn’t very hot.
 
“I’ve been gone,” he said. “For a while, actually. And now that I’m back, all I plan to do is work.”
 
“Then nothing has changed,” Anna said. “I knew I never had a chance to be valedictorian with you in the mix.”
 
“That’s not how I remember it,” Jake said, grinning. “I recall you were always matching me grade for grade.”
 
“Blake thought we were both crazy to study like we did.” A cloud passed over her face; then she said, “My kryptonite was Algebra II. You deserved to be valedictorian.” 
“I didn’t have your social demands,” Jake said with a wink. “I was more the nerd while you were doing cheerleading and student council. You even played volleyball, if I remember correctly. Not to mention how you were always working at Fowler’s.” 
She laughed. “Don’t remind me about my misspent youth. See where it got me? Still right here. On the other hand, I hear you’re a lawyer.” 
Jake nodded. “Hard to believe, right?” 
Anna shook her head. “It’s not hard to believe at all. I’m really proud of you, Jake. And even though Blake and I didn’t keep in touch much after high school, I know he would be, too.” 
Jake tried to deflect her praise. He didn’t want to feel like a fraud. “It’s not as glamorous as it sounds,” he said. “I’d probably be making more flipping burgers.” 
“I don’t believe that.” 
“Sadly,” he said, “it’s true. But that’s partly because of my own stubbornness. I’m about to start working on this long-shot case. I hate to think I’m tilting at windmills, but I probably am. You can call me Don Quixote.” 
“It sounds like you’re doing something courageous, Don,” she said. 
That got a smile out of him, along with more head shaking. “I wish I was that noble,” he said, “but the reason I’m pursuing this case is because of Blake’s death.” 
Anna’s voice was unsteady. “I am so sorry about that,” she said. 
Jake nodded. “His death really threw me for a loop. I never saw it coming, so it was a real shock.” 
She didn’t speak for a moment, and he could see that she was blinking away tears. He hadn’t meant to make her sad. 
“What about you?” he asked. “I heard you went off to college but then came back.” 
“A dream deferred,” said Anna, nodding. “My mom got cancer, and I came home to help her fight it. Unfortunately, it was a fight we lost. And right after her death, Daddy had his stroke. I’ve sort of been a recluse myself since Momma died. And for a while there, Daddy needed round-the-clock care. Luckily, he’s better now. That’s allowed me to go out and work a part-time job.” 
“Doing what?” asked Jake. 
“I’ve been modeling.”   
 “That doesn’t surprise me,” he said, “as pretty as you are. What kind of modeling?” 
“I’ve been an art model for Clint Smith for a while now,” she said. “Oakley’s native son made good.” 
Jake nodded. In high school he’d had a crush on Anna, but then again, just about every male in his class had. Back then, he’d thought Anna was out of his league. She was classy, always doing and saying the right thing. Whenever he found himself in her presence, he had the hardest time uttering a complete sentence. In his daydreams he wasn’t tongue-tied; in them, he dared to ask her out. But that never happened. Besides, she’d always been arm candy for Blake. The two of them had looked great together. In fact, the school had voted them homecoming king and queen. They had dated a few times before mutually agreeing they were better off as friends. Jake wondered if Blake had sensed how he felt about Anna, and backed off to give him a chance. He guessed he would never know. 
“This morning I made some floral bouquets to put on gravesites,” Anna said, gesturing to her basket. “I made one for Blake’s stone, assuming that’s okay with you?” 
“Okay? At this very moment, Blake is strutting around the clouds, saying, ‘The prettiest woman in all of West Virginia is leaving me flowers.’ And loud enough for me to hear, he’s saying, ‘What do you think of that, little brother?’” 
“You were the younger twin?” She laughed. “I don’t think I ever knew that.” 
“By only twenty minutes,” said Jake. “But he loved lording that over me.” 
Anna’s hands rose to her face, and a frown creased her expression. 
“Are you all right?” he asked.
 
“I’m afraid I’m not feeling well,” she said. “If you don’t mind, I’ll give you Blake’s bouquet.” 
As Anna passed him the flowers, Jake couldn’t help but notice her shaking hands. Pale red blotches had formed on her fair skin. 
“I better walk you to your car,” he said. 
“That’s not necessary,” Anna said, her voice sharp. Then she softened it. “I’ll feel better after a warm bath and a little rest.” 
She smiled for him and began walking away.
 
“It was great seeing you,” Jake called after her.
 
Anna paused in her escape, waved to him, and said, “It really was. Don’t give up on your dreams, Jake. Or should I say . . . Don? Keep dreaming those impossible dreams. I hope you’ll call me.” 
Her words, and her invitation, made Jake smile. “I will,” he said. 
Anna waved again and kept walking. Jake watched her go. Her illness would give him a reason to call to see how she was doing. 
Maybe he wouldn’t even wait until tomorrow to call her. 
 
Excerpted with permission from LAW AND ADDICTION by Mike Papantionio.  Published by Waterside Productions. Copyright (c) 2019.  All rights reserved. This book is available at all bookstores and online booksellers.
 
 
About The Author
Mike Papantonio
 
Mike Papantonio is a crusader who uses fiction to entertain and inform readers about some of the most pressing issues of our times.  In each of his legal thrillers – from Law and Disorder to Law and Vengence, and now LAW AND ADDICTION – he lays bare the conspiracies and white-collar crimes that hurt ordinary Americans. A senior partner at Levin Papantonio, he’s taken on Big Pharma, tobacco companies, and the automobile industry, among others.  One of the youngest trial lawyers to have been inducted into the Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame, Papantonio is also a distinguished media presence as one of the hosts of the syndicated Ring of Fire radio show and as the host of American Lawyer on RT America network.  A skilled musician and athlete, Papantonio is based in Pensacola, Florida. To learn more, visit: www.mikepapantonio.com
 
 
 
 
 

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BOOK REVIEW: SALVATORE by CECY ROBSON

Salvatore: An In Too Far Novel - Cecy Robson
There are stories, which will break your heart piece by piece and then slowly mend each broken piece until its whole again. Salvatore by Cecy Robson was one such book for me. 

Salvatore works for the mob, but his heart is not in it. He does it to repay a favour. He had a challenging childhood. Left home at 16 to become an MMA fighter so he could help his mom and brothers. However, tragic circumstances forced him to give up his dream, and he had to raise his brothers. However, his need to take care of his brothers was not without its challenges, and to overcome the obstacles he found himself indebted to a mob boss. Hence, his current occupation, bodyguard to said mob boss mistress. All this happened when he was barely 21. 

The battle for his soul would be his biggest challenge yet as his boss is determined to drag him deeper into the belly of the underworld. Then he meets Adrianna, who encompasses sweetness and innocence. He knew he should avoid her, but the pull was too strong. 

Adrianna is a guidance counsellor for an inner-city high school. Her desire is to help students who had potential to succeed, so when the Romero brothers caught her attention she had to stage an intervention. However, nothing could prepare for, Salvatore their big brother and guardian. 

Adrianna grew up in a Christian home. Conservative from head to toe not the kind of person who belongs in Sal’s world, but they cannot stay away from each other. 
She is light in his dark world. He knows he is not the right man for her, but the heart want what it wants. Walking away would prove to a hard task. 

Sal made many mistakes along the way. The secrets and the lies would be too much for any well thinking person to tolerate. I knew the reason he lied. It was out of fear of losing her, but I still did not agree with his actions. He tried separating both his worlds, but eventually they would collide. 

It took a while for Adrianna to recognize he was hiding things from her, but when she did, she had no qualms of letting him know how much she detested his actions. Despite her love for him, there were certain things she could not accept.

I loved his protective nature towards his brothers and Adriana. I enjoyed the interaction between Sal and his brothers. They were not afraid to stand up to him and call him out on his mistakes. 

I must admit I took a while to get on board with an HEA Sal and Adrianna. Their worlds were so far apart. An innocent woman with a Christian upbringing and a man hardened by his past and works for the mob.  I kept wondering how the author would work out this precarious situation. 

The story was not as dark as I had expected. In fact, when compared to other dark stories I have read this one was rather tame.  However, this was darker than the stories the author is known for.

The twist near to the end of the story came so unexpected it took a while for me to come terms with it.  Never once throughout the story did I get a hint that this would transpire. Talk about a mind-blowing moment.  

I felt the events leading up to the HEA could have done with more development. This aspect of the story felt rushed and left me disappointed. Despite this, I enjoyed the story.

Conclusion/Recommendation
This moving story captured the complexities of loving someone whose life is shadowed by pain and darkness.  I am looking forward to the next book in the series. Cecy Robson delivered an emotional read and one I recommend to fans of mafia romance.
 

 

REVIEW: HEART OF THE DEVIL by MEGHAN MARCH @Meghan_March

Heart of the Devil (The Forge Trilogy #3) - Meghan March
Wow! We are at the end of the Forge trilogy and what an ending. As I write this review, I have to say I am still in shock with the story evolved. It is a good shock. It’s just that I never expected it to go the way it did. Throughout the first two books, Meghan had me pointed in one direction, but then she dropped that bombshell in the final book. I still have not lifted my jaw from where it dropped. I kept wondering, how did I not see that?
 
This is not a series you should pick if you have a busy schedule because trust me once you start reading you will be hard-pressed to put it down. So fair warning, proceed with caution.
 
From the moment I began this series, I found myself caught up in the story and the lives of the characters. I could not get enough. The characters oozed sheer awesomeness. I said this before in my review of book two and I have to reiterate Indy and Jericho are hands down my favourite couple for 2019. They are the ultimate power couple.
 
The suspense element of the story was well done.  The story had me literally on the edge of my seat as I anxiously waited to see how it would all play out.
 
The romance is has hot as fire but as sweet as honey. There are scenes that will make you blush and I loved how tender Jericho acted towards Indy. She was the one woman who could bring him to his knees. It was plain as day how much they loved each other, but obstacles kept darkening their path.  I am happy to report that despite the obstacles their love for each other triumphed.
 
 
Conclusion/Recommendation
A wonderful series, with awesome characters and a great ending. Fans of Ms. March will love Jericho and Indy. Want a new series to sink your teeth in then the Forge trilogy should be on your list.

BOOK REVIEW: DEAD RINGER by WAYNE KERR @waynekerrnovels #Mystery

 
 
Title: Dead Ringers
Author:  Wayne Kerr
Series: Black Swann Investigations #1
Publisher: CANUSA Books
Published: November 15, 2017
Genres: Suspense, Mystery
Pages: 271
Format: ebook 
Source: Author via Book Sirens in exchange for a honest review
Reading Challenges: Home Work Assignment.
Purchase: Amazon
 
 
Dead Ringers by Wayne Kerr is the first book in the Black Swann Investigation series.  This book delivered a suspenseful tale with a kick ass, heroine. 
 
Meet Reggie Swan, a former homicide detective framed for murder. She served ten years before it overturned her conviction because of a technicality. The conviction had completely destroyed her life.. Her husband divorced her, and she never got the chance to attend her father’s funeral. With the help of the Christian Advocates for Justice Enterprise (CAJE) and her mother, she was now a free woman, but she still had to clear her name as the killer is still out there.
 
After her release, CAJE asked her to investigate a missing person case. The woman in question went missing and her husband charged as based on the forensic evidence it appears someone has murdered her and it all points to him.
 
Her investigation would not be without its challenges as persons believed she was guilty, and that she was only free because of the technicality. She went into the investigation believing the husband was guilty after all the evidence was damning. I was disappointed with her initial reaction especially given her experience prior to her conviction.
 
Cronus, the villain is a serial killer who targets women who bears a striking resemblance to his mother and frames their husbands/ boyfriends for their murders. Evil definitely has a new name. He has an ugly past, which contributed to his current state of mind.  Figuring out Cronus’ identity proved to an easy task as I managed do so halfway through the story.  The discovery however did not impede the suspense.   
 
The story pulled me in from the beginning. It had me on the edge of my seat.  The current case has similarities to a case she was working on prior to her conviction.  Following the investigation was thrilling. I had to know what Cronus was planning and if Reggie would get answers. There were parts where the story slows down, but this did not take away from my enjoyment. 
 
I enjoyed how the characters were portrayed. I got in-depth information regarding both the protagonist and the antagonist.  The author did a great job with character development. Reggie’s fears shone throughout the story. Despite her tough exterior, she had insecurities, which was to be expected. Cronus demonstrated confidence in everything he did, but he had an underlying vulnerability that made you feel empathy towards him. 
 
Conclusion/Recommendation
This was an enjoyable journey and a great start to the series. I loved how the story came together and how the mystery arc was resolved. I would definitely continue with the series. I would recommend this title to mystery fans.
 
 
 
 
Dead Ringers (Black Swann Investigations #1)Toronto’s newest homicide detective, Reggie Swann, seemed to have it all: great career, handsome husband and plans to start a family, until she was framed for murder… A cop has very few friends in prison. After surviving ten brutal years behind bars, Reggie’s conviction is finally overturned thanks to her tenacious mother, a new forensic test and a very clever lawyer. She quickly discovers that getting her old life back won’t be as easy as she hoped. To many, she was still as the media had dubbed her: ‘Black Swann – murderer and cop-gone-bad’. The Toronto Police Department still considers her to be a suspect, Reggie’s husband has remarried and the real killer is still on the loose. Before Reggie can return to Toronto and solve the crime that ruined her life, she reluctantly agrees to investigate a murder in her home town of Penticton, only to discover the two cases which are separated by ten years and five provinces might somehow be connected. Will anyone believe the wild theories of the disgraced detective? The real murderer does! He framed her once, this time Reggie Swann must die!