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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%
Fuel for Fire - Julie Ann Walker
Fuel for Fire by Julie Ann Walker is the tenth book (10th) book in the Black Knights Inc series and my first book by the author. I was worried at first that this being the tenth (10th) book in the series I would be lost, but my worries were for nought. It can be read as a stand-alone.
 
What the story is about.
 
The story follows Dagan Zoelner, a former CIA agent and a covert operative for Black Knights Inc.  He is broody and with good reason. Dagan had experienced immeasurable loss in both his personal and professional life. However, through all these changes theone thing that remained constant was his feelings for the spunky CIA agent, Chelsea Sullivan.
 
Chelsea has been carrying a torch for Dagan for as long as she can remember. However, she never revealed her feelings for fear they were not reciprocated. Their current assignment has placed them in a situation where they are forced to confront their feelings for each other. However, Chelsea carries a secret from both their pasts, which if revealed destroy both their lives.
 
 My Perspective
 
The Story
The story was all I had hoped for and more. It was action packed, suspenseful, humorous and explosive. I was pulled into the story from the outset and had a hard time putting it down.  The fast-paced plot, slow burning romance, nail-biting moments, the sexy banter and the verbal sparring held me captive from start to finish. 
 
The story was told in alternate third person POVs, which I had no problem with, as I could connect with the characters and the story. This is one of those times that this POV worked for me as the story was written in a way that made me feel as if I were on the inside looking out. The author’s descriptive style of writing helped to enrich my experience with the story. 
 
I thought the suspense was well done. It was done in such a way it had me on the edge of my seat. I loved that it did not overshadow the romantic elements, which I find to be a major problem in most of the book I have read within this genre. It was perfectly balanced. 
 
The Main Characters
I enjoyed the interaction between the main characters. Their connection was heartfelt and explosive. Their banter was funny and filled with lots of sexual tension. I loved the pace at which their relationship developed. Their feelings for each other had been kept under wraps for a long time so this was definitely not a case of instant attraction.  Their constant bickering and antagonism towards each other were a cover for their true feelings, but their friends saw what they failed to see.
 
Dagan is haunted by the mistakes of his past and believes he is not good enough for Chelsea. I felt his pain of having to work so closely with the woman he loves, but not being able to act on his feelings. 
 
He is protective of Chelsea and wants to keep her safe, but she believes his actions are as a result of him not having confidence in her abilities as an agent. His protective nature grew a notch when their current assignment placed her in harm’s way. 
 
She is spunky and as no qualms about going toe to toe with him when she feels he is behaving like an ass. However, her acts of bravado covered up a deep-seated fear that a secret she has been keeping will one day blow up in her face.
 
Supporting Characters.
 
I enjoyed the dynamics of the supporting cast, which helped to make the story entertaining and riveting. They were well portrayed, making it easy for me to like them and eager to know more about them. I especially loved Christian and Emily who were member of the team. It is evident that there is chemistry between these two, which I am eager to see the author explore. I enjoyed the camaraderie shared between the members of the team, which was fun and entertaining.  The ease with which they had fun at each other’s expense demonstrated the strength of their friendship
 
 Conclusion
The ending as it relates to Chelsea and Dagan’s relationship was neatly wrapped up, and it left me with a smile on my face. However, as it relates to their assignment, which involved taking a notorious criminal syndicate. The leader of the syndicate who went by the moniker Spider has proven to be elusive and difficult to capture. He always seems to be one-step ahead. It is clear; they have been in pursuit of Spider prior to this instalment. 
 
Recommendation:
Fans of romantic suspense will enjoy Fuel for Fire and I am looking forward to the next book in the series. I also plan to read the previous books in the series, as it appears I have been missing a lot

 

Bittersweet Darkness - Nina Croft
This is the third book in The Order series. Although it tells the story of a different couple, it would be advisable if you read the previous books before venturing into this instalment. In doing so, you will gain background information on the supporting cast featured in this instalment and learn about the inside operations of The Order of Shadow Accords.
 
I read the firsts two books awhile back. I received this book for review but never got around to reading it before now. I thought I would have problems getting into the story due the time I took to pick up this book. Fortunately, this was not the case.  As I delved into the story, I remembered events from the previous books, which made it easy for me to be immersed in the book.
 
My Perspective
 
The Story.
If you love fast-paced, suspenseful action packed and sexy paranormal stories, then you will love this book.  Based on my experience with the previous books in the series, I had high expectations for this instalment. I was not disappointed.  This is not your typical paranormal romance. Yes, you will encounter the usual supernatural beings you find in this genre, but it so much more than that. It is a story of betrayal, redemption, second chances, forgiveness, healing and love.
 
This story introduces readers to a world where some supernatural beings, who make up the Order of Shadow Accords, are trying to create a world where they can co-exist with humans. However, other beings are not so keen on the idea and are willing to use any method possible to prevent the Order from achieving its goal. The Order is the police for the supernatural world, who metes out punishment to those beings who bring attention to themselves.
 
The suspenseful thread involves a group of people trying to bring down The Order by targeting the Christian Roth, a billionaire vampire one of the head honchos of The Order. This aspect of the story was entertaining and captivating.  I liked that it did not overshadow the romance between Faith and Ash. In fact, both threads blended well to make for an exciting read.
 
The romance is not typical of what I generally see in this genre. This was not a case of the hero claiming the heroine as his from the moment he lays eyes on her. This was a case of instant attraction, which slowly grew into love.  It also had its share of obstacles from both parties and external sources.
 
The Main Characters.
 
If you are a fan of heroines who are tough, self-reliant, sassy and tenacious then you will love Faith.  She is human and does not believe there are supernatural beings walking the earth.  When approached by a mysterious group to help them in their quest to take down Christian Roth. She thought it ludicrous and not intended to accept their offer. However, due to circumstances beyond her control, she ended up working for this mysterious group.
 
 She has difficulty accepting the truth, even with the
evidence presented to her.  She saw things as being black and white. You are either good or evil, there is no in between.   This belief stemmed from an incident, which happened in her past to which she is yet to receive closure. However, she would soon come to realise that things were not as simple as she was led to believe.
 
When I met Ash in the previous book, I did not like him. I thought he was evil; after all, he is a demon. Well, in this instalment I discovered that there was more to him than I originally thought. He had a caring side which, he demonstrated by his actions towards his daughter, (who by the way hates him) and Faith. He had been on a quest for revenge, but his love for his daughter took precedence.  He knew what it meant to be in love, but he thought those feelings were dead and buried, until that moment when Faith brought it back to life.
 
I loved how protective he was of Faith, even when he believed she had betrayed him and the other members of The Order.  Watching him care her when she experienced here headaches was heart-warming and sweet. His reaction when he thought he was going to lose her was heart-breaking. I felt his pain throughout the ordeal. Who would believe the demon of lust had it in him to care about anyone but himself. 
 
Conclusion
I appreciated how things worked out in the end as it relates to Ash’s relationship with his daughter and Faith. I was glad to see Faith finally getting the closure she craved in regards to the incident from her past. The ending was appropriate and nicely done.  I do hope that the author will continue the series as there are characters who I would love to see them get their stories.
 
Recommendation
Fans of paranormal romance and strong sexy characters will enjoy Bittersweet Darkness.
Read, Write, Love at Seaside (Sweet with Heat: Seaside Summers Book 1) - Addison Cole


I never read the steamier version of this title. However, when I heard Melissa Foster’s alter ego would release the cleaner version I was intrigued and jumped at the chance to read a copy.


What the story is about.

Kurt Remington is a best-selling thriller author, who takes his writing seriously. This dedication led to him living a reclusive life. His family was eager to see him move beyond the world he created in his books and embrace what real life had to offer. Currently, that was not on his list of things to do, however, when Leanna Bray literally swam into his life, he would come to realise that there is someone more captivating than the characters in his fictional world.


Leanna Bray’s focus is on getting her jam-making business off the ground and bring organisation to her life. As such, a relationship is not on her list of priorities. However, when Kurt came to her rescue, she may need to reorganise her list if only she can maintain some order in her life.


My Perspective


The story

Read, Write, Love was classified as a clean read and this was true to some extent. The author alluded to intimate encounters between the main characters, but there were no graphic descriptions. In addition, the language was clean, which I found refreshing.

There is no mistaking that this is the work of Melissa Foster, which is evident by the writing style. The story was sweet and emotional. This book is evidence that the author can write not only steamy romances but also ones where the bedroom door is closed. The story was engaging and perfectly paced, with fun, sweet and emotional moments.


The Characters

One of the things I associate with the author is good character development. I have never had a problem connecting with any of her characters and this was no different.

Kurt is a man that thrives on order in every aspect of his life. He is a perfect gentleman. What I enjoyed most about him were his patience and kindness. He was not keen on being disturbed, when in his writing zone, but the fact he willingly came out of the zone to rescue Leann and her dog demonstrated his caring nature. Leann is a free spirit, who is disorganised in every aspect of their lives. She takes each day has it comes and does not follow a specific plan. Kurt and Leanna were as different as night is from the day, but in spite of the differences, they made a great couple. They complemented each other well.

Kurt learnt the importance of having a balanced life while Leann discovered the importance of being organised especially in her business life.


The romance.

Their summer romance was sweet, passionate and flirty. This was not a love at first sight scenario. Their connection was established from their initial meeting, but their romance developed throughout the summer. I enjoyed how they related to each other throughout the story.


Recommendation:

If you are looking for a clean, but passionate romance story, if you want a story that has depth and filled with emotion then look no further. Read, Write, Love at Seaside has it all.


Next to Me - Jodi Watters

I purchased this book a while back but never got around to reading it before now. I must admit that if it were not for Quirky Blind Date group, I would not have remembered that I own this book. I cannot believe I waited so long to read this book. Next to Me by Jodi Watters is the first book in the Love Happens series and it can be read as a stand-alone

 


What the story is about.
Ali Ross is on the run from her abusive ex-husband, but she knows she can only outrun her past for so long. To protect herself and secure her freedom, she believed her newest neighbour, Sam Gleeson, former army ranger, would make the perfect protector. To have him protect her, she plans to sleep with him and get him to care for her and he would be compelled to protect her. However, she will discover that best-laid plans often go awry.

Ali fascinated Sam Gleeson, former Army Ranger and co-owner of Scorpio Securities Inc., when he first laid eyes on her. Tired of short-term hook-ups he is looking to have a relationship that is built on substance and Ali may just be the perfect candidate.


My Perspective

The Story
Next to Me turned out better than I expected. I enjoyed every moment spent reading this title. I would not consider it to be unique, but I thought the story was well written. The story engaged me from the start and it got better with each page turn. Not only was it engaging it was suspenseful and perfectly paced. I enjoyed spending time with characters and sharing in their camaraderie. There were fun moments that had me laughing and by the time the story ended I was satisfied with how it all played out.

There was another story within the main story, but it had no bearing on Ali and Sam’s story. It was geared towards the work that Sam does as a security consultant. This too was nicely wrapped up and it in no way detracted from the main story.

The story reminded me that genuine love sees beyond faults and accepts a person unconditionally. It is told in dual third persons POV.

The Characters

Although I did not agree with Ali’s actions, I understood why she felt she had to hatch this diabolical plan. I felt there were other ways to achieve her goal, but I guess she felt this way was the best. I refused to judge her because desperation makes people do irrational things. I empathised with the struggles she faced when she discovered that what she felt for Sam was the real deal. However, I found her actions frustrating as she had every opportunity to come clean but she failed to take it. Her fears and her struggles came through the pages of the book.

Sam is such a sweetheart. He is the type of man most women desires. He is intelligent, caring and protective. He certainly did not deserve the deception that Ali dished out to him. He knew she was hiding something, but he was willing to wait for her to trust with what had her so scared. That made me admired him so much more. He could find out all he wanted to know about her by conducting a simple search, but he decided to wait for her to come clean.


The Romance
The connection between Ali and Sam was instantaneous, explosive, hot and passionate. This is one of those times when the insta- love connection works out well. They were in sync and it was evident that they cared for each other.

Recommendation
Overall, this was a satisfying read and one I would recommend to readers who enjoy romance filled with heat and suspense. I would definitely read more from this author.

Law and Disorder (The Finnegan Connection) - Heather Graham

It is a good thing that this is not my first experience with Heather Graham’s work because if it were after reading this book it would be my last. Based on my prior experience, I went into this book with high expectations, but instead, I ended up being sorely disappointed.

What the story is about.
Kody Cameron returned to Florida to finalise business and personal affairs before returning to New York where she makes a living as a live actress. However, she never expected to be taken hostage by masked men searching for decades old treasure hidden by the notorious criminal Anthony Green.
Nick Connolly is seeking to capture career criminal Nathan Appleby. To achieve this goal, he infiltrated the gang that held Kody hostage. He recognises her, from a brief meeting they had in the past, as the girl he wanted to get to know better. Now Nick faces the biggest challenge of his career, taking down the gang while trying to protect Kody, her employees and the mayor’s son.

My Perspective

The Story
Now after reading the above, you must be asking yourselves what problems could I have with such an exciting premise. Well, I know you would expect a fast-paced, edge of your seat read. Unfortunately, this was not my experience and to make matters worse the romance was below average. The story lacked fluidity making it difficult to follow. The suspense took a long time to build up and by the time it did it was over.

The Characters
Kody: Initially I was not sure what to make of her. I know if I had a gun held to my head, I would pray every chance I get, instead of mouthing off to the man behind the gun. I am not sure what to call her action be it bravery or sheer stupidity. Her actions lacked credibility. However, as the story progressed, I came to admire her strength and selflessness during the hostage crisis.

Nick: Throughout the story, he remained a mystery. I knew nothing about him beyond the current situation. He made a great villain given the circumstances. He was the voice of reason in a volatile situation which

The Villains: I was not impressed by the villains especially the supposed career criminal. Some members of the gang were evidently not cut out for a life of crime. It would seem that Appleby did not call the shots in this situation. I am not an expert on hostage negotiations, but I found it strange that he would allow Nick to negotiate on his behalf, giving him the upper hand. Appleby was a big joke, half the time it appeared he had no idea what he was about.

Character development was lacking, and I had difficulty connecting with the characters.

The Romance
Not only did I not connect with the main characters individually I also did not connect with them as a couple. Their romance lacked credibility and left me with a lot of questions. I have no clue how they found the time to fall in love. Most of their interaction took place during the hostage situation and there was no evidence of any spark during this time. They went on one date then the next thing I know they moved in together and looking forward to getting married.

Recommendation
The reviews for this title were mixed. Honestly, I am unable to understand the five-star reviews. I guess the reviews were geared towards the author instead of the book. Personally, I would not recommend this book. However, I am sure there are some readers who would enjoy this title, but it just was not my thing.


Thursday Afternoon - Beth Rinyu


Thursday Afternoon by Beth Rinyu is on my list of favourite reads for 2017. I went into this book not knowing what to expect as the synopsis gave little away. The author is new to me, but I felt confident about my decision to read this title
What the story is about.
Thursday Afternoon tells the story of Aubree Davis, Simon Grace and Hannah. Simon and Aubrey are from different worlds; the odds of their paths crossing seem highly unlikely. However, Simon’s need to move on from the pain of his past led him to seek Aubree’s services. From that moment, Thursday afternoon took on a new meaning for them both.
Hannah’s dream is to write an erotic romance novel, which is unconventional given her choice of career. She needed ideas to incorporate into her novel, which resulted in her meeting Aubree. Despite their differences, they established a friendship, which would change both their lives in ways they least expected.

My Perspective
The story.
I am not sure I can adequately explain the beauty of this story. Stories like these remind me why I enjoy reading. When I read the prologue, I knew at that moment that this would not be an ordinary story. It provided the perfect balance of romance, humour and intense emotions. Thursday Afternoon is a well-written story, with likeable characters that will keep you engaged to the end. This was more than a romance story. It is a beautiful story of acceptance, forgiveness, unconditional love, friendship and second chances. It showed that sometimes life deals out hard blows, which can either make you or break you, which depends on your inner strength.




Main Characters
Aubree
I admired her for strength and determination. She suffered loss, heartache and pain in the past and as a result closed off her heart to the possibility of love. She had no real friends and because of her career choice, her family had little to with her. I felt her turmoil throughout the story. I could not help but feel empathy for her situation. She knows that her choices were not favourable and therefore was willing to live with the consequences. There are persons who judged her for her choices, especially her family, so it was understandable that she would have a hard time accepting that two strangers appreciated her and saw beyond her profession. A profession which she chose because she thought it best after her dreams were shattered. I enjoyed getting to know the real Aubree. She acted tough, but beneath that façade lay vulnerable soul. She is protective of those she cares about, which was demonstrated in this story. It was a pleasure seeing her gaining a friend she never knew she needed and finding love, which she thought possible.


Hannah
Hannah is an amazing character. Never once did she judge Aubree for her choices. Instead, she helped her to realise that she was destined for better things. She encouraged her to be her best self. She is the perfect example of a true friend. I admired her for her courage, which she demonstrated by through her determination to go against convention to pursue her dreams of becoming a romance novelist.

Simon
There is usually a character one can’t help but fall in love with, Simon was such a character. He is handsome, honest and caring. He is a single father to an adorable four-year-old boy. He too had suffered his share of loss and pain. Searching for companionship without strings, he sought out Aubree for her services. Falling in love was not on his agenda. However, spending with her made him realise that he wanted more from her than just Thursday afternoons. If only he could convince her that she is worthy so much more.


Supporting Cast
I believe no story is worth its salt without a great supporting cast. They each played their role in making this story the gem that it is. My least favourite was Aubree’s boss, Margo. Not only is she a manipulator, she is greedy, selfish and downright evil. She acted as if she cared for her employees, but the only person she cared for was herself.

Romance
I enjoyed the romance. It was sweet, passionate and intense. I loved the pace at which it blossomed. At first, I was wary, as I was not sure how the author would pull it off given the circumstances under which they met. She did an excellent job. What started out as a business connection, became something so much more. It was evident that what Aubree and Simon felt for each other was genuine. They were great together and they brought out the best in each other.

Recommendation
If you love slow burn romance and you enjoy stories that will engage your emotions, then this book is for you.


Run to Ground - Katie Ruggle

This is my first Katie Ruggle book and it will not be my last. Run to Ground is the start of a brand new series, which I believe is off to a good start. I must admit that I was sceptical about accepting this book for review as the author was new to me. I had promised myself I would not accept new review requests from authors I did not work with before, but after reading the synopsis, I could not resist. Yeah, I know I am weak, but it was all worth it, in the end.

What the story is about.

Run to Ground tells the story of Juliet Jackson a young woman, who along with her siblings are on the run. Their journey led them to a small mountain town in Colorado where they met a surly K-9 police officer who goes by the name of Theo Basco. His determination to uncover the mysteries of Juliet would place them both on dangerous ground.

My Perspective

The Story

Being a huge fan of this genre, I could not wait to dive into this book. From the moment I began reading, I knew I made the right decision. This story as all the elements I look for in this genre. A fast-paced plot, a slow burning romance, nail-biting moments and draw dropping twists that will have you thinking “What the Hell”. I did not want the story to end and when it did, it left me literally wanting more. There were issues regarding the main characters which, I was expecting to be resolved, unfortunately, this did not happen. Therefore, I was left with many unanswered questions. I guess these will be addressed in the books to come. The story is well written and engaging.

The Main Characters

I admired Juliet for the risks she was willing to take to ensure the safety of her siblings. Her actions aptly demonstrated the true meaning of love. Few people would be willing to give up their cushy life for one which entailed being on the run so that someone else would be safe.

Theo was a complicated character. His mannerisms bordered on being rude and insufferable, which made him seem unlikeable. However, as the story evolved the reasons behind his behaviour became clear. He is having difficulty coping with the loss of his K-9 partner and losing his friend and mentor.

I loved them both together. They complemented each other well. Juliet brought out his softer and protective side. She made him feel alive. The cop in him knew she was running from something, but the man in him did not care about these secrets, He was more interested in getting closer to her. It was a pleasure watching Theo bond with Juliet and her siblings. There was wariness on both sides, but eventually, they managed to move past it and was able to build a semi-solid relationship
.
I appreciated how the romance developed in this instance. No insta-love moments here, which I am sure most readers like myself would appreciate. The romance, which was sweet with a hint of spice moved at a normal pace.

Supporting Characters.

I loved how Theo’s friends looked out for him. It would seem on the surface, that he did not like how they hovered out of concern, but deep down he did care. I enjoyed the camaraderie that they shared. It was fun and entertaining.

As it relates to Juliet’s siblings, their love for each other was clear as day. However, I was hoping for more where their stories were concerned. There is a hint of abuse, but this was not explored. I was left to make assumptions about what had transpired.

Conclusion

The ending was satisfactory, in spite of the issues I mentioned earlier. The epilogue hinted at exciting things to come, which makes me eager to get my hands on the next book in the series.


Recommendation

If you love romantic suspense and stories that feature a brooding hero, an adorable dog then you will enjoy Run to Ground.


Book Review: Dark Stranger

Dark Stranger the Dream - I.T. Lucas

Dark Stranger (The Dream) by I. T. Lucas is the first book in the Children of Gods series. I went into the book with high expectations, although my experience with the author was non-existent. However, my fascination with the premise led me to pick up this book.

 

What is the story about?
The story introduces readers to a world where gods inhabit the earth. There are those who are good and seek to protect humanity while there are those whose thirst for power seeks to wage war and create havoc. These are known as Doomers. The protectors are dying out as they cannot procreate with their kind. The ability to protect their clan lies in them gaining access to a dormant strain of their DNA allowing them the ability to carry on their lineage. Amanda Dokani a god and a neuroscientist believed she has found the DNA in her research assistant Syssi. If only she could convince her brother, the head of the North American clan, that Syssi was his soul mate and the future of their clan depends on them both.

My Perspective

The Story
This being the first book in the series, I was expecting an exciting build-up to the events that would follow in the rest of the books. In addition, based on the synopsis, I expected a fast-paced, edge of your seat and steamy read. Unfortunately, I did not receive what I had expected. Instead, I got a story with a slow pace and lots of sexual tension. In spite of the slow pace, I was not bored. This instalment set the pace for the other books to come. It provided background information on these supernatural beings, which I found fascinating. Learning about their origins, their fight for survival and how they blended in with humanity made for an interesting read.

I normally read stories told from at least three (3) POVs. My experience this time around was different a this story was told from multiple third person omniscient POVS. At first, I thought I would have issues, but this was not the case. The story is written in such a way it was easy to follow and the transition between POVs was flawless. I was expecting action and steamy scenes, but it never materialised in this instalment.

The book ended with a cliff-hanger which was not surprising. This is a series of nine books, broken down into three books for each couple.

Main characters

Kian is a 2000-year-old god and the head of the North American clan. He is an alpha in every sense of the word. He is arrogant, dominant, possessive, caring and protective. The author’s portrayal made it easy to like him. Kian is a complex character. He appears tough, but beneath that lays a lonely soul desperate to love and to receive love. However, fears from his past crippled him. He has been that way for 1,976 years.

Syssi is a character that I had a difficult time with, and sad to say I did not connect with her. She was intelligent, funny at times and painfully shy. Her portrayal was contradictory. She is able to sense danger due to her precognitive capabilities. However, these abilities were under-utilised.

Supporting Characters
I found the secondary characters interesting. They each had their story to tell. The author’s decision to give us their POVs helped to make their roles intriguing and piqued my curiosity, which, made me want to know more about them. I am especially intrigued by Amanda, Kian’s sister and Dalhu, one of their sworn enemies. Their past is riddled with mystery, which I am eager to uncover.

The Romance
This was where I had my biggest issue. First and foremost, I did not connect with Kian and Syssi as a couple. Their connection was more physical than emotional. Then to make matters worse, I did not get the hot, scorching and steamy love scenes I was expecting based on the book’s description. Well, I guess my expectations were too high because what I got was nothing to write home about. All of Syssi’s intimate encounters with Kian took place in her dreams and even those were blah. When I thought that, finally her dreams would become a reality they were interrupted by a phone call. I was like “seriously”.

Verdict
Dark Stranger the Dream is not a bad start to the Children of Gods series. There were aspects I enjoyed and some not so much. I am curious to know how the events eventually unfold, so I will be picking up the second book in the series. If you are a fan of serials and paranormal stories, then you will enjoy this book.

White Hot - Ilona Andrews

Wow! After that magnificent ride in Burn for Me, I was expecting my journey in White Hot to be just as amazing. It did not disappoint. This amazing story captured my attention from the first page and held me in its grip to the end. It delivered so much more than I expected. It surprised me in ways I never expected, which was a good thing.

 

What I loved
I cannot say it enough; the characters are awesome. I could not get enough of them. I declare it now and without apology, Mad Rogan is my new book boyfriend. Not only is he powerful, he is also sexy and enigmatic. He is considered a psychopath, but their opinions did not matter. The only person’s opinion that mattered to him was that of Nevada Baylor. He would do anything to have her see him for the man he is and not he was perceived to be. I had fun learning what made him tick. I love the person who he was when he is around Nevada, protective and caring.

Nevada Baylor is not your typical heroine. She is smart, feisty, strong –willed and independent. In this instalment, she discovers that there is more to her powers than she originally believed. I enjoyed watching her growing into her abilities after keeping it a secret for so long.

I appreciated the dynamics of Nevada and Mad Rogans’ relationship. Their attraction is as strong as ever, but obstacles of every size, shape and form are determined to keep them apart. The sexual tension was so intense that it is a wonder my Kindle is still functioning.

The story is packed full of nail-biting action, that kept me eagerly turning the pages as I needed to know what next would happen. This new case they are working on is proving to be more dangerous than the previous one. The danger, the thrills, and the humour made for an exciting read, but what gave it the extra oomph was the romance and the family dynamics.

Verdict
If you have not started this series, then you are missing out on an awesome story. This is a series not to be missed, especially if you are a fan of this genre. Please note, however, that the character development, requires you to read the books in order. I cannot wait to start the next book. Highly recommend.

View all my reviews

Burn for Me - Ilona Andrews

OMG! This book was downright awesome. I cannot believe I took this long to read an Ilona Andrews novel. I have read a few books within the urban fantasy genre which I enjoyed, but this my favourite.


What the book is about

Nevada Baylor is a private investigator with Baylor Investigations, which is run by her family. Unfortunately, the business is facing financial challenges and as a result; it was mortgaged to the hilt. The company who holds the mortgage issued an order for her to take on an assignment, which may or may not lead to her death. She had no choice but to accept the assignment as failure to do so would lead to the loss of the business and her family home.

In the midst of the chaos, she is kidnapped by Mad Rogan, a man who was rich, powerful and feared by all whom he came in contact with. They are both after the same target, so working together seemed the logical thing to do. However, their unexpected partnership will lead to them discovering things about themselves and developing feelings they never thought was possible with each other.

What I enjoyed

Superb Writing: The manner in which the story was presented made me feel as if I was a part of the story. I loved he uniqueness of the setting and the premise. The story is set in a world that is similar to ours, with one main difference, magic. In the 1800s, a serum was developed that gave humans magical powers and since that time magic has reigned supreme. Years later, you have a world where some humans have interesting and unique powers. There were those whose powers were stronger than the norm who are called primes.

Delightful Characters: Nevada is a strong, brave, honest, kick-ass heroine. From the moment I was introduced to her, I knew I would love her. She cares deeply for her family and would do anything to protect them. She is not the type to behave like a damsel in distress. While working on this case she would come to realise that there is more to her powers than she originally believed.

Conner Rogan AKA Mad Rogan is a formidable and complex man. He was former military and a trained killer. He has no qualms about killing when the need arises. However, I soon came to realize that underneath all that craziness lay a heart of compassion. Few were privy to this side of him.

I loved every moment spent with the supporting cast of characters. I loved how Nevada’s family had her back. They had a bond that was stronger than any magic. It is rare for me to like the villain in a story, but this time around, I could not help but like Adam. He was cocky and entitled, but there was something about him that I found endearing.

Fun and entertaining story: There was tons of action, and thrilling moments to keep me on my toes. It moved quickly sparing me no time to be bored. There was humour to help lighten the heavy moments. There was loads of sexual tension permeating the pages of this story, but there was no intimacy and no romance. Not that I am complaining. It is evident that there is an attraction there, but with all what was happening there would have been no to explore their feelings for each other. I am curious to discover how this aspect of the story will eventually play out.

I was happy with the ending. Thankfully, it was not a cliff-hanger. The situation in this instance was adequately wrapped up, however, there was a shocking revelation in the epilogue which left me with questions. Thankfully I am able to proceed to next book in the series right away so my questions will be answered soon.

Verdict
Overall, this is a great read and one, which I highly recommend.

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Review: Found Underneath

Found Underneath (Finding Me Book 2) - KL Kreig

This is the exciting and long-awaited conclusion to the Finding Me series. The story picks up from where book one ended. In the previous book, Shaw Mercer had hired Willow Blackwell to be his fake girlfriend to help bolster his father’s re-election. Along the way the unthinkable happened, they developed feelings for each other. Shaw was not the type of person who believes in monogamous relationships so you can imagine how he struggled when he tries to reconcile his feelings with his beliefs. Willow has experienced pain and her way of dealing with it is to push away those who care for her. This was the reason for her ending her engagement a few years ago. Shaw Mercer stirred up emotions she thought was dead and buried and she did not understand how to handle these feelings. However, one thing was certain, no matter the fears; their love for each other was undeniable. Just as it seems they were both coming to terms with their feelings, a tragedy from the past was determined to derail their relationship.

Shaw is a domineering alpha and is used to getting what he wants. Women fall at his feet every chance they get, however only one woman has the power to bring him to his knees. He will do anything to have her stay in his life, even if it meant keeping the truth from her. I understood his need to protect her, but keeping the truth from her, not a good idea. He would discover the devastating impact that secrets have on relationships. Willow also played her part in keeping secrets in their relationship. I have to admit their actions were frustrating, which made wish I could knock some sense into them. Despite this, I enjoyed their interaction with each other. Their chemistry was undeniable, and they complemented each other perfectly. His patience in the midst of her stubbornness was commendable. It demonstrated the depth of his feelings for her.

Willow is a complex character. I admired her strength in the face of adversity and her willingness to forgive. Even though her actions were frustrating, I understood her unwillingness to trust and give herself completely to Shaw. Trusting your heart to someone can be scary, especially if you have experience loss in the past.

The secondary characters brought their own brand of flavour to the story. Willow’s best friend and roommate was a riot. She speaks her mind without apology. Her acerbic tongue had the power to cut a grown man down to size. I was not a fan of Willow’s ex-fiancée. He is determined to get her back, and he will play dirty to accomplish his wish. What he failed to realise is that such actions have far-reaching repercussions.

It's hard to explain the impact this story had on me. I enjoyed Lost in Between and I expected that Found Underneath would be no less enjoyable. What I did not expect was the emotional wringer I experienced. I read this in one sitting, there was no way I could put this down without finding out how the events would unfold.

The writing was beautiful, which made it easy to connect with the story. The flow was perfect, the pacing ideal and the descriptions vivid. It made me feel as if I were a part of the characters' lives. I felt every emotion that permeated the pages of this beautiful story. The books are lengthy but, it was worth every moment spent reading this story about family, love, healing and forgiveness, which delivered a satisfying and solid ending.

Overall, I enjoyed this conclusion to the Finding Me Series. It is funny, sad and addictive. If you enjoy romance that sizzles and engages your emotions then you will like this series.

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Review: IN Doubt

IN Doubt (An Ivy Nash Thriller, Book 3) (Redemption Thriller Series 9) - John W. Mefford

IN Doubt is the third book in the Ivy Nash series. Some say each book can be read as a stand-alone. However, I believe its best if they are read in order, as this will allow readers to better understand the flow of events relating to Ivy’s past.

The series follows the work of Ivy Nash, a former employee of Child Protective Services. Tired of seeing injustice meted out to children and the failure by CPS to help them, she formed her own business to provide help without having to deal with unnecessary red tape. Being a victim of the same injustice, she carries out her job with zeal and does everything within her power to help those who cannot help themselves.

Ivy has tried to move past her past and to forget the pain that comes with it, however after a recent terrifying experience she discovered that moving on would not be that easy. At the beginning of this instalment, she is trying to come to terms with her recent kidnapping. The memories still haunt her and she knows danger still lurks waiting for that moment to pounce. However, instead of allowing fear to control her she continues to do what she does best, especially now that Emma, (a four-year-old who she rescued) and her protégé Christina needs her expertise.

Emma’s dad faced charges of sexual assault of a minor. He hires Ivy and Christina to protect her at all costs while he dealt with his legal issue. Ivy had her suspicions about the assault charges and began her own investigation. In the midst of this, her friend and protégé Christina became the focus of a murder investigation. Both cases stir up the painful memories she tries to put behind her, but she did not let it prevent from helping Emma and Christina. In her quest to help them, she would discover that all is not what it seems to be.

I went into this story expecting an exciting read, and the author did not disappoint. IN Doubt was fast paced, suspenseful, thrilling and emotional. There was so much going in this story, which kept me on my toes at every page turn. Then there were the twists I never expected although I had my suspicions. I guess I was hoping I would be wrong, so it kind of crept up on me. The story touched on the sensitive topics of child abuse, sexual abuse, and drug abuse and child prostitution.

The cast of characters was delightful as usual. I enjoyed the camaraderie between Ivy and her friends. I loved how they always had each other’s back, which the story highlighted when Christina needed help. Ivy proves to be not only a kick ass heroine but also one who is selfless. She faces danger with every secret she unfolds, but she refuses to give up because the lives of those she cares about were at risk.

The ending left me wanting more. No, the story did not end in a cliff-hanger. The cases were adequately tied up and all questions answered. However, there was a hint of danger at hand for Ivy, which left eagerly anticipating the next instalment.

If you have not started this series and you enjoy mysteries and thrillers, then you need to pick up these books. I highly recommend them.






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The Seer's Lover (The Seven Archangels Series) - Kat de Falla

The Seer’s Lover has been on my TBR for some time, but I did not get the chance to read it before now. My reasons for purchasing this title at the time was twofold. I chose to read this book based on the synopsis and the cover, which I found eerie. I had no experience with the with the author’s work, but because this was a story about the supernatural world, I expected to have a great time.


What is the book about?
Calise Rowe, a pharmacist, has the ability to sense unusual energy from persons she comes in contact with. She did not understand what it meant and her questions went unanswered. However, she would discover the true meaning behind her abilities, when she inadvertently exposed herself to a demon and was saved by a stranger. The stranger directs her to travel to Costa Rica where she would find the answers she desperately seeks.
Lucas Rojas is a seer, with the ability to see demons and angels who walk among humans. He comes from a long line of seers, dating as far back as to the time of the Messiah. He has kept his abilities secret because his kind has been hunted by demons whose intent was to obliterate their lineage.


What I enjoyed.
The story introduces readers to a world where demonic forces desire to control humans where angels protect humans from the wrath of these and seers whose job it is to destroy these evil forces. The beginning was intriguing which, made me eager to uncover the secrets that lay between the pages.

I found the fight scenes between Lucas and the demons exciting and exhilarating. I thought these scenes were well written. The author provided detailed descriptions as it relates to these scenes allowing me to visualise every action that took place at this point.

I enjoyed the way the author conveyed her feelings into the story. Her ability to keep me engaged was on par for the most part. I thought the word building was good. The pacing was good. This along with the writing helped me to get through the story.

The issues I had.

Unfortunately, I had a hard time connecting with the characters. None of them elicited any emotion within me. Have you ever been to an event where you encounter a group of people whom you have never met, but for some reason, their actions prevent you from wanting to get to know them and you can’t wait to leave? Well sad to say this is how I felt about the characters in this book. My least favourite character was Shane, Calise’s ex-boyfriend. I found him to be weak and pathetic. His relationship with Calise ended a long time, but he was still obsessing to the point where he became unstable.

The romance between Lucas and Calise lacked credibility. First, it was an insta-love connection and second at no time did I see where their feelings for each other were allowed to develop. They never got time to know each other, before declaring their love for each other. As a result, I was unable to connect with them as a couple.

The story felt a bit disjointed in some areas. The movement between scenes in some areas did not flow resulting in it appearing unreal. Then there were the many unanswered questions that I was left with at the end of the story. I am still trying to figure out what happened. I am wondering if the answers are in book two, but I am not sure if I am keen to venture there.


Verdict
This book had potential, but it did not work for me. However, even though it didn’t work for me, don’t be discouraged from giving this book a try. If you enjoy paranormal stories about angels and demons and don’t mind insta-love connections, you will love this book

The Darkest Corner  - Liliana Hart

Why I chose to read The Darkest Corner.
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Intriguing Premise
I found the idea of a secret group made of the most elite of the world’s fighting forces fascinating. What increased my interest was the fact this group of men were considered dead to everyone and as a result was unable to return to their original lives without risking those they love.

The leader of this elite unit, Deacon Tucker, is a former CIA operative. He is the first recruit of this shadowy organisation. His mission is to save the world or die trying, and as long as he does not fall in love all will be well. Falling in love would lead to one thing, certain death. However, Tess Sherman will have him breaking this rule.

Tess is a mortician, who is responsible for the operation of the funeral home in Last Stop, Texas. The funeral home also happens to be the headquarters for the Gravediggers. She has no idea that such an organisation existed. The only thing she was aware of was that she had five hot and sexy men working for her, one of whom she was attracted to.


What I enjoyed.

The Prologue: The story started out on an adrenaline high. It was intense, and I was eager to discover how it would tie into the rest of the story.

The Characters: I found the characters interesting. Some were on the quirky side and some unlikeable. The main characters Tess and Deacon brought out the best in each other. I enjoyed their banter which was at times hilarious, sexy and sweet. I liked how the author went into detail about the characters allowing to me to understand what made them tick.
·
The Romance: I thought the romance was well done. I liked that the connection between Tessa and Deacon was not one of insta-lust. Deacon feelings for Tess grew over a span of two years. He never made a move as he was not sure that his feelings were reciprocated. However, the moment he realised that there was a possibility that Tess felt the same way he was determined to be with her regardless of the dangers involved.

·

The author provided detailed information into the operations of The Gravediggers and their purpose which I appreciated, seeing that this was the first book in the series. I got insight into Tess’s role in the set-up and how she would eventually become a part of the operations.

The issues I had.

Pacing: The pacing was painfully slow to the point where I found myself losing interest in the story. I pushed myself to complete it, hoping that it would eventually pick up. It was not until around 50% into the story that it was revealed how the prologue tied into the story it was at this point that things began to take shape. However, it was not until about 70% into the story that pace picked up. By then I had lost interest in the operations. In regards to the prologue, it would have been good to know what happened to the characters that had been mentioned.

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Suspense: The story was classified as a romantic suspense, but it never delivered in that area. At no time in the story did I feel like I was on the edge of my seat.

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Based on the rule which prohibits members of the unit from falling in love which I expected there to be conflict regarding the romance between Tess and Deacon. However, things were tied up too neatly for my liking.
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Verdict
I went into this story with high expectations and ended up being disappointed. It was not a bad read, but personally, I thought it could have been better.

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Allusive Aftershock by Susan Griscom (2014-01-31) - Susan Griscom

This book took me by surprise. It was nothing like I expected. I went in believing that this would be an ordinary young adult romantic story. Man, was I wrong. There is nothing ordinary about this story. This not your typical story of teenage love. It is a story of survival, forgiveness, coming of age, learning tolerance and love.

Courtland Reese has loved Adela Castielle since the fourth grade, but she had no idea how he felt. Considered weird, because of his uncanny ability to communicate with animals, he spent most of his time alone. Adela has no idea what to make of him, especially when her best friend Max (the guy she hopes will become her boyfriend and future husband) continues to spout his hatred of him. However, when a catastrophic earthquake slammed into California and Courtland rescued her not once but three times, she questioned the stories she heard and was eager to uncover the mystery that is Courtland.

I don't read many young adult books, but I found the premise of this title intriguing and could not resist the lure. I am happy to say I had a great time with this story. The story was well written, and it flowed fluidly from start to finish. I never had a chance to be bored. The story was intense and had me on the edge of my seat. I felt nervous for Adela and Court as they traversed earthquake ravaged territory in their quest for survival.

The story told from both the POV of Adela and Courtland, allowed me to develop a connection with them. I got the opportunity to learn the reasons for their actions. It made me privy to their thoughts and feelings, thus allowing me to relate to their pain and fears. I loved that in spite of their fears they were able to keep a level head during times of crisis.

When I first met Adela I was not a fan, as she appeared a judgemental, spoilt and selfish brat. Her treatment of Courtland at the time was unfriendly. Her treatment towards him was no better than that of his other peers. However, when disaster struck, I saw a different side of her. I came to appreciate this version of her, which proved to be sweet, caring and protective. Her actions towards Courtland demonstrated these traits.

Courtland was a sweetheart. He is half Miwok Indian who had to deal with bigotry on many levels. He did not have an easy childhood. He lost his mom at an early age and his dad and the bottle became best friends as a result. However, he remained strong through it all. He is not the type to wallow in self-pity. He is a take charge person, which he proved by his actions after disaster struck. What I liked most about him was he did not allow what people thought of him to change him. Even though Adela treated him with disdain, his love for her never faltered.

Max was the least likable character. His hatred of Courtland was not justified. It was hard to believe that they were ever friends. He is selfish, cowardly and belligerent. In the end, he developed a measure of kindness, but it was too late for it to endear me to him.

There are some areas that I had a bit of a problem with, fortunately, it did not take away from my enjoyment, but it left me with some questions.


*** THERE MAY BE SPOILERS AHEAD *** -

I would love to know what transpired with Max after he left Adela and Courtland in his parents' wine cave on the pretense that he was going to get help. Nothing is heard of him again until Courtland and Adela found him on the brink of starvation.

- It would have been good to know what exactly happened to Adela's dad. It was stated that he had not survived, but there was no evidence to indicate this. How did he die?

- I am one of those readers who is all for an epilogue, however, in this case, I was disappointed. It would have been nice if it was geared towards what took place years later, instead of what was expected to happen.

*** END OF SPOILER ***

Verdict

The story demonstrates the value of teamwork, friendships and the dangers of accepting rumours without having the facts. If you are a fan of the young adult genre and looking for a unique story, then you will enjoy this book.

The Romance Review


Just One Touch - Maya Banks

Just One Touch by Maya Banks is the fifth book in the Slow Burn series. Even though characters from the earlier books features extensively in this instalment, it can be read as a stand-alone. It is a romantic suspense with a touch of paranormal. There were some exciting and suspenseful moments, which kept me glued to the pages.

Jenna Wilder grew up in a strict religious cult, with no access to the outside world. Kidnapped for her extraordinary healing powers, she was subjected to abuse, exploitation, and was forced to do their bidding. Believing they had broken her spirit, they underestimated her, giving her the opportunity to plan her escape.

Isaac Washington’s daily routine of purchasing coffee and bagels was interrupted when he caught Jenna trying to steal his SUV. Immediately, he felt the need to protect her. However, this need took a back seat when a hail of bullets almost cut him down, but when Jenna healed and brought him back from the brink of death, his need intensified. As a result, he made it his life’s mission to protect her from the people intent on harming her.

This is not my first foray into the world of Maya Banks. I read a few of her books including the first book in this series. I never had time to read the books that came after prior to reading this instalment, so you understand how appreciative I was of the fact I could read this instalment without feeling I was missing something.

I enjoyed reading about Jenna and Isaac. Jenna’s story was heart breaking. She spent most of her life not knowing what it meant to be loved. She was made to believe she had no value because she was a woman. I cannot imagine the hell she went through but in spite of it all she had experienced, she never allowed it to break her. I understood her need to break out in tears, which I believe would be a natural reaction for someone who experienced such intense trauma. In spite of this, Jenna proved to be a brave person. I admired her strength and her determination to protect Isaac and his friends although I disagreed with the manner in which she did so.

Isaac is an enigma, which made connecting to him difficult. I had no knowledge of who he was prior to him coming to work for the DSS. When Jenna healed him, she had freed from his horrors, but what these were I have no idea, as there was no mention of them. One thing was certain; he was protective of those he cared for to the point of obsession, which was evident in, his behaviour towards Jenna. The blurb indicated that he was the toughest recruit for Devereaux security, but I didn't see a demonstration of this toughness. Most of the time he kept beating upon himself when anything threatened to harm Jenna. In addition to beating up on himself, he tended to act rashly, which is contrary to what one would expect from someone who is trained to prepare for all eventualities.

The story features a strong cast of supporting characters. I loved how they were all willing to put their lives on the line to help Jenna, who was a stranger to them. They perfectly demonstrated the value of family, friendship and teamwork.

The suspense theme was well done and it was my favourite part of the story. This was what motivated me to continue reading, as I was eager to discover the outcome. Then there was that shocking twist near to the end. I could not believe what I was reading. I cannot imagine how Jenna must have felt at that moment. I know I would be devastated if I were in that position.

Unfortunately, the romance did not work for me. Jenna and Isaac fell in love within a week of them meeting, which I found unbelievable, especially given the circumstances under which they met. Furthermore, for someone who spent her whole life in an abusive environment and has no experience of what it meant to love and be loved, her falling for Isaac so quickly was somewhat incredulous.

Another thing that bothered me was the overly sweet expressions of love, which had me rolling my eyes most of the times. It was an established that Isaac loved Jenna, he would sacrifice all to protect her, and he would give her all her heart desired. I did not need to read about it on practically every page in the book.


Verdict
In spite of the issues, I had with the romance and the male protagonist, the suspense was riveting which helped to make my reading experience worthwhile. If you enjoy romantic suspense and do not mind the insta-love theme then you will find this an entertaining read.

Originally posted at

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