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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.

  

 

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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
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BOOK REVIEW: ARRANGE ME by KATY REGNERY @KatyRegnery #ContemporaryRomance

 
 
Title: Arrange Me
Author: Katy Regnery
Genre: Adult Contemporary
Romance
Publisher:  Katy Regnery
Release Date: March 4, 2019
Format: E-Arc
Pages: 186
Source: Author
Reading Challenges: 2019 New Release Challenge
 
 
If you had a choice between an arranged marriage and marrying someone of your own choosing, which method would you choose? Personally, it would have to be someone I choose. I do not see myself marrying someone at first sight. That being said, I am not sure if I should applaud the heroine, of Arrange Me by Katy Regnery, or label her crazy. 
 
I must confess that when I opted to read this book, I did not know what it was about and that it was the first book of a duet. Therefore, I was taken aback by the cliffhanger ending and now I have to wait until May 20 to find out what is in store for Josh and Courtney. Despite my disappointment with the ending, I enjoyed the story. Engaging, sweet, funny and sexy. 
 
Courtney Salinger is a young professional who has fulfilled her dreams except for the one, which involves her having a husband. Tired of dating world and all the bad things that came with it, she decides to take an unconventional route. That of having ‘Experts’ finding her the perfect husband. To that end, she signs up with arrangemetoo.com. 
 
Josh Dalton is a struggling play-writer. In meantime meet while he waits to hit it big, he works as a bartender. He knows Courtney as he has been serving her drinks every Friday night for over a year. Just when he figures out he has feelings for her he discovers that she is determined to marry a complete stranger. 
 
They are both at different stages in their life. Courtney wants a family while Josh is focused on getting his career off the ground. Will he be willing to change his focus and give Courtney what she wants or watch her marry a complete stranger? 
 
Courtney is sweet, kind and smart although there were times she drove me nuts with her actions. She likes Josh, but kept pushing him away, as he could not give her what she wanted.  Her desperation for an HEA made her fail to see that the thing she searched for was right in front of her. 
 
Poor Josh, my heart went out to him. His willingness to meet Courtney halfway was endearing, but she would not budge.  Told from the POVs of the main characters, the story made me privy to their inner thoughts and emotions. Courtney’s emotions leapt off the pages. It was clear this was not an easy decision for her, but one she felt she had to make.
 
Relating to the Josh’s turmoil proved easy. Career or marriage, not an easy decision. 
 
Conclusion/Recommendation 
 
Once again, Regnery has captivated me with her writing. She created an entertaining story. One that kept me turning the pages so I could discover how Courtney and Josh’s journey would evolve.  I wait with great expectancy for the conclusion of their story. Will Courtney get all she desires and will Josh be the one who will help her to attain her dreams of HEA?
 
 
 
Arrange Me (The Arranged Duo, #1)My name is Courtney Jane Salinger... and I'm sick of games. Sick of the Friday night bar-scene-cum-meat-market. Sick of the boy-girl, man-woman, mars-venus, flirtation-without-expectation, game-playing nonsense. Sick of awful dates and one-night stands, booty calls and guys who don’t call back, mixed messages or NO messages and—and—and...I'm sick of all of it. I’m done. I just can't do it anymore. It's too hard, and worse: little by little, it's making me hard. It's breaking my heart. What DO I want? That's easy. I want a house in suburbia with a white picket fence. I want babies to buckle into a minivan. But most of all, I want to be married. I want a husband. So I've made an important decision: I'm making my escape from the dating world and the single life. I've filled out my application on ArrangeMe.com and I'm putting my fate into the hands of experts. Is it a little scary? Sure. I mean, I have no idea who I'll end up with. After all, I'm planning to marry a complete stranger. But between you and me? I can't wait. Being arranged can't possibly be worse than being single. Can it?

BOOK REVIEW: NIGHTCHASER by AMANDA BOUCHET #Scifi #Romance @SourcebooksCasa @AuthorABouchet

 
 
 
Nightchaser
Author:  Amanda Bouchet
Series: Endeavor #1
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Published: January 1, 2019
Genres: Sci-fi Romance 
Pages: 352
Format: ebook 
Source: Netgalley
Reading Challenges: 2019 New Release, Netgalley and Edelweiss.
 
 
One of the hardest things for me in writing reviews is preparing one for a book, which received so many rave reviews. (I wonder what can I say what has not already been said.) What is even harder is writing a review for said book when it does not in your opinion live up to the hype.
I struggled with the story and I took a while to get to the end. For me it was the longest and slowest journey in a fictional world.   
 
 
What I liked
World building:  I enjoyed the world the author created from a fictional perspective.   Living in constant fear and oppression, no freedom of speech and risk going to jail for the simplest of things is are some of what the inhabitants of this world faced.
 
Characters
Tess:  Her loyalty, selflessness and inner strength were her most endearing qualities. Her experiences growing up shaped her into the person she is today. She has no wish for the orphans and her friends to experience the same horrors she did and so she would do anything to protect them.
 
Shade:  Exudes confidence, is observant and have an awesome sense of humour. 
 
The secondary characters proved an interesting bunch. From Tess’s crew members to evil Overseer. 
 
The Not So Much
The Story:  It began on a high note and I had expectations of grandeur for this one. This however was shot to the ground after the first ten percent of the story. I believe there was a lot of unnecessary information and the story lost its engagement factor as a result 
 
I could not fathom the lack of tension and fearful anticipation by Tessa and her crew. They are on the run, granted they knew nothing about the bounty on her head, but they acted as if all was well. 
 
I expected there would be lots of action.  This was not the case. The action scenes appeared at around the seventy percent mark. At this point, the story felt rushed and the appeal this aspect was to emit was lost on me.
 
Romance: I understand her being attracted to Shade and yes, she has not been with a man for seven years. We all have wants, but how do you find time to be thinking about sexual gratification with the threat of recapture hanging over your head. She keeps putting herself out there and he rejects her every attempt at seduction. Her actions reeked of desperation.  Eventually, they got together, but I had a hard time accepting their relationship, especially knowing they were both deceiving each other. 
 
Shade’s deception did not go down well with me.  He had ample time to make Tess aware of the situation, but he failed to warn her. 
 
The ending, although not a cliffhanger indicated that the story will continue.  Despite my disappointment with how this installment developed, I am curious to know how upcoming events will unfold.
 
Conclusion/Recommendations
I know there many readers who raved about this installment, but for me it was just ok. Although it was not a favourite, I would recommend it because there are others who may enjoy it more than I did. Readers who enjoy sci-fi romance can pick up this latest offering by Amanda Bouchet
 
 
 
 
Nightchaser (Endeavor, #1)
Tess Bailey: the galaxy's Most Wanted. Captain Tess Bailey is in deep trouble. She and her crew are on the run, pursued by a tyrant who'll take them dead or alive. Tess's best hope is a tall, dark, and much-too-appealing stranger, Shade Ganavan, who says he can help her. But his motivations are far from clear... Shade Ganavan: arrogance, charm...and that special something that makes you want to kick him. With the dreaded Dark Watch closing in, what Tess and Shade don't know about each other might get them killed...unless they can set aside their differences and learn to trust each other before it's too late. "Amanda Bouchet blasts off with a series that's full of heart, humor, romance, and action."—JENNIFER ESTEP, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of Kill the Queen

AUDIOBOOK REVIEW: NIGHT REIGNS by DIANNE DUVALL @DianneDuvall, NARRATED by KIRSTEN POTTER #ParanormalRomance

 
 
 
Title: Night Reigns
Author(s):  Dianne Duvall
Series: Immortal Guardians #2
Narrator(s)Kirsten Potter
Publisher: Tantor Audio
Source: Audible Romance Package
Format: Audio Book
Release Date: December 1, 2011
Length :  12 hrs 29 mins
Reading Challenges: 2019 Audio Book Challenge
 
 
Purchase:  AudibleAmazon
 
 
 
 
I got my first taste of Dianne Duvall’s work when I read Darkness Dawns. The story and the characters captivated me and I knew I had to pick up Night Reigns. My experience with book two may not have been great as it was with the previous book, but I still enjoyed it. I enjoyed spending time with the characters and was disappointed when the story ended.
 
This installment tells Marcus and Ami’s story. We were first introduced to Ami and Marcus in book one.  From the outset, Ami piqued my curiosity as to her identity and the role she would play in the series.  Marcus, an 850-year-old immortal is in mourning the loss of the woman he loved. He is not interested in a relationship or working with a second.  Therefore, when Seth, the leader of the Immortal Guardians assigned Ami has his second he was not amused.
 
Ami proved an excellent second for Marcus.  He attempted to push her away, but she stood her ground, never once failing her duty. She took her job as a second serious. The more time Marcus spent in her company he realised she could hold her own and that her fighting abilities were incomparable.
 
Ami’s character was shrouded in mystery. Neither mortal nor human, but she possessed vampire and immortal abilities.  I kept wracking my brain trying to figure what she was, but I never did. The revelation when it came was shocking as I never saw that one coming. Who would have thought? I loved her resilience. She survived months of torture and is slowly reclaiming her life. Despite her deep-seated fears of labs and doctors, she willingly risked her life to protect Marcus.
 
I had hoped to get some more insight into Marcus’s character, but I was disappointed with his portrayal. He did not receive the same amount of attention as Ami’s character. I received a taste of his history, but it did not live up to my expectations. 
 
The story moved at an even pace. I loved the new developments. Now that Bastien was no longer a threat to the Immortal Guardians, there is a new enemy in town. One who is determined to kill all Immortal and reign over the vampires. 
 
 
 
Non- stop action sprinkled with a hot romance and a pinch of humour help to make the story captivating. I received some interesting tit bits about the immortals and I am curious to learn more, especially where the leader is concerned. The ending left me wanting more. The non-romantic element of the story was not resolved leaving me with many questions. 
 
NARRATION
I have limited experience with audio books and I am not acquainted with many narrators. This is my second time listening to Kristen Potter and I would definitely listen to any story she narrates. I enjoyed every moment, and she helped to enhance the story.  She switched between characters effortlessly, making it easy to identify which character was speaking. I enjoyed her sound effects, from the ringing of the doorbell to the vibrating of the cell phone. 
 
Conclusion/Recommendation
I found this to be a great addition to the series. I am curious to learn more about these fantastic characters. If you have not read this series, and are a fan of paranormal romantic suspense, then I recommend that you do so as soon as possible.
 
 
 
STORY 
 
NARRATION
  
 
Ami isn't much for trusting strangers. She has a hard time trusting anyone. But she's no coward, and she's no pushover in the protection department either. So when she comes across a mysterious warrior taking on eight deranged vampires on his own, she doesn't hesitate to save his bacon. Of course, that was before she realized what one little rescue would get her into . . . Marcus Grayden has been an immortal protector of humanity for eight hundred years, and at the moment he's not interested in backup. From the moment Ami arrives in his life, he can't deny that she's strong, smart, and extremely skilled at watching his back. But she's also destroying his protective solitude and stirring desires he can't bear to awaken. After all, whatever her secrets — how can she defeat death itself?

BOOK REVIEW: SCREAM FOR ME by CYNTHIA EDEN @cynthiaeden #RomanticSuspense

 
 
Scream For Me
Author:  Cynthia Eden
Series: Fear Me #3
Publisher: Montlake Romance
Published: February 4, 2014
Genres: Suspense, Romance 
Pages: 380
Format: ebook 
Source: Author
Reading Challenges: COYER Winter,  Blogger Shame
 
 
I received Scream for Me on its release day to review. Unfortunately, due to school and exams it got pushed back until eventually it was forgotten.  I decided at the start of the year to read a few of the forgotten books from my review list and Scream for Me made the cut. I read the first two books (Kill for Me and Fear for Me) in the series years ago. I remembered enjoying them both so I had high expectations for the final book and Ms. Eden did not disappoint.
 
Dr. Cadence Hollow and Kyle McKenzie, FBI agents are the main stars in this romantic suspense. They are partners who have made every attempt to maintain a professional relationship but their attraction to each other made this difficult.
 
Kyle lost his sister 15 years ago, who vanished without a trace. He received a call regarding an abduction, which mirrored his sister’s disappearance.  He and Cadence returned to his hometown to conduct an investigation into the abduction and in the process gather information regarding his sister‘s disappearance. The investigation took a toll on him as he blames himself for her disappearance.
 
Kyle’s turmoil in solving the case leapt off the pages. His sister is a victim and not knowing if she is alive after fifteen years took its toll.  I felt every moment of his stress, which was further intensified when Cadence placed herself in harm’s way to try to trap the villain. I felt for him, it could not be easy not knowing what happened to his sister. This feeling of helplessness proved overwhelming.
 
Cadence and Kyle worked well together and were perfect for each other. She helped keep him calm; However, I didn’t like how she dug into his past without his knowledge but was not willing to share her secrets. She had her share of nightmare, stemming from past trauma.
The prologue intrigued me and had me curious about the rest of the story. The villain is one sick creep. For him it is all about control, which was clear with his latest victim. He thought himself superior, which was evident from the way he chose his victims, who were docile and easy to control. He is always one-step ahead of the FBI; will Kyle and Cadence find her in time?
 
 
The story started out slow, but built up as it progressed. The romance took a back seat, but I had no issues with this as the suspense had me on the edge of my seat.  Figuring out the killer’s identity proved a difficult task, but one thing was clear it was someone Kyle knew.  The perp’s obsession with Kyle bordered on manic.  I do not want to go into much detail regarding the perp, but one thing I can say is, he is smart and had everyone fooled. 
 
Twists and turns within the story made for some interesting moments.  Just when they thought they got a break in the case the investigators are led down another road. 
 
Conclusion/Recommendation
I enjoyed this final installment in the Fear Me series. Exciting and suspenseful, it had me flipping the pages as I had to know who is responsible for the disappearance of these women and if Kyle would get closure. I am glad I finally got the chance to read this installment.
 
I would recommend this series to fans of romantic suspense. Although this can be read as a standalone, I would suggest the series be read in order.
 
 
 
 
 
Scream For Me: A Novel of the Night Hunter (For Me, #3)Nothing is deeper than the desire they can’t fight—or deadlier than the evil they can’t escape. They were only supposed to have a professional relationship, but FBI agent Kyle McKenzie has been fantasizing about his sexy partner, Cadence Hollow, from the moment they first met. It takes the darkest case of their careers to finally bring their hidden desire bubbling to the surface. Once they’re in each other’s arms, though, they swear that nothing short of death will part them. The Night Hunter—a cunning stalker whose four-state, fifteen-year abduction spree began in Paradox, Alabama, with Kyle’s sister—may be only too happy to oblige. In the small town, Kyle must confront the painful past he’s been hiding from Cadence. Kyle vows to put the Hunter behind bars…or in the ground. But the one thing that obsesses Kyle more than his sister’s grim fate—his furious love for Cadence—is the weapon the Hunter will use to lure his pursuers into the mouth of a murderous trap.
 
Title : Forever Rose
Author: Carmen Monica Oprea
Publisher: Indie 
Published : December 9, 2016
Genre: Time Travel Romance
Pages: 302
Format: ebook
Source: Author in exchange for a honest review
Reading Challenges: Blogger Shame, COYER Winter
Purchase: Amazon
 
 
 
Forever Rose is a time travelling romance. Although I love time travel stories, I have not read a lot of books with this theme. Agreeing to read Forever Rose made me see how much I have been missing.
 
 
Alessandro Santini is a 21st century Italian surgeon. He inadvertently stepped into a portal created by the super moon, a phenomenon that occurs every fourteen months. A portal, which took him from 2037 to 1737.
 
Upon his teleportation to 1737, he met Rose who bore an uncanny resemblance to his dead wife. He found himself drawn to her and when he discovered her life was in imminent danger, he determined to do all in his power to protect her.
 
 
Prior to reading this title, I was not familiar with the author’s work, but she proved herself. I enjoyed the story and the characters.  There is not much time travel and the majority of the story took place in 18th century Italy.  
 
I enjoyed the romance. For those who love their romance steamy, I am sorry to disappoint you, for there is no steam between the pages of this book. I loved how their feelings for each other developed. Alessandro had issues with the loss of his wife, so surrendering his heart to another woman did not come easy. 
 
I found the mystery element enjoyable despite the ease m I with figuring who wanted Rose dead and why.  What had me flipping the pages in this regard is my curiosity as to the villain’s next move, and how Alex and Rose would counteract it.
 
I enjoyed spending time with the characters. I thought they did well in their roles.   Rose Estes dreamed of becoming a historical painter, but is being forced into the institution of marriage.  She is determined to choose her own path. She is selfless, determined, outspoken and not afraid to stand up for her beliefs.
 
Alessandro does not know how to keep a low profile. I would have expected that being from the future he would try to be inconspicuous as possible. Instead, he made himself known. His actions involved him revealing gadgets from the future leading to suspicions and questions.  His motives, however, came from the heart.
 
Conclusion/Recommendation
Forever Rose was an entertaining read.  I would definitely read more from this author.
 
 
 
Forever RoseAlessandro Santini, an Italian doctor from the twenty-first century, lives an ordinary life in modern day Florence. But one evening, he passes through a swirling vortex caused by a supermoon and discovers he has stepped three hundred years into the past. Countess Rose Estes is torn between following her dream of becoming a historical painter and her duty toward her family. After Rose's father is wounded during her birthday ball, Alex and Rose burn with questions: Who attacked him with a flying dagger? Why? Forced to go to Siena and spend fourteen months together, Rose and Alex find themselves drawn to each other as they search for answers and discover secrets that go deeper than they ever imagined. As the portal's opening approaches, Alex finds out that Rose has been poisoned through the roses she's been receiving. He has two choices to save her life-take Rose to his time or go by himself and bring the medication she needs.

AUDIO BOOK REVIEW: HER DARKEST NIGHTMARE by BRENDA NOVAK @Brenda_Novak NARRATED by THERESE PLUMMER @tplummer76 #RomanticSuspense

 
 
 
 
Title: Her Darkest Nightmare
Narrator(s)Therese Plummer
Publisher: Macmillan Audio
Source: Purchased
Format: Audio Book/Paperback
Release Date: September 29, 2016
Length :  13 hrs 1 mins
Reading Challenges: 2019 Audio Book Challenge
Purchase:  AudibleAmazon
 
 
Her Darkest Nightmare is book 1 in the Evelyn Talbot Chronicles. The events recorded in this novel picks up six months after the prequel, Hanover House.
 
The summer romance between Evelyn and Amorak has hit a snag. Evelyn is still struggling with issues of intimacy, which ended in her pushing Amorak away. Then one snowy night things between them changed, and I had the privilege to witness Evelyn be able to trust a man to love and appreciate her.  Meanwhile, a killer is on the loose. Did a resident from Hanover House escape or is it a blast from Evelyn’s past?  One thing for sure whomever it is, the person is smart and meticulous
 
There were parts of the story that moved slowly for my tastes. This was due in part to time spent explaining psychopathic behavior.
Figuring out the killer’s identity proved to be a challenge. There were several possible suspects, which made it difficult to pick the right one.
Not all the psychopaths in the story were incarcerated, as Evelyn would discover. The story showed that crazies often live and work among us.
 
Amarok had his work cut out for him as the only law enforcement officer in the town who had no experience with homicides. The town had not experienced a murder in ten years. Then to make matters worse the FBI did not believe the murders warranted their input and there was no help from law enforcement in Anchorage.  I found this strange and unrealistic.
 
Evelyn had her share of challenges. Besides the killer taunting her, someone is determined to discredit her. I admired her tenacity, but her hang-ups regarding Amarok’s age became tiresome. A seven-year age difference is no big deal, but Evelyn did not see it that way. 
 
Narration
This is my second time experiencing Therese Plummer’s narration. I enjoyed her depiction of the characters’ voices. The excitement, fear and suspense came through with clarity. 
 
Conclusion/Recommendation
An intense read featuring likeable characters, a sweet romance and a complex mystery.  Fans of romantic suspense will enjoy this installment. I am looking to start the next book, as I am eager to discover what is in store for Evelyn and Amorak.
 
 
 
 
STORY
 
NARRATION
 
 
THE HUNT FOR A SERIAL KILLER Evelyn Talbot knows that a psychopath can look perfectly normal. She was only sixteen when her own boyfriend Jasper imprisoned and tortured her—and left her for dead. Now an eminent psychiatrist who specializes in the criminal mind, Evelyn is the force behind Hanover House, a maximum-security facility located in a small Alaskan town. Her job puts her at odds with Sergeant Amarok, who is convinced that Hanover is a threat to his community…even as his attraction to beautiful Evelyn threatens to tear his world apart. BEGINS WITH AN ESCAPE FROM HER PAST Then, just as the bitter Alaskan winter cuts both town and prison off from the outside world, the mutilated body of a local woman turns up. For Amarok, this is the final proof he needs: Hanover has to go. Evelyn, though, has reason to fear that the crime is a personal message to her—the first sign that the killer who haunts her dreams has found her again. . .and that the life she has so carefully rebuilt will never be the same…
Source: http://totallyaddictedtoreading.blogspot.com/2019/02/audio-book-review-her-darkest-nightmare.html

RELEASE DAY BLITZ and REVIEW TOUR : LUCK OF THE DEVIL by MEGHAN MARCH

 
Title : Luck of the Devil 
Author: Meghan March
Publisher: Red Dress Press
Published : February 12, 2019
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 238
Format: eArc
Source: Author 
Reading Challenges: 2019 New Release Challenge, COYER Winter
BUY: iBooks | Amazon US Kobo | BN
 
 
Luck of the Devil is the second book in Meghan March’s latest series, the Forge Trilogy. The surprise ending in book one left me eagerly awaiting book two and wondering what next March had in store for her readers. I had no doubts she would deliver, but I never expected the turn the story took. Now I am left waiting breathlessly for the conclusion. The month of March cannot come soon enough.
 
Luck of the Devil, picked from where the first book ended. The dark tones in book one was not present in this installment, but the thrills, steam and suspenseful moments were present. 
 
Secrets about Indy and Jericho’s past came to light. Secrets that places both in harm’s way. I learnt of Jericho’s plans for Indy. His plans however were on the verge of backfiring as feelings he never expected emerged.
 
Indy and Jericho are my favorite power couple. Jericho learns that she is no wallflower. Everything he dishes out she reciprocates.  Indy is slowly learning who is the real Jericho Forge. He reveals a side to her that no one has the privilege of seeing. They are perfect for each other.
 
I became completely engrossed with the story. I had a difficult time putting it down despite my not being 100% healthy. I waited with bated breath as I knew danger was imminent. What I did not know was the angle if would take.
 
Conclusion/Recommendation
Luck of the Devil is a mind blowing and heart stopping read. The ending will shock you to the core and leave hankering for more of Indy and Jericho. I am here on pins and needles waiting for the Heart of the Devil’s release.
 
 
New York Times bestselling author Meghan March continues the story of ruthless, calculating billionaire Jericho Forge in Luck of the Devil. My poker face has always been one of my greatest assets, along with my grit and determination. I was beholden to no one. Asked permission for nothing. Then Jericho Forge took my life by storm. I traded my freedom for something infinitely more precious, but I didn’t realize he was holding an unbeatable hand. Now, all I have to do is survive the high-stakes game that is my life—with my heart intact. But not falling in love with Forge? That will take the luck of the devil. Luck of the Devil is the second book of the Forge Trilogy, and should be read following Deal with the Devil. The Forge Trilogy concludes in Heart of the Devil.
 
 
 
 
 
ABOUT THE AUTHOR 
 
 
 
Making the jump from corporate lawyer to romance author was a leap of faith that New York Times, #1 Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestselling author Meghan March will never regret. With over thirty titles published, she has sold millions of books in nearly a dozen languages to fellow romance-lovers around the world. A nomad at heart, she can currently be found in the woods of the Pacific Northwest, living her happily ever after with her real-life alpha hero.
You can find her online at: MeghanMarch.com, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
 
________________________________________
 
Meghan March LLC | Red Dress Press
 
Publicity Contact: Donna Soluri | meghanmarchmedia@gmail.com

BOOK REVIEW: DARK WINE AT MIDNIGHT by JENNA BARWIN @JennaBarwin #UrbanFantasy

 
 
 
Title : Dark Wine at Midnight
 Author: Jenna Barwin
Series: A Hill Vampire #1
Publisher: Hidden Depths Publishing
Published : April 25, 2017
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 419
Format: ebook
Source: Gifted
Reading Challenges:  COYER Winter
Purchase: Amazon
 
 
  
Dark Wine at Midnight by Jenna Barwin is the first book in the Hill Vampire series. This being the author’s debut novel I had no idea what to expect in terms of delivery. The synopsis, however promised danger, seduction and suspense and it was this promise that drove my decision to pick up this book. In the end, I am glad I did.
 
Dr. Cerissa Patel was recruited by the Lux to go undercover in the vampire community as it was rumored that a rogue vampire group has emerged and is a threat to humankind. Her job was to uncover the mastermind behind the group and the plans that were afoot.   She is not keen on the assignment, but the compensation would be worth it as it would mean becoming an envoy for the vampires and in return, her dream of owning her own lab would come to fruition. Cerissa will discover, however that her task would not be an easy one. She had her work cut out for her. The residents of the Hill did not trust her and it did not help she was an unmated mortal. To top it all, she fell for one of the founders, Henry Bautista. 
 
Henry is a Vampire and wine maker and he was not keen on Cerissa being on the Hill. He believes she will be a distraction, which he confirmed when he realised he was attracted to her. An attraction he could not shake no matter how he tried. Haunted by his past and burdened with guilt as a result he feels he is not deserving of love. 
 
I enjoyed the mystery element. Someone wanted Henry and another founding vampire dead.  The suspect pool was small and identifying the villain was not that simple. I managed to figure it out before its revelation.
 
The characters needed some more development. Descriptions of the major players’ backgrounds were lacking. It would have been nice to have more information on Cerissa’s heritage and that of the other major players. I would love to have more insight about the Lux. What made them different from humans and what abilities they possessed?  I love the racial diversity featured in the story. 
 
I believe this is a great start to what appears to be a fantastic Urban Fantasy series. The unique plot and world building pulled me in and held me captive from start to finish. The pacing was ok mostly as there were parts of the story that dragged, but this did not disrupt my enjoyment. The story ended without a resolution to the reason Cerissa went undercover. I hope will get answers to all questions raised in book two.
 
Conclusion/Recommendation
Overall a good read and I am looking forward to dive further into this unique world.
 
 
 
 
Dark Wine at Midnight (A Hill Vampire Novel Book 1)A seductive spy. An alpha vampire. A deadly assassin after them both... When a rogue vampire group emerges from the shadows to enslave mortals, research scientist Cerissa Patel is the only one with an inside track to stop them. The catch - she must go undercover in a vampire-controlled town where an assassin is on the loose and everyone is a suspect, including herself. Worse, she must ignore her growing attraction to vampire Henry Bautista. He's rich, dangerous, and as complex as the wines he makes, and he will do anything to stop her from hurting the community he built. With Henry watching her every move, she must uncover who's behind the rogue vampires and stop the assassin before Henry discovers what's hidden beneath her skin... Dark Wine at Midnight is book 1 in the Hill Vampire series. Escape into the mystery, romance, and political intrigue of the Hill Vampire vineyards. Dangerous and seductive, the suspense will grab you and not let go
Source: http://totallyaddictedtoreading.blogspot.com/2019/02/book-review-dark-wine-at-midnight.html

AUDIO BOOK REVIEW: HANOVER HOUSE by BRENDA NOVAK @Brenda_Novak NARRATED by THERESE PLUMMER @tplummer76 #RomanticSuspense

 
 
 
Title: Hanover House
Author(s):  Hanover House
Series: (The Evelyn Talbot Chronicles 0.5)
Narrator(s): Therese Plummer
Publisher: Macmillan Audio
Source: Purchased
Format: Audio Book
Release Date: February 9, 2016
Length :  4 hrs 17 mins
Reading Challenges: 2019 Audio Book Challenge
Purchase:  AudibleAmazon
 
 
Hanover House by Brenda Novak is the prequel to The Evelyn Talbot series. I am new to Brenda Novak’s work, and I must say I had a good time with this book.  It fueled my desire to pick up the next book in the series. Filled with nail biting suspense and a little creepiness, Hanover House kept me on the edge of my seat from start to finish.  Ms. Novak impressed me with the way she delved into the mind of both the victim and the villain, allowing readers to understand their thought processes. 
 
The protagonist Dr. Evelyn Talbot was a victim of a psychopath when she was a teen. Now an established psychiatrist, she has made it her mission in life to figure out what make psychopaths tick. To aid her in endeavours, she created Hanover House where she can study these serial killers.
Persons close to her wanted her to give up her dream because of the danger it posed,, but she refused to allow her fears to control her. The trauma of the event never left her, which drove her desire to delve deeper into the mind of a psychopath. She struggled with socialisation and as a result, persons perceived her to be an ice queen. Sergeant Amarok will discover that this was not the case the more he got to know her. 
 
Amarok had not been keen on the establishment of Hanover House in his district, but he resigned himself to accepting it.  In the process, he found himself falling for Evelyn and would do anything to protect her. I enjoyed their interaction, which was steamy and humorous. I loved his patience with Evelyn.                                                                     
 
The story featured two psychopaths, the creepiest one being Jasper, Evelyn's ex.  He definitely had a sick mind. His obsession with Evelyn was his primary driving force and it fed his lust for killing. I enjoyed getting the POV of the villain as it gave me a bird’s-eye view of his mental capacity. 
I enjoyed the pacing of the story.   The romance and suspense were well balanced, which I found refreshing. 
 
Narration
Being fairly new to audio books, I have been introduced to a variety of narrators. This is my first time listening to Therese Plummer. I believed she did a good job with the voices.
 
Conclusion/Recommendation
Despite this being a short story I enjoyed every moment.  Fans of romantic suspense will enjoy this prequel to what appears to be an exciting and chilling series. I am looking forward to reading Her Darkest Nightmare.
 
STORY 
 
 
NARRATION
 
Overall Rating
 
 
 
Hanover House The Hanover House Chronicles Prequel novella to my new Hanover House Chronicles Welcome to Hanover House…. Psychiatrist Evelyn Talbot has dedicated her life to solving the mysteries of the psychopathic mind. Why do psychopaths act as they do? How do they come to be? Why don’t they feel any remorse for the suffering they cause? And are there better ways of spotting and stopping them? After having been kidnapped, tortured and left for dead when she was just a teenager—by her high school boyfriend—she’s determined to understand how someone she trusted so much could turn on her. So she’s established a revolutionary new medical health center in the remote town of Hilltop, Alaska, where she studies the worst of the worst. But not everyone in Hilltop is excited to have Hanover House and its many serial killers in the area. Alaskan State Trooper, Sergeant Amarok, is one of them. And yet he can’t help feeling bad about what Evelyn has been through. He’s even attracted to her. Which is partly why he worries. He knows what could happen if only one little thing goes wrong…

REVIEW TOUR: MERCY by JOHN W. MEFFORD @JWMefford @beckvalleybooks #Thriller #Mystery

 
Title:  Mercy
Series: Ball and Chain #1 Publisher: Sugar Hill Press
Source: Author via Beck Valley Book Tours  in exchange for an honest review
Format: Ebook
Published:  January 22, 2019
Genre(s): Mystery, Thriller
Pages: 374
Reading Challenges:  2019 New Release Challenge, Winter COYER, Homework Assignment. Available to buy from.... Amazon.com   Amazon.co.uk    Paperback
 
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After the explosive finale in the Redemption series I wondered what next Mefford had in store for his fans. As soon as I heard he had a new book published, I knew I had to cease the opportunity to read and review it. Mercy, book 1 in the A Ball and Chain Thriller is the latest offering from Mefford’s repertoire. 
 
I went on this latest journey with high expectations and I ended it feeling satisfied and looking forward to more from these new and quirky characters. Mercy introduces Cooper Chain and Willow Ball. Eighteen years ago, they dated in college, but their relationship ended. They have not seen each other since until they met in a bridal store when Cooper came to deliver magazines. They are both at different stages in their life. Willow is about to get married to a wealthy accountant and Cooper while barely making ends meet is deep in debt to some shady characters. The chemistry between them is alive and well, but before they could even fathom what these feelings meant they found themselves embroiled in a murder investigation.
 
The story started out slow, but it picked up the pace as it progressed.  In usual Mefford style it had me guessing as to the killer’s identity, motive and who the next victim would be.
I had a hard time putting this one down as I had to know who the killer was and if there was any connection to the person who had disappeared thirty years ago.
 
I enjoyed meeting this new cast of diverse characters and I am eager to learn more about them. The POVs of Cooper and Willow added an emotional vibe to the story and made it easy to understand the myriad of emotions they experienced.
 
Conclusion/Recommendation
Overall, this was an enjoyable read. I would recommend this to fans of mysteries and thrillers. I found this enjoyable and cannot wait for the next book in the series
 
 
 
The torment builds and builds and builds…. He can't deny it. But in what form will the pressure erupt? Cooper Chain isn't just down on his luck -- he's almost down for the count. The mob wants a piece of him, and he sees no way out. It's a special week for Willow Ball, a woman who's survived her own tribulations to reach this milestone in her life. Through fate -- or a temporary misalignment of the stars -- Willow and Cooper cross paths for the first time since college. Will an unexpected spark re-ignite the flame? A shattering discovery changes everything for Willow and Cooper. The murder is unlike any other. But what will the cops do about it? Attacks ensure, chaos ruptures a family . . . Through it all, how can Willow and Cooper find the killer? But it's not over. As the bodies pile up, a pattern develops and it rocks Willow and Cooper to the core. And then someone emerges after a three-decade disappearance. Could he be connected to this string of murders? The past might provide the breadcrumbs to end this nightmare. But Willow and Cooper may not live long enough to see it through. Will mercy save a life or end many? Get MERCY now! If you're a fan of Michael Connelly's Ballard and Bosch, David Baldacci's King and Maxwell, Tess Gerritsen's Rizzoli and Isles, and the TV show "Castle," then you'll be sucked into this first, page-turning Ball & Chain thriller.
 
Readers are saying… "MERCY is full of suspense and sass. An exciting, mind-blowing adventure."   "Willow Ball and Cooper Chain are flawed and funny, yet so very real in how they deal with the heart-pounding curve balls."   "You'll be enthralled by the gripping story, and you'll laugh out loud from the snarky interactions between Willow and Cooper. I hope this is the first of many killer Ball & Chain adventures."   "The most original new thriller series out there!"
 
 
 
About the Author
 
Amazon #1 Bestselling Author, #2 bestselling author on Barnes and Noble, and a Readers' Favorite Gold Medal winner. John W. Mefford has been writing his debut novel since he first entered the work force almost thirty years ago, although he never put words on paper until 2009. Once he started writing, however, he couldn't stop. Many readers ask John from where he gets his ideas. Well, he's a veteran of the corporate rat-race, a former journalist, and he's always been an astute observer of human and social behavior. On top of that, he's really good at embellishing. A member of International Thriller Writers, John writes novels full of electrifying suspense -- the same types of books he has loved to read since before he could shave. When he’s not writing, he chases his youth on bike or a basketball court, all while making mental notes of people and societies across the land.
 
Find the author on the following sites...  Website   Facebook   Twitter   Google+   Goodreads   Bookbub   Amazon Author Page
 
 
 
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BOOK REVIEW: COURTED BY HER COUGAR by FELICITY HEATON @felicityheaton #ParanormalRomance #Shifters

 
 
 
Title : Courted by Her Cougar
Series: Cougar Creek Mates
Publisher: Indie 
Published : September 8 , 2018
Pages: 140
Format: eArc
Source: Author in exchange for a honest review
Reading Challenges: Blogger Shame, COYER Winter
Purchase: Amazon
 
 
 
Courted by Her Cougar is the third book in the Cougar Mates series. The book can work as a standalone. This installment features Flint, the youngest of the cougar brothers.  
 
Flint does not intend to allow the madness he thinks claimed his brothers to affect him. Has no interest in a long-term relationship and much prefer one-night stands. Unfortunately, for Flint fate had different plans for him as he discovered when he bumped into an exotic woman by the creek.
 
Yasmin is a doctor, and she came to the Creek looking for her best friend Ivy. While on her search, she came face to face with Flint. Their encounter was rather interesting, and it paved the way for the rest of the story. 
 
Flint was taken with Yasmin and he developed feelings he never expected especially when it is geared towards a human. The madness that claimed his brothers has now hot him in its sights.
 
Yasmin has a protective streak, which was clear in the way she treated her friend. She has a hard outer shell that few have been able to penetrate as Flint is slowly discovering. In addition, she harbours a secret, which she is not keen to reveal anytime soon.
 
 
The cougar culture of courting proved brutal, a fact Yasmin discovered when she accepted the courtship challenge from three members of the pride. Her actions resulted from her need to get back at Flint for trying to control her. 
 
Once again, Heaton delivered a story filled with heat and action. Although this was not my favorite of the series, I still had a good time.  As usual, her descriptive fight scenes kept me on the edge of my seat. The fears and worries of the characters leapt from the pages. 
 
 
Conclusion/Recommendation
Courted by Her Cougar was a quick and easy read and one I recommend to fans of the genre.
 
 
 
Courted by her Cougar (Cougar Creek Mates, #3)Madness is sweeping through Cougar Creek, and Flint wants no part of it. The fever has two of his brothers in love already, and Flint is damned if he’s giving up the bachelor life to tie himself to one female, but when a perimeter sweep has him running into an exotic and enthralling beauty who rouses his instincts as a cougar shifter and a male, the hunt is on. All Yasmin is interested in is making sure her friend, Ivy, is safe, but the alluring black-haired man with a wicked smile she meets on the path to the creek has her thinking about other things. When an incident at Cougar Creek leads to her revealing a secret, and Flint’s persistence pushes her to a rash decision, her entire world is in danger of being turned upside down. With the gathering in full swing, and males determined to prove their worth to Yasmin, Flint discovers he’s not immune to the madness sweeping through the creek, because he’ll do whatever it takes to claim victory and win Yasmin’s heart… no matter how dangerous it is.
Source: http://totallyaddictedtoreading.blogspot.com/2019/01/book-review-courted-by-her-cougar.html

BOOK REVIEW: THROUGH THE FIRE by KATIE RUGGLE @KatieRuggle #Romance #Suspense

 
Title: Through the Fire
Series: Rocky Mountain K9 Unit #4
Genres: Romantic Suspense 
Published: 28 August 2018
Pages: 416
Format: eARC 
Source: Publisher via Netgalley
Reading Challenges: Netgalley and Edelweiss, 2019 New Release, Blogger Shame
Buy :  Amazon
 
 
 
Through the Fire, the fourth and last book in the Rocky Mountain K9 Unit series. It picks up from the explosive ending in book three. 
 
This installment differs from the previous books. In this story the heroine is not looking to hiding her identity. She is a police officer. The one thing she shares with the other heroines is that of running from her past. During her relocation to Monroe she meets an awkwardly social, Wesley Marshall.
 
Wes is a math/computer genius and local fire spotter. Hermit by choice be lives in the middle of now where. He has no friends and finds comfort in his gadgets. As a result, he has difficulty interacting on a social level.
 
Oh my, I loved their first encounter, which was awkward but sweet. It had me smiling from ear to ear.
 
Kit’s meeting with her coworkers did not go so well. They kept her at a distance and refused to listen when she disclosed her suspicions regarding their women’ newest roommate. I understood why they reacted the way they did, but Kit being the newcomer was clueless. 
 
I enjoyed the romance. Wes is so adorable. His interaction with Kit was so full of sweetness and it made me smile throughout it all. I loved how Wes slowly came out of his shell. One highlight for me was when he called his sister to get romantic advise. Awww.
 
The villain had everyone fooled, well except for Kit and Sam. Kit knew she was up to no good if only she could convince the others. The twist at the end shocked me to the core. That turn of events never once entered my mind, but it fit the story. My heart went out to those who were affected by the event.
 
I enjoyed this installment; it was fun, sweet and suspenseful. The tying up of the story surrounding Jules was a long time coming, and I thought it was well done.
 
Conclusion/Recommendation
Another hit from Ruggle. Fans of romantic suspense would enjoy this series.  I recommend that you read the previous books before venturing to this one.
 
 
 
 
 
Through the Fire (Rocky Mountain K9 Unit, #4)Kit Jernigan despairs of ever fitting in with her new tight-knit K9 unit. They've been through too much to open their arms to a stranger―and as mysterious fires begin raging across Monroe, she can't convince them to trust her long enough to catch the woman she knows is responsible. Wesley March, local fire spotter, knows Kit is right, and he's willing to help her prove it. But the more time they spend together, the closer they get...and the more danger they're in. A member of the K9 unit's inner circle is determined to get revenge―no matter who gets burned in the process. This time, it's personal. Rocky Mountain K-9 Unit Series: Run to Ground (Book 1) On the Chase (Book 2) Survive the Night (Book 3) Through the Fire (Book 4)
Source: http://totallyaddictedtoreading.blogspot.com/2019/01/ook-review-through-fire-by-katie-ruggle.html

BOOK REVIEW: KILL THE QUEEN by JENNIFER ESTEP @Jennifer_Estep #Fantasy #Magic

 
 
 
Kill the Queen by Jennifer Estep
Series: Crown of Shards 1 Publisher: Harper Voyage
Published: October 2, 2018
Genres: Fantasy Pages: 480
Format: eARC 
Source:  Publisher via Edelweiss
Purchase: Amazon
Reading Challenges:  Netgalley and Edelweiss, COYER Winter
 
 
This story was awesome. I do not know why I waited so long to read it, but better late than never. This is my first time reading Jennifer Estep and it will definitely not be my last. I enjoyed every moment of this story; there was never a dull moment. This is a story that is best going into blind, as the experience will be better.
 
The vivid descriptions and the world building enhanced my enjoyment of the story. I felt I was a part of this world steeped in magic and gladiator fights. 
 
Character development was on point. I met characters whom I loved and then there were those whom I passionately disliked.  
 
Evie, the main character proved a force to reckon with. She showed remarkable growth throughout the story. She started out meek and mild like a little lamb but by the end of the story she was like a roaring lion.  I loved how she stood up for herself and others and in the process discovered true friendship.
 
The secondary characters fascinated me. There was the dance instructor, the jewelry maker and the members of the gladiator troupe.  They brought their own blend of flavour, which included humour, secrets, danger and romance.
 
I loved the pacing, which had me on the edge of my seat. I kept wondering what next would transpire. Intense action scenes and battles to the death added to the darkness and grittiness of the story.
 
The story wrapped up nicely. No cliffhangers, but based on the ending we know there‘s more in store for Evie and her friends. I cannot wait to know what next the series has to offer.
 
Conclusion/Recommendation
Fans of fantasy will enjoy this offering from Jennifer Estep. Action packed with interesting characters, this story is not to be missed.
 
 
 
 
Kill the Queen (Crown of Shards, #1)
Gladiator meets Game of Thrones: a royal woman becomes a skilled warrior to destroy her murderous cousin, avenge her family, and save her kingdom in this first entry in a dazzling fantasy epic from the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Elemental Assassin series—an enthralling tale that combines magic, murder, intrigue, adventure, and a hint of romance. In a realm where one’s magical power determines one’s worth, Lady Everleigh’s lack of obvious ability relegates her to the shadows of the royal court of Bellona, a kingdom steeped in gladiator tradition. Seventeenth in line for the throne, Evie is nothing more than a ceremonial fixture, overlooked and mostly forgotten. But dark forces are at work inside the palace. When her cousin Vasilia, the crown princess, assassinates her mother the queen and takes the throne by force, Evie is also attacked, along with the rest of the royal family. Luckily for Evie, her secret immunity to magic helps her escape the massacre. Forced into hiding to survive, she falls in with a gladiator troupe. Though they use their talents to entertain and amuse the masses, the gladiators are actually highly trained warriors skilled in the art of war, especially Lucas Sullivan, a powerful magier with secrets of his own. Uncertain of her future—or if she even has one—Evie begins training with the troupe until she can decide her next move. But as the bloodthirsty Vasilia exerts her power, pushing Bellona to the brink of war, Evie’s fate becomes clear: she must become a fearsome gladiator herself . . . and kill the queen

BOOK REVIEW: RULES OF ENGAGEMENT by MIKA JOLIE @MikaJolie1 #ContemporaryRomance #FriendstoLovers

 
 
Rules of Engagement by Mika Jolie
 Publication Date: January 25, 2019
Publisher: Mika Jolie
Genre: Romantic Comedy
Source: Author
Format: ebook
Pages :  
Reading Challenges: 2019 New Release,  COYER Winter
Buy: Amazon 
 
 
I remember the first time I read a book written by Mika Jolie and I thought to myself damn this woman can write. Since then no book of hers, I have read disappointed. 
After reading The Boyfriend, I wanted the supporting characters to get their story. Well, I received what I hoped for in Rules of Engagement. This is Katherine and Lucas’ story and it was all I hoped for and more.
 
I became completely invested in them and their relationship from the beginning. Here we have Lucas a divorced, single dad who fears commitment based on prior experience and Katherine who, despite being cheated on by her fiancé, believes in finding true love. These two have been friends for twenty years, but it was not until lately they discovered their attraction to each other. Lucas‘s  fantasies regarding Kate intensified, but as far as he is concerned it will stay that way as being the sister of his best friend she was off limits.  However, when his ex- wife’s shenanigans threatens his custody of their daughter, Katherine offered him a solution, which involved a fake engagement.
 
The chemistry between these two scorched the pages, which blurred the lines between fake and reality. Their engagement may have been a fake, but their feelings were the real thing.
 
I had fun spending time with Lucas and Kate. Kate is not afraid to go after what she wants and Lucas is whom she wants. Despite his fear of relationships, he could not fight his attraction to Kate and pretending to be engaged did not help the situation.
 
Told primarily from Lucas’s POV, I experienced his insecurities regarding his past relationship. These insecurities formed the basis of his conflicted feelings towards Katherine. One of the things I admired about him was his complete devotion to his daughter. 
 
I got insight into Kate’s feelings through her blog posts. The posts were few, but they along with her actions were enough to give clarity as to her true feelings. Her thoughtfulness is admirable. To offer help a friend in such the fashion, opening herself for heartbreak knowing the pain of betrayal she experienced in the past demonstrated her selflessness.
 
A well-written story, with few conflicts and angst made for an easy and enjoyable read. Jolie did a remarkable job with pacing, character development. 
 
Conclusion/Recommendation
Rules of Engagement was a treat from start to finish and one I recommend to fans of the friends to lovers and fake engagement trope.
 
Rules are definitely made to be broken
 
 
 
Rules of EngagementRule #1: Don’t fall in love. As a single dad, my life revolves around my daughter. No complaints…until my ex-wife forces my hand over custody. I needed a cover story. In steps Katharine Morello. My best friend’s sister is ready and willing to be my fake fiancée. Overnight we’re engaged. A temporary arrangement. No sex. No strings attached. No complications. Easy, right? Not quite. The last few months, I’ve been doing dirty things to her in my imagination. But that’s all they’ll ever be. Fantasies. Rule #2: Don’t give in to temptation. Neither of us is looking for a relationship. Been there. Done that. Even drank the Kool-Aid. So, you see, I can resist beautiful, sexy Katharine. It doesn’t matter she’s hot as f*ck with an amazing personality to boot. All I have to do is NOT touch her. I’ve got this. Spoiler Alert…One night make-believe merges with reality. Sparks fly—and burn. Now I want her. All of her. Rule #3: See rule #1—don’t fall in love. Man. Hindsight’s a bitch.
Source: http://totallyaddictedtoreading.blogspot.com/2019/01/book-review-rules-of-engagement.html

REVIEW TOUR: TRAILS OF LOVE by MELISSA FOSTER @Melissa_Foster @beckvalleybooks #Contemporary #Romance

 
 
Title: Trails of Love
Series: (The Bradens and Montgomerys (Pleasant Hill - Oak Falls) Book 3)
Publisher: World Literary Press
Released: January 9, 2019
Genres: Contemporary Romance 
Format: eARC 
Pages: 300
Source: Author via Beck Valley Book Tours
 
Reading Challenges: 2019 New Release
 
Available to buy from ... Amazon.com   Amazon.co.uk   Barnes and Noble    KOBO    iBooks   GPlay   Paperback
Whenever I pick up a novel written by Melissa Foster, I can expect to get a story filled, with friendship, family and a sweet and steamy romance.
Trails of Love provided it all. However, it was missing the IT factor I normally expect to get from her stories.  It was not a bad story, but it did not wow me the way I hoped it would.
 
We visit Oak Falls once again this time for a festival and the wedding of Morgyn’s sister.  In this installment, we get the opportunity to witness Morgyn getting her chance to experience  true love.
 
Morgyn is what you would call a free spirit. She does things on her own terms. Planner and organized are not words you would use to describe this young woman.  She is laid back, artistic and hates being tied down. She has a heart of gold therefore making it easy for persons to be drawn to her.
 
Graham is the complete opposite. As an engineer and investor, he assess risks, plans and develop a strategy before arriving at a decision. However, he would learn that with matters of the heart assessing, planning and strategizing served no purpose. 
 
These two had a whirlwind romance. They met at a festival, they had an instant connection and since they were inseparable.  I do not know what it was about these two, but I could not feel their chemistry. The story said it was there, but I did not connect with it.  Compared to the couples in Ms. Foster’s other stories they felt flat.  I think it had to do with they fell in love, and were making major decisions about their lives together within two weeks of meeting each other. In addition based on their conversations their relationship appeared as if sex was the glue that held it together. If they are not having sex, they are talking about it.
 
I loved the family setting, and enjoyed how each welcomed both Morgyn and Graham into their fold. I loved their openness with each other. Drama and an angst free story line mixed with sweetness made for an easy read.  What I found a little weird though was the ease they talked about sex in front of their parents especially considering the fact they barely knew each other after spending two weeks together.  Personally, I would be uncomfortable with such a scenario, but that is just me. I know there are other readers who would have no problem with this. 
 
Conclusion/Recommendation
Despite Morgyn and Graham not being my favourite couple, I still enjoyed Trails of Love and would recommend it to fans of contemporary romance.  Ffans Ms. Foster's work will enjoy this addition to the Bradens and Montgomery series. I cannot wait to read Brindle’s story.  
 
Trails of Love (The Bradens & Montgomerys: Pleasant Hill - Oak Falls #3; The Bradens #28; Love in Bloom #68)
Discover the magic of New York Times bestseller Melissa Foster's writing, and see why millions of readers have fallen in love with the Bradens and the rest of the Love in Bloom big-family romance collection. In TRAILS OF LOVE... When Graham Braden travels to Oak Falls, Virginia to attend the wedding of his buddy Reed Cross to Grace Montgomery, he sticks around to help with renovations to Reed's new theater. The last thing he expects is to be asked to assess and possibly invest in Grace's sister Morgyn's business endeavor. Graham is a careful, keen businessman, and Morgyn is impulsive, disorganized, and more interested in the energy flow in her eclectic retail shop than in the accuracy of her records. While Graham isn't ready to open his pockets to the sassy, sexy business owner, he may be ready to open his heart. The Bradens & Montgomerys are part of Melissa's Love in Bloom big-family romance collection. All Love in Bloom novels are written to stand alone and may also be enjoyed as part of the larger series, so dive right into this fun, sexy romance. **CONTENT WARNING: Due to mature content, recommended for readers aged 18+**
 
 
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"Melissa Foster is synonymous with sexy, swoony, heartfelt romance!" - NYT Bestseller Lauren Blakely​
"You can always rely on Melissa Foster to deliver a story that's fresh, emotional and entertaining. Make sure you have all night, because once you start you won't want to stop reading. Every book's a winner!" - New York Times Bestselling Author Brenda Novak 
 
"With her wonderful characters and resonating emotions, Melissa Foster is a must-read author!" - New York Times Bestseller J. Kenner
More Bradens & Montgomerys: Pleasant Hill - Oak Falls 
EMBRACING HER HEART
Embracing Her Heart (The Montgomerys Book 1) by [Foster, Melissa]
Leaving New York City and returning to her hometown to teach a screenplay writing class seems like just the break Grace Montgomery needs. Until her sisters wake her at four thirty in the morning to watch the hottest guys in town train wild horses and she realizes that escaping her sisters’ drama-filled lives was a lot easier from hundreds of miles away. To make matters worse, she spots the one man she never wanted to see again—ruggedly handsome Reed Cross. 
Reed was one of Michigan’s leading historical preservation experts, but on the heels of catching his girlfriend in bed with his business partner, his uncle suffers a heart attack. Reed cuts all ties and returns home to Oak Falls to run his uncle’s business. A chance encounter with Grace, his first love, brings back memories he’s spent years trying to escape. 
Grace is bound and determined not to fall under Reed’s spell again—and Reed wants more than another taste of the woman he’s never forgotten. When a midnight party brings them together, passion ignites and old wounds are opened. Grace sets down the ground rules for the next three weeks. No touching, no kissing, and if she has it her way, no breathing, because every breath he takes steals her ability to think. But Reed has other ideas… 
Available to buy from ...
 
ANYTHING FOR LOVE
Embracing Her Heart (The Montgomerys Book 1) by [Foster, Melissa]
After Charlotte Sterling loses her last family member, she moves to Sterling House, her family's Colorado mountain inn, to live a solitary life. As an erotic romance writer, her days and nights are filled with passion and intrigue-even if only fictional. She loves her busy, quiet lifestyle, and she learned early on that real men can't live up to the fictional heroes she creates-until ruggedly handsome Beau Braden arrives to do some work at the inn and, for the first time in forever, she's intrigued by a real man.
Beau lost his first love years ago, and he's never let go of his guilt over her death. As he nears the anniversary of his loss, he is on the cusp of becoming the star of a home-renovation reality show. Escaping the painful memories of his past to work at the defunct old inn is just the promise of solitude he needs to clear his head before diving in to the all-too-public career. But he didn't count on being attracted to the whimsical, adorably sexy innkeeper.
 
Neither Charlotte nor Beau is looking for an attachment or a fling. But the more they learn about each other, the closer they become. Romantic evenings lead to intimate conversations, and neither can deny their deep connection or the passion it sparks. They've never fully healed on their own, but together maybe anything is possible. 
 
The Bradens & Montgomerys are part of Melissa's Love in Bloom big-family romance collection. All Love in Bloom novels are written to stand alone and may also be enjoyed as part of the larger series, so dive right into this fun, sexy romance.
 
Available to buy from ...
 
Amazon.com   Amazon.co.uk   Barnes and Noble    KOBO    iBooks   GPlay   Paperback
 
WILD, CRAZY HEARTS - Releasing June 12th, 2019
Embracing Her Heart (The Montgomerys Book 1) by [Foster, Melissa]
Brindle Montgomery and Trace Jericho have been close friends forever and on-again off-again lovers for years. As rebellious as they are stubborn, they’re both perfectly happy with their no-strings-attached hookups. But when Brindle returns from a trip to Paris with a baby bump, it sends Trace’s wild, crazy heart into a frenzy—and Brindle is left wondering if she’s made the biggest mistake of her life.
Available to pre-order from ...
About the author
Melissa Foster is a New York Times & USA Today bestselling and award-winning author. She writes sexy and heartwarming contemporary romance and women’s fiction with emotionally compelling characters that stay with you long after you turn the last page. Melissa’s emotional journeys are lovingly erotic and always family oriented–perfect beach reads for contemporary romance and new adult romance lovers who enjoy reading about loyal, wealthy heroes and smart, sassy heroines with complex relatable issues. Melissa also writes sweet romance under the pen name Addison Cole. Melissa enjoys chatting with readers and book clubs. Send her an email invitation to your next event!
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Source: http://totallyaddictedtoreading.blogspot.com/2019/01/review-tour-trails-of-love.html

BOOK REVIEW: PLAYING FOR KEEPS by JILL SHALVIS @JillShalvis #Romance #ContemporaryRomance @avonbooks

 
 
Playing for Keeps by Jill Shalvis
Series: Heartbreaker Bay #7  Publisher:  Avon  
Published: January 22, 2019
Genres: Contemporary Romance  Pages: 384
Format: eARC 
Source:  Publisher via Edelweiss
Purchase: Amazon
Reading Challenges:  2019 New Release Challenge, 
Netgalley and Edelweiss, COYER Winter,
 
 
 
 
I adored Playing for Keeps. This my favourite in the Heartbreaker series. This story addressed dark issues that affect young children, teens and adults.  
 
The story featured two individuals from different social standings but who both experienced trauma from their past.  From the moment I met Sadie, Caleb and their adorable pup I knew I would love them. Although sometimes Sadie frustrated me with her actions. 
 
Sadie is a struggling tattoo artist, who works at a day spa to make ends meet. She has no interest in relationship as her last one ended on a bad note. She has no interest in a man especially one who dresses in fancy suits and drives expensive cars. Caleb Parker should be avoided at all costs, as he is the epitome of these traits.
 
Caleb grew up poor, sickly and bullied by his peers. He managed, with help from an unexpected source turn around his life. He is now a self-made billionaire and is a dreamboat.   Something about Sadie keeps pulling him to her, but he recognises she wants nothing to do with him.  However, all that changed when one rainy night they both came to the aid of a homeless puppy who saw it fit to claim them both as her owners.
 
Sparks sizzled between these two, but they fought them to no avail. Love proved the stronger opponent. 
 
Caleb proved to be a swoon worthy hero, which made him the perfect book boyfriend. He is caring, always looking to help persons in need. The more time Sadie spent with him she realised she misjudged him and she could not help but fall for him. 
 
Sadie had a hard time opening her heart to anyone. Her fears went deep, but Lollipop and Caleb had the capacity to melt the hardest of hearts and soon she found herself opening her heart.
 Their relationship developed at a good pace but it was not without its obstacles, which was to be expected from two damaged souls plagued by ghosts from their pasts and meddling family members
 
I enjoyed Sadie’s sarcasm. Sometimes her comments had me laughing aloud. I loved how Caleb held his own with her and never allowed her to scare him away.
 
Conclusion/Recommendation
 
Playing for Keeps is a well-written story with well-developed characters that will keep you engaged from start to finish
 
 
 
 
 
Playing for Keeps: A Heartbreaker Bay Novel by [Shalvis, Jill]FIRST TIME AVAILABLE If you’re planning on falling in love… When it comes to the confident, charismatic Caleb Parker, Sadie Lane feels the spark—the kind that comes from rubbing each other the wrong way. She’s yoga pants, he’s a suit. She’s a tattoo artist, he’s a straight-laced mogul. But after they accidentally co-rescue an abandoned dog from a storm, Sadie sees a vulnerable side to the seemingly invincible hottie. you’d better be sure… Caleb doesn’t do emotions. Growing up the underdog, he’s learned the hard way to build up an impenetrable wall. Perfect for business. Disastrous for relationships. He’s never worried about it before—not until he finally gets behind Sadie’s armor and begins to fall. … someone is there to catch you. Both guarded and vulnerable, Sadie and Caleb are complete opposites. Or are they? Shocked at their undeniable connection, can they ever admit to wanting more? That all depends on what they’re each willing to risk.
Source: http://totallyaddictedtoreading.blogspot.com/2019/01/book-review-playing-for-keeps.html