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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%
Halloween Is Murder (McKinley Mysteries) - Carolyn Arnold

As a big fan of Carolyn Arnold, after reading Violated from her Brandon Fisher series, I could not wait to read Halloween is Murder. It has been awhile since I read a cozy mystery. The ones I read are those written by Agatha Christie and to be honest I never felt compelled to read any other cozies until now. After all Carolyn Arnold is the author.Halloween is Murder is the eleventh book in the McKinley series. However, it can be read without having to read the previous books.

What the story is about.

Sean and Sara McKinley are former police officers turned private investigators. The name of their firm is Pay It Forward Investigations, which is fitting given their philanthropic nature. They are launching a haunted house charity event, which is covered by the media. Chloe Parsons is the reporter responsible for featuring the event. Unfortunately, after filming the event she was found dead in her apartment. Did she die from natural causes or was she murdered?

The Story

This was a quick and easy read. There was humour and a dash of romance. I found the pacing slow for my tastes, but I still enjoyed the plot, characterisation and development. It held my attention from start to finish.

The Characters

Although this is book eleven, there is sufficient background information, which allowed me to establish a connection with the characters.

I admired Sara for her tenacity. She concluded that the circumstances surrounding the reporter’s death was suspicious, and she was not willing to give up until her suspicions were satisfied. She relies on her gut instinct in conducting investigations. Sean on the other hand relies on hard evidence, but he has learned to trust his wife’s instincts, making them the perfect investigating duo.

They say variety is the spice of life and this was evident from the varying range of characters who brought the story alive. From the grumpy medical examiner to the snarky computer geek, they added their own blend of spice to story.

The Mystery

Due to the lack of danger and conflict, the intense and edge of your seat feeling one would expect from mysteries was absent. I thought the mystery developed nicely. The author created a wide pool of suspects making it difficult to figure out who or what was behind Chloe’s demise. It was not until near the end that all was revealed, but that did not stop me from trying to figure it out on my own.

Conclusion/Recommendation

I had a good time with this installment and I will be looking to read the previous books in the series. If you enjoy cozies, then you may want to give this series a try.


Blood Freed - Traci Douglass

This is one of the few times reading a series out-of-order paid off. If I had read book one first, chances are I would not have continued the series, and I would missed out on two awesome stories. Thankfully, I had an enjoyable experience with the last book in the series, which prompted me to read the earlier books.

What the story is about

BLOOD FREED takes us back into the world of supernatural beings and motorcycle gangs. In this installment we get the 411 on Anna's twin Liz and the werewolf Dexter MacCallahan. Liz is geared to take up her position, along with her sister, as the Oracle for the Blood Ravagers gang, but to do so they need to complete a binding ceremony. Unfortunately, the completion of the ceremony required vital information, which was not readily available. To obtain this information meant going on a dangerous journey. Liz, in a bid to prove she was competent, courageous and committed, volunteered to acquire the information.

To ensure her safety, Dexter was assigned the task of accompanying her. He was not keen about going, but this was a job he could not refuse, as getting this information was vital to security of all supernatural beings. However, there was a major problem: his rut was near, a rare phenomenon that requires werewolves to bond with their chosen mate. Failure to do so meant certain insanity and death.


What I liked:

The Story
Action, suspense, humour and sexual tension permeated the pages of this story. Danger abound as their enemies hunted the information Liz and Dex were seeking. I thoroughly enjoyed the banter between the protagonists, which was filled with humour and sexual innuendoes. The intensity of the action and suspense kept me on my toes and had me eagerly turning the pages. The story was narrated in the third person from both Liz and Dex's perspectives. Usually, I would have a hard time with third person narration, but fortunately this was not the case in this instance. The story came alive, and I felt as if I was involved in every aspect of this tale.

The Characters

Liz acts tough, but she is scared of embracing her destiny as the Oracle. She feared her love for adventure would cause her to fail as the Oracle. Therefore, she believed undertaking the dangerous mission would prove to the gang members and herself that she was more than capable of fulfilling her destiny. I had no problem relating to her. I understood her fears. Being an Oracle was a big deal and not a position to be taken lightly. What I loved most about her was her determination and strength. She was definitely a force to be reckoned with as her enemies would discover.

Dexter is a stoic, moody and gruff wolf shifter. A lone wolf scared of repeating the mistakes of his ancestors. Despite his attraction to Liz he believed he was not worthy of her. The burden of guilt from his past weighed him down, hindered his desire for happiness and caused him to doubt his abilities. His fear of history repeating itself trumped his fear of going on the mission with Liz. This fueled his determination in ensuring the success of the mission. Along the way, he would re-discover himself and learn that things were not always what they seem.

I enjoyed the interaction between Liz and Dex. I thought they were perfect for each. Two damaged souls who helped each other heal. Their feelings for each leapt off the pages and I found myself rooting for them every step of the way.

Conclusion /Recommendation:
This was an improvement to the previous installment. It was fun, exhilarating, adventurous, and suspenseful and filled with heat. I enjoyed every moment spent in the world that the author created.

Overall an exciting read and one which I recommend to readers who enjoy action, suspense and heat and the supernatural world.

The Real Thing (Sugar Lake Book 1) - Melissa Foster


Melissa Foster has created a hit with her latest book ‘The Real Thing’. This is the first book in the new ‘Sugar Lake ‘series. I wholeheartedly enjoyed this sweet contemporary second chance romance. I love these type of stories, so I was eager to dive into this book, and I am glad I did. It was everything I expected and more.

What the story is about.
In ‘The Real Thing’ introduces us to Willow Dalton, the owner of Sweetie Pie Bakery, and Hollywood actor Zane Walker. Zane and Willows’ relationship has been a complicated one, which went as far back as their high school years. For Willow, Zane was the one man she never got over and it did not help to know he was the one she gave her V card.

Zane has returned to Sweetwater to film his latest movie, a romantic suspense, which is very different from the gritty action movies he usually stars. To prove that he could be a romantic hero he had to clean up his playboy image, and this involved being in a steady relationship. To accomplish this task, he approached the one woman he believed he could trust with such a task. He convinced Willow to act his fiancée for the time he would be in Sweetwater filming. Will they be able to maintain the pretence, or will their fake relationship become the real thing?

Willow is one of those characters you will love but at times find her actions frustrating. I did not agree with her behaviour towards Zane over the years when she was the one who had made the rules regarding their relationship the night when she gave up her virginity. She made the rules so why be upset when he did what she wanted? In spite of I enjoyed the role she played in the story. She displayed a level of strength and bravery, but when it came to Zane, she struggled with insecurities. Doubts and insecurities clouded her judgement, and she believed every emotion displayed by Zane was an act.
I could totally see myself with a guy like Zane minus the paparazzi of course. A hunky and famous movie star who cared about others. The way he treated Willow and her family was a testament to his caring nature. Zane thought his current file would provide with his biggest role to date. However, he would come to realise that his biggest role would be convincing Willow that what he felt for her was the real thing. Along the way, he would discover his purpose.
It was good to see them work at resolving the issues from their past and coming to terms with the mistakes they made. Dealing with those issues makes it easy for them to handle their romance on a mature level.
I loved the secondary characters. They helped to make things interesting. The information provided whetted my appetite and I am eager to see what Ms. Foster has in store for them.
I enjoyed the romance, which was hot and sweet. I liked that this was not an instant connection. Their feelings for each other have been building over the years and it only grew stronger as time went by. There were a lot of swoon worthy moments. Family and friendships featured strongly in this book, which came as no surprise. If you are familiar with author’s contemporary romance, you will understand what I mean.

Conclusion/Recommendation
Overall, I enjoyed this installment. I am looking forward to the next book, which centres on one of Willow’s sisters. I would recommend this to fans of sweet romances and second chances.




Beneath These Shadows - Meghan March

Beneath These Shadows (Beneath #6)

Beneath These Shadows is the 6th book in The Beneath series and it can be read as a stand-alone. This book has sat on my kindle since the day it was released, but I kept pushing it back. I am not sure why, especially given the experience I have had with the series. Well, better late than never.

What the story is about.

Beneath These Shadows tells the story of Bishop, a tattoo artist and Eden, the daughter of New York’s notorious mob boss. Running from his past, Bishop came to New Orleans to start over. He kept a low profile and tried not to bring attention to himself. All that changed, the day he rescued a beautiful woman who appeared lost and totally out of her element. In the process, he would discover that the past as an uncanny way of coming back to haunt.

Eden lived a sheltered life. She never experienced the beauty that life offered. Constantly surrounded by bodyguards, her life was a virtual prison. When her father’s business came under attack, he sent her away for her protection. Eden saw this as an opportunity to experience freedom for the first time in her life. Her desires led her to the City of New Orleans where she met a walking sex on stick tattoo artist, who helped her to discover all that life offered.

The Characters.

Bishop is the epitome of an alpha male. He is smart, determined, loyal, understanding and protective. His protective nature became evident in the manner in which he treated Eden. He recognised her innocence and naivete and appointed himself her personal saviour. In doing so he opened himself to the thing he had been running from. He knew the risks, but he willing accepted them to ensure Eden’s safety.

Eden is one of those heroines I had a hard time warming up to. I understood her need to experience freedom, but I had difficulty wrapping my head around the careless risks she took. Being innocent and naïve is not a crime, but when you add stupid behaviour to the mix, then we have a whole new scenario. The unnecessary risks taken put herself and Bishop in danger.

The Supporting Characters.

The story featured characters from the previous instalment. We are given insight into the current events of their lives. I enjoyed the bond that Bishop had developed with them. I also appreciated the manner in which they embraced Eden in their fold, knowing what she meant to Bishop. I loved how they rallied together to help Bishop when they thought Eden may be in danger. The introduction of new characters added to the suspense factor of the story and helped to make things intense and interesting.

The Romance

True to Meghan March style the romance packed heat and sizzle. Their attraction to each other was as clear as day. I appreciated that they took time before giving into the sizzling attraction between them. This helped to make their romance engaging and believable. What started out as an unlikely friendship, slowly grew into an undeniable explosive attraction.

The Story

Aside from my issues with the heroine, I thought the story was well-written. It was a tad bit predictable in some areas, but it did not take away from my enjoyment. There was one aspect of the story that I was hoping that the author would have developed further. This had to do with Eden’s relationship with her father. After all that had transpired, I was expecting to a deeper and loving bond develop between them, but their relationship remained static throughout the story.

There was another aspect of the story that I found annoying and which I believe did not add value to the story. The women who kept throwing themselves at Bishop even when he showed no interest. What I did not get was did he have history with these women or was it a case where they wanted to fulfil a fantasy.

Conclusion/Recommendation.

The story did not deliver all I expected. It was not my favourite of the series, but I still found it enjoyable.


The Real Thing (Sugar Lake Book 1) - Melissa Foster

Melissa Foster has created a hit with her latest book ‘The Real Thing’. This is the first book in the new ‘Sugar Lake ‘series. I wholeheartedly enjoyed this sweet contemporary second chance romance. I love these type of stories, so I was eager to dive into this book, and I am glad I did. It was everything I expected and more.

What the story is about.
In ‘The Real Thing’ introduces us to Willow Dalton, the owner of Sweetie Pie Bakery, and Hollywood actor Zane Walker. Zane and Willows’ relationship has been a complicated one, which went as far back as their high school years. For Willow, Zane was the one man she never got over and it did not help to know he was the one she gave her V card.

Zane has returned to Sweetwater to film his latest movie, a romantic suspense, which is very different from the gritty action movies he usually stars. To prove that he could be a romantic hero he had to clean up his playboy image, and this involved being in a steady relationship. To accomplish this task, he approached the one woman he believed he could trust with such a task. He convinced Willow to act his fiancée for the time he would be in Sweetwater filming. Will they be able to maintain the pretence, or will their fake relationship become the real thing?

Willow is one of those characters you will love but at times find her actions frustrating. I did not agree with her behaviour towards Zane over the years when she was the one who had made the rules regarding their relationship the night when she gave up her virginity. She made the rules so why be upset when he did what she wanted? In spite of I enjoyed the role she played in the story. She displayed a level of strength and bravery, but when it came to Zane, she struggled with insecurities. Doubts and insecurities clouded her judgement, and she believed every emotion displayed by Zane was an act.
I could totally see myself with a guy like Zane minus the paparazzi of course. A hunky and famous movie star who cared about others. The way he treated Willow and her family was a testament to his caring nature. Zane thought his current file would provide with his biggest role to date. However, he would come to realise that his biggest role would be convincing Willow that what he felt for her was the real thing. Along the way, he would discover his purpose.
It was good to see them work at resolving the issues from their past and coming to terms with the mistakes they made. Dealing with those issues makes it easy for them to handle their romance on a mature level.
I loved the secondary characters. They helped to make things interesting. The information provided whetted my appetite and I am eager to see what Ms. Foster has in store for them.
I enjoyed the romance, which was hot and sweet. I liked that this was not an instant connection. Their feelings for each other have been building over the years and it only grew stronger as time went by. There were a lot of swoon worthy moments. Family and friendships featured strongly in this book, which came as no surprise. If you are familiar with author’s contemporary romance, you will understand what I mean.

Conclusion/Recommendation
Overall, I enjoyed this installment. I am looking forward to the next book, which centres on one of Willow’s sisters. I would recommend this to fans of sweet romances and second chances.




Crane - Stacey Rourke

I heard many stories surrounding the legend of sleepy hollow, but I never read the actual book. I got my first real taste, of the story behind the legend when I watched the Sleepy Hollow television series, which I thoroughly enjoyed.

When I received this book as part of the quirky blind date program and realised it was a retelling of the legendary sleepy hollow, I was ecstatic and could not wait to get into the story.

What the story is about.

Crane tells the story of Ireland Crane a descendant of the infamous Ichabod Crane. She moved to Sleepy Hollow as she needed a break from the hustle and bustle of New York City. What she did not know was her decision to relocate to Sleepy Hollow would set in motion a series of events that would turn her life upside down.

A murderer is on the loose and due to the nature of the killings, the community wonders if the headless horseman rides again. However, when the evidence points to her, Ireland with the help of the stranger she discovered in her home rushes to uncover the truth. Will they discover who is behind the murders before anyone else loses their head?

The Story

I enjoyed the author's take on this legendary tale. The story was told simultaneously in the past and the present. Although both threads were different, they had a direct impact on each other. The narrative from the past was narrated from Ichabod Cranes POV while story from the present was provided from Ireland Crane’s perspective.

I enjoyed how both story threads were narrated. However, I thought the story narrated in the past was more befitting of the Sleepy Hollow legend due to its creepy atmosphere.

The twists and turns kept me guessing while keeping me on the edge of my seat at each page turn. The portrayal of the headless horseman went beyond my expectations. I found it intriguing and captivating.

I enjoyed the banter between the characters and I could not help but laugh at their actions and dialogue. I thought the romance was unnecessary as I do not believe it added any value to the story. It moved quickly for my tastes. I loved how the story ended as most of the questions I had regarding the plot were answered. I still had questions, but I guess will get those answers in the sequel. I also liked the peek I got regarding the next book in the series.

The Characters

I loved how the characters are featured in both threads. However, if I were to choose a favourite, it would be Rip Van Winkle, who was featured in both threads. I enjoyed his attempts in navigating the 21st century and loved that he pulled it off beautifully.

Conclusion/Recommendation

Crane is an exciting and well-written story. It is hilarious, refreshing and unique. If you love the story behind the legend, then you will love this retelling.


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Blood Bound - Traci Douglass

Blood Bound is the first book in the Blood Ravagers series. Each book can be read on its own. I read book three a few months ago and at the point of me writing this review I am about to start book 2. Based on my experience with book 3; I picked up this installment hoping for an equally exciting read. However, it did not live up to the success of its successor. For me it was just an OK read.


What I Loved.
I loved the idea of a half demon/half human trying to create a place where others like himself feel safe. The sacrifices made to accomplish this was commendable. Few people would willing put their lives on the line the way Dante did. He endured torture and many atrocities to ensure that he achieves his goal.

I enjoyed exploring the world the author created. I loved the blending of aspects of paranormal with motorcycle gangs, which made for an interesting and intriguing read.

I found the story to be well written. I enjoyed the descriptive style of writing, which contributed greatly to maintaining my interest in the story. The story moved at a steady pace until about seventy percent (70%) into the book when things got heated. At this point, I eagerly turned the pages as my curiosity levels increased.

What I did not Love.
I could not establish a connection with the protagonists. Anna’s behavior annoyed me. She does not listen and because of this; she places herself and Dante in danger. Her character was underdeveloped, and I never had the chance to feel her effect on the story. Dante spent centuries feeling unworthy of being loved. This was due to his treatment from both humans and supernatural beings. I was hoping for more on this aspect of Dante’s life, unfortunately the author failed to explore this further. As a result, his character did not evoke any sympathy neither did I experience the joy and uncertainties to be expected when he discovered what Anna was his life mate.

The villain of the story lacked credibility. He is a full demon and sadistic in nature, but he did elicit any feelings of fear. I found his role to be boring and flat. It was evident that he was involved in illicit activities, but this thread needed to be better developed.
The romantic elements was not adequately explored. As is typical of this genre the attraction between the protagonists was instantaneous. The problem I had was that the focus was on the physical aspects of the relationship while the emotional aspect was completely ignored.

Conclusion/Recommendation
This story had the potential to be an exciting paranormal/MC romance, however it turned out to be an average story. The story was not bad, but the characters did nothing for me.

Ruin - Clarissa Wild

Ruin
My experience with this author has been good. I am used to her penning dark and gritty romance stories so Ruin was a surprising story. It is very different from her usual work. What intrigued me most about this book is some aspects of it were based on a true story and after reading the blurb, I felt compelled to read it. Thanks to kindle owners lending library I did just that.

What the story is about.
Ruin introduces Alexander and Maybell. They both went to the same high school, but they never interacted. Alexander secretly admired Maybell, but never had the courage to approach her. Maybell, despite the ridicule she faced from her classmates always had a smile on her face. She was on the road to become a dancer. However, a terrible accident ended that journey, but it led to a friendship and love that both she and Alexander never expected.

My Thoughts
Earlier, I stated that the blurb intrigued me, so you know I went into the story with high expectations. However, it failed to deliver what I expected, therefore ruining my experience with this story.

I thought the themes of self-discovery, acceptance, embracing one's destiny and unconditional love were well executed. The story demonstrates that sometimes it takes a life changing event for us to realise that we are living our lives at its full potential as a result opportunities pass us by. Initially Maybell never saw the opportunity that her accident afforded her. However, as time passed, she embraced her newfound destiny and living her life the way she wanted and not based on what others wished. In the process, she gained a friendship and discovered what it meant to love unconditionally.

If someone were to ask me how this made me feel, I would have to say it did nothing for me. I was expecting this to be an emotional read, but it did not elicit the emotions one would expect from a story like this. I believe this was because I had a difficult time connecting to the characters. In addition, the manner in which the author portrayed the story played a part. In narrating the story the author used a tell approach, which made me feel like I was reading a report.

Maybell and Alexander had the potential to be interesting characters if only they were more developed. The story hinted at them being bullied by their peers, but the author did not explore this aspect of the story. Mention was made of Maybell having a best friend, but I never met this friend. I wondered if she was a figment of Maybell’s imagination. There were threads that the author failed to explore. For instance, I would have loved to see how Asperger syndrome affected Maybell’s life. In addition, Alexander had his share of issues especially where his family was concerned, but that too was glossed over.

Despite the issues I had, I kept reading because I was curious to know what Alexander did to ruin Maybell and how things would end for the characters. The story ended on a satisfactory note, but I was a bit disappointed in my discovery of what Alexander felt was his ruination of Maybell.



Conclusion/Recommendation
For me this was just an ok read. I believe there are readers that would enjoy this book. Therefore, if these types of stories interest you then you can try it.


Swept into Love (Love in Bloom: The Ryders): Gage Ryder - Melissa Foster

I read the previous books in the Ryder series and enjoyed them. So, it should not come as a surprise I would want to read Swept Into Love, book #5 in the series. Gage Ryder intrigued me, when I met him in the previous instalments, so I was doubly excited when I discovered that this would be his story.

What The Story Is About.
Gage Ryder has been in love with his best friend, Sally Tuft, for years. However, he was contented to remain in the friend zone as long as it would take for her to move pass the pain of losing her husband. Meanwhile, he remained close, being there for both her and her son, Rusty.
Sally Tuft lost her husband. Leaving her to raise her teenage son on her own. With the help of friends, like Gage she survived the pain and got her life back on track. She never expected to fall in love. She struggled with her feelings, as she feared giving into her passion would not only destroy their friendship but also damage the relationship he had with her son. However, fate had other plans as one night in Vegas will not only test their friendship but also put the love they had for each other on the line. Will the events of this fateful night destroy their friendship and their love for each other or will they allow themselves to be swept into love?

Swept into Love is a must for fans of friends to lover’s trope and second chance romance.

What I Thought about the:

The Story

Engaging, entertaining, funny and heart-warming. These elements combined helped to make a wonderful second chance romance, which I quickly devoured. The story quickly pulled me in and before I realised, I found myself invested in every facet of this well written tale. I have read a few of Ms. Foster’s work, some of which were a hit and some a miss. This was definitely a hit for me. I loved that the drama was low-keyed. Its effect was not to destroy, but to help strengthen relationship between the characters.

The Romance

I thought the romance was adorable, but it was not without its obstacles. It developed from a long-time attraction between two friends. Gage and Sally had been in love with each other for years, but neither acted on their feelings until that fateful night in Las Vegas. Their friends knew how they felt about each other and kept hoping they would finally get their act together. There was no insta-love involved, which made what they shared realistic.
The sexiness factor was off the charts. Ms. Foster did not hold back in this department. The love scenes were hot, but it did not overshadow the story. If these scenes were to be removed, it would not lessen the impact of the story.

The Characters

Sally and Gage are wonderful characters. Gage is patient, caring, determined and loyal. I loved how patient he was with Sally. I admired his willingness to give her time to move past the pain for the death of her husband. Sally is caring, protective and independent. I could relate to Sally’s fears about moving Gage from the friend zone. If the relationship should go wrong it could mean the end of a great friendship.

Her dedication to her son demonstrated that she was a caring and protective mom. Every decision she makes is donewith her son in mind. She takes the time to consider how her actions would affect him. The fact that Gage saw this and willingly heed her wishes to keep their relationship secret despite how painful, demonstrated the true depth of his feelings for her.

The secondary characters helped to bring the story alive. Their antics and banter had me grinning from ear to ear. One of the things I enjoy about the author’s books is her focus on family and friends. This book was no different. Gage’s family are fun and loving group. I loved how they embraced Sally and her son from the moment she became a part of Gage’s life. They made her feel like she was a part of the family. They are a fun-loving group of people, who cared deeply for each other. Their friends were no different.

Swept Into Love was a sweet, feel good romance that was low on drama and had no angst. The story highlighted characters that were realistic and who were faced with real life problems. I enjoyed the romance, the story and the friendships.




Legend of Love:  Muse of Epic Poetry - Callie - Lisa Kessler

Legend of Love by Lisa Kessler is the second book in the Muse Chronicles series. If I were to make a comparison with the previous book. I would have to say this my favourite.


What the story is about.

Legend of Love is Callie O’Connor’s story. Callie is a woman of adventure, but when the muse epic poetry came alive within her, her life was never the same. To escape the effects of what her muse does to her she moved across the country and took a job as a civilian psychologist for the Navy while leading her sister muses in their quest to reopen the Theatre of the Muses. She is determined to stay single and made a pact to remain dateless and single until the theatre was completed. However, she never counted on meeting Hunter Armstrong, a Navy Seal, who is determined to break down her barriers and do his best to protect her from the evil at hand.

The Story

The story picked up from where book one left off. The threat to the muses is not over. Instead of weakening, it intensified. The Order of the Titans are determined to put an end the inspiration of this generation, that means killing the muses, and Callie is on their radar.

The story began on a strong note and maintained that pace to the end. We learn more about The Order of the Titans. Based on their actions, I would say they are fanatics, which makes them deadly. However, I found them to be inefficient in their quest to kill the muses.

The theme that intrigued me most about this series was how Greek mythology was incorporated with present day events. The intensity of the action scenes kept me glued to the pages. My eagerness to discover how the events would unfold kept me turning the pages.

I loved how the romance unfolded. Callie and Hunters’ connection was instantaneous, which I expected due to the legend surrounding the guardian and his muse. However, the romance developed at a pace that was befitting the characters. I appreciated their attempts at getting to know each other before rushing into the carnal aspect of their relationship.

There was a particular scene which I found emotional. Reading that scene made me feel sad but placed a smile on my face.

The Characters
Character development was well executed. Callie’s past is riddled with secrets and as a result, she is scared to get close to Hunter. She believes she would cause heartbreak for any man she gets close to and so getting involved with Hunter was out of the question.

Hunter is a troubled soul. He joined the military to help his family. However, his duty to his country prevented him from sharing in important events in their lives. Added to that, he is struggling with the guilt of leaving behind a team member during his last deployment. Meeting Callie would bring changes to his life in ways he never anticipated.

I loved Callie and Hunter together. He helped her to move past her fears and seize her destiny. With Hunter, she learnt she need not fear who she had become. She helped him to see that he need not feel guilty about his family or his friend.

Conclusion/Recommendation
I thought this was a great addition to the series. I can’t wait to see what next the author has in store for this series.

Trust - Kylie Scott

Trust


I am not an avid reader of the Young Adult genre, but this book kept calling my name. To be honest, it had nothing to do with the author as my experience with her was limited, having only read one book written by her. The synopsis was the driving force behind my decision to read Trust by Kylie Scott.

This story differs from anything I have read before. Its unique storyline sucked me in and if it were not for my busy work schedule, I would have finished it sooner than I did. It tells the story of two high school students who were brought together because of a tragic event which would forever change their lives. Trust is a coming of age story that embraces the themes of friendship, love, drug addiction and fat shaming.

The title aptly fits the story as this was what Edie was forced to do when she found herself in the middle of a hostage situation involving a crazed drug addict. Placing her trust in a complete stranger was the last thing on her mind when she went to purchase snacks in the middle of the night dressed in nothing but her PJs and flip-flops. Her fear at that moment was palpable. She had no idea if she would get out alive. However, in the midst of all the chaos, she discovered she was not alone. There was a guy, a teenager like herself, who went above and beyond to secure her safety. The two found themselves bound to each other through shared memories of a night they would both prefer to forget.

The highlight of the story for me was the unlikely friendship that developed between John and Edie. They never expected to see each other again after that fateful night. However, Edie’s decision to change schools led to their paths crossing once again. Theirs was a friendship borne out of tragedy, but it would provide them with the healing they both needed. Despite the challenges faced, their friendship developed to the point where lines became blurred and so not only do they have to deal with painful memories, they have to figure out if their feelings for each other were real.

I admired Edie for her strength of character. She refused to be labelled a victim. Her body was on the plump side and she faced constant shaming as a result, but she did not allow the hateful remarks define her. She accepted herself the way she was, and no intention of changing to please others. In spite of this, there were moments when her insecurities would rear its head, especially around John. Not only is she a fighter, she is caring and funny.

I loved how John was with Edie. His need to protect her extended beyond that fateful night. John has his share of struggles, however, he always finds time for Edie whenever she needed him. They were protective of each other and they had each other’s back at all times. I loved that John saw beyond her plumpness and accepted all of her.

The secondary characters played their part in making this story shine. They provided enough laughter to balance out the pain, fears and angst.

I did have a few issues with the story, but it did not take away from my enjoyment.

I thought the situation with John and his brother could have been handled better. The whole scenario was rushed and lacking in details.

The story was told primarily from Edie’s POV. It would have been great to be privy to John’s inner thoughts and feelings. My knowledge of his struggles and feelings were gained from Edie’s perspective. I believe that having the story from John’s POV would have made the story that more realistic, especially as it relates to their romance. Edie’s feelings for John were obvious based on her inner dialogue, but it was difficult discerning how John’s true feelings.

I expected more information in regards to Edie’s feelings after the traumatic incident. I understood why she had trouble sleeping, but the other aspects did not ring true for someone who stared death in the face.

Recommendation/Conclusion
In spite of the issues, Trust is an enjoyable read and fans of the YA genre and Kylie Scott will fall in love with this book.

Lure of Obsession - Lisa Kessler

Lure of Obsession (Muse Chronicles #1) This is my first time reading Lisa Kessler, and it made me eager to read more of her work. Lure of Obsession is the first book in the Muse Chronicles and I consider it a great start to the series.

What the story is about
Lure of Obsession tells the story of Melanie Jacoby and Detective Nate Malone. Melanie a high school English teacher is the reborn muse of tragic poetry. She sees the tragic side of things, but the one tragedy she was not prepared for was finding her roommate and fellow Muse dead. She knows her friend was murdered, but she is unable to convince the detectives in charge of the investigation, as the evidence points to an accidental death.

Detective Nate Morgan is convinced that the death was accidental, but then he had visions, which led him to believe the death of Melanie’s friend was no accident. Now, not only does he have to solve a murder, he has to protect Mel who is the killer’s next target.

The Story
The story began on a sad but intense note. From that moment, the story pulled me in and I had a hard time putting it down. The theme of inspiration was well presented throughout the story. The idea of the rebirth of nine muses and the role they played in inspiring humanity to be their better selves made for a riveting read. However, there are persons who would rather see this inspiration snuffed out, and the Muses had to die.

I enjoyed the mystery/suspense thread, which I thought was thoroughly fleshed out. It had me turning the pages as I was eager to see the direction the story would follow. One thing I appreciate about romantic thrillers/suspense is the events unfold not only through the eyes of the protagonists but also that of the antagonists. This story delivered just that, which made me privy to his plans.

The title aptly describes Nate’s fascination with Mel. From the moment, he met her he felt a connection, which he could not explain and he wanted to protect her. The romance moved at an acceptable pace, given the circumstances surrounding the guardian/muse. In spite of his attraction for Mel, he did not trust his feelings, which I found to be a reasonable reaction given the issues from his past.

I was pleased with the ending. The threat, however, is still imminent, which I am sure will be explored in the upcoming books.

The Characters
Mel being the muse of tragic poetry is used to seeing the tragic side of things. She is what one would consider an eternal pessimist. Meeting Nate proved to be a blessing as he encouraged her to view things in a positive light. I admired her strength and fortitude. She is willing to take a chance on having a relationship with Nate in spite of the risk of having her heart shattered.

Nate avoids relationships at all costs. He does not feel he is capable of love, however, the more time he spent with Mel he discovered that his past did not determine his ability to love. Mel saw beyond his physical and emotional scars. Never once did she view him as a victim. What she saw when she looked at him was a survivor. I found it amusing that he being her Guardian was responsible for protecting her, but instead, she wanted to be the one who did the protecting.protecting.

I enjoyed watching their interaction, which was funny, passionate and sweet. I loved that they learned to trust each other, which was a pivotal moment for Nate.

Conclusion/Recommendation
Lure of Obsession is a well-written story with likeable characters. It was a fantastic read from start to finish and I cannot wait to find out what is in store for the other muses.


Tamed by a Tiger (Eternal Mates Paranormal Romance Series Book 13) - Felicity E. Heaton

When I discovered this Story was about a snow leopard and a tigress shifter, I was curious to know how Ms. Heaton would spin this one. I had no doubt she could pull it off as she has proven repeatedly that she is a master at what she does.

I first met August in Craved by an Alpha, book 5 in the series. It was at that point I discovered the man he was, loyal and protective. He took up the position of alpha, something he never aspired to, so that his cousin could be with his mate. He never expected the pressures of being an alpha to be so overwhelming, but he was determined to prove his capabilities to his pride.

The perks he thought he would have in abundance now that he was an alpha, he no longer had a desire for, but that was until he met Maya, a beautiful tigress shifter, when he went to seek advice from his cousin at Underworld.

I got a brief introduction to Maya in the previous installment. When I discovered she would be the heroine in this story, I was not sure what to expect, because honestly she did not impress me then. However, getting to know her in this story, proved a treat.

She is loyal, kick ass and is not afraid to stand up for her beliefs. She is willing to sacrifice her happiness for the safety of her pride. Her strength and convictions were admirable. I felt her struggle between following her heart and tradition. Fear of the harm that would come to her pride if she reneged was the catalyst for her decision. However, she will discover what she thought was best for the pride would prove the worst thing for both her and them.

I enjoyed her initial encounter with August. That encounter, which was a battle of wills and dominance, would change both their lives. She was his match in every way, but her duty to her clan proved to be a stumbling block.

I was quite the eager beaver with this story. I could not wait to find out how their situations would work out. I will not tell you how it was solved, but what I will tell you is this, it worked out for all parties involved. I was happy with how it all played out.

The world Ms. Heaton created in this series is fascinating. Her characters are well developed and her writing style transported me to a world where I spent time meeting and interacting with all types of supernatural beings. I developed a bond with the characters and as a result, I found myself rooting for them.

I always look forward to her action scenes and she did not disappoint. The scenes were well written, easy to visualise, and it added to the entertainment value of the story. I knew Maya could fight, but it was at this point she proved herself to a warrior, worthy of being an alpha's mate.

Conclusion/Recommendation
Another great addition to the series. I am looking forward to reading next book in the series If you love the paranormal genre then you will enjoy this book. I highly recommend this series. Each book in the series can be read as a stand-alone


View all my reviews

Source: http://totallyaddictedtoreading.blogspot.com/2017/08/review-tamed-by-tiger-by-felicity-heaton.html
Until It Fades: A Novel - K.A. Tucker

Until It Fades
This is my first K. A Tucker novel and it will not be my last. I heard about her before, but never considered reading her work before, but when Until It Fades came on my radar, and I read the blurb I was intrigued.

What the story is about.
Until It Fades tells the story of Catherine Wright, a 24-year-old single mom to a spunky 5-year-old girl. She works as a waitress at truck stop in a small town. Her past was not pretty, and she wished for it to remain hidden. However, her selfless decision to rescue a stranger from a burning car, would lead to the events from her past becoming a fodder for the media.

The man she saved was none other than Brett Madden, famous hockey player and son of a movie star. So it was no surprise that the accident became the talk of every media house. Her attempts to keep her identity hidden proved futile, which became worse when Brett Madden turned upon her doorstep. What followed was an intense and immediate attraction, a friendship and a slow burn romance.



The Story

What I enjoyed about this story is glimpses I got into Catherine’s past, which allowed me to understand what happened to her and why she felt she had to keep it all hidden. This aspect of the story was detailed making it easy for me to relate to her struggles.

The story moved at a pace, which I believed was fitting for the events that were taking place. The shifts between the past and the present were flawless.

I enjoyed the romance, which I considered a slow burning one. Their instant, which I do not consider abnormal, given the circumstances. She saved his life so he will feel something for her, but is it love or just a sense of gratitude? I loved how the author explored this aspect of their relationship. I was glad to see they did not immediately act on their attraction for each other. They took getting to know each other to ensure that their feelings were genuine. In Brett’s case, he needed to ensure that his feelings were not borne out of sheer gratitude and for Catherine she needed assurance that her feelings did not stem from the fact that he was famous.

He grins sheepishly. “When I went home that night, I told my parents that I was madly in love with this brave and beautiful woman who saved my life.”
Oh my God. My heart’s beating in my throat.
“Of course they convinced me that I was completely overwhelmed and that I needed to get some rest.”
“I’m sure they were right,” I mumble.
“I thought so too, honestly.” He swallows hard. “But then you had to go and be not just brave and beautiful but also humble, and funny, and honest. And I couldn’t stop thinking about what it’d be like to be with you… So I need you to tell me what I need to do for you to give me that chance.” His jaw tenses as he locks eyes with me. “Please.”

The emotions were heartfelt and intense.

The story was not unique by far, but it was still an enjoyable one. It was not hard figuring how it would end, but what intrigued me was watching it all unfold.

The Characters

I thought the character development was well done. They were believable and relatable. There was some that had me scratching my head, and then those who placed a smile on my face.

I enjoyed Brett’s interaction with both Catherine and her daughter. He always includes her whenever he invited Catherine to go anywhere. He knew they were a package deal and he was willing to accept it all.

Catherine struggled with being in the spotlight. She prefers to be in the background, to which I can totally relate. She is different from the women that move in Brett’s circles. She is independent and not looking for handouts. When he looked at her, he saw her for who she was, a woman of strength, a caring mother and a woman who conquered her past.

Conclusion/Recommendation

My biggest issue with the story was my inability to connect with Brett the way I did with Catherine. It would have helped if I got the story through his eyes as well.

Until it Fades is a beautifully written story, which touches on thought provoking issues. It demonstrated how quickly persons are to judge another for their mistakes and how victims are harshly treated.

Overall, this was a wonderful, swoon worthy romance. I am not going to lie, there were moments I pictured myself in Catherine’s shoes minus the humiliating past of course. If you enjoy romances that have a Cinderella feel then you will enjoy this story.

Lost and Found Sisters - Jill Shalvis

I cannot adequately express how much I enjoyed this book. I first became aware of Jill Shalvis when I read the Heartbreaker Bay series. Since then I look forward to reading her books. Based on what I have read of her work so far, Lost and Found Sisters, which is the first book in the Wildstone series, took a different turn. The focus is not on romance, but on family, healing and forgiveness.

What the story is about.

Losing someone close is not a loss that one can easily move past. Quinn Weller would discover this devastating truth when she lost her sister in a car accident. Since that fateful day, her life has never been the same. She is empty on the inside and relationships have no meaning until the day she received some shocking news. News that would shake up her world and change her life in ways she never expected.

The Characters

I admired Quinn for her bravery. Walking away from the life she lived for thirty years to embrace the unknown took guts. She went looking for answers and she found more than she ever imagined. She found love and forged new friendships.

Change is never easy a fact that Quinn would come to realise. She struggled with the changes, but never once did she consider giving up. She is one of those characters that one cannot help but like. She is selfless, and she cares deeply for others. She also possesses a sarcastic sense of humour which when displayed placed a smile on my face.

Mick Hennessey returned to Wildstone, temporarily to help his mom get her house in order. He does not intend to stay, but then he meets Quinn who has him re-thinking his decision. He is caring and always willing to help.

They are attracted to each other but were afraid to explore the attraction as they were on different paths in life, which would lead to them being miles apart from each other. I liked that they moved past the fear and as a result discovered love. They were great for each other. He helped her sort out her feelings when things got complicated.

I found the town of Wildstone and its inhabitants interesting. They helped make the story shine with their humorous antics and banter.

The Story

Lost and Found Sisters is a heartfelt story filled with humour. It combines romance with life-affirming issues. At the start of each chapter are quotes that was both funny and true. The author provided a romance that is sweet and passionate but without the steam.
The inheritance was not what I expected, however; I enjoyed how this aspect of the story played out. I loved how Quinn came to terms with everything that is associated with her inheritance. She accepted both the good and the bad.

Conclusion /Recommendation

Lost and Found Sisters is a wonderful and poignant story of love, healing, self-discovery and embracing change. This is a great start to the series and I am eager to spend more time with the inhabitants of Wildstone.


Selenium Night: A Werewolf Shifter Romance (ShadowShifters Novel) - Kharma Kelley

Selenium Night (ShadowShifters Novel)Selenium Night by Kharma Kelley
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Selenium Night is the first book in Kharma Kelley’s Shadow Shifters series. This is not my first time reading her work and based on my prior experience I went into this book with high expectations. She did not disappoint.

What the story is about.
In this new series, readers meet Adian Bloodlocke and Dr. Maddie Ardelle. Abandoned by his pack. Aidan, an Aristan shadowshifter grew up knowing nothing about his lineage. All that would change when the alpha of the Bloodlocke pack adopted him and raised as his own. Aidan’s new life taught him about family and unconditional love. In spite of this, there were members of the pack who despised him a situation which escalated when he became the pack’s alpha.

Then the unthinkable happened, his pack came under attack leaving death and mayhem in its wake. Now he is on a mission to hunt and capture the responsible party and ensure that pack justice is served. What he never counted on was that during his quest he would find love with the delectable Dr. Maddie Ardelle.

Dr. Maddie Ardelle moved to Brdgepoint Maine, to get the pieces of her life together. Her life lacked excitement. Therefore, the last thing she expected was to get caught in the middle of the ShadowShifter's feud. When the hot and sexy alpha came to her aid, she found herself caught in a world of passion, violence, and a lot of shifters.

The Story
Selenium Night is one of those books which holds you captive from the first page and you eagerly turn the pages because you have to know how the event will unfold.

I loved the world that the author introduced me to in this story. There are two species of ShadowShifters, Aristans created by Arista one of the moon sisters and the Thesians, created in retaliation by her twin sister Thesia. Since this time, both species have been sworn enemies.
ShadowShifters are human souls that were fused with the soul of a wolf. In their natural state they are humans, however they have the power to change in various forms of a wolf. They lived in plain sight of humans, but the humans had no idea they were living among supernatural beings. ShadowShifters are born not made.

The romance was refreshing and well done. It was slow burn, which is not typical for these kinds of stories. This is not shifter story where the hero recognises his mate immediately and lay his claim to her. The hero was drawn to the heroine but had a hard time reconciling his feelings as it was forbidden for his kind to mate with humans. They got to know each other and allowing their love to develop at a natural pace. She tugged at his heartstrings and he had this uncontrollable need to protect her, which proved detrimental to his mission.

Suspense, action and humour were sprinkled throughout the pages of the book, making it a true page-turner.

The Characters

The Characters were well fleshed out. I was invested in them and could not help but root for them. Aidan is strong, determined and protective. His life growing up was hard, but that was until his circumstances changed. However, the pain of the past haunted him. Maddie had experienced her share of hurt and as such was not looking for a relationship. I could relate to her uncertainties regarding her developing feelings for Aidan. She was a likable heroine and it was clear Aidan was so enamoured with her. She is funny, selfless and brave.
They complemented each other. I enjoyed their initial contact, which provided me with some laugh out loud moments.

The secondary characters played an intricate role in making the story a page turner. My least favourite was Kieran, Adian’s adoptive brother. He is a true personification of evil. It was his actions that led to disaster that struck the Bloodlocke pack and he is the one Aidan is hunting.

The one thing I had an issue with is the author’s failure to delve deeper into the forbidden aspects of Aidan and Maddie’s relationship. They go their HEA, but it would have been good to know the effects in the future in light of the fact that Maddie cannot be a shifter.

Conclusion/Recommendation
The story delivered a heart-warming, emotional, suspenseful and action packed read. I do believe this is a great start to the series and I am eager to see what next the author has to offer. Fans of paranormal romance with strong sexy characters will enjoy Selenium Night.