Saturday, January 31, 2015

Book Review of Franco's Fortune: Redemption Book 2 by Cara Marsi



Book Title: Franco's Fortune (Redemption Series #2)
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 172
Author: Cara Marsi
Date Published: 28 February 2013


Synopsis:

"When a female bodyguard is hired to protect a rich playboy, she finds saving his life is easier than protecting her heart."

When the past and present collide...

Somebody wants rich playboy Franco Callahan dead. When security expert Josephine Fortune arrives on his doorstep thanks to his sister Doriana, Franco finds it hard to refuse. He's had a secret attraction for the diminutive bodyguard since they met at Doriana's wedding five years before.

But attraction is all it is. Combat boot-clad Jo is not the kind of woman Franco usually loves and leaves. Which makes the ruse that Jo is his new live-in girlfriend just that until Jo gets a makeover. Suddenly seduction is on his mind and Franco has all the time in the world to pursue it—and Jo.

Martial artist Jo can take down men twice her size without blinking, but Franco's appeal outmaneuvers her emotional defenses. Jo's tough exterior hides a dark past, and Franco seems determined to learn her every secret. But he has secrets of his own.

The more Franco gets to know Jo, the more he realizes he needs her in his life, and not as his bodyguard. But as the threats to Franco escalate, Jo must use every one of her combat skills to protect him.

Can Jo keep both Franco and her heart safe, or will they pay the ultimate price for love?

Review:


Franco's Fortune (Redemption #2)Franco's Fortune by Cara Marsi
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review.

This is the second book in the Redemption series. I really enjoyed it.

Franco Callahan is a fantastic character. I first met him in the first book of the series, Logan's Redemption, but he only had a cameo appearance in it; he was only in a couple of scenes. I was glad of the opportunity to get to know him better. He is a playboy, but only on the surface. Underneath this facade, he is a very serious and determined man, with a surprising gentleness which made me melt. He has now taken over the family business, but a threat against his life has him scared. That is, until Jo Fortune stepped into his life. Now he's afraid of losing his heart.

Josephine (Jo) Fortune is also a fantastic character. I really liked her; she is very capable and determined, and is dangerous in her own way. Again, this is another character which made a cameo appearance in the first book. Jo is more comfortable in her fatigues and combat boots, but to keep her boss's brother-in-law safe, she will have to step out of her comfort zone. Falling for her charge is not in the plan, but as she gets to know him better, she finds herself more and more attracted to him. However, Jo has not had a happy childhood and an event in her past threatens to drive her into running away before her heart gets broken by the sexy playboy.

I started to read this story and was quickly swept into it. The story is told from the points of view of both Franco and Jo. I am a sucker for romance novels with a bit of mystery, intrigue and danger in them; this book has it in spades. The action and danger begins almost straight away and grabbed my attention. The mystery and suspense surrounding the threats to Franco's life kept me wondering. There are several twists and turns, as well as red herrings, which kept me guessing right up until the end. I loved the way the characters interacted; Franco's arrogance and Jo's stubbornness kept each other in a pressure cooker filled with passion. When it erupts, both of them are scorched. There are some other characters in the story, but they somehow feel like background extra's, with very little character development. But, we do get to meet Franco and Doriana's cousin Anita again, and Harris, Jo's partner and friend. We also get to meet Detective Dave Morelli, who is in charge of the investigation into the attempts on Franco's life. Again, this is a rather formulaic romance and similar to many other romance novels I have read over the years, but I really did enjoy it from beginning to end. I am now looking forward to reading Luke's Temptation as soon as possible.

Cara Marsi has written a wonderful contemporary romance. I love her fast paced writing style and the flow was wonderful. Her characters are not perfect and have flaws, but this makes them seem more realistic and alive in my opinion. I am looking forward to reading more of this author's work in the future.

Due to scenes that are a little explicit in nature (although not as explicit as some books I have read), I do not recommend this book for readers under the age of 16. However, I highly recommend this book if you love steamy contemporary romances. - Lynn Worton

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Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Book Review of Craved by an Alpha (Eternal Mates Paranormal Romance Series Book 5) by Felicity Heaton



Book Title: Craved by an Alpha (Eternal Mates #5)
Genre: Erotic Paranormal Romance
Pages: 163
Author: Felicity Heaton
Date Published: 27 January 2015


Synopsis:

Having turned his back on his snow leopard pride, Cavanaugh has been counting the days until he’s free of a role he never wanted—one that separated him from his fated female and stands between him and the future he craves with her.

Just days from the night he will finally be free to be with the low-ranking beauty who stole his heart, she walks back into his life and threatens to destroy everything he’s worked towards in the five long years they've been apart.

Eloise has travelled across continents searching for the male who was once her best friend and so much more to her, but was now her pride’s true alpha. Desperate to fulfil a promise to her kin to save them from the tyrant he left in charge, she convinces Cavanaugh to return to his pride, but as they journey to Bhutan, doubts bloom and old feelings resurface, tearing her between duty and her deepest desires and impossible dreams.

Will Eloise be able to resist the burning need that Cavanaugh reignites in her and remember her place in the pride? And can Cavanaugh find a way to save his kin and claim the future he craves with the woman he loves?

Review:


Craved by an Alpha (Eternal Mates, #5)Craved by an Alpha by Felicity Heaton
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is the fifth book in the Eternal Mates Series. I loved it!

Cavanaugh is a fantastic character. I was intrigued by him when he was first introduced in Kyter and Iolanthe's story, Hunted by a Jaguar. It has been a pleasure getting to know him better. He is a snow leopard shifter, who has left his pride and his responsibilities as pride Alpha, so that he could be with the woman he knows to be his fated female. When Eloise unexpectedly turns up in Kyter's bar, Underworld, Cavanaugh finds himself facing a difficult decision.

Eloise is also a fantastic character. I liked her very much. She is also a snow leopard shifter and has travelled a long way to find Cavanaugh and bring him back to the pride. Can she convince Cavanaugh to take back the title of pride Alpha in time?

I have been eagerly awaiting the release of this book, as I have come to love this series. I started to read the story and was quickly pulled in, and didn't put the book down until I had finished.

The story is told through the points of view of both Cavanaugh and Eloise, which gives the reader a chance to see their thoughts and feelings. The story is very well told and the descriptions of people and places brought the tale to life. However, I don't know why, but I found the fight scenes not as vibrant or as exciting as they would normally be. The author is usually very good at describing battle scenes, but I felt there was something lacking in the action on the main fight scene. However, I think it's because it was only a fight and not an all out war that made me feel a bit short changed; I'm used to epic battles in this series! That being said, the story was full of the usual heat and passion I have come to expect from the characters in this series. I'm surprised that the snow didn't melt due to the heat generated by them!

This story had a gentler romance arc compared to the other books in the series, as Eloise is more subservient in demeanor (that is, unless she forgets herself and speaks her mind), due to her belief that this is how a lower-ranked female should behave towards her Alpha. Cavanaugh, on the other hand, wants an equal to be by his side, but he is too scared to push Eloise due to the trauma she faced at the hands of the stand-in Alpha. I think he underestimates her inner strength; I wanted to egg him on to push her into standing up to him more.

I reached the end of the book and gave a huge sigh of satisfaction. I am now looking forward to reading the next book in the series, Bitten by a Hellcat, as soon as possible.

Felicity Heaton has written another fast paced, sexy paranormal romance that I thoroughly enjoyed! I love her writing style, which flows effortlessly from scene to scene. She is number one on my favourite authors list!

I do not recommend this book to younger readers due to the extremely HOT and explicit sexual scenes. However, I highly recommend this book (and series) if you love sexy paranormal romances full of vampires, elves, werewolves, cat shifters, succubi, incubi, angels, dragons and demons. - Lynn Worton

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Sunday, January 25, 2015

Book Review of Surrender (Surrender Trilogy Book 1) by Jennifer Burrows



Book Title: Surrender (Surrender Trilogy #1)
Genre: Romantic Thriller/Suspense
Pages: 312
Author: Jennifer Burrows
Date Published: 28 July 2014

Synopsis:

Katherine Anderson was living a dream life. She came from an influential family, had a successful career as a food critic, and was about to marry the man of her dreams. Her life suddenly takes a change for the worse when she finds her fiancé in the arms of another woman. Her dream wedding now cancelled, she tries to find herself in Italy, on a trip she was supposed to be taking with her new husband.

Massimo "Tony" Bertalucci has had his life destroyed by a cartel known to be trafficking black market olive oil out of Italy and around the world. While the cartel thought the entire Bertalucci family was dead and buried, Tony remains very much alive and determined to find a way to get his life back.

When Tony and Katherine’s worlds collide, she becomes Tony’s only hope of escaping Italy alive. What Katherine doesn’t realize is that this charming, unassuming Italian man is using her to save his own life. Will she be able to get back to the states safely, or will she be subjected to the same fate as Tony's family? Will Tony find a way to stop running? Or will he have to surrender his life to the cartel?

Review:


Surrender (Surrender Trilogy, #1)Surrender by Jennifer Burrows
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I was sent a book recommendation by a friend for this book. I read the blurb and became intrigued, so I decided to give this book a go. I am glad I did, because I loved it!

Katherine Anderson is a wonderful character. I liked her a lot. She is a food critic, with the power to make or break a restaurant or café. After coming home early and finding her fiancé in a compromising position, she decides to take the honeymoon trip to Italy in an attempt to figure out what to do. Meeting a charming Italian man wasn’t part of her plans, but Tony Bertalucci is unlike any other man she has met.

Massimo “Tony Lupito” Bertalucci is also a wonderful character. I liked this charismatic and charming man. His family has been involved in the production of olive oil for several generations, but after an attack by a black market cartel that left his family dead and him running scared, he sees Katherine as his salvation.

I started to read this story and found it to be an exciting and thrilling read, which hooked me from the first page. I could fully picture the story in my own mind with clarity, due to the descriptive writing of the author. I have never been to Italy, but the way it is described, especially the city of Florence, I felt like I was there. But, the descriptions also made me feel sad that I really wasn’t! I am seriously considering visiting Italy for real.

The story is told through not only Katherine’s and Tony’s points of view, but also through the eyes of an American FDA agent, Special Agent Daniel Thompson. I liked this agent, as he is dedicated and seems to be honourable. He and his Italian compatriot, Agent Andreo Manchetti are investigating the cartel and the connection to the Bertalucci family. The story is full of twists and turns, and has a villain that chilled my blood! He is completely psychotic, and his identity is a total shock! The feeling of terror, paranoia and disbelief that Tony feels is palpable and had me jumping at perfectly normal noises at home. It also had me feeling sorry for Katherine, as she had no idea through most of the story about the danger following Tony. But, once she is involved, I was completely in awe of her level head and inner strength. I am not sure if I would be so calm in a similar situation, but I suppose since her life had already imploded, she just took it in her stride. I did find myself in tears several times throughout the story, so a tissue may be required. I reached the end of the story and nearly screamed out loud in surprise, because there is a huge twist. I couldn’t wait to see what happens next, so I have downloaded Shattered, the next book in the trilogy, and I hope to start reading it as soon as possible.

Jennifer Burrows has written a fantastic, intense and suspenseful thriller. I love her fast paced writing style and the flow of the story is wonderful. I am definitely planning on reading more books by this author in the future.

Due to scenes of a sexual nature that are a little on the explicit side, as well as scenes of violence, I do not recommend this book for younger readers or those of a sensitive nature. However, I highly recommend this book to readers who love romantic thrillers, mysteries or suspense novels. – Lynn Worton

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Monday, January 19, 2015

Book Review of Logan's Redemption: Redemption Book 1 by Cara Marsi





 Book Title: Logan's Redemption (Redemption Book 1)
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 252
Author: Cara Marsi
Date Published: 26 August 2010

Synopsis:

Doriana Callahan's life is unraveling. Someone is stalking her and sabotaging her father's company; her teenage son is rebelling; and Logan Tanner is back in town. For sixteen years she's kept an explosive secret from Logan, a secret he soon discovers.

Logan never belonged in Doriana's world, but a long time ago he allowed himself to dream of a future with her, until the awful night he was forced to run. Now he's back and he needs her forgiveness, but first he must forgive himself.

Despite the fact that Doriana kept the existence of his son from him, Logan vows to protect her. He races against time to stop the culprit threatening Doriana and works to forge a bond with his son.

Can the love and passion that still burn between Doriana and Logan overcome old lies and new dangers? The clock is ticking on a second chance at love.

Review:


Logan's RedemptionLogan's Redemption by Cara Marsi
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review.

This is the first book in the Redemption Series. I really enjoyed it!

Doriana Callahan is a wonderful character, although sometimes I wanted to knock some sense into her. She is a single mother, with a rebelling teenager. However, her stubbornness in accepting help of any kind, didn't endear her to me. Her family are supportive of her, but she seems to resent their meddling (which I can understand up to a point) and is terrified that her family would find out the identity of her son's father. After sixteen years, I doubt they would even care anymore, but who can say? When her father employs Logan Tanner to investigate the sabotage of his business, Doriana's life is thrown into turmoil.

Logan Tanner is also a wonderful character. He is very determined, focused and dangerous in his own way. He left town sixteen years ago after an event that made him run. He may have done something bad in the past, but he was only protecting himself in self defense. This, amongst other things, convinced me that he is a good and noble man. Now living in Tuscon, he runs a very successful private investigation and security business. He's back in Philadelphia, but being near Doriana reminds him of what he left behind. Can he find the saboteur and leave with his heart intact?

I started to read this story and was hooked from the first page. The story is told from the points of view of both Logan and Doriana. I am a sucker for romance novels with a bit of mystery, intrigue and danger in them; this book has it in spades. There are some interesting characters in this book. Dan Callahan is an extremely sharp businessman. I liked him a lot. Franco is Doriana's brother and a bit of a playboy, who never seems to take anything seriously. And then there is fifteen year old Josh. I liked this troubled teen. He is trying to find where he fits in and, although he makes a few mistakes, he has a good heart.

The danger is not as imminent and right there as if this is a thriller, but the intrigue and mystery as to who is sabotaging the business had me turning the pages. The chemistry between Doriana and Logan is definitely smoldering, even after sixteen years apart. Their sexual tension permeates the story and when they finally get back together, it's extremely HOT. I did find Doriana's incessant worries about Logan finding out about Josh being his son to be a bit of an overreaction on her part. I don't have any experience with having children, but I don't think that Logan would have ever considered taking Josh away from her; it didn't fit in with my impression of his character. This is a rather formulaic romance and similar to many other romance novels I have read over the years, but I really did enjoy it from beginning to end. However, there are a few twists that surprised me. I am now looking forward to reading the second book in the series, Franco's Fortune, as soon as I can.

Cara Marsi has written a wonderful contemporary romance. I love her fast paced writing style and the flow was wonderful. Her characters are not perfect and have flaws, but this makes them seem more realistic and alive in my opinion. I am looking forward to reading more of this author's work in the future.

Due to scenes that are a little explicit in nature (although not as explicit as some books I have read), I do not recommend this book for readers under the age of 16. However, I highly recommend this book if you love steamy contemporary romances. - Lynn Worton

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Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Oops, I am guessing this was not the intent.....

Fallen by Nick Stephenson

Book 5, I read book 1 and loved it...now I wonder if the TV show is one I have not had the time to watch...

The start of this book is almost to a letter a reproduction of episode one of season one of The Blacklist, yes an agency change.  Yes a son and not a daughter but for more than half the book it felt as if I were reading the script to a very famous tv show.  Not bad if you consider I adore the show although the part the main protagonists plays in the story is pathetic....

So well written, well edited.  Cool name, catchy cover but seriously, watch episode one of the tv show and save hours of reading.  I waited and waited and waited for an original plot line....none came.

WaAr 


Count the puppies to see my star rating..... 

Book Review of Kingdom of the Snark: The Quest for the Sword by Melanie Hatfield



 Book Title: Kingdom Of The Snark : The Quest For The Sword
Genre: Comedic Fantasy
Pages: 265
Author: Melanie Hatfield
Date Published: 20 June 2012

Synopsis:

If a whimsical fantasy like "The Hobbit" was written with the adult oriented humor of "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy," you would have "Kingdom of the Snark: The Quest for the Sword."

Renee the Righteous is a young Quester who must find the long-lost Sword of Power to save her people. When at last she thinks her quest for the sword is at an end, she discovers a catch: it takes two people to claim the blade, not one, so she needs a Questing Partner for help. Too bad Renee never bothered to make any friends on her journey, and she has to put her trust in a stranger. She thinks she has found the perfect Questing Partner in Guy Smokes, a hapless Assistant Barkeep always willing to help anyone with heaving bosoms. However, Guy might just change his mind after they are attacked by lustful nun assassins and lethal men in green cloaks. Will Renee be able to claim the Sword of Power, or will she and her Questing Partner be slain instead?

Journey to a land where men are women, women are men and unicorns are jerks in "Kingdom of the Snark: The Quest for the Sword."

Review:


The Quest for the Sword (Kingdom of the Snark, #1)The Quest for the Sword by Melanie Hatfield
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review.

This is the first book in a trilogy. I absolutely LOVED it!

Renee the Righteous is a character I wasn't sure I liked or not. One moment I wanted to slap her, the next I was cheering her on! She is shockingly self-absorbed, even arrogant to the point of rudeness; no wonder she has very little in the way of friends. She sees people as total idiots and not worth her attention, that is until she needs to find someone to help her find and claim the "Sword of Power". When she meets Guy Smokes, a young barkeep with dreams of owning his own pub, she gets him to agree to help her.

Guy Smokes is actually a fantastic character. I really liked him. He is gentle and kind. I don't know if it was his naivety of the world (he had only ever been in Mudville), or he had been affected by the family business of being "weedmen" (yes, it's what it sounds like), but when he agreed in helping Renee, I wanted shake him and ask what he thought he was doing! Nevertheless, he doesn't realise what he's gotten himself into. But he soon finds out!

This story is very difficult to review without giving out any spoilers, but I will do my best.

It is told in the fashion of The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy; I was hooked from the first page. However, I felt like a rabbit or deer, caught in the headlights of a car which is heading in my direction - completely transfixed. It is a highly entertaining read, with lots of humour and laugh out loud, witty events and comments. However, it also made me cringe with the dark humour that also dotted the story. There are so many different characters I lost count, from fairies to trolls, dwarves, unicorns and even a dragon. However, the most scariest characters were the lustful nun assassins! Nuns' and assassins are two words you don't normally see together in a sentence, but the author has combined them to create a group of religious zealots who will attack and abuse unwary men and force them to have "relations" with them. I was like, "huh?", but they actually were much more terrifying than any dragon I have come across. I certainly wouldn't like to meet these nuns! If I ever had the misfortune to travel to Quaal, I would hightail it out of there faster than the speed of light! I would suggest you do the same. Unless, of course, you want to be ravaged by nun assassins that is!

There are plenty of sword fights, danger and action, with several twists and turns to keep it interesting. Lord Asher Dark is a rather pathetic villain in my opinion. He is incredibly narcissistic. In fact, he and Renee would have made an interesting romantic match. I found myself putting the book down whenever there was an eye-rolling moment, which was often, but I would quickly pick it back up again to find out what was happening next. What really got to me was Guy's friendship of Renee. Even when she was being a total donkey's bottom to him, he stayed. He is a truly good man, with a huge heart and a tonne of loyalty; I wish he was my friend!
When I reached the end of the book, I was slightly devastated, but I am looking forward to continuing the trilogy and reading the second book, An Affair with Wizards when it is released.

Melanie Hatfield has written a fast paced, entertaining and humorous read that had me giggling and smiling from ear to ear. I love her writing style, which is full of wit and snarky comments, and the flow was wonderful. As this is her debut novel, which combines her love of comedy and fantasy, I can't wait to see what else she comes up with.

Although there is mention of ravishing and other sexual situations, there is nothing explicit. There is also mention of fighting and violence, but it is not gory. Therefore, I recommend this book to readers from the age of 15 upwards and to readers who love humourous fantasy like or similar to The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy. - Lynn Worton

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Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Audio/Book Review of The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey



Book Title: The 5th Wave
Genre: YA Dystopian/Post-Apocalyptic Adventure
Pages: 457
Audio Run Time: 12 Hrs 41 Mins
Author: Rick Yancey
Date Published: 7 May 2013 (E-Book)
9 May 2013 (Audio Book)

Synopsis:

After the 1st wave, only darkness remains. After the 2nd, only the lucky escape. And after the 3rd, only the unlucky survive. After the 4th wave, only one rule applies: Trust no one. Now, it's the dawn of the 5th wave.

On a lonely stretch of highway, Cassie runs from Them. The beings who only look human, who roam the countryside killing anyone they see. Who have scattered Earth's last survivors. To stay alone is to stay alive, until Cassie meets Evan Walker. Beguiling and mysterious, Evan may be her only hope for rescuing her brother and even saving herself. Now she must choose: between trust and despair, between defiance and surrender, between life and death. To give up or to get up. Cassie Sullivan gets up.

Review:


The 5th Wave (The Fifth Wave, #1)The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A friend recommended this book to me, but I also received a recommendation from Audible due to my taste in YA dystopian science fiction. Therefore, with my curiosity piqued, I downloaded an audio copy to listen to; I really enjoyed it!

This audio book is narrated by Phoebe Strole and Brandon Espinoza. They both did a wonderful job in bringing the story and the characters to life. Although, I did find the switch from female to male voice a little jarring at first (I am used to listening to one narrator only in most stories), but soon enjoyed the different points of view.

Cassie (short for Cassiopeia) Sullivan is a sixteen year old girl on the run from "the others" - aliens who have invaded the bodies of certain humans, and are the start of the 5th wave in a war to take over the planet. I really liked this character, she has a lot of spirit and determination. However, she also has an irritating habit of being a bit whine-y. I suppose teen angst is expected in characters this age, but what really bugged me about this character is her issue with trust. I won't go into specifics, as that will be a spoiler, but her easy acceptance of a character after all she had been through just didn't sit right with me.

There are three guys as main characters in this story, and each of them have their own quirks and, in the case of the older boys, secrets.

Evan Walker is not all that he seems. He hides a dangerous secret, but when he meets Cassie, something within him changes. However, this character is still a mysterious enigma, even when his secret is revealed. What was it about Cassie that made him change his mind? Why was he alone, rather with others like him who argued against colonization? These and other questions that buzzed in my head remain unanswered as the story continued. Perhaps they will be answered in the next story? I hope so, because I would love to get to understand what he and the others hope to achieve.

Ben "Zombie" Parish is a young man dying from a deadly virus they call "the Plague" from the fourth wave when we meet him. Rescued and healed, he joins the fight in the war against the "infected" - humans who have an alien infesting their brain. I really liked this character. He is quite bright and determined, not to mention charming. He also has a huge heart and takes a young five year old boy under his wing.

Sam (Sammy) is Cassie's young brother, who finds himself being part of Squad 53 and being called "Nugget". I really loved this character! He is so sweet, and what he goes through at such a young age made my heart wrench; I wanted to give him a huge hug! It made me wonder if children this age are as resilient as they say, or would he have problems later on in his life? And then there is bear! I love bear. He is Sammy's one comfort in a world gone to hell, but he gives it to Cassie; I cried when he did that!

This story is very compelling and the characters are quite lifelike. However, having read a few other dystopian novels, some of the scenario's didn't quite ring as believable (mostly the alien invasion and their motivation behind it). But, there are some scarily possible human ones that I could see happening in the not so distant future. Cassie's and Evan's relationship also doesn't seem to have the "spark" necessary to be believable either, which I was surprised at. However, this may be because I was listening to the story and not reading it.

The fifth wave is actually about trust, or the lack thereof. Do the characters believe and trust everything that they have been told or shown by those in power? Or do they question everything and find themselves actually fighting in a war where lines are blurred and things are not as they seem? This theme runs through the whole story. And there are several twists and turns that make you, as the reader, question everything too, never mind the characters. I found myself riveted by the tale. And, even though the audio book is over twelve hours long, I found myself thinking it was too short! I will still have to wait until 2016 before the movie is released though. In the meantime, I can't wait to get my hands on the sequel, The Infinite Sea.

Rick Yancey has written an exciting, fast paced dystopian novel that kept me hooked from the beginning to the end. I love his fast pace writing style and the flow of the story was wonderful. I will definitely read more books by this author in the future.

I highly recommend this book if you love YA dystopian novels like Divergent and The Hunger Games, or TV series like Fallen Skies. - Lynn Worton

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Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Release Day Blitz: Baby V (CHIANTI KISSES Book 1) by Tara Oakes


Today, I am pleased to be part of the release day blitz for Tara Oakes newest book, Baby V (CHIANTI KISSES Book 1). - Lynn
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SYNOPSIS

*** This novel is intended for those over 18 years of age, due to mature content.

 Life is full of choices... paths, if you will. Vincenza Lombardi's life has been carefully planned out and orchestrated by her wealthy and powerful family. Nothing but the best for their "Baby V". The best prep schools, the finest finishing schools, and the top girls-only university in the nation. As the only daughter, she has been protected and shielded by her three older brothers from anything unsavory that could possibly compromise their pride and joy. Every decision, every move, has been to prepare Baby V for the role she was born for. But Vincenza, or "V", has other plans. Home for one last summer before she embarks on her secret life plans, she's determined to forge her own way, on her own, separate from her impressive but constricting family legacy. As if three older brothers aren't enough to stand in her way, V also has to deal with Dom DiBenedetto. The Dibenedetto and Lombardi families had grown their fortunes together, raised their families closely and run one of the most successful importing business in the world. As CEO, Dom is used to running things his way and getting what he wants. As the head of his family, Dom takes his role seriously... ensuring the future and security of his employees and his loved ones. Unbeknownst to her, V plays a critical role in those plans, but will they fit in with the life she see's for herself?








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Tara is a thirty something newbie author from Long Island, New York. She's a voracious reader, a passionate writer and obsessive junk T.V. aficionado. When she's not doing one of those three things she is attempting to garden, hanging with her hubby or partaking in some retail therapy. She enjoys connecting with her readers and is having a blast entering into this new world of publishing.

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Book Review of Hunted by a Jaguar (Eternal Mates Paranormal Romance Series Book 4) by Felicity Heaton



 Book Title: Hunted by a Jaguar (Eternal Mates Paranormal Romance Series Book 4)
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 302
Author: Felicity Heaton
Date Published: 6 January 2015

Synopsis:

A jaguar shifter with a dark secret, Kyter has spent his entire life running from his demons. When a tragedy takes him back to his pride’s village, he is set on a path of vengeance that will see him collide with the terrible ghosts of his past and a beautiful vision of his future.

Iolanthe deals in finding artefacts for discerning clients, but this time her client is one of the deadliest men in Hell and her mission has the highest stakes imaginable. Failure is not an option when your life is on the line, but things take a dangerous turn when she crosses paths with a handsome and mysterious male on the hunt for the same artefact—a male who declares she is his eternal mate.

Can Iolanthe resist Kyter’s wicked allure and find the artefact before he does? Can Kyter face his demons and win the heart of his fated female? Or will this deadly game of cat and mouse claim both of their lives?

Review:


Hunted by a Jaguar (Eternal Mates, #4)Hunted by a Jaguar by Felicity Heaton
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is the fourth book in the Eternal Mates Series. I loved it!

First off, I would like to say that I absolutely LOVE the covers used in this series. Every one of them that I have seen are extremely drool worthy, and I would seriously consider hanging these up on my walls if they were available as posters. However, as they are not, I will just have to drool over my Kindle.

Kyter is a character who was introduced in the first book of the series, Kissed by a Dark Prince. He intrigued me from the start, so I am now glad to have read his story. I really liked this intense cat! He's so sexy! However, he also has a vulnerability about him I couldn't help but fall in love with. He may be a jaguar shifter, but he has a dark secret, which is not so secret to his pride. He has endured and survived terrible abuse because of this secret, which drove him from his home in the jungle to the bright lights and urban sprawl of London where he runs his nightclub, Underworld. When he sees a mysterious beauty in the street and their paths cross, Kyter is stunned. Can he convince her that they are meant to be together as Eternal Mates?

Iolanthe is a fantastic character. I really liked her feisty, take-no-prisoners attitude. She is very independent, and hates giving up control of her life. She is a treasure seeker (think a female Indiana Jones), who has been tasked with finding an artefact for a dangerous client who happens to be a demon. When she meets Kyter, sparks fly, but can she overcome her fear of losing control long enough to find true happiness?

I have been eagerly awaiting the release of this book, and pre-ordered my copy as soon as it became available.

I started to read it as soon as I could and was quickly swept away. The scenes were so well described that I felt like I was actually there, in amongst the action. I really wanted to get my hands on the village elder of Kyter's pride, due to what he perpetuated and allowed to happen in Kyter's formative years. Sadly, since he is a fictional character, I cannot. But, if these events not happened to a younger Kyter, would he be the same person he is today? I am not so sure. However, as the events did happen, it gave me a deeper appreciation for the man he is now.

There is a cameo appearance by Payne, one of the characters from the Erotic Vampire Theatre series. He is only in one scene, so if you blink, you may just miss him. I enjoyed that scene though. Another character makes a welcome appearance in this series, and that character is Bleu. At first, I was surprised by his appearance in the story, but since he is friendly with Kyter and when his relationship to Iolanthe comes to light, it made perfect sense. The reader is also introduced to Cavanaugh, another cat shifter, who works for Kyter at Underworld. He has issues of his own, and I am looking forward to finding out what they are in the future.

The story is full of action and danger in the form of demons who happen to also be assassins. What was not fully explained, I felt, was what the demons wanted with Barafnir. However, that was a minor irritant to me. Other readers may not have the same reaction. There are several twists and turns in this tale, which kept me hooked from beginning to end. I found myself on an emotional roller coaster ride throughout the story. There is a fantastic fight scene featuring Kyter, Iolanthe, Bleu and Barafnir, which had me sitting on the edge of my seat. This is one thing I love about this author - her flair for describing battle scenes in such detail that I can not only picture it, but smell it and feel like I'm actually there! I cannot wait for the next book in the series, Craved by an Alpha, which is due to be released soon.

Felicity Heaton has written another fast paced, sexy paranormal romance that I thoroughly enjoyed! I love her writing style, which flows effortlessly from scene to scene. She is number one on my favourite authors list!

I do not recommend this book to younger readers due to the extremely HOT and explicit sexual scenes. However, I highly recommend this book (and series) if you love sexy paranormal romances full of vampires, elves, werewolves, succubi, incubi, angels, dragons and demons. - Lynn Worton

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Tuesday, January 06, 2015

Release Day Blitz: Tryst by Arie Lane





Release Date: January 6th

SYNOPSIS

Bentley Celeste has everything to lose, literally. On a night she should have been celebrating, her world came crashing down. Left with no other choice, she ran for her life and has been hiding ever since.

The day Tristan turned into a teenager his whole life changed. Faced with the reality that his father was more of a child than he was, Tristan chose to forego the rest of his childhood and become an adult.

Both have secrets that could destroy the fragile foundation that Tristan fights hard to build. But what happens when the very secrets you are hiding are the very ties that will either bind or break you? Can Bentley stop running long enough to let someone in? Can Tristan start believing that not everyone he loves is destined to abandon him?
 

***WARNING*** This book is intended for 18+ due to strong language, violent scenarios, and sexual content. 



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Tryst By Arie Lane Copyright 2014

Prologue

I have been through a living hell. I lost my sister to a stalker who to this day, refuses to say where she is buried. I lost my father to his best friend Jim Beam, and my mother, well I never had her. Sure she was there. My darling mommy created the hell I endured every day.

For as long as I can remember the woman hated me. She enjoyed finding new ways to try and break me. The earliest recollection I have of the woman is her humiliating me.

My twin Cora and I were celebrating our fourth birthday. Cora insisted she had to have a Cinderella party. I wasn’t much into princesses but my opinion hardly mattered when it came to Cora’s demands. So of course my mother thought this idea was brilliant. There was a small consolation though. Mom said we could both be Cinderella. Cora threw such a fit at the idea she wasn’t going to be the only princess. That is until she saw our outfits. Cora’s was a beautiful blue dress, a Swarovski crystal crown, and mother even had glass slippers custom made for her. When it came time for me to put on my dress, turned out it wasn’t a dress at all. It was rags, dirty filthy rags. I was the standing joke of the party. That was the start to a long painful childhood.

I tried to avoid my mother’s wrath as much as possible, even if Cora made it her life’s mission to see me miserable. I guess she didn’t like having a twin any more than my mother liked having a second daughter. My mother’s temper hit a boiling point when I was six. We were at a fair and Cora had kicked the dirty water from a mud puddle up at me. It was the first time my mother didn’t scream at me and Cora wasn’t too thrilled she hadn’t succeeded. She always went out of her way to make sure I got in trouble, so since her antics didn’t get the reaction she wanted, she tripped me. I landed face first in the mud puddle destroying my Sunday dress. When I stood back up, our mother was furious. It was the first time she’d hit me hard enough to leave a mark. I had her hand imprinted across my cheek until the next morning.

 After demanding that I bathe as soon as we got home, she ran a bath for me. I thought maybe her anger had lessened. She seemed calmer during the trip home.  That was until I realized she ran the bath with water that was just a few degrees shy of boiling. She pushed me and the ruined dress I was still wearing into the water. I thought she had left me alone, so I tried to add some cold water to the tub. I never got the chance before she came back in and poured some kind of cleaner into the bath water and told me to scrub. The cleaner was harsh and it left my body covered in blisters.

 Once she left the room again I thought it was safe to wash the mud from my hair. Lying back in the tub to try and wash the mud away, I opened my eyes to my mother hovering above me. The next thing I knew she was holding me under the water, trying to drown me. I must have had a guardian angel that night because somehow I slipped out of her grip and bolted through the door leaving water everywhere.
I don’t recall what I was spanked with that night, but I remember I could hardly walk for two days. That was around the same time I started shutting myself away. It was when I came to the conclusion, I was the only person who I would ever be able to rely on. The only person who would ever know the full truth of what my mother was capable of. Many nights I suffered her wrath, both verbally and physically. This became the pattern of my life, abuse and degradation.

Teachers often saw marks, but usually overlooked them. Even when they did ask, nothing ever came of it, aside from making my mother even angrier. Because of that, I learned early on not to tattle. No one ever believed me over her, especially not when Cora was standing by her side, the image of perfection. Everyone began to believe I was hurting myself for attention. The fucked up part was the more she hated me, the harder I tried to make her love me.

 I was never good enough though. It didn’t matter that I had perfect grades. It didn’t matter how many people congratulated her on what a bright, well-mannered daughter she had. No, the only thing that mattered was that I couldn’t bring her into the limelight. That’s what she had Cora for. Beautiful spell-binding Cora who could spin a web of the most beautiful lies and you would become entrapped in every one of them. Cora was the only person I think Darla Celeste ever gave a shit about, other than herself. But then Cora was her ticket to stardom. She planned to ride the heels of Cora’s modeling career straight to the top, while I continued to live my life in solitude, consumed by my studies.

October 25, 2007, the day my life officially came to an end. Cora had been missing for several months, and any hope of finding her or her body had dwindled to nothing. The police charged a man that had been seen following her around, and who later was identified as her stalker. She had never mentioned a stalker to me. For the first time in my life I had my sister, we had grown close during my final year in school and the months thereafter. It was nice to have her there, even for that short while. The police questioned the man extensively, but he refused to admit to killing her. He was charged with kidnapping, obstruction and aggravated stalking. He took a plea deal to serve out a five year sentence.

 The day we laid my sister’s empty coffin into the ground something inside my mother broke. She had always been abusive and hostile. But her obsession with me had turned to something brutal and deadly. Standing in the kitchen after the funeral cleaning up the mess created by all of the comings and goings of people giving condolences, my mother’s sanity snapped. It could be it was never there in the first place. To this day, I can still taste the chemicals she laced the plastic bag with, although they never found the object she used to try knocking me out with. Whatever it was it left me with a small concussion, and a fractured skull.

If my best friend, Dante, hadn’t talked me into taking self-defense classes with him, I’d likely be dead.  Darla Celeste has a good seven inches on my frame, so getting the bag over my head was the easy part. I fought back like hell though as she tried to tighten the bag around my neck hoping if she couldn’t suffocate me, she’d be able to strangle me instead.

It was the first time I ever filed a police report against my mother for her abuse. Even that didn’t accomplish anything other than building her rage. She convinced a psychiatrist she was suffering from P.T.S.D. because of my sister’s disappearance and she couldn’t recognize me in that moment and was trying to defend herself. It was complete bullshit, but just like every other time, they bought the lies as if she was incapable of telling anything other than the truth.


 It was in those moments my mother prepared me for a life of misery. It was in those moments I felt I would either live my life hidden away or die in whatever heinous fashion my mother would deem most appropriate to garner the most media attention. Darla had decided if she didn’t have Cora’s coattails to ride her claim to fame, that the loss of her surviving daughter would be devastating enough to garner her enough media attention and sympathy to throw her into the spotlight. But she didn’t just want my disappearance and death, she wanted it in a media frenzied circus. She wanted a horrific spectacle that would launch her to the top of her social circle, no matter what the cost. My mother was nothing if not a whore, and she was willing to trade my life for her 15 minutes of fame.

I chose to hide away from everyone. My only solace the knowledge that if I was alone, no one could ever hurt me. If nothing else, my life had prepared me for pain and misery. It had prepared me for all the great disappointments I endured.

Nothing in my life though, could have prepared me for him. I was at a loss when it came to the man who would wreck the safe little life I had built for myself. Never in my wildest dreams could I have ever conjured up a man like Tristan.

People say there is nothing in life that comes your way that you can’t handle. Well I call bullshit, because those people have never met Tristan Reece, with his sexy smirk and hotter than hell body. No one could ever be prepared for the confidence and sexual prowess that man oozes. Of course by no one I mean me, an average in every kind of way woman, who somehow becomes the bulls-eye on his target.



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About this Author

Arie Lane is an avid reader and stay at home mom to two beautiful little boys. When not writing or chasing them around she is usually catching up with other Indie authors and constantly keeping up with new blogs.
She loves to connect with people and is proud that she finally had the courage to put some of her crazy thoughts into written words. From the time she started reading her nose was always stuck in a book and she's couldn't be happier that now she's encouraging others to get their noses stuck also. Even if her readers are of the +18 variety.



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Audio/Book Review of MARKED (Eternal Guardians Book 1) by Elisabeth Naughton



Book Title: Marked (Eternal Guardians Book 1)
Genre: Erotic Paranormal Romance
Pages: 321
Audio Run Time: 11 Hrs 2 Mins
Author: Elisabeth Naughton
Date Published: 27 May 2010 (E-Book)
27 August 2013 (Audio Book)

Synopsis:

THERON – Dark haired, duty bound and deceptively deadly. He’s the leader of the Argonauts, an elite group of guardians that defends the immortal realm from threats of the Underworld.

From the moment he walked into the club, Casey knew this guy was different. Men like that just didn’t exist in real life—silky shoulder-length hair, chest impossibly broad, and a predatory manner that just screamed dark and dangerous. He was looking for something. Her.

She was the one. She had the mark. Casey had to die so his kind could live, and it was Theron’s duty to bring her in. But even as a 200-year-old descendent of Hercules, he wasn’t strong enough to resist the pull in her fathomless eyes, to tear himself away from the heat of her body.

As war with the Underworld nears, someone will have to make the ultimate sacrifice.

Review:


Marked (Eternal Guardians, #1)Marked by Elisabeth Naughton
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is the first book in the Eternal Guardians series. I really enjoyed it!

My sister recommended this series to me as she had read them all (that have been released so far) and thought I would enjoy it. I downloaded this as an audiobook, as it was also recommended by Audible due to my browsing history. How's that for a coincidence?

I started to listen and was quickly pulled into the story. The narrator, Elizabeth Wiley, did a wonderful job in telling the story, but I'm afraid her attempt at foreign accents sounded a bit odd and I would have preferred if she hadn't attempted it at all. Nevertheless, her narration was crystal clear and her tone and modulation for the various characters brought them to life.

Acacia "Casey" Simopolus is a wonderful character. I really liked her. She is not your average wimpy type. She is more kick ass than mousy, which helps when dealing with unruly drunks at the bar she works part time in. But when a mysterious stranger saves her and she later returns the favour, she finds herself thrust into a dangerous world where immortal guardians protect the human population from demons sent from the Underworld.

Theron is a character I wasn't sure if I liked or not. To me, he comes across as very controlling, arrogant and sexist (mostly old fashioned sexism) at times, which made me want to punch him, and I'm not normally a violent person. He is a descendant of Hercules and the leader of a group of guardians, who "police" the demons sent by Hades to the human realm. He and his fellow Argonauts live in Argolea, a city which is in another dimension. When he meets Casey, his life takes an unexpected turn. Could he kill his soul mate to protect his home?

This story is mostly a typical paranormal romance, with lots of action and danger mixed in. However, there are several twists and turns that keep one guessing at what is really going on. There are a few characters other than Casey and Theron who have their say in this book too, which gave this story a more rounded feel. I was intrigued with Isadora, who, although a princess, seemed to have a very weak character and let herself get pushed around, especially by her father King Leonidas. However, she has a core of steel that she did not expose for most of the story, and I actually wrote her off as pathetic because of her lack of back bone. BUT, when she did show her metal, WOW! I certainly have now changed my mind about her! There are also a few other intriguing characters, both in the human world and in Argolea who have caught my interest, but I will leave it to you to discover them for yourselves.

One thing I will say about this story is the world building is excellent. The characters are well developed and extremely lifelike. I have always been intrigued with Greek gods and their offspring such as Hercules, whose exploits became legend (or are they myth?) over time. So reading about his descendants, who were with Jason on his voyage for the Golden Fleece, excited me. I am also a huge sucker for paranormal romances in general, so I am looking forward to continuing with this series and I will (hopefully) get to read/listen to Entwined as soon as I can.

Elisabeth Naughton has written an exciting start to a series. I love her fast paced writing style and the flow is wonderful. I will be continuing to read this series, but I do have one of her romantic suspense novels sitting on my Kindle, which I hope to now read in the near future too!

Due to scenes of a sexual nature that are on the explicit side, I do not recommend this book for younger readers. However, I highly recommend this book if you love erotic paranormal romances. - Lynn Worton

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