Review: Start Again by J. Saman

Start Again

J. Saman

I received a copy from the author for an honest review.

Holy cow! START AGAIN just shredded my heart from the very first page. My heart broke for Katie and what she went through. Her husband Eric and her daughter Maggie are tragically killed by a drunk driver and obviously, Katie’s life is destroyed. When a story has me in tears in the first chapter, I just know it is going to be like being on an emotional roller coaster and START AGAIN is just that.

J. Saman does a beautiful job with descriptions of places and peoples feelings and I was instantly sucked into Katie’s life. She decides that she needs a change of scenery and goes on a cross country trip with the son of one of her mother’s friends. Okay I’m not going to lie, Ryan became my hero almost from the very start. I wanted him to fall in love with Katie and show her that she still had a lot of living to do. She needed to move on and begin to be happy again and I truly believed Ryan was the one to show her that.

Wow wow wow!! I really loved START AGAIN. From the very first page I was emotionally invested in Katie and I just wanted her to be happy and to smile again. She was so young when her life was turned upside down and I cried when she cried and I love when an author does that to me. I felt like I was right there with her and I was holding my breath at the end of START AGAIN, praying nothing bad was going to happen. Please, you have to give J. Saman a try! You won’t be sorry. I can’t wait to read more by her and I’m praying she is busy writing Luke’s story because I’m sure it will be just as awesome as START AGAIN is.

Review: Magic Shifts by Ilona Andrews

MagicShiftsKate Daniels had to walk away from her life as Consort in order to keep the peace and avoid an instant conflict with her father (see MAGIC BREAKS for more details). Her mate and Beast Lord, Curran Lennart, followed her and now they are adjusting to life outside the Keep. Unfortunately, things are never quiet in Atlanta as Kate and Curran are dealing with two mysteries- why the ghouls are attacking and what has happened to Eduardo? Meanwhile, Curran has been offered the Mercenary Guild as part of his terms for leaving the Pack. Can Kate and Curran survive this latest series of onslaughts?

One of the things that I love about Ilona Andrews is that the writing never gets stale. Instead, our characters continue to grow and change while the world building continues to develop. Each new installment offers up something new and refreshing. MAGIC SHIFTS is no exception as we see Kate in several tenuous situations that had my heart practically stopping in fear.

MAGIC SHIFTS is the eighth book in the Kate Daniels series and I highly suggest reading it in the context of the series as a whole. There are a ton of threads coming together in MAGIC SHIFTS, even as we see Kate and Curran transitioning to life outside the Keep. Besides, I can’t imagine anyone not wanting to read each and every book of this phenomenal series!

I love the Kate Daniels series as Kate is one of my favorite urban fantasy heroines! MAGIC SHIFTS takes readers on a new, exciting venture as I can’t wait to see how the Mercenary Guild will look after tangling with Curran. If you haven’t read a Kate Daniels book and you love urban fantasy, what are you waiting for? Drop everything and start reading this series now! Highly recommended!

*A copy of this book was provided free by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*

Review: Fearless by Kimberly Kincaid

Fearless Kincaid

Publication: July 26th 2016 by Zebra

ISBN13: 9781420137767   Series: Rescue Squad #2

Rating 5*

Cole Everett has given up much to pursue his dream of becoming the best fireman and ultimately being accepted into the elite rescue squad of station 8 Firehouse.   The firehouse and employees are his family – his brothers – the men who have his back.  His dream of being transferred to squad has just about come true, with one small caveat – train and mentor the new rookie firefighter!  Yup – not a problem until he discovers said ‘rookie’ just happens to be a woman – the first woman to ever be allowed into firehouse 8 as a firefighter!

Savannah Nelson is no quitter and is ready to prove she is every bit as capable as any firefighter -male or female.  Stubborn to a fault she is determined to prove she deserves to be there!  Yet she is rather surprised to find that her mentor is one very hot, and sexy looking hunk that happens to turn her stomach to butterflies.   Not only is she highly attracted to Cole, but she has found that just by virtue of her sex one of Station Eight’s top veterans has taken an instant dislike to her and is ready to derail her aspirations.

In spite of the back burner attraction between Cole and Savannah, their romance was sensual but didn’t detract from the vivid descriptions of the training and firefighting techniques used to combat fires; save lives when trapped in serious car accidents; and the constant training to maintain the highest level of competence and physical fitness when needed to combat even the worst scenarios of fighting fires.

With FEARLESS being the second book in the Rescue Squad Series I will definitely be looking forward to the next books in this series.   Excellent writing and fast action – a terrific read.

Marilyn Rondeau

 

Review: The Angels’ Share by J. R. Ward

The Angel's Share

Review:   The Angels’ Share by J. R. Ward 

Series:  Bourbon Kings #2               Kindle Edition, 432 pages

Publication: July 26th 2016 by NAL     ASIN:   B0191X34KE

Rating:  5*

Oh my, from the first book of this new series of The Bourbon Kings by J.R. Ward I was hooked. I found the entire premise of a Southern Bourbon Dynasty full of years of privilege and prosperity to have hooked me right from the beginning.   But  as one read further, one would discover what a completely dysfunctional and screwed up family they were when looked at from behind the scenes of genteel privilege.

THE BOURBON KINGS was the teaser for the series in discovering some horrendous secrets, but book #2 – THE ANGEL’S SHARE showed more of the dysfunction and the strengths which were needed to come back from disaster and start rebuilding a venerable dynasty  instead of taking the easy way out and giving up.

At the end of the first book, the patriarch of the family had seemingly committed suicide, but at the beginning of book 2 – it was looking more and more like murder and in this screwed up family everyone was under suspicion!

***   Oh yes, this was another ‘can’t put it down’ read by one of my favorite authors.  No paranormal here but simple pure adrenaline rush and a very sensual romance.   Not to mention some wonderfully thought out scenario’s and fabulously fleshed out characters.   Only one new central character was introduced in book #2 and that was long-lost missing brother Maxwell – who at this point might or might not be a bad guy – only time and more books will tell!  And I must say now that I sincerely hope that this will be a long running series, and thrilled I got in on the ground floor with the very first two books!

I was truly surprised that Edward, appearing to be pulling himself together and out of the depths of his despair after his tortuous kidnapping from years ago, whose love for Sutton Smythe was admitted would let her go.  Lane and Lizzie’s romance, on the other hand, was such a relief from all the suspense and aggravation of trying to save the Bourbon business from the embezzlement that set the company on very brink of disaster.    The action and suspense is definitely palatable and has kept me turning the pages far into the night!   This was an absolute pleasure to read and the ANGEL’S SHARE and this series is dynamite!  Don’t miss a single book – awesome!

Marilyn Rondeau

 

REVIEW: Not Always Happenstance by Rachel Anderson

Not Always Happenstance

Rachel Anderson

 
ARC received for an honest review

 
NOT ALWAYS HAPPENSTANCE is a wonderful addition to the Power of the Matchmaker series. This has been one of my favorite series this year and every time a new book comes out, I run to it to devour and savor it. That is exactly what happened while reading NOT ALWAYS HAPPENSTANCE by Rachel Anderson.

 

 

Lani has been in Hawaii for five years helping her grandmother run the bed and breakfast there. There is a cottage on the property and for five years no one has stayed in it and her grandmother refuses to talk about it. Then one day, a stranger walks up to the front desk to Lani’s amazement and declares that he will be staying in the cottage.

 

 

Easton has always been one who goes from woman to woman and when he is done, sometimes he doesn’t even say goodbye. Before he left for Hawaii, his girlfriend said to him that she hopes he meets a woman who he gives his heart to. She also said she hopes this woman will break his heart. Wow, that burns Easton and stays with him the whole time he is in Hawaii.

 

 

Lani has just accepted her longtime boyfriend Derek’s proposal and tells him she will follow him to the states in just a few weeks. Well, that turns into a few months much to Derek’s dismay. He agrees to wait three months for her. When things take a turn with Easton, Lani calls Derek and lets him know she won’t be returning to the states. Lani swears it has nothing to do with Easton but we soon find out that isn’t true.

 

 

NOT ALWAYS HAPPENSTANCE is a quick read and had me turning the pages with such anticipation. I had to find out what was going to happen to Lani and Easton. Would Easton stay in Hawaii? Would Lani go to Derek in the states? Would Pearl, the matchmaker work her magic and have another couple, who didn’t know their soulmate even existed, fall in love? As I was reading NOT ALWAYS HAPPENSTANCE I felt like I was right there on the island, smelling all the sweet flowers, staring out into the ocean, waiting for Lani and Easton to see what is right there in front of their faces. I’m excited to read more of this wonderful series.

Review: The Nightmare Stacks by Charles Stross

TheNightmareStacksBeing a vampire isn’t easy for Alex Schwartz.  In one drastic change, he lost his humanity, his job, and his perspective of the world. Now, he’s in the bureaucratic grasp of the Laundry. Meanwhile, he’s interested in Cassie Brewer, but will her secrets destroy him? Code Nightmare Red has started… and the whole world is at stake!

THE NIGHTMARE STACKS is the seventh book in The Laundry Files series. The earlier books in the series are told from the point of view of Bob Howard (with one exception, when his wife narrates). However, THE NIGHTMARE STACKS switches to a different narrator and thus is an excellent point for new readers to jump right into The Laundry Files series.

Alex is an interesting character. Yes, he’s a vampire but he is not like any other vampires I’ve read before! In fact, he’s quite nerdy and insecure at times. I can’t help but love his reactions about his family.  Alex grew on me as the story progressed but I can’t deny that I missed Bob and his perspectives. However, Alex is a great new narrator and a welcome addition to the series!

THE NIGHTMARE STACKS is yet another enthralling addition to The Laundry Files series. If you haven’t gotten a taste of Charles Stross’ quirky blend of horror and science fiction, THE  NIGHTMARE STACKS is the perfect place to start. Easily recommended!

*ARC received from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*

REVIEW: The Things We Knew by Catherine West

The Things We Knew

Catherine West

ARC received from NetGalley for an honest review.

Wow! What an awesome story. THE THINGS WE KNEW hooked me from the very first page and never let me go until the very last. Once I started reading, it was very hard to put this story down. Catherine West has written a contemporary story that takes place on Nantucket
And is filled with strong, caring characters that everyone will be able to relate to and care about. Soon, you will feel as if you are on the island with the Carlisles, struggling to figure out where their lives are going.

Lynette is trying to keep it all together despite numerous tries to get her family involved. Their mom died years ago and their dad has been a mess ever since. He was gambling and drinking heavily and squandered most of the money. Their childhood home is in disrepair and Lynette needs help. She goes to the bank for a loan and there sits her childhood crush and neighbor, Nick Cooper. THE THINGS WE KNEW is all about family and the past and the secrets that come out are heartbreaking. Everyone is trying to protect Lynette from the truth but it is something keeping her up at night and she needs to remember what happened.

THE THINGS WE KNEW is filled with twists and turns and had me flipping through the pages like a woman on a mission. I had to know what was going to happen to Nick and Lynette and all the secondary characters. I hope there is going to be another book and that this becomes a series or at least a trilogy. I want and need more contact with this family. The characters are all well written and totally believable.

THE THINGS WE KNEW is without a doubt one of the best books I’ve read in 2016 so far. I was instantly emotionally invested in all of the characters and especially with Gray. I need more of his story. My heart broke for Lynette and Nick and for all they were dealing with but Gray shredded me. Something from their past effects them all and once the truth comes out many lives will be changed. Catherine West really knows how to write about family drama, heartbreak, and forgiveness. I can not wait to read more by this wonderful and heart tugging author. Well done Ms. West, you have a new fan.

REVIEW: Four Chambers by Julie Wright

Four Chambers

 

Julie Wright

 
Oh my goodness! I have never wanted to knock two characters heads together as much as I did while reading FOUR CHAMBERS. Once I started reading, I could not put this book down. I had to charge my Kindle Fire twice while reading…….it was just that good! I was smiling, tearing up, and screaming at the two of them the whole time and I loved every minute of it!

 
FOUR CHAMBERS is part of the Power of The Matchmaker series and the series just gets better and better with every book. Andra and Everett are both med students when the story starts off. If ever there were two people perfect for each other it’s these two, but due to lack of communication, their paths keep crossing and nothing ever happens. See what I mean, about knocking heads?

 
FOUR CHAMBERS pulled me in instantly and I felt emotionally connected to Andra. How many times did she need to run away from Everett before she figures out that he is exactly what she needs? How many times does Everett have to keep coming back into Andra’s life before they both realize they totally belong together? Miss Pearl, the matchmaker even loses patience with them and leaves. But she always comes back right when she needs to and when they need her the most.

 
The Power of The Matchmaker series is a wonderful series that I’m so excited to continue. You do not need to read the stories in any kind of order. Each book can be read as a stand alone if you wanted to do that but I’m sure once you read them, you are going to want to read them all just like me. FOUR CHAMBERS is filled with so many emotions you will be put instantly on an emotional roller coaster just like I was. Trust me, it is going to be a wild and crazy ride.

REVIEW: A Summer To Remember by Marilyn Pappano

A Summer To Remember

Marilyn Pappano


I went in to A SUMMER TO REMEMBER wanting a light and fun romance, and that is exactly what I got! This book was a quick and charming read.


The plot of A SUMMER TO REMEMBER is what made it so addicting for me. I think Marilyn does a great job at keeping the plot interesting through out the book. Sophia has been fighting something going on in her body that forces her to pretty much shut down. She has no idea what it is or if it will kill her. Which is why, meeting Elliot one night and having him change her life completely was never even in her dreams. Sophia needs and wants answers as to what is going on with her body before she can commit to Elliot. First she needs to tell him what is going on with her and of course, she does that when it is too late.

The chemistry between Sophia and Elliot is undeniable. Every moment between them is filled with sexual tension. Marilyn really knows how to create chemistry between two people! The problem I have with the romance between Sophia and Elliot is that I thought it felt like insta-love. I wanted more of a slow burning romance. It was hard for me to believe the deep connection they had, because it seemed like they barely knew each other. I wanted more tension between them before they shared their first actual kiss. The tension came later. I know that sometimes you meet your soul mate and things move very fast, but usually it still takes some time to realize what is right in front of you. Even though I had a hard time believing how quickly Sophia and Elliot fell in love, I still thought they were a cute couple by the end of the book. A SUMMER TO REMEMBER is such a heart warming story and soon you will find yourself feeling as if you are sitting right there in the bakery watching Elliot create his delicious breads.

I think that A SUMMER TO REMEMBER is a fun summer read! I will recommend this to anyone who is looking for a perfect romance novel. I am excited to check out more books by Marilyn Pappano. Once I started reading Sophia and Elliot’s story, I could not put it down. Some of the secondary characters are from previous novels in this series called Tallgrass and even though I haven’t read them all, I had no trouble following along.