Review: Island Peril by Jill Sorenson

It started as a girls' outing to California's beautiful Channel Islands State Park. When Ella Hammond embarks on a kayaking trip with sexy adventure guide Paul Dawson, sparks fly—but so does gunfire from a boat of drug smugglers.

Now Ella and Paul are on the run, soaked and stranded in a rocky hideout. Ella feels like she'll never be warm again. Until Paul shares his body heat—igniting a fire between them that's nearly too hot to handle!

Ella, her sister Abby and Abby’s daughter Brooke are all off on a weekend together to kayak. They are taking their first day trip when Abby gets a bit of anxiety and turns back to their camp with Brooke. Ella continues with their guide Paul. Paul is a hunk and a half and Ella’s attracted to the man. She thinks he might be interested in her as well but she’s not sure.

While on a tour of the island’s caves they find a package of what they believe to be marijuana floating in the mouth of the cave. Paul calls it in and then they go on their way. After a lovely day of hiking, talking and sunbathing, Paul and Ella return to their kayaks only to find two men there, with guns. Paul and Ella don’t stick around to find out what’s going on and run.  They're are chased but manage to hide - or so they think. On the run throughout the night Paul and Ella become closer, have more time to talk and have a bit of sexy time. They each discover that they want more than just one terror filled night together.

I really love Jill Sorenson’s books. She really has a great way of getting two people together and her characters always seem pretty perfect for each other. This book had all of the wonderful ingredients that Jill puts into her books but it was just too darned short! lol

Paul and Ella have a fun time together and even when they’re running they have an innate trust in one another. I really loved to read about the beginning of their relationship but I wanted more. The two had so much in common and the sparks that flew off of them were almost visible. I loved that Ella could be what she considered to be her geeky self and Paul loved it because he knew exactly what she was talking about.

The action was exciting and had me a bit on the edge of my seat. Sorenson writes great suspense!

As I said, this was just the beginning of Paul and Ella and I do wish the story was a bit longer but at the end of the story it says we’ll get more of the pair in her next book, Backwoods. Yay!

Rating: 3.75 out of 5

Jill Sorenson

Review: The Kraken King Part III: The Kraken King and the Fox's Den by Meljean Brook

Warning: This review may contain spoilers from Parts I & II of The Kraken King.
After a harrowing escape, Zenobia, Ariq, and their company take refuge in a gold rush town—but their temporary port is just a respite before traveling to the dangerous smugglers’ dens. Ariq is determined to uncover the men responsible for the threat to Krakentown, even if it means confronting the notorious den lords.

But when he discovers evidence in Zenobia’s letters connecting her to the Horde rebellion, he realizes that the threat is far greater than he had suspected. His loyalties torn, Ariq must distance himself from the fascinating woman he desperately wants to hold closer.

Stunned and hurt by Ariq’s inexplicable coldness, Zenobia prepares to leave the dens and continue her journey to the Red City. But in the smugglers’ dens, danger lurks around every corner, and all of her protection is gone…

Zenobia and the crew she’s travelling with make it to the nearest town but the one injured party cannot receive the help he needs. They are directed straight to the smugglers dens (which is where they were headed in the first place) to receive the care that’s needed from the blacksmiths.

Ariq has pulled away from Zenobia as he saw some of the papers in her bag during their last stop and though he couldn’t read them (as they were in English) he made out some word – including his uncle’s. He now suspects her even more of being a spy.

Once at the smugglers dens Zenobia and Helene hole up at the inn while Ariq heads off to speak with “the twins” who are in charge of the Fox’s Den. Ariq seeks information about who sold the marauders their flying vessels and the twin seek something else – him. He quickly but politely refuses – offering them something more valuable in exchange. He then travels to another den but strikes out on information there as well.

When Ariq returns to the inn he finds Zenobia in great danger and does his all to keep her safe.

Oh the plot thickens! Not only do we get to see some inner workings of the smugglers dens, we also get to hear more about the plot that is behind the marauders attacks. We’re getting more political intrigue and I like it!

Zenobia and Ariq spend most of this story separated which I was a bit disappointed about but Brook made it all work. They were each thinking of the other constantly and we see their feelings growing despite the separation. When Ariq finds Zenobia in danger he realizes that though he may try to squash his feelings into nothing he just can’t. He wants Zenobia and nothing will get in his way. Wow. So hot. Ariq is such a great hero I can’t say enough good things about him. Yes, he can be vicious when need be, but he’s so very gentle with Zenobia it just makes me smile and sigh. I want them together NOW! lol

Needless to say the stories are getting more involved and intriguing and I seriously can’t wait to see what happens next! You really need to read this serial!

Rating: 4.25 out of 5

PS - I LOVE the cover of this installment.  

Meljean Brook

What I Read Last Week

It was a hot one in So. Cal last week, lemme tell ya.  Cooler in the mornings and then got up to the 80's and even the 90's.  Yikes.  It's not even MAY!  This is NOT supposed to happen. lol  It makes me think we're gonna have a viciously hot summer and frankly that's not something I'm looking forward to.

It was a slow reading week for me as I had some lovely oldest daughter issues.  Aren't teenage daughters fun?  Ugh. Not. If I could stop my 11 year old from getting any older I'd do it in half a heartbeat.  Who needs to age anyway. :)

I didn't get much read but this is what I did read...

First up was What Happens in Ireland by Whitney K-E.  The story follows Australian Kate as she takes a job in Ireland.  She loves it there but she really enjoys her boss, Jack.  There are sparks flying all over the place and Jack pursues her persistently but Kate pushes him away.  She was burned by a previous relationship and isn't willing to trust again.  She almost lets a good thing get away.  I liked this first novel by Whitney.  It was well written and nicely descriptive without overdoing it.  I didn't really care for Kate holding back so much.  Jack did everything he could think of and Kate still wasn't willing to budge.  I guess I thought she held out for way too long.   3.75 out of 5  (read for Book Binge)

Next up was When a Laird Takes a Lady by Rowan Keats.  Scottish Laird kidnaps a woman who he believes has information that can lead to the clearing of his name.  He's accused of stealing from the King and his clan has been kicked out of their home and off of their land - many killed.  Of course the pair fall in love but I really enjoyed the getting there.  4 out of 5

Survive to Dawn by PJ Schnyder is the third story in the London Undead series. This story is about werewolf medic Danny who gets involved with human scientist Deanna.  Deanna is there with a team to try and figure out a vaccination for the zombie virus as well as trying to find her twin sister.  She finds more than she thought she would and finds love as well.  This was cute and pretty entertaining.  The couple fell in love quite quickly, which is normal for this series, and that was ok but the romance didn't have that extra spark the other books had.  3.5 out of 5 (read for Book Binge)

Romancing the Runaway by Wendy Soliman was last for the week.  Miranda runs away from her guardian after he insists that she marry his odious son.  She tries to escape but almost dies from the cold.  She's saved by the brother of a marquess and he ends up helping her in her quest to get her childhood home back.  It was a very cute story and I liked it a lot.  I did have an issue with Miranda at times as she was just 18 but acted like she was 14 at times.  Wanting to be independent but then acting rashly and immature instead.  Frustrating.  Still a good book. 3.75 out of 5 (read for Book Binge)

My Book Binge reviews that posted last week:
The Duke's Shotgun Wedding by Stacy Reid

Happy Reading!

Saturday Song

Always by Killswitch Engage is a really great song that I just love listening to.  To me it's a very heartfelt and touching song.  Enjoy.

It's Beautiful Man Friday

Yeah, I totally just made that title up but hey - whatever works, right? :)  Today I'm sharing some beautiful men cuz we all need some eye candy every once in a while.  At least I know I do!

Have a great Friday!

Review: Dreams of Lilacs by Lynn Kurland

Isabelle de Piaget is determined to elude her overprotective family by means of a hasty escape to France. But instead of making a surprise visit to her brother there, she winds up shipwrecked on the French coast with no memory of who she is or how she came to awaken in the dark and forbidding castle of an equally brooding lord.

Gervase de Seger rescues—very reluctantly—the bedraggled urchin he finds on the road and puts her to work where he can ignore her. Unfortunately, he soon realizes that her brother is an intimidating lord who is going to be absolutely furious when he learns that his beloved sister has been laboring as a scullery maid. Yet Isabelle may be the one who holds the key to solving Gervase’s most pressing problem: that someone has been trying to finish the task of separating him from his title and his lands.

Finding the truth propels Gervase and Isabelle from the buried secrets of half-ruined keeps to the glittering French court, and to the realization that love can blossom in the most perilous circumstances—and in the most unexpected places of the heart . . .

Isabelle is pretty much a homebody. Not that she doesn’t want to go anywhere, but it seems that she just never does. She feels like she’s almost on the shelf as she’s 22 and the only men that have wanted to court her were cast off who actually wanted Amanda but then find out she’s married. None are excited to actually marry Isabelle – she’s just “the one who’s left” and she’s female and a de Piaget. Most don’t even know her name. When Isabelle gets a letter stating that she needs to head to France or her whole family will be killed she doesn’t know what to do. Yes, she’s wanted adventure but this isn’t exactly how she thought it would come about. She decides that she’ll head to France dressed as a boy but tell no one. She does tell Miles she’s going to France but not about the letter.

Isabelle manages to get on a ship to France but then is shipwrecked. She’s also then robbed and roughed up. Gervace de Seger is out riding when he sees her, only he thinks she’s a he. He gets her to his healer but when she wakes up she can’t remember who she is or where she’s from. Thinking that she’s a peasant boy he puts her to work in his kitchens. He soon starts to rethink his decision (about her job as well as the fact that she’s not a lad) and after she’s almost accosted in the kitchen he puts her to work mending. Soon she is teaching his half-brothers their sums and Latin.

Isabelle starts to remember things but not why she’s in France. She isn’t sure if she can completely trust Gervase as he has a bad rep so keeps her identity to herself. Gervase is hurt from a murder attempt so is mostly in a foul mood daily. Isabelle, he finds, has the power to make him happy and he’s not sure what to do with that information. When he finds out who she is he returns her to her family but he doesn’t want to let her go. He also starts to believe that the person who is after her family and the person trying to kill him are one in the same.

This was a very sweet story. Gervase is a wounded hero and his crotchety disposition was almost humorous. Kurland did a great job of describing him and his moods so that I could see that underneath the scowls and glares that he was a good, good person. He loved his family but doubted his own capabilities to take care of them. Isabelle lightens his heart. She doesn’t put up with his crap and kind of walks all over him – in the best possible way. He soon finds himself in love with her but having to return her to his family just about broke his heart.

Isabelle was a fierce heroine. It’s not that she was kick-ass or anything but she loved her family and would do just about anything for them – I loved that about her. She also showed such care and kindness to Gervase’s siblings (I loved little Yves!) as well as Gervase himself. He was in constant pain from almost dying in a fire in his hall. His right hand had been crushed and his leg had been broken from an arrow being shot at him. Isabelle, after helping to take care of her sister-in-law, Anne, had knowledge of herbs that would help Gervase. This was her way of soothing the snarling beast and it worked. She was showing her love to him, whether she knew she loved him at the time or not, in helping him recover.

Again, I loved Gervase. Seriously, that man was wonderful. After having been a much lauded knight he was then brought to his knees, quite literally. In his recovery he realized what an arrogant man he had been at times and it humbled him. He was a better man for being injured and I loved that he realized that. He held his own with Isabelle’s brothers as well as her father and that endeared him to me as well. He also saw Isabelle for who she was and not just part of the de Piaget family or Amanda’s sister. He loved her for her and that warmed my heart.

Gervase and Isabelle were a perfect couple and I loved their story. It was sweet and romantic, funny and sometimes sad. It had a wonderful sense of family – both Gervase’s and Isabelle’s – and made me love the de Piaget’s more than I already did. This is a very good book and I definitely recommend it.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Lynn Kurland 

Review: The Kraken King Part II: The Kraken King and the Abominable Worm by Meljean Book

As they continue their expedition across Australia, Ariq is determined to stay close to Zenobia and figure out what kind of game she’s playing—even as his admiration for the enigmatic woman starts to override his suspicion.

For Zenobia, revealing her identity to a man who once made his living outside of the law is out of the question—even though Ariq’s dashing looks and blunt manner are distractingly appealing.

But before anyone’s secrets or desires can be exposed, an unexpected attack threatens to destroy them all…

Helping her friend, Helene, Zenobia manages to talk Ariq into taking them to the smugglers dens with him where he will go to try and find information on the marauders. The airship that Zenobia was on was by no means the first that the marauders had attacked. Zenobia had pulled away from Ariq after her bodyguard overheard a conversation he had with his brother. Now Ariq must be in an enclosed space with her which he finds torturous.

Zenobia, despite thinking that Ariq is only after her for her secrets and doesn’t really want her in his bed, still is highly attracted to Ariq. He’s a benevolent leader to his people even though he is tough and could be deadly as well. They didn’t call him the Kraken King for nothing – he latches on and he never lets go.

While on their way to the smugglers dens with Ariq the group camps out but they must beware of the boilerworms. Zenobia has heard of them but she has no idea what they are. When one attacks it puts them all in danger. Ariq discovers more about Zenobia but only bits and pieces which make him believe she’s a spy for someone. He doesn’t care though – no matter what he vows to protect her.

Another fabulous installment in the series. My God! This one had me on the edge of my seat! When the boilerworm came I was completely freaked out (think Tremors worms only enhanced!) and I think I actually whimpered while reading because of what was happening. Intense is a mild word for that scene.

Again, Ariq and Zenobia are wanting yet not wanting each other. They try to stay away from each other but they just can’t seem to do it. I love the fact that Brook didn’t throw them together immediately and let the tension and misunderstandings follow into this installment. It made for some potent and emotional conversations between the two and has made me want to read more and more. I’m sure when these two finally get together it’s gonna be hotter than hell. I’m SO looking forward to that! :)

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Meljean Brook

What I Read Last Week

Hey there!

How ya'll doin?  I'm doing well considering I'm not at work.  I took today off and I'm so happy I did.  Yes, I have a lot to do around the house since it didn't get done yesterday with it being Easter, but I swear I'm still tired from last week. lol  I didn't get a whole lot of reading done, that's for sure.  Today it's just me and the cat.  Echo likes to watch the cursor on the computer.  I think it makes it a bit hard to see what the hell I'm doing, what do you think?

Anyway, on to what I read last week:

I started off the week with Dreams of Lilacs by Lynn Kurland.  This is a de Piaget novel but it's one of her straight historicals and I think she does those so well.  This story was about Isabelle de Piaget.  She's the youngest daughter and pretty sheltered.  She gets a note from someone telling her she has to show up in France or her family is in danger.  She manages that but shipwrecks and loses her memory for a short time. She's rescued by Gervase who is a injured, grumpy sourpuss who for can't stop thinking about the girl who's now residing in his house.  The book is Gervase and Isabelle's love story and of course solving the mystery of who wrote the note to Isabelle.  It was such a sweet book and I adored Gervase and Isabelle together.  4 out of 5

Next was Bite Me by PJ Schnyder.  This was a re-read for me.  I wanted to get on to books 2 & 3 in the series but needed to reacquaint myself with the story line. The story is about zombies in London and the werewolf alpha who fell in love with a human.  I found the novella to be just as good the second time around.  You can read my review of this story here.  4 out of 5

Next was Sing for the Dead by PJ Schnyder.  This is book 2 in the London Undead series and pretty much continues where Bite Me left off, I think.  The story is about a were-panther who is in London to help with the zombie invasion and meets a woman who is part beserker, part bean sidhe (Banshee).  She's an interesting mix of calm and crazy and the pair fall for each other.  I liked the characters and the story in this one but the romance was pretty slim and the two fell in love really quickly. 3.5 out of 5

The Alpha Meets His Match by Georgette St. Clair has a temperamental wolf shifter, Jax, works for a security firm making money to send his younger brother through medical school.  He takes a case that has him looking for the cause of something they call the Rage virus as it affects shifters adversely and sends them into a rage/killing spree.  Jax reluctantly teams up with Bobbi Jo, a coyote shifter, who he knows is his mate but neither wants to acknowledge it.  The story has a good twist to it at the end and I liked the story. 3.5 out of 5

Last for the week was Highland Thirst by Hannah Howell and Lynsay Sands.  This is a 2 story novel that tells the stories of Tearlach MacAdie and Heming McNachton.  The pair are gathing info on their enemies (they're vampires) and are captured by the enemies instead.  Each are taken to different places and tortured.  Tearlach is captrued along with Lucy who is being held until she agrees to marry the bastard who'd torturing Tearlach.  Heming is saved by the niece of the man who is torturing him.  Both stories were very good and I love the medieval/paranormal blend.  I'm looking forward to reading more of the two families. 4 out of 5

My Book Binge reviews that posted last week:
The Devil's Temptation by Toni De Palma

Happy Reading!

Saturday Song

I don't know much about the band It's War except that they hail from Nashville, TN.  I do know that I like their song Heart and I guess that's all the info I really need.  :)  Enjoy!

Review: Grimm Consequences by Kate SeRine

You reap what you sow...

Saying Nate Grimm has a dark past is an understatement. Fortunately, no one's bothered to look too closely at the Fairytale Management Authority's lead detective and part-time Reaper. And that's the way Nate wants to keep it. For after centuries of torment and loneliness, he's finally found happiness with the hot and hard-charging love of his life, Tess "Red" Little.

Of course, his love for Tess is the reason there's a posse of Reaper judges after him, led by a sadistic bastard acquainted with Nate from once upon a time. Now, Tess will pay the price for Nate's transgressions unless Nate severs his ties to the transplanted Tales--and Tess--forever. His enemy has the advantage in speed, malice and brutality. But the Reapers have underestimated the depth of Nate's love and devotion. And the fury of his wrath. . .

Nate doesn’t exactly like to follow the rules that are laid down to him as a Reaper – especially the one that tells him to take Tess Little’s soul. He gives her a reprieve instead and saves her life. He watches over her, falls in love with her, and eventually he becomes her lover. . Nate, however, hasn’t exactly been completely upfront about who he is and his past. Unfortunately that is catching up with him. Right when he’s about to spill the beans about everything his past comes rushing up and he has to try and save Tess from death and then find out if she loves him enough to keep him around now that she knows what he really is.

I really like the Transplanted Tale series. I have to admit that I started at book 2 so never actually read Tess and Nate’s story - now that I’ve read this one I’m kind of glad. It’s given me insight into both Tess and Nate and I’m more anxious to read Red.

I really liked Tess and Nate in the 2 novels I’ve read in this series so it was great to get a little bit more insight into their relationship. I have to say that Nate is one hot, sexy man. He’s even sexier because he loves Tess so much and that just flips my switch. What he would do for her to save her life is amazing and I definitely wanted their relationship to come out on top. Red/Tess is a pretty kickass heroine and I thought she was the perfect match for Nate. Together they make an amazing team.

This was a great novella and a wonderful addition to series. If you’re a fan of the series you won’t want to miss this one. Oh and we also get an excerpt from the next novel, Ever After, that has Gideon in it – yay! Love Gideon. :)

Rating: 4 out of 5

Kate SeRine

Review: Always On My Mind by Bella Andre

After a tragic loss three years ago, Grayson Tyler left his life in New York City behind and started over in the rolling hills of the California coast. He's convinced himself that all he'll ever need again is the blue sky, a thousand acres of pasture, and the crashing waves of the ocean. Until one day, Lori Sullivan barges into his life and promptly blows his emotionless and solitary world to shreds, driving him crazy as only a woman nicknamed “Naughty” can. But will Lori be able to convince him that it's safe to love her...and that forever isn't actually out of reach?

Lori is a dancer – it’s what she does and what she loves…except her no good boyfriend has made her doubt not only herself but her reason for dancing. After leaving a show in Chicago she flies home and instead of alerting her family or even heading home she rents a car and just drives. The car rental attendant had told her that Pescadero was beautiful so there she heads. During a stop at a Pescadero deli/general store she sees an ad on their bulletin board that says that Grayson Tyler is looking for a ranch hand. Lori believes she can do anything she puts her mind to so she heads out to see Grayson.

Grayson’s quiet day is interrupted when Lori comes barreling down his driveway and promptly crashes into a fence. When a gorgeous woman in spiked heels pops out of the car he’s momentarily speechless. When she says she’s his new ranch hand he’s baffled, and definitely not happy. He tries everything he can think of to get rid of her but he soon sees that she’s just as stubborn as he is.

Lori was expecting Grayson to be an old farmer but he’s the exact opposite. He’s not only young but incredibly handsome and built. She’s decided she’s off men so she tries not to look but sometimes it’s hard. She knows Grayson doesn’t want her around but she’s determined to make herself useful. She annoys him with her mistakes and her constant talk but she can’t help it, she’s friendly and social. He’s gruff and mean and pushes her away at every turn. But Lori can be just as mulish and after living with 7 siblings she knows how to give as much as she gets. Fate steps in, of course, and their soon realizing that even though they’re exact opposites they can’t live without the other in their life.

Such a good end to the stories of the 8 Sullivan siblings (I know there are more books in the series but this was the end of this particular family’s stories). I really liked Lori a lot. I thought it odd that she would ever want to be a farmhand but I guess that is almost the furthest away from dancing as she could possibly get. Though she made mistakes I loved her affinity for the land and the animals. They seemed to take to her just as much as she took to them.

Grayson was a bit of a butthead at first. Wow, he could be MEAN as mean could be but he always felt bad about it afterward. Doesn’t make it right but when we got all of the background on him we could see that it was all a defense mechanism and a desperate attempt to keep Lori out of his heart. I loved that even at the end he continued to be gruff (not mean) but Lori embraced it and actually enjoyed it.

The story was sweet, fun and sexy and I loved finally reading about Lori and what she’d been going through while all of her siblings had been finding love. Both Lori and Grayson found themselves in this story and it was definitely satisfying.  It was worth the wait and I can’t wait to see what comes next in the Sullivan series.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Bella Andre 

(Kindle version available now, MMPB version out on 4/29/14)

Review: The Kraken King Part I: The Kraken King and the Scribbling Spinster by Meljean Brook

A former smuggler and thief, Ariq—better known as the Kraken King—doesn’t know what to make of the clever, mysterious woman he rescues from an airship besieged by marauders. Unsure if she’s a spy or a pawn in someone else’s game, Ariq isn’t about to let her out of his sight until he finds out…

After escaping her fourth kidnapping attempt in a year, Zenobia Fox has learned to vigilantly guard her identity. While her brother Archimedes is notorious for his exploits, Zenobia has had no adventures to call her own—besides the stories she writes. But when she jumps at the chance to escape to the wilds of Australia and acquire research for her next story, Zenobia quickly discovers that the voyage will be far more adventurous than any fiction she could put to paper…

Zenobia knows adventure – but only through her brother and the tales she writes about him. She kind of wants her own adventure as the only ones she’s actually experienced is when she’s been kidnapped in order to seek money from her brother.

When Zenobia’s friend Helene shows up at her house and asks her to join her on her trip to the Red City in Australia to see her husband, Zenobia agrees. Unfortunately their airship is attacked and destroyed by marauders. Zenobia, her bodyguards Mara and Cooper, Helene and some officers from the airship are rescued by none other than that Kraken King himself.

Ariq is immediately taken with Zenobia and almost immediately invites her to his bed. He has no idea who she is so she feels it might be safe to call this her adventure, but is that the best decision?

I honestly just want to tell you every little thing that happens in this wonderful novella but I’ll hold myself back. Having the story unfold is one of the best parts of the story. Meljean truly knows how to grab a readers interest and not let go. She lays the groundwork for not only a bit of a mystery but also the possible romance between Ariq and Zenobia. The sexual tension that Brook creates is explosive and I could feel it as I was reading. There was more than sex though. I could see that these two characters were perfect for each other and was excited to see what happened next.

Part I of The Kraken King is definitely worth reading – something you won’t want to miss!

Rating: 4 out of 5

Meljean Brook

What I Read Last Week

Hello folks!

How the heck are ya?

I’m doing well. It’s Holy Week and since I work at a church that means that I’m working my tail off to get everything done in time. Because of that I’m going to be VERY brief in my post today and basically tell you what I read and their ratings. 

The Devil's Triangle (re-read) by Toni De Palma.   I started off the week with a re-read. This is a YA book that I read for The Book Binge a year or so ago, I think, and it was just as good the second time around.  The story is about The story is about a guy who dies and is sent back to earth to help a girl named Grace. He's given a month but he's not sure what he's supposed to do about Grace because he's given no information. The story has heaven, the devil, his minions and romance all wrapped in one story.  Really good.  You can read my original review here on Book Binge. 4.5 out of 5

The Devil's Temptation by Toni De Palma. This story is a continuation of the previous book.  We have Grace and Cooper (who is now alive and well) about 8 months after the last book ended.  This one didn't work for me as well as it had the devil working against the couple (again) and they weren't really coing out on top.  You can read my full review here on Book Binge. 3.5 out of 5 

Always on My Mind by Bella Andre was Lori's story.  She's disillusioned after a break up and is wondering why she dances in the first place.  She drives randomly and ends up taking a job as a ranch hand (with no experience). The guy does everything in his power to get her to leave but she's stubborn.  Of course they fall in love but the getting there was oh, so good. :)  You can read my review here. 4 out of 5

The Affair by Lily Maxton is about a widow who is finally out of mourning and is feeling a bit free only her parents treat her like she's a walking scandal.  She meets a bookstore owner and they have an affair but he doesn't believe that he's good enough for her.  The story was pretty darned good and I enjoyed it.  3.75 out of 5 (read for Book Binge)

The Eternal Highlander by Hannah Howell & Lynsay Sands.  Cathal McNachton and Connal MacAdie are highlanders but also vampires.  Cathal decides that they need to seek human brides so that they can try to dilute the vamp blood.  Not everyone is thrilled with this idea - especially the pureblood vamps.  The stories are Cathal's and how he meets his bride and how Connall meets his. Both stories were good and I really enjoyed them.  4 out of 5

Grimm Consequences by Kate SeRine is a novella in the Transplanted Tales series.  The story takes place early in Nate and Red's relationship and has to do with Nate staying with Red.  It was a good one.  You can read my review here4 out of 5

All I Want by Lynsay Sands. The story is about a girl, Prudence, and she's out to save her family.  All her mother wants for Christmas is for her father to stop gambling and drinking before he puts them in the poor house and debtors prison.  Prudence sets out to keep him away from the club he gambles at and ends up falling for the owner of the club.  Prudence was a bit of a crazy woman and ends up doing some pretty stupid things but it was a cute story nonetheless.  3.5 out of 5

Prisoner 374215 by Angel Martinez.  This is a free story that was written for the m/m Goodreads group and is all based on a picture. Prisoner 374215 is constantly tortured and treated horribly in prison. He's a shell of what he used to be.  He does have one guard that he's not afraid of and eventually he learns more about him.  I wasn't sure what to expect when I started this short story but it was really good and I'm so glad I read it. 4 out of 5

Island Peril by Jill Sorenson is a novella in the Aftershock series.  The story has Ella and Paul on the run from drug runners when they were just out for a day of exploration in the Channel Islands.  Another good one from Sorenson!  I'll post my review soon. 3.75 out of 5

The Duke's Shotgun Wedding by Stacy Reid.  An unexpected pleasure. This had a girl holding a duke at gunpoint insisting that he allow her to marry her brother who supposedly seduced her.  He refuses as the brother's already married now but he marries her and tension and pleasure commence.  Though I wanted to slap both main characters at some point in the story I really liked it. lol  4 out of 5 (read for Book Binge)

All Roar and No Bite by Celia Kyle is the second book in the Grayslake series.  Lauren is trying to help her best friend who is married to the mayor but he's an abusive asshole.  She meets Van who is a werebear but also a sheriff.  He wants her but she's not sure she's ok with the whole bear shifter thing as it freaks her out.  I liked both Van and Lauren in this book.  I was so happy that we finally got a heroine who wasn't all gung ho to jump in bed after she found out the man she lusted after was a shapeshifter!  It's about time! lol  It all worked out and it was a fun getting there. :) 3.5 out of 5

My Book Binge reviews that posted last week:
Betting the Rainbow by Jodi Thomas
Can't Stop Believing by Jodi Thomas
Between the Devil and Ian Eversea by Julie Anne Long
Stranded with a Hero by Karen Erickson, Coleen Kwan, Cindi Madsen and Roxanne Snopek

Happy Reading!

Saturday Song

Happy Saturday!  Here's a little Disturbed to make your Saturday just a wee bit better. :)  You're welcome.  (Song: Inside the Fire)

Review: One Night with an Earl by Jennifer Haymore

Beatrice Reece, Lady Fenwick, has retired from polite society. Everyone knows her late husband treated her abominably, and she simply cannot bear the whispers of the ton. But it's the night of London's premier masquerade ball—and Beatrice's one chance to revel in anonymity. She hopes no one will recognize her beneath her mask, not even the sinfully sexy stranger across the room who holds her captive in his gaze.

Andrew Sinclair would know beautiful Beatrice anywhere from the gentle sway of her hips, the richness of her hair and the lushness of her body. When he asks her to dance, the attraction is instant and all-consuming. The only woman he's ever truly wanted is finally in his arms. But when the clock strikes twelve, will this one reckless night fade into the morning ligh

After two years in seclusion Beatrice is ready to head out into society. Well, almost head out. She’s heading to a masquerade ball so no one will actually know it’s her. She’s been told by her parents not to show her face and she believes that after two years the scandal will come out once again. Despite that she decides to head to the ball with her friend Jessica and make the most of the time she has out.

Once at the ball she’s having a wonderful time but things improve tremendously when a masked stranger comes up and starts talking to her. They hit it off marvelously and Beatrice is incredibly attracted to the masked man. As time goes by Beatrice decides that this might be her last chance to be daring and when he takes her back to his home she knows she’s made the right choice.

Drew sees Beatrice at the masquerade and knows immediately that it’s her. He was in love with her years ago and planned on asking her to marry him but unfortunately her betrothal was announced before he could get his ducks in a row. He doesn’t like not telling her that he knows who she is but she’s so skittish he decides to go along with it. Once she’s in his bed, however, he can’t hold himself back from swaying her name. Unfortunately a misunderstanding and Beatrice’s horrible parents may ruin the new budding relationship.

I’ve only read one other novella by Haymore and I didn’t love it. Because of past experience I was a bit leery to get into this one but I love stories that involve masquerade balls. I’m so happy that I decided to read this one!

Beatrice, the poor woman had been caught up in a scandal – not of her making. Her parents had taken her in but hadn’t let her forget the scandal for a moment. They were horrible but I’m really glad that Beatrice decided to defy them for one night and head out to the ball. The story of Beatrice meeting the masked man was sweet and I really loved their time together as they just hit it off from moment one.

I really liked Drew a lot and I very much wanted him to tell Beatrice who he was. I understood, however, why he didn’t because she would have taken off and he would have lost time with her. What he did after Beatrice was at his house was awesome. He didn’t hesitate for a moment to go after her and I loved him more for it.

Overall I found the story was charming and I loved the Cinderella-esque feel to it.

Rating: 3.75/4 out of 5

Jennifer Haymore

Book Spotlight and Giveaway: My Brother's Keeper Trilogy by Adrienne Wilder

All three books are full-length novels and must be read in order. 
All books are available on March 30.

The My Brother's Keeper Trilogy

The town of Gilford has a Big and Terrible secret hidden in the ground.

Infecting those it touches.

Exploiting their darkness.

Consuming their souls.

It’s hungry. It’s vile. It’s evil.

And it wants out.

Book One: The First Three Rules

Marshal Jon Foster lost his purpose and his sanity the day he saw the image of his dead brother. The distraction saved Jon’s life but cost the lives of innocent people including his best friend and partner. It was a price for survival Jon couldn’t live with and was sure he’d never understand.

Driven by grief and guilt he tried to escape his past by fleeing to a small town in the middle of nowhere. Only instead of peace, the memories festered.

Then the offer of a stick of gum from a stranger changes Jon’s life and puts him on a road out of the nightmare he’s trapped in.

Ellis Harper has lived the past twenty years isolated from the outside world and sole caretaker for his mentally disabled brother, Rudy. While Ellis loves his brother, he longs for a life he’ll never be able to have.

Shut away, his days consist of chores, endless cartoons, and games of Go Fish. A world that seemed to have no end until an innocent misunderstanding turns Ellis and his brother into a target for a town bully.

It’s a fight Ellis can never win on his own but thanks to a chance meeting with a stranger, he doesn’t have to.

What begins as a new journey in love for both men quickly unfolds into something neither of them could have ever imagined.

Book Two: Rule Four and Five

A new chance at life comes in many forms: For Jon it’s a family made with Ellis and his brother Rudy. For Ellis, it’s Jon, who has brought the outside world into the protective life he’s built for his mentally disabled brother.

Together they have discovered true happiness and what it means to be loved.

Then one perfect disaster after the other pushes Jon’s resolve to its limit and Ellis over the edge. If they have any chance of saving what they’ve built both men must face their deepest fears.

It’s a test Jon thought he’d already passed and one Ellis never imagined he’d have to face. The journey will forever change who they are and redefine who they were meant to be.

It has to happen.

And all things happen for a reason.

Book Three: The Final Rule

Ellis and Jon need answers.

What is there to understand?

Why does it have to happen?

And what reason could ever justify losing those you love?

If only there was a simple answer. But the more questions they ask, the farther they must travel into the darkness and the things they see are not human, or even possible.

They are, in fact, Big and Terrible.

The plague is rising in Gilford. To stop it from spreading Ellis will have to embrace his destiny and Jon will have to let him go. Both men must be willing to lose everything in order to save the innocent.

It is, after all, rule number six.

About the Author:
City of Dragons Portfolio (this site has images of gay sex)
Georgia bred and born, Adrienne Wilder spent most of her childhood exploring fantastical worlds hidden in her own back yard among tall grass, and shadowed kudzu tunnels. When she was not dragon hunting, she spent most of her time, reading, writing, drawing, and digging holes.
Currently Adrienne lives in Dahlonega, GA where she shares her home with a variety of dogs and one cat. She still spends most of her time, reading, writing, drawing, and digging holes. Although now she calls the reading "research," the drawing "artwork", the writing "books," and the holes "ponds" and "gardens".

If you would rather have the links:

3 winners will get the whole trilogy (book 1-3)
10 winners will get book 1 

Review: My Lady, My Lord by Katharine Ashe

The Bluestocking
Lady Corinna Mowbray has three passions: excellent books, intelligent conversation, and disdaining the libertine Earl of Chance.

The Rake
Lord Ian Chance has three pleasures: beautiful women, fast horses, and tormenting high-and-mighty Corinna Mowbray.

Neighbors for years, they've been at each other's throats since they can remember. But when a twist of fate forces them to trade lives, how long will it be before they discover they cannot live without each other?

Corinna and Ian were country neighbors growing up. They kind of had a love/hate relationship. They kind of liked each other but what came out of their mouths, every time, was kinda mean. Now they’re adults and it’s really no different. Corinna tries to stay away from Ian as much as possible but when his mother, who is a dear friend of hers, invites her to see some Greek statues she can’t not go. Of course Ian is there and they get into it as usual. They end up going their separate ways but that’s not where things end.

When Ian wakes up in the morning he’s not in his own house. Now he make like carousing but he always sleeps the night in his own bed – always. So why is he in a ladies boudoir? And why when he looks down at his body is he looking at a female hand? Turns out that not only is Ian waking up in Corinna’s body but she’s woken up in his. They get together and try to figure it all out but after a couple of days they aren’t any closer. They have to live each others lives as distasteful as that is to both.

Corinna has hang out with rakes and she finds…they’re not as bad as she thought – at least not all of them. She also finds that Ian is a much more upstanding guy than she originally thought. She begins to see him in a different light. Ian isn’t thrilled at all to have to have tea constantly and wear a corset – ug! He certainly doesn’t like to talk politics – which Corinna loves to do. But he sees Corinna in a different light as well.

Corinna figures out that Aphrodite might have something to do with this fantastical switch but if they get back into their own bodies what will happen? They may have found that they don’t hate each other as much as they thought but can they break down their walls enough to be together?

Oh what a great story! I really was not expecting the bit of paranormal body switching, that’s for sure. It added a wonderful little element that had the characters walking a bit in the others shoes and understanding the other more and more. This certainly didn’t last for the entire book, of which I was happy, but it was enough to get the ball rolling between our couple. Once they admitted to themselves that they wanted to be with the other person I thought that would wrap it up but unfortunately Corinna let her brain do too much thinking and didn’t let her heart go where it wanted to go. That was disappointing that she held out longer than I’d hoped but it didn’t ruin the story for me, that’s for sure.

I have enjoyed Ashe’s books in the past and this one is no different. It’s definitely not your typical historical romance but it was oh, so good and absolutely worth reading.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Katharine Ashe

What I Read Last Week


It's been a while, hasn't it?  Last Monday I had a horrible migraine and just couldn't work up the brain power to write a post - sorry about that.  I've been having a lot of those lately and ended up having an MRI.  Wow - that sucked. lol  But...they said all was normal - well, at least as normal as it can be in my case. ;)

So the last time I posted I promised videos.  I've got one of my youngest doing her Taekwondo thing and one of both my girls playing their bells.  The one of my youngest is a bit different than her regular promotions.  I cut parts out but she does a few new things with a fan and then a different form that's kind of a dance.  Unfortunately because they played music during that particular form the video isn't available in all countries - sorry.

And here's the one of my daughters playing their bells:

My daughters are the bleach blond in the middle and the one that's 4 down from her (the shortest girl).

Since I missed a week I'll just tell you what a read the week before last and their ratings and then move on to this past week.
March 24-March 30:
Can't Stop Believing by Jodi Thomas  4.5 out of 5
When All The World Sleeps by Lisa Henry and JA Rock 4 out of 5
A Heart Too Proud by Laura London 3.5 out of 5 
The Wolf Siren by Karen Whiddon 3.5 out of 5
Betting the Rainbow by Jodi Thomas 4 out of 5 
One Night With an Earl by Jennifer Haymore 3.75 out of 5

This past week:

I started the week with My Lady, My Lord by Katharine Ashe.  This is a lovely story about two people who supposedly hate each other but actually love each other. That doesn't stop them from arguing constantly.  Well, walking a bit in the others shoes - literally - really helps them see each other in a different light.  This one was really good and I very much enjoyed it.  4 out of 5

Next up was Once Upon a Billionaire by Jessica Clare.  This is book 4 in the Billionaire Boys Club series and it was a good one.  We got to see cynical and snobbish Griffin deal with countrified Maylee.  She certainly brought him down a notch or two and it was great.  You can read my review of this book here. 4 out of 5

Next was Red at Night by Katie McGarry.  This is a free novella that shows us Stella who grew up very poor mostly without a dad and Jonah who is trying to deal with a car accident that strongly effected him.  The pair are complete opposites but are perfect for each other.  I liked the way that McGarry brought the two together and had Jonah looking at a different side of life.  4.5 out 5

Another free novella was You Are Here by Liz Fichera.  The story was about a girl who had had tragedy in her past and it had effected her mother, her brother and her financially.  They get kicked out of their house and end up in a homeless shelter.  She misses her horse and her boyfriend who she thinks cheated on her.  The story was sweet and very sad but it was such an involved story I needed it to be longer in order delve farther in. It was just too short for me to feel the depth it needed.  3.5 out of 5

After that I tried to read Rules of Entanglement by Gina L. Maxwell.  This was just not for me.  I found the heroine to be completely annoying and uptight.  DNF (Book Binge book)

Alpha Wolf by Rebecca Royce is the story of Michael Kane who arrives in New Orleans to retrieve his long lost sister but ends up meeting his mate.  She is the pack punching bag and he gets pissed.  The story is about him cleaning up her pack and dealing with his mate Scarlett and her latent wolf.  The story was good but nothing too angsty. 3.75 out of 5 

Next up was Between the Devil and Ian Eversea by Julie Anne Long.  OMG I love this author!  She writes such damned good books I just can't put them down!  This is Ian Eversea's books, obviously, and he's paired up with a woman who has lost everything.  Everyone thinks she's this prim and proper thing but she has her secrets.  The book was amazing and I loved every minute of it. 5 out of 5

Crash Into Me by Katie McGarry is the story of Rachel who is a sheltered girl who loves cars and speed.  She is overprotected by her parents and 4 brothers and sneaks out to drive fast.  She end up at a street race and ends up barely escaping from the cops.  While at the race she meets and helps Isaiah and they both end up helping each other.  When the guy who was running the race thinks that Rachel was the one that called the cops and ripped him off (it wasn't her) he makes her pay the $5,000.00 back.  The story is Isaiah and Rachel figuring out how to raise the money and also with Rachel finding her place in the world and not under her parents thumbs.  I really enjoyed this book.  I felt so sorry for Rachel and loved who she was when she was with Isaiah.  It was a very good book and I can't wait to read the next in the series. 4 out of 5

Lion and the Falcon by Eve Langlais is book 4 in the Furry United Coalition (FUC) series.  The Falcon, Clarice, is on loan from ASS (Avian Soaring Security) and is partnered with a lion, Dr. Nolan Manners, to look for a shifter who was injected by a nut job and then turned mutant.  The mutant is after the employees of FUC so Clarice stays with Nolan. The lion cracked me up as he was so pampered but still a man.  He was just funny and he was a perfect fit for Clarice.  3.75 out of 5

Last for the week was Doe and the Wolf by Eve Langlais and is book 5 in the same series.  The story has Everett the wolf who is a bounty hunter (and previous FUC agent) looking for more mutants for the FUC.  He gets hurt by said mutant - a giant gecko - and is saved by Dawn a doe.  Dawn is actually one of the mutants but isn't dangerous.  Everett ends up taking her home because he is attracted to her.  Unfortunately the gecko wants Dawn as well.  The story was cute.  It was a little slow but funny as well.  3.25 out of 5

My Book Binge reviews that posted the last two weeks:
Guest Review: A Lady By Any Other Name by Jennifer Kitchens
Guest Review: Barely Undercover by Sarah Castille
Guest Review: What the Groom Wants by Jade Lee
Guest Review: Long Shot by Hanna Martine

Happy Reading!