Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Once Upon a Wish (Destined for Love: Europe) by Danyelle Ferguson

Be careful what you wish for . . .

Delphine Baudry wished to be a best-selling author, and now instead of celebrating and jumping into her next novel, she's frozen with fear. What if she turns out to be a one-hit-wonder? What if all her new fans hate the next book? To top it all off, she can't even discuss the situation with her favorite brainstorming partner, her mother, who is losing her memory to Alzheimer's. Taking a cue from some teens tossing Euros into a fountain, Delphine gives into some whimsy and wishes for her next book plot.

Jean-Paul Chassériau wished to start an online marketing company in La Rochelle. Now the real work begins. Feeling pressure to live up to his father's name in traditional marketing and far enough away to be out of his shadow, he has a million ideas but no clients. When he finds a funky old Franc lodged between cobblestones near a fountain, there was only one thing to do. Make a wish.

When their coins collide, Delphine and Jean-Paul's wishes become intertwined, changing the course of their futures and teaching them that wishes are sometimes fulfilled in unexpected ways. 

 * Amazon * Goodreads *

This book was seriously so cute.  What starts as a random, one in a million chance, mid-air collision of coins over a fountain in France leads to the beginning of romance.  It was the perfect hook!  I loved the characters and of course, how they met, but I also loved how their relationship progressed.  Delphine and Jean-Paul are fun together, they have good chemistry and their time together felt normal and natural.  While they had a couple bumps in the road, nothing got too heavy or serious and I really liked that.  The fun, light-hearted feel was perfect.  Very sweet and very romantic.

This book is part of a series of books being released every couple weeks.  I'm loving them all so far and can't wait to read the next one!

Books in the Destined for Love: Europe collection
— Desperately Seeking Mr. Right by Sally Johnson
— Meet Me At Sunrise by Lucinda Whitney
— Once Upon a Wish by Danyelle Ferguson
—12 Days to Love by Lisa Swinton
— Kiss Me in the Moonlight by Lindzee Armstrong
— Never Trust the Rain by Laura D. Bastian

Content:  kissing

- I received a copy of this book from the author.  A positive review was not required and all opinions expressed are my own.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Still Falling (Home In You #0) by Crystal Walton

She’s trying to uproot the past. He’s trying to safeguard the future. But neither’s ready for the assignment about to jeopardize both. 

Landing a prominent chair in the Philharmonic Orchestra is part of Bree Ramirez’s determined plans to avoid her old life. Falling smack into her ex-fiancé’s path again? Nowhere close. But with a gang hit targeting her and her brother as loose ends, the pressure to get them out of Queens ushers her straight into the very arms she’s spent the last four years pretending aren’t still home.

On the brink of finally making detective and tackling his parents’ cold case, NYPD Officer Josh D’Angelo is prepared for just about anything. Except playing it cool with the only girl he’s ever loved. Then again, if being assigned Bree’s security detail opens the doors to winning her back, he’ll risk whatever the job requires. Including his heart.

But when Josh’s investigation brings him to a choice he promised Bree he’d never have to make, this unsolicited reunion may cost them their only shot at a second chance

 * Amazon * Goodreads *

Things can get super messy when you run into your ex-fiance who was also your best friend.  Bree and Josh have a lot of unresolved feelings and unanswered questions.  Especially Josh, who was left behind without any explanation.  Bree has been running for a long time and has now returned home.  Her dad is in the hospital, a gang is trying to target her family, and now her ex is on her security detail.  Did I mention the word messy? 

I really loved Josh.  I loved his sense of duty, his loyalty and his desire to help everyone.  He is just a stand up, all around good guy.  He's someone I would love to have as a friend.  Bree is a bit more difficult to understand and love, but by the end I liked her as well.  

This is a great series.  I have read each book and enjoyed them all so much.  Crystal Walton knows how to write great characters who come to life in her books.  There is always plenty of real life difficulties interwoven with hope and love.  Whenever a get to read one of Crystal's books, I just get cozy and settle in for what I know will be a fantastic story.

This is a novella in the Home in You series.  Each book can stand alone but if you like a timeline flow, you should read them in order.  

Still Falling – A Novella
Write Me Home – Book One
Begin Again – Book Two

Content:  Some mild violence, some kissing

- I received a copy of this book from the author.  A positive review was not required and all opinions expressed are my own.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

I'm On Facebook! And FREE books!

A few years ago I started a Facebook page and then decided it was just too much so I didn't follow through with it.  Now, 3 years later, I'm ready to jump in again.  If you have any desire to follow me on Facebook, there is a new button on the left side of my blog.  Or, you can click HERE.  I'll post links to my reviews there, but also freebies I hear about (which I don't do much of here) and just more all around book stuff (deals, events, etc.)

And now, here are some book that are FREE today.  I'm a Kindle girl so these books are on Amazon.  If you don't have a Kindle, you can still read these books with the Kindle app on any device.  Please just double check that the book is still free before buying.  Prices can change quickly.  :)

First up, Paige's Turn by Jennifer Peel.  Jennifer is one of my FAVORITE clean romance authors.  I love, love, love her books!  Pick it up HERE.

Next up is another favorite author of mine, Sheralyn Pratt.  This book is King of the Friend Zone and it is part of the Power of the Matchmaker series.  (also clean romance) You can pick it up HERE.

The next book is part of the Fairy Queen series by Amber Argyle.  It is a fantasy book.  This first book kicks off the series and is novella in size.  If you haven't read this series, this is a good starting place to see if it's something you would enjoy.  Most of the book are also on Kindle Unlimited if you have that.  I think the third book in this series is also free right now.  You can find Of Ice and Snow HERE.

Happy Reading this week!!

The Killing Curse (An Omar Zagouri Thriller) by H.B. Moore

Omar Zagouri should have known that the hunt for an ordinary art thief in London would end up being far from ordinary. Abducted and carted across several countries until he’s locked up in the middle of Jordan’s desert, Omar becomes the target of an underground crime organization that dates back to the Crusaders era. As Omar works to uncover the deadly secrets that connect centuries of deceit, he finds himself trying to prevent an honor killing from turning into another tragedy, while exposing the ancient crime organization for generations of lethal corruption.

 * Amazon * Goodreads *

Man, I am such a fan of Heather Moore.  I swear she can write any genre fantastically.  This is probably one of my favorite series from her.  I love the edge of your seat, fast paced nature of these thrillers.  I would recommend reading them in order just because there is a progression to the relationship between Omar and Mia that happens slowly throughout this series.  If you don't much care about that side of things (which is honestly such a minimal part of the plot) then I think you can read these book in any order and be happy.

One of my favorite things about this book (and the others in this series) is that it has two stories in one.  You have the modern day thriller going on- edge of your seat, action packed, full throttle- and in between you have a story from long, long ago.  Usually the stories from long ago are a bit less edge of your seat and more personal- full of rich history and intense emotion. The two stories always connect together and it just makes the book so fantastic.  I love the different feel to each side.

Omar is smart and edgy.  He's always in the middle of some dangerous game and sometimes it looks like there is no way out.  I love Omar's instincts and the way he always gets the job done.  Nothing comes easy for Omar.

I blew through this book so quickly.  I couldn't put it down.  It was full on from start to finish- heart pounding and exciting.  The story was so good!

Content:  Violence, frequent mild swearing (which I didn't love), mentions of a couple living together and having a sexual relationship but it's nothing more than a mention.

- I received a copy of this book from the author.  A positive review was not required and all opinions expressed are my own.

More Omar Zagouri Thrillers:
Finding Sheba
Lost King
Slave Queen
First Heist (novella)
Beneath (short story)

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Meet Me At Sunrise (Romano Family #2) by Lucinda Whitney

Finding love in eight days was not on the itinerary…

Between a bad breakup and a rocky relationship with her overbearing father, twenty-three-year-old Vanessa Clark has a history of being disappointed by the men in her life. So when her long-lost grandfather reenters the scene and persuades her to tour northern Portugal on one of his cruise ships, Vanessa boards the vessel looking for answers about her estranged family, not looking for love.

Captain Matias Romano has enough to worry about without having to babysit his boss’s spoiled American granddaughter, no matter how good-looking she is. First the issue with the refrigerators, and now the ship's computers are malfunctioning—he’ll be relieved when this trip is over and he can get back to business as usual.
But as Matias plays tour guide on Vanessa’s excursions and they work together to investigate a series of suspicious accidents aboard, they both realize there’s more to the other than first impressions.

Can Vanessa work through her complicated past to make room for Matias in her future, or will they pass like ships in the night?

Releasing today!  This is the second book in the Destined for Love Romance Europe series and I'm so excited!  There are six books total, each written by a different author.  The authors in this series are some of my favorite.  I'm reviewing all but the last book in this series so that makes me happy!  

This book doubles as a part of this series and also another series- Romano Family- by the author, Lucinda Whitney.  It's a fantastic addition to both.  I've been anxiously waiting to read about Matias since finishing Hold Me at Twilight.

I really want to take a river cruise one day.  It sounds fantastic.  Matias is the captain of a river cruise ship and meets Vanessa in less than ideal circumstances.  Both Matias and Vanessa make snap judgments about each other which, of course, are wrong.  For a story that happens in 8 days, things really didn't seem that rushed.  There was a natural development of feelings between the main characters and a progression of the plot that made me feel like it was longer than eight days.

The ending felt good.  There was resolution all the way around with the romance, the family dynamics and the investigation and I'm a girl that likes things tied up with a pretty bow so that was awesome for me.  

Content:  some kissing

- I received a copy of this book from the author.  A positive review was not required and all opinions expressed are my own.

Books in the A Destined for Love Romance: Europe series:
— Desperately Seeking Mr. Right by Sally Johnson
— Meet Me At Sunrise by Lucinda Whitney
— Once Upon a Wish by Danyelle Ferguson
—12 Days to Love by Lisa Swinton
— Kiss Me in the Moonlight by Lindzee Armstrong
— Never Trust the Rain by Laura D. Bastian

Friday, May 19, 2017

Wrong For You by Jenny Proctor + $25 and Book Giveaway

Lane Bishop is a hardworking, intelligent, young woman. With her recent move to Chapel Hill, she is determined to leave behind the drama and effort of keeping up with the dating scene. Even so, Lane somehow manages to get dragged out by a gaggle of girls to go watch boys play soccer. Just watching is not Lane’s forte, so she joins in the fun and leads her team to victory.

Rather than feeling intimidated by the vivacious beauty on the opposing team, Jamie Hamilton is intrigued. Risking his “untouchable” dating status, he decides to pursue Lane—with a little help from his older brother Simon. With Simon’s behind-the- scenes assistance, Jamie proves irresistible, even to a disillusioned dater like Lane. But as she gets to know both brothers, Lane can’t help but wonder—beneath the grand gestures and romantic words, is she falling for the wrong guy?

This book was so fun.  My smile was out in full force with this one.  The scenes played out so naturally and I could easily visualize what was happening.  It was like the perfect chick flick movie playing out in my head.  See?  Fun!

Yes, the plot is a bit predictable but the unknown is how everything is going to work out in the end when two brothers love the same girl.  That's just a mess waiting to happen because these brothers are close.  They have a fantastic family dynamic that includes loyalty and "I've got your back no matter what".  So yeah, things get messy before they get better.

Lane is fantastic.  She is smart, witty, athletic, beautiful, and full of life and energy.  You can see how different parts of her personality are drawn out by each brother.  

I really enjoyed this book.  It light and fun and you have to love a book that brings all the happy, romantic feels with it!

Content:  LDS fiction (some religious mentions although nothing preachy) some kissing

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Compassionate Soldier: Remarkable True Stories of Mercy, Heroism, and Honor from the Battlefield by Jerry Borrowman

Compassionate Soldier illuminates some of the most fascinating and yet largely unknown stories of men and women whose humanity led them to perform courageous acts of mercy and compassion amid the chaos and carnage of war. Arranged by war from the American Revolution to the Iraq War and global in perspective, it features extraordinary stories of grace under fire from valiant soldiers and noncombatants who rose above the inhumanity of lethal conflict and chose compassion, even knowing their actions could put their lives and liberty at risk.

Included in this collection are the stories of Richard Kirkland, a Confederate soldier during the Civil War who disobeyed orders and brought blankets and water to the wounded from both North and South during the Battle of Fredericksburg; Patrick Ferguson, a British soldier during the American Revolution who had the chance to kill George Washington, but refused to shoot a man in the back; and Oswald Boelcke, a German WWI flying ace who was one of the most influential tacticians of early air combat, but was known for making sure the airmen he shot down made it to the ground alive.

These inspirational stories illustrate that even in the midst of unspeakable horrors of war, acts of kindness, mercy, compassion, and humanity can prevail and, in doing so, expand our conventional thinking of honor and battlefield glory.

I love history and I love true stories in history- especially ones that inspire me and bring hope.  This book is full of stories of people who showed compassion, kindness or mercy during the struggle of war.  

The author goes into some depth to describe the events surrounding each person and their circumstances.  This really helps set the tone for what made their acts so profound.  I received an ARC copy of this book so mine didn't have the photos that I think are included in the final copy.  I wish I could see those pictures.  

War brings such devastation and loss.  These stories brought this out but I love reading about people who, in the midst of such devastation and loss, still found a way to extend kindness.  I loved the story of Richard Kirkland who heard the cries of the wounded and dying during an ongoing battle and just had to do something to help.  At the risk of his own life, he carried water to men on both sides of the battle.  He was a young man and died later in a battle but his kindness and mercy will always be remembered.  The other story I really loved was about Edith Cavell who was a nurse and helped wounded men recover and then escape the enemy during WWI.  She put her life at risk and was executed for it.  I loved her integrity because at the end, even though she was warned that people were coming for her, she continued on with her nursing and care.  She didn't run, she didn't lie and she didn't apologize for helping save people.  She died with her head held high, full of confidence and truth.  These are only two of the stories but probably my favorites though all of them are good.

This book was hard to read in many ways, but also brought the hope that good things can still happen in the middle of awful events because of good people who care.  I love that this collection of stories honors a few of those people.

Content:  Some description of war and violence

- I received a copy of this book from the publisher.  A positive review was not required and all opinions expressed are my own.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Desperately Seeking Mr. Right (Destined for Love: Europe) by Sally Johnson

Phoebe wasn't looking for love in London. In fact, she had just gotten off a Reality Love TV show that didn’t end well. A simple baggage mix up introduces Phoebe to Bryan, and suddenly love seems like a possibility. But when the reality of the TV show catches up to her, Phoebe can't help but wonder if she will ever meet Mr. Right.

This is a series I am super excited about.  It has some of my favorite authors and the setting in Europe couldn't be better.  These are novellas, not full length books (boo) so you can read through them quickly.  I love  all these themed clean romance collections that are super popular right now but I just wish they were full length novels.  Novellas are okay, I like them but I definitely know I'm reading a novella.  Sometimes a girl just like to have a bit more time for development.  And kissing.  Especially in books from her favorite authors.

This story is set in London, England for the most part.  It's a place I haven't traveled to quite yet, but it's on the list of places I really want to go.  This romance starts with the normal noticing and awareness.  Then a convenient luggage mix up provides the perfect opportunity for Phoebe and Bryan to meet.  From there they spend some time hitting the local tourist spots.  I liked the normal and natural progression of their time getting to know each other.  Phoebe and Bryan are both just nice people.  They are easy to like.  And what could be more romantic than meeting your love while on vacation in London?  This book was light and sweet.  The glitch wasn't too over the top and the resolution made me happy.  This is a great start to this series and I can't wait to read the next one!

This book is on Kindle Unlimited if you have that!  :)

Content:  kissing

- I received a copy of this book from the author.  A positive review was not required and all opinions expressed are my own.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Sweet Dreams (Indigo Bay Sweet Romance Series Book 1) by Stacy Claflin

Ever since her twin became a singing sensation, Sky Hampton has struggled to be appreciated for who she is—apart from her sister. She wards off Aspen’s fans, who beg for autographs and selfies everywhere Sky goes. She can’t even find a guy who likes her for her. Sky flees to the small coastal town of Indigo Bay in hopes of blending in and building her blossoming career.

Jace Fisher is the textbook definition of the strong silent type—nobody can break through his tough exterior. He has suffered more than his fair share of tragedies, and to protect his shattered heart, he pushes everyone away. Jace spends his days fixing the Indigo Bay cottages, and his nights… nobody really knows. He keeps to himself.

When Jace shows up to fix Sky’s AC, he barely notices her and she’s distracted with settling in. It takes an emergency situation to get them talking, and when they do, the two find they have more in common than first appeared. As their attraction grows, defenses soar. Will they be able to risk love when they’ve both been burned in the past?

This is the first book in the Indigo Bay Sweet Romance series (a story world created by six fabulous authors) as well as a spinoff from USA Today bestselling author Stacy Claflin's Hunters series. This sweet romance is a standalone, and can be read on its own.

I'm super excited about this new Indigo Bay series!  Different authors are writing the books but it's all set in the same town.  These kinds of series are fun because you can find new authors to love or enjoy the ones you already know and love.  My only little tiny complaint is that the books are just novellas and I'm always left longing for just a bit more.  I've been reading a LOT of novellas lately and I'm wishing authors would get back to those full length novels I love.  Even in a collection series like these.

Stacy Claflin is not a new author to me.  I've read many of her books and I've enjoyed them- especially her clean romance line and the Hunter's series.  This book is a spin-off from that series but obviously can stand alone.

I love the setting for this series.  What could be better than a cute little town with a beach?  In this book, Sky is escaping her life before, holing up and trying to figure out where she wants to be.  Jace is the handiest of handy men, working on the property Sky is staying at.  I loved their initial attraction and interest in each other and how that progressed into a very normal dating situation.  

There was one scene that I didn't love where Sky is pitching a fit and refuses to tell Hunter why she is upset.  It felt so out of character for Sky and so juvenile.  I didn't like it and it clouded me toward Sky after that.  But Jace?  I loved him from beginning to end.  He's a good guy all the way around.

I liked this book and it definitely peaked my interest in this series.  I'm looking forward to reading the other books- up next for me is Sweet Regrets by Jennifer Peel but that one isn't until June.  I can't wait though!!

Content:  Clean, some kissing

-I received a copy of this book from the author.  All opinions expressed are my own.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Sweetbriar Cottage by Denise Hunter

When Noah and Josephine Mitchell discover their divorce was never actually finalized, their lives are turned upside down.

Following his divorce, Noah gave up his dream job, settling at a remote horse ranch in the Blue Ridge Mountains of northern Georgia, putting much-needed distance between himself and the former love of his life. But then Noah gets a letter from the IRS claiming he and Josephine are still married. When he confronts Josephine for the first time in months, they discover that she missed the final step in filing the paperwork and they are, in fact, still married.

Josephine is no happier about the news than Noah. Maybe the failed marriage—and okay, the botched divorce—was her fault, but her heart was shattered right alongside his, more than he would ever believe. The sooner they put this marriage behind them, the better for both of their sakes.

But when Josephine delivers the final paperwork to his ranch, the two become stranded in his cottage during the worst spring snowstorm in a decade. Being trapped with Josephine is a test of Noah’s endurance. He wrestles with resentment and an unmistakable pull to his wife—still beautiful, still brave, and still more intriguing than any woman he’s ever known.

As they find themselves confronted with each other and their shared past, old wounds surface and tempers flare. But when they are forced out into the storm, they must rely on each other in a way they never have before. Josephine finally opens up about her tragic past, and Noah realizes she’s never been loved unconditionally by anyone—including him. Will Noah accept the challenge to pursue Josephine’s heart? And can she finally find the courage to trust Noah?

 * Goodreads * Amazon *

That is a really long blurb.  It pretty much sums up the whole story.  I'm glad I didn't read it before I read the book because it would have taken out the anticipation of what was to come for me.  

This book was basically Josephine and Noah wading through the muck of their broken marriage and struggling against each other and truth, which always has a way of coming out one way or another.  

Josephine is a secret keeper.  She has an awful, horrible past and it has really messed with her ability to connect to people and share her real self.  Noah is angry and confused and rightly so.  His knowledge is limited and it's hard to judge situations for what they are when you have limited knowledge.  I really loved Noah.  Even in his gruffy and self preservation moments, he was kind and protective.  He showed respect when most people would say it wasn't deserved.  The love in his heart was the catalyst for change and healing.  

This book deals with such heavy issues.  It really isn't a light-hearted romp through the park and reading it at some points was very hard.  The characters are in a messy situation.  Situations alternate between the present and the past.  It was good as a reader to be able to visualize their initial meeting and their growing relationship to balance out the present day angst.  The flashbacks to Josephine's past are just sad and hurt my heart.  But those helped me to feel the compassion I needed to like Josephine and understand her better.  The book is well written and I felt the constant pull to keep reading in order to find the resolution I was so desperately seeking for these characters.

Content:  rape, sexual abuse, child abuse and neglect, marital affair, Christian fiction

- I received a copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley.   A positive review was not required and all opinions expressed are my own.

Friday, May 12, 2017

A Holiday in Bath (Timeless Regency Collection) by Julie Daines, Caroline Warfield and Jaima Fixsen

TRIAL OF THE HEART by Julie Daines
Marianne Wood has been summoned to Bath to testify against the man who killed her family. She dreads coming face to face with the monster of her nightmares, but finds surprising comfort under the care of a charming barrister, Harby Northam. Despite his kindly attentions, Mr. Northam is a shrewd and discerning man of law with an awful secret. Marianne is put to the test as she deals with the evil of her past and her growing affection for the mysterious Mr. Northam.

 LORD EDMUND’S DILEMMA by Caroline Warfield
Lucy Ashcroft doesn’t share her stepmother’s belief that she might find a husband during her sojourn in Bath, but she does enjoy a respite from a household full of half-siblings and a younger sister preparing for her London Season, something Lucy can’t even dream about. In Bath, she enjoys the company of the elderly ladies in her aunt’s circle, and happy to be out from under her stepmother’s watchful and speculating eye. But when Lucy meets Lord Edmund Parker, all of her expectations for a quiet, unassuming holiday suddenly change.

Caroline Trenholme is not pleased with Bath, the fussy, antiquated resort of the shabby-genteel. She ought to be in London, finding a man—not here, coddling her irrational grandmother. In the park, she crosses paths (literally—this is Bath, after all) with a nameless, mannerless rogue, intent on stealing a kiss. As if his proposition weren’t insult enough, even her dog seems to like the man better. It's impossible! Especially once she suspects she might like him too…

I love reading these anthology collections!  The Timeless Regency Collection's are some of my favorite and this group of authors provided such a reading treat!  I don't think I've read anything by Caroline Warfield before so it was fun to be introduced to an author new to me.

I loved all three of these books.  Although all three were set in Bath during the same time period, each book had a very different feel to it.  The authors writing styles were distinct and that made me happy.  These are novellas, so each book is a quick read.  I read through them one right after the other but this is a great book to pick up if you only have a couple of hours to dedicate to reading something.  A quick romantic fix.  

I really loved this one!

Content:  Some kissing

- I received this book free.  A positive review was not required and all opinions express are my own.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Sense & Second Chances by Brittany Larsen + $25 and Book Giveaway

Emily Carter is on the fast track to success when the unthinkable happens: a tragic accident claims the lives of her parents. Now Emily must set aside her dreams and raise her two younger siblings, Annie and Bryce. Emily and Annie are sisters, but that doesn’t mean they are anything alike. Whereas Emily reacts to the tragedy with her characteristic stoic calm, passionate Annie spirals into depression. Just when things seem like they can’t get any more difficult, Emily’s older half-brother and his fiancée arrive not to help, but to claim the family home he’s inherited from their parents. Without a place to call their own, Emily must take action—and fast. When an exciting employment opportunity arises in Utah, the displaced Carters decide to build a new life in a new home. But it soon becomes clear that their future prospects will go far beyond professional, as each sister is faced with an unexpected romance. Yet love is never simple, and in matters of the heart, one sister must proceed with caution while the other needs to take a leap of faith . . .

 * Amazon * Goodreads * Deseret Book *

First, I have to note that this is an LDS fiction book and in this one, there are a lot of references to things very specific to the LDS religion.  

I love a good, new spin on an old classic and that's what this book is.  A modern setting, a few twists on the plot but not so much that you cannot recognize the parallel to the original story.  I was quite caught up in the drama of it all.  The characters were well defined and had recognizable strengths and weaknesses which gave them the very human element that we can all relate to.  Especially Emily.  She was the glue keeping everything together and she definitely felt the pressure of that.  She was so strong when it came to others and helping them deal with tough situations but when it came to herself, she was much weaker.  I felt a lot of connection to Emily because of that.

This was a fun book!  I think this is the second book I've read by this author and I'll be on the lookout for the next one!  

Content:  Religious matters, some kissing

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Shatter by Nikki Trionfo + $30 Giveaway!

“We never knew there could be people in the orchard. Dangerous people.”

When a mysterious explosion kills her sister, Salem becomes convinced the death was no accident--it was a conspiracy. But no one else at her high school believes her, and all she has so far are theories and clues. With Carrie's killers still out there, Salem's not sure who she can trust. If she can't she prove she’s right before it’s too late, the conspiracy might take another life—hers.

I'm excited to share with you a bit about Shatter today!  This will come as no surprise to people who know me or follow my reviews but I'm a very lazy blurb reader.  And, if I do happen to read a blurb, chances are that I'll forget it by the time I actually read the book.  Then I'm completely surprised when I start reading because I have no idea what is coming at me!  That's what happened with this book.

This book is a YA murder mystery with a dash of suspense and danger.  As with most murder mysteries, there are a lot of characters in this book but the author did a good job of introducing them so I didn't feel too overwhelmed.  Everyone was suspicious at one point or another so that was awesome.  There were moments of intensity and then moments of quiet when Salem was just in her head, thinking and feeling but the story always had a good forward momentum.  

Salem was a very likable character.  As a reader, I couldn't help but feel compassion and even a little pity for Salem who found herself in a very sad and lonely situation.  She was so desperate to figure out what exactly happened to her sister.  I loved how Salem listened to her intuition.  She wasn't always exactly right, but close.  Her intuition never steered her completely wrong.  I loved how she gradually found a small circle of people she trusted and how they all worked together to solve the mystery.

This was a good change from my usual reading fare and I enjoyed it!

Content:  some violence (gang violence, murder, shooting, beatings, guns)

Enjoy the following excerpt:

The class is dead silent. Mr. White’s lips tighten. He swallows. There’s something dangerous about the new guy. The teacher leans over AddyDay’s desk and spins her packet so he can read the list of partnerships. “Fine. We’ll break up the threesome. You’ll pair with . . . Salem Jefferson.”

At the sound of my name, I turn to look at my new partner.

The guy near the door is tall. He has the kind of incredible good looks that invite stares, but that’s not the only reason he’s getting them now. The cursive lettering of a tattoo rises from the opening of the guy’s worn flannel shirt. Two gold chains hang from his brown neck. A guy accessorized in gang paraphernalia, not caked with it. His only completely visible marking is an upside down V inked onto his right cheekbone, black and distinct. The tattoo calls my attention for some reason, even though I’m sure I’ve never seen a symbol like that before. An upside down V . . . it seems so familiar.

His expressionless, dark eyes dart to meet my gaze from under a stiff, backward-facing ball cap. My classmates watch him stare at me.

“Salem Jefferson,” he says slowly, putting a slight emphasis on my last name. He waits for my response.

I realize he knows exactly who Salem Jefferson is. Exactly who I am. I’m Carrie’s sister.

Terrified, I whirl back around to face forward. Gang members targeted Carrie, made her frightened. Was he one of them? The skin between my shoulder blades tightens. Why were gang guys after Carrie?

About the author:

Nikki Trionfo lives in Riverton, Utah with five kids, a CrossFit-training husband who writes computer code, and lots of hip hop background music. Her teen murder mystery, SHATTER (May '17 from Cedar Fort), won grand prize in LDStorymakers’ First Chapter Alongside Heather Clark, she hosts free writing webinars on YouTube at #50FirstChapters.

A committed party-girl, Nikki serves as the social coordinator of LDStorymakers Conference and chair of Storymakers Tribe. Other notable stuff includes an honorable mention in Writers of the Future and a spot in Utah Horror Writer's shorty-story anthology. This all sounds really serious, but if you run into her, she gets down. Truly.  www.nikkitrionfo.com/Shatter

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Saturday, May 6, 2017

Billionaire Beach Romances for Only .99 cents each!

All four Billionaire Beach Romances are only $.99 until Tuesday, May 9th, including the newest release, Cancun Getaway. I hope you enjoy these fun vacation romances.

Moriah dances her way through life until she meets a blond Adonis who reminds her too much of her son's father.
Find Cancun Getaway on Amazon

Every stage actress wants fans, but what happens when one goes too far?
Find Shadows in the Curtain on Amazon.

Maddie escapes from pirates, but is in a different kind of danger when she lands on the island of an ex-Olympian and a former Most Beautiful Man in America.
Find Caribbean Rescue on Amazon.

Brooks has never had a woman resist him until he meets Sydnee, an orphanage worker who has much higher purposes than falling for some charming man.
Find Cozumel Escape on Amazon.

Friday, May 5, 2017

The Noble Servant by Melanie Dickerson

She lost everything to an evil conspiracy . . . but that loss may just give her all she ever wanted.

Since meeting Steffan, the Duke of Wolfberg, at Thornbeck Castle, Lady Magdalen has not been able to stop thinking about him. She knows—as a penniless lady with little to offer in terms of a dowry—she has no real hope of marrying such a highly titled man, so it comes as a great surprise when she receives a letter from him, asking for her hand in marriage.

But all is not what it seems at Wolfberg Castle. Steffan has been evicted by his scheming uncle, and his cousin has taken over the title of duke. Left for dead, Steffan is able to escape, and disguised as a shepherd, hopes to gain entry to the castle to claim the items that will prove he is the true Duke of Wolfberg.

Journeying to the castle, Magdalen has no idea what awaits her, but she certainly did not expect her loyal maidservant to turn on her. Forcing Magdalen to trade places with her, the servant plans to marry the duke and force Magdalen to tend the geese.

Without their respective titles—and the privileges that came with them—Steffan and Magdalen are reunited in the shepherd’s field. Together they conspire to get back their rightful titles. But they must hurry . . . or else they risk losing it all to the uncle’s evil plan.

I'm thinking this is the first Melanie Dickerson book I've read but how can that be?  I feel like I've been reading under a bushel.  Ha.  Well friends, here it is.  My very first Melanie Dickerson book review! 

Magdalen (poor girl) has a lot of rotten things thrown at her.  She has an awful mother, she is betrayed by people close to her, she is put in a position doing things she has no clue about, people are mean to her, she feels the weight of letting her people down, . . .  I'm telling you, Magdalen is having a rough time.  Plus, one of the geese bites her.  Poor Magdalen.  Despite all that, Magdalen is a thinker and a fighter.  She is always trying to find a way to change her circumstances and put things right.  I really loved her pluck.

Steffan isn't faring much better.  Well, he has a bit of money, but other than that, his circumstances are just about as grim.  I loved the when Magdalen and Steffan were working together and making each other stronger.  Of course, even that wasn't all smooth sailing, but the struggle was worth it in the end.

I really enjoyed this book.  It was a fun, adventurous journey with a happily ever after ending.  What could be better than that?!

This may be my first MD book, but it won't be my last!  I hope to read many more books by this author and maybe convince my daughter to read them as well!

Content:  mild violence

- I received a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley.  A positive review was not required and all opinions expressed are my own.