Finding Eli is a great first book by newcomer Jake Irons. When newzine reporter Tara learns her job may be on the chopping block, she wracks her brain Finding Eli is a great first book by newcomer Jake Irons. When newzine reporter Tara learns her job may be on the chopping block, she wracks her brain trying to find a way to stay employed. When the idea to located Eli, the founder of the company that employs her, pops up she takes charge of it and follows break crumbs from New York to Colorado. After locating the elusive Eli, Tara is able to charm her way into his secluded mountain home. The little white lies roll of her tongue even as her conscience screams to tell him who she really is and why she sought him out.
Eli is lonely and drops his guard when he sees a freezing woman walking along the road in the snow. After she falls and injures herself, he takes her to his private sanctuary that no one knows about, to tend to her wounds. He's wary but finds himself opening up to the woman in his home who tells him her name is Chelsea. The sexual chemistry between Eli and Tara is off the charts and explosive between the pages of this hot little novella.
After a discovery outs Tara's real intentions, however, Eli boots her out, except she may have already done some damage that threatens both of their lives.
Finding Eli is a spectacular novella. The storyline is intriguing and kept me interested throughout. Even though the entire book centers around Tara lying to Eli, I really enjoyed her character. She has a moral tug-of-war taking place within her mind, bringing realism to her character. Tara is written as a conflicted woman instead of slimy member of the paparazzi. Eli has his reasons for leaving New York and going of the grid. His character is kind and caring and his dynamics with Tara are off the chart - and not just sexually. Both characters are well developed and the world building is great. The story is fast-paced and If you don't mind hot sex in your reading material, I highly suggest Finding Eli for your next read.
Warning: this book ends on a huge cliffhanger.
I voluntarily reviewed a copy of this book....more
I absolutely loved Cat Got Your Cash by Julie Chase. Lacy's line of pet couture fashion items are fast becoming a popular trend. She's even caught theI absolutely loved Cat Got Your Cash by Julie Chase. Lacy's line of pet couture fashion items are fast becoming a popular trend. She's even caught the eye of high-end, local fashion designer, Annie Lane. Sure that she's on her way to pet fashion greatness, Lacy's dream is busted, when she arrives for an appointment, and finds Siamese kittens stamping their prints through the house in what looks like blood. Now the keeper of the kittens, Lacy has more than another murder to contend with, especially with the trust that accompanies them.
Lacy is from an affluent family in the New Orleans Garden District but she doesn't act like she comes from money. She is very down-to-earth and her character has been written wonderfully. She has the opportunity to never want for anything but she wants to make her own way in the world. Instead of falling back on family money, she worked hard to get through college and started her own business back in the Garden District. Her meddling in the case is vast, much to the chagrin (and worry) of handsome homicide detective, Jack Oliver.
Oh, Detective Jack Oliver....be still thy fluttering heart. His character in Cat Got Your Cash is a fresh take on cozy mystery heroes. Sure, he's the standard potential love interest police officer but he's so much more. His banter with Lacy had me rooting for them through the entire book. Their chemistry sizzles even though I think some of it is lost on Lacy.
Jack Oliver isn't the only potential love interest in Cat Got Your Cash. Her friend Scarlet's brother-in-law, Chase Hawthorne, is back in town and has set his sights on Lacy. I just don't feel their chemistry like I do when Jack enters the picture. There's nothing particularly wrong with Chase but I just don't feel any of the right vibes when he's with Lacy. The sizzle and tension are non-existent; I actually get more of a brother-sister vibe from them (except when Chase mentions things about kissing Lacy).
I am impressed by the way the author was able to keep suspicion off of the true killer. I was none the wiser until the big reveal and didn't suspect a thing. The path to solving the murder was paved with several potential candidates that had means and motive. Bravo, Julie Chase, bravo!!
I anxiously await Book 3, Cat Got Your Secrets!
I voluntarily reviewed an ARC of the book and all opinions are my own....more
Bear Thompson was drafted to play hockey 9 years prior and left his family, his home in Bear Mountain RBear Naked is part of the Hot on Ice Anthology:
Bear Thompson was drafted to play hockey 9 years prior and left his family, his home in Bear Mountain Reserve, and his girl in his rear view. His hockey team just won the Cup and he wants to bring it home and do a small documentary on his heritage. One problem - the chief is the girl he left behind, Aria Paul.
Bear Naked is a fun book with a super sweet romance that reunites two former lovers. Sometimes two people have to be apart in order to grow back together. I enjoyed the familial undertones and the emotions that rock Bear to the core. The story was fast-paced, engaging, and enjoyable. This book is the first one I've read by this author and it won't be the last. Her writing style is conversational, smooth, and emotionally realistic. The setting was vividly descriptive and well explained.
The story was well written and didn't focus solely on Bear and Aria. The author wove other events in-between the romance. The pacing allowed for the reader to get invested into the story and neither become bored nor feel like the book was rushed. Well done!
I voluntarily reviewed this story.
I will be reading the rest of the stories in the anthology as time allows....more
Occult and Battery is now one of my favorite cozy mystery books ever!
Cass, Bee, Stephanie, and Tank are a great team. Their dynamics create a friendsOccult and Battery is now one of my favorite cozy mystery books ever!
Cass, Bee, Stephanie, and Tank are a great team. Their dynamics create a friendship that is warm and emotional and they have each other's backs - no matter what. Cass's character is very down-to-earth. She's likable from the start. It is easy to connect to her, whether you believe in psychic abilities or not. Stephanie and Bee are wonderful sidekicks to Cass main character. They are supportive and comforting to Cass. Tank, Stephanie's cop husband, adds a great element as the voice of reason and a protector. He's also finally warming up to Bee. Cass also has a low key relationship going with a police officer named Kyle who lives and works on the mainland. This isn't explored too much but Kyle does make an appearance.
The story is unique and entertaining. I was completely engaged from the very beginning. Cass's decision to host a group reading and seance in a haunted mansion stems from the thought of possibly losing her business, Mystical Musings, due to a bleak winter (meaning less customers). When the power goes out in the mansion during the seance, chaos ensues. Making everything a bit scarier is the body found hanging in the cupola later that evening. Was it suicide or is there a killer among the guests?
The author introduces many characters that could be suspects making it hard to figure out the murderer. I was completely blindsided by the revelation of who committed the crime, the lengths that were gone to, and the methods used to put the plan into place. As per usual Cass, the protagonist, does some pretty dumb things, but unlike other cozies I've read, she at least acknowledges the danger of her actions. She's not oblivious to the danger but her need to figure things out in order to save her business is stronger than her common sense.
I loved this book and cannot wait for Book 3.
I voluntarily reviewed a copy of this book....more
Arrow: The Dark Archer brings readers the man behind the.....villain (you thought I was going to say "mask," didn't you?!) or should it be the villainArrow: The Dark Archer brings readers the man behind the.....villain (you thought I was going to say "mask," didn't you?!) or should it be the villain behind the man? Whichever way you spin it, John Barrowman's Malcolm Merlyn is a complex guy. You don't even know how complex until you get comfy with a copy of this graphic novel by both John and Carole Barrowman.
Malcolm Merlyn is just one iteration of this character. He's been known by several names and one in the novel that is not familiar to me - Arthur King. In this adaption we learn who Arthur King is and how he became involved in a secret organization, crossing paths with supernatural creatures and with the League of Assassins. The history he reveals at the hands of his captors pulls pieces together, answers questions, and allows the reader to get to know the The Dark Archer.
Written in the same tone and with the same sass that John Barrowman portrays with Merlyn, you'll feel like you're in an Arrow spin-off. I found the entire graphic novel to be written well while providing much needed backstory for our beloved antihero. I have a love-hate relationship with Merlyn, and The Dark Archer doesn't improve that relationship..haha.
The Barrowman's did a fantastic job writing Malcolm Merlyn's history, giving fans of the character more information about the character. The artistry was also fantastic. Each panel is clearly drawn and the speech and though balloons are easily discernible from character to character. There is action, adventure, wit, and danger in this fast-paced look into The Dark Archer.
Brandon Enterprises has been mixed up in its fair share of shady dealings. Derek Brandon has his hands in many illegal ventures, thinking about nothinBrandon Enterprises has been mixed up in its fair share of shady dealings. Derek Brandon has his hands in many illegal ventures, thinking about nothing but financial gain and running the company when his father is no longer able. Shane Brandon has other ideas; it's time Brandon Enterprises walked the straight and narrow. He returns to Denver from New York to straighten up the mess his father and brother have made with the company. Shane may walk the line between darkness and the light but he does what he must to stabilize his family's legacy, keeping it from falling further into the pit of corruption. The intriguing woman he encounters in a coffee shop is only supposed to take the edge off, not leave him desperate for more.
Emily has just settled down in Denver. She's been on the run from her past, present, and most likely, her future. Harboring secrets that she's unwilling to divulge to anyone, she also has a past that she could get dragged back into it at any time. She just needs to get a job and keep a low profile for now, but a chance meeting in a coffee shop puts a twist in her plans.
Shane's character is strong, ruthless when necessary, yet tender and affectionate. His feelings for Emily are evident from their first encounter. After they meet again, their one night of passion proves to no be enough for either of them - not by a long shot. Emily is also a strong character; she has to be in order to survive whatever secrets are threatening to eat her up inside. She truly cares for Shane on almost every level - except the one that tells her to trust him with her secrets. Emily and Shane compliment each other. Emily illuminates the darkness Shane must maneuver through.
Hard Rules is a wonderful blend of suspense, intrigue, and romance ~ at some moments - very steamy romance! I was enraptured by Emily and Shane's story from the beginning prologue and could not put the book down. I was pulled into the drama and romantic suspense elements of the book. Every element of Hard Rules was enjoyable, from Shane and Emily's first meeting all the way to the cliffhanger ending.
I voluntarily read a review copy provided by the author through NetGalley....more
Daphne is owner and operater of Lucky Paws Pet Sitting. Her sister, Piper, is a local veterinarian with a farm on acreage. Piper has recently offeredDaphne is owner and operater of Lucky Paws Pet Sitting. Her sister, Piper, is a local veterinarian with a farm on acreage. Piper has recently offered the use of her property for a weekend agility trial for dogs. Currently living with her sister, Daphne is surprised when one of the set up crew is none other than Steve Beamus, Piper's ex, and they appear to have a lover's quarrel. Daphne's more surprised when one of her dogs locates a very dead Steve in one of the agility training areas and Steve's prize-winning and faithful chocolate lab is missing.
Now, Piper is a suspect in the suspicious death of Steve. Daphne is bound and determined to prove that her sister didn't have anything to do with the death of her ex. The new detective in town, Jonathan, butts heads with Daphne from the get go. It doesn't help that Daphne fits the typical cozy mystery heroine. She doesn't take safety into consideration or that there are certain things you might want to tell the investigating officer...
I loved this book. Daphne is a wonderful character. She is snarky, compassionate, without too many cares in the world. She has a PhD in philosophy but doesn't really use it other than to quote Socrates and other philosophers. She's down-to-earth, kind, and gentle and knows her sister, who's a tad uptight and OCD, would never murder anyone, accidentally or on purpose. Daphne's only mission now is to clear Piper's name.
The dynamics between Daphne and Jonathan are not at all subtle. Daphne tries to deny any sparks of attraction but many people in her life know that they are there. We don't get a whole lot in the way of Jonathan, other than what Daphne is able to scout out secondarily. Daphne's on-again-off-again romance with a secondary character does put a damper on the chemistry between Daphne and Jonathan.
The book is engaging from the very beginning and kept me entertained throughout. There was never a dull moment and some of the antics of Daphne, her two dogs, and the rotties she acquires had me smiling. The author's writing style is phenomenal. All dialogue was smooth, thought out, and conversational. The twists and turns kept me guessing all the way until the end. I can't wait for book 2.
I voluntarily reviewed an ARC provided by the publisher through NetGalley....more
Edge of Night is a short story compilation containing 9 very different tales that will warm you, chill you, or have you on the edge of your seat. TheEdge of Night is a short story compilation containing 9 very different tales that will warm you, chill you, or have you on the edge of your seat. The stories feature broad ranges of characters including witches, shifters, ghosts, and aliens. Some of the characters are familiar like Luke from the Coven Enforcers, Miranda from Rubicon International, and characters from the Alphas in the Wild series. Others found their homes in journals, webzines, and other places like free fiction websites.
I have been a fan of Ann Gimpel's work for years. Of the books I've had a chance to read (which isn't nearly enough of them) between working full time, attending college, and taking care of my family, I have yet to find one I didn't like. Ann's characters, while magical or scifi, are likable and easy to relate to in many aspects. They all have depth and layers, not just 2 dimensional robots that move through the pages. The stories are unique, well-written, and engaging. I am never disappointed in an Ann Gimpel story. Her tales span all types of subject matter, genres, and character pairing(s).
If you want an engaging, quick read, grab a copy of Edge of Night and treat yourself to 9 stories that you can read all at once, or savor at your own pace. I highly recommend Edge of Night!
I purchased my copy of Edge of Night from Amazon....more
Ivy Culpepper is back home in Santa Sofia, California after living in Texas. Her return comes on the heels of a tragedy and she struggles to make sensIvy Culpepper is back home in Santa Sofia, California after living in Texas. Her return comes on the heels of a tragedy and she struggles to make sense of the turn of events. Ivy, while trying to make sense of things, finds herself on the doorstop of Yeast of Eden and becomes involved in bread making classes. During one class, a member of the group is found dead in her car while a fight brews in the street near by. Does one event have anything to do with the other? When the local police names the owner of Yeast of Eden and her two sisters as suspects, Ivy knows it's not true and finds herself on a quest to clear their names. The deeper Ivy gets involved the more secrets come out about the residents of her sleepy little town.
The author did an excellent job keeping the murderer(s) under wraps. She cleverly brought in many people that it could be, some more prominent than others, and slid the revelation in all wrapped up with a bow. Looking back, there are recognizable yet subtle clues and hints.
The character development and world building was done well. We get back story as necessary but most of the book focuses on the past six months to the present. The dialogue is conversational and characters are likable. Ivy is strong yet emotional since the tragedy. She needs an outlet for her grief and finds it with baking classes at Yeast of Eden. She can focus on something else, she's in good company, and making bread is fun. The secondary characters are unique and bring their own style to Kneaded to Death.
The pacing of the story, however, is rather slow for about half of the story. It took me much longer to read the book than it should have. I just didn't get engaged in the story right away. I was able to put the book down and walk away without really feeling a pull to come back and read more. The last half of the book was much better in terms of pacing, interest, and engagement. The solution to the mystery was satisfying, albeit heart wrenching at one point.
Review Copy Compliments of author/publisher - I reviewed voluntarily....more
Murder by the Book is a short cozy mystery story. The story finds the protagonist, Candy Wadsen, on a detective's radar after she returns to work andMurder by the Book is a short cozy mystery story. The story finds the protagonist, Candy Wadsen, on a detective's radar after she returns to work and enters the scene of a crime. As a matter of procedure, the detective must investigate all persons who may be involved. Will the clues exonerate Candy or will she find herself behind bars?
I really enjoyed this short story. The author created a world with clues that weren't the usual type - they were creative and unique. With the help of Candy, Detective Sergeant Dan Petrowski figures out who committed the crime without alerting the readers prematurely. All-in-all an enjoyable, fast paced, and quick read. I would be interested in reading a longer book with Candy as the lead. ...more
Confession is the story of three childhood friends, Fallon Carteris, Devon McMillan, and Morgan Presley, who, after some time apart, reconnect at a clConfession is the story of three childhood friends, Fallon Carteris, Devon McMillan, and Morgan Presley, who, after some time apart, reconnect at a club jointly owned by Devon and Morgan. After the sexual vibes between the three fly off the charts, Fallon and Devon have steamy night together...and shortly thereafter, Fallon and Morgan do the same. When Devon and Morgan finally deal with the "almost-ménage-gone-wrong" scenario, they find themselves lusting after Fallon. Fallon, in turn, divulges her secret desire for Devon and Morgan. After that revelation, all bets are off. Can the trio live happily-ever-after?
Confession is an engaging story about a love triangle involving shared love instead of a love triangle involving a lover who is competing with a rival for the love of the third person. Fallon, Devon, and Morgan are all strong characters on the outside. Each person, however, has their own vulnerabilities hidden away, making them human and people the readers will be able to relate to (except for the billionaire part, unless you are, indeed, a billionaire).
The novella did have some unbelievable moments; not in the " surprise!" way, but in the "shake your head" way. Fallon's sexual experience, or lack thereof, made her use of toys and acceptance of Devon's preference, along with taking both men at the same time a little hard to believe. Fortunately, even with the disbelief running in my head, the author wrote the scenes and dialogue in a way that doesn't make them uncomfortable. Other than that, I found the novella to be fast pace, steamy, and, at times, emotional and romantic.
I voluntarily read a copy of Seduction provided to me by the publisher through NetGalley....more
Have you thought about writing a book but the process to publishing became daunting, time consuming, confusing, and a tad scary? Or have you submittedHave you thought about writing a book but the process to publishing became daunting, time consuming, confusing, and a tad scary? Or have you submitted your manuscript all over the publishing world and no one will give you and your book a chance? Well, E.J. Stevens is here to share her secrets to self-publishing. No need to sign a contract with a big publishing house (not that there is anything wrong with those large companies) when you can become an indie author and do it all yourself.
Please note that the author does not give writing, editing, or marketing advice in this book. This book is for those who have a completed novel and are ready to publish. Of course, you could have this on hand prior to completing your manuscript but this is for publishing said manuscript.
The guide is arranged strategically and is well organized. I've wanted to write a book for a long time, in fact, I have about six manuscripts started, but I'm a full time employee and part time college student, with family (I know, everyone is busy...it's not just me) and I just can't seem to sit down and make time to write. However, this guide contains practical knowledge and a complete do-it-yourself set of instructions that got me excited to start writing again. The publishing world seems daunting, and it is whether your traditionally published or an indie, but for the first time, I feel like publishing is doable. Thank you E.J. Stevens. Your wisdom and advice, plus a step-by-step guide, will make things so much easier for anyone trying to navigate through the world of publishing....more
Entrepreneur Tobi Tobias is ecstatic when a potential new client walks in the front door of her ad agency. With bills piling up and the threat of evicEntrepreneur Tobi Tobias is ecstatic when a potential new client walks in the front door of her ad agency. With bills piling up and the threat of eviction looming, she's desperate. When Zander Closet Company requests a slogan, brochures, and other advertising materials, Tobi knows this could mean big things for her and the agency. She's especially thrilled to learn that the Zander brothers have recently fired the prominent ad agency that she used to work for. All that excitement fades when the promotion for Zander Closet Company, with the use of the slogan Tobi developed, leads to the discovery of a dead body in the closet being showcased. Now, instead of her name being spread like wildfire due to success, she's dealing with the stigma that her slogan was a premonition....and the new clients she's since gained have now withdrawn and canceled their appointments. Her one big break may actually break her agency for good.
Unless she figures out who killed the man in the closet.
The character and world building done in Death in Advertising was done well and is appropriate for the novel - not overboard or skimpy. Tobi Tobias is a witty and humorous character. She's totally awkward but her character is likable. It's easy to relate to Tobi in many ways and she has a wonderful personality. The supporting characters are also likable and just as witty as Tobi. Their antics are humorous and add so much to Death in Advertising - not that it needed it because the book is fantastic.
The story is fast paced with surprises around every corner. I was engaged from the first chapter and enjoyed following Tobi and her friends as they worked to solve the murder that was dragging her name in the mud. The dialogue between the characters was natural and believable - nothing over the top or uncomfortable. The mystery was kept closely under wraps and the reveal was shocking and caught me by surprise.
I can't wait to see what Laura Bradford has in store for Tobi in Book 2!...more