Review: Bad Kitty

Bad Kitty_finalBad Kitty (Southern Shifters #1) by Eliza Gayle
Pages: 155
Publisher: Gypsy Ink Book
Review Source: Publisher
Release Date: September 10, 2013
My Rating: 3.5 Stars

Synopsis:

If you think you’ve lost everything. Think again.

Kitty lost her father, her home and her clan. Clinging to what’s left of her pride, she’s forced into the neutral zone, the supposed safe haven for half-breeds and outcasts. An attack forces her to the wrong side of the treaty line and into an even more dangerous situation. Determined to greet death with the last of her dignity, she is suddenly rescued by a tall, gorgeous…wolf???

As the next alpha leader of his pack, Rafe Comyn has more than enough to handle with pack politics and precarious treaties. The last thing he needs is a pissed off feline landing in his lap, especially when her scent triggers his overwhelming drive to mate. While the daughter of a former rival is quite a conquest, she’s both forbidden and dangerous.

But as the heat of desire threatens to consume them, their differences escalate and Rafe must keep his own pack from killing the one woman he can’t live without.

My Thoughts:

This is a well written and fun erotic paranormal romance. There’s plenty of action and it starts on the first page. I read it in through without stopping. I admit there were times I wished it had resolved the relationship with Kitty and Rafe, but I liked how they ended up.

Kitty has been through a lot and even more happens to her as the story unfolds. She doesn’t even get to see the inside of her new house when someone tries to kill her. As a result of running from that attack she is thrust into Rafes life. Good thing for her he came along when he did.

Rafe is a hot alpha who knows what he wants and goes after it. He is kind and caring toward Kitty, which is a new experience for her. Rafe systematically faces every challenge that tries to come between them.

On top of all the action and drama there’s the sex; it’s hot, passionate, and at times very intense. There is an open ending, not sure if the story will continue with Rafe and Kitty or if it’s a setup for new characters. Either way I can’t wait to read the next one and was happy with the ending to Bad Kitty.

 Bad Kitty on Amazon

Review: The Lies We Tell

Lies We Tell

The Lies We Tell by Elizabeth Dunk
Pages: 107
Publisher: Escape Publishing – Harlequin Enterprises, Australia
Review Source: Publisher/NetGalley
Release Date: August 1, 2013
My Rating: 3.5 stars

Synopsis:

Ten years ago, Todd Lansing stood over his father’s grave, his heart thumping out curses on Sia Collins for causing his death. When he returns to Oberon and sees Sia again, his heart thumps with a different emotion, one he fights with all the anger he still feels.

Sia didn’t commit the break-in that ended up killing Mr. Lansing, but to admit that would send her father to jail. She has rebuilt her life in the small town, atoned for her accused crime, and carved out a niche using her talent with paint to reach out to the community, raise funds, and support her family.

When Todd finds out the truth, he can’t understand why Sia won’t speak out and clear her name, and it threatens to tear them apart. With her relationship with Todd on the line, will Sia choose loyalty or love?

My Thoughts:

This is a quick read, but it’s got romance, some steamy scenes, and definitely emotion. The pace of the story is fairly fast, but works well with the length and the plot.

Sia is a woman paying for the misdeeds of her father. She took the blame herself to save him. Unfortunately it also ruined her relationship with him and Todd, the boy she was crushing on. It has taken her a while, but she has recouped her reputation in the town, along with Todd’s mom and brother. At first I thought she may have been TSTL putting up with all the abuse from her father and continuing to protect him. It didn’t take me long to see Sia’s inner strength, love and loyalty to family. She fought for her father, not for him, but for her siblings. Some of the things she had to go through brought tears to my eyes.

Todd has hated Sia since his father’s death. Back when it happened he did what he could to hurt and ruin her, now that he’s in town that’s his plan again. That is until he learns the truth behind the first lie. Todd is a man fighting his own demon and unknowingly taking it out on the easiest target, Sia. At first I wasn’t real keen on Todd, but once he realized he was wrong the turnaround was amazing and his tender side came out.

This title is very accurate, it’s full of lies. Todd and Sia work together to uncover the layers of lies one at a time. Other than the first one I didn’t see them coming. I loved the way Sia grew throughout the story from living for everyone else to standing up for herself and understanding she couldn’t take care of her siblings unless she stood up for and took care of herself. I won’t say more for fear of spoiling it, but if you’re looking for a quick and enjoyable read I do recommend The Lies We Tell.

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The Lies We Tell on Amazon

ARC Review: Right Now

Right Now

Right Now (Moments #2) by Marie Hall
Pages: 237
Publisher: Marie Hall Publishing
Review Source: Author
Release Date: Sept. 15, 2013
My Rating: 5 ★★★★★

Synopsis:

Sometimes in life….

Things were supposed to get better when Ryan met Lili. I was supposed to move on, get a life… but I’m stuck and lost. Things with my father are not good. There are demons in our closet, big ones. Ones I want to kill him for, I’m seeing a shrink, I’m trying to get better… but my life feels out of control, like I’m a raft adrift on the sea. I don’t know where to look, how to get anchored again, and then I meet Zoe Stone. Something about her draws me out of my rut, makes me laugh for real, smile, and for the first time in years I want to be more. But what will she think when she discovers who I really am?

…all we have…

When Alexander Donovan, aka The Golden Adonis, walks into my tattoo parlor, I know I’ll do anything to make that man mine. There’s an instant connection, a need to know more about him. Everything about him. But there’s also a mystery surrounding the guy, when people look at him they only see the man that laughs, that cracks jokes and makes the world think that everything’s okay, but I see the truth… I see the darkness that lurks so deep inside few would ever recognize it. I want to help him; I want to be with him, now I just have to make him trust me enough to let me in.

Is Right Now

My Thoughts:

I loved this book as much as the first in the Moments series. I was hooked from the first page and stayed up way too late to finish. This is about Alex, cousin to Ryan from the first book. As with the previous book Right Now deals with the same dark and difficult issues. I’m starting to get spoiled by the great writing and captivating stories from this author.

Alex was introduced in the first book, but we get to know who he really is this time around. Alex has spent his life making sure Ryan was alright, as alright as he’d ever be, since the incident when he was six. Ever since Ryan got his life on track Alex has been lost. His façade of the smiling, laughing, and everything is fine is starting to crack; even if no one really notices. He uses sex with multiple forgettable (to him) women to forget and cope with the devastation his father has caused. It’s the fortune from a fortune cookie that causes him to admit he doesn’t like the way his life is headed and results in his impulsive trip to the tattoo parlor. This where he meets Zoe, who turns out to be the one woman he can’t forget.

Zoe knows who Alex is and doesn’t fawn all over him or give in as all the other women in his life has done. She gives him as good as he’s ever given. Loved the way she played him the first time. Zoe has her issues with her family as well, but she seems to have come to terms with it in a more healthy way. Not that they don’t still hurt her, or that her mother isn’t still distant and disapproving. Zoe takes the journey from rock bottom and self-destruction toward a healthy and productive life with Alex. She gets hurt by Alex more than once and lets him know that she won’t but up with his behavior any longer. Its Zoe’s strength to let him go that pushes Alex to face some serious demons and tell her the truth. I felt for Zoe and got just as mad at Alex, but knowing what she didn’t was frustrating at times. I was so happy when Alex came clean with her and loved the way they “reconnected” after the revelation. When Alex allows himself he can be so sweet and loving.  

Mostly focusing on Alex and Zoe’s story we get to see more of Ryan and Lili. Ryan and Alex’s therapist is also introduced and she is a great addition to the story. We get to see that help is needed to deal with these issues, but the therapist is loving, tough, funny, and effective. I wish I’d had a therapist like her when I was dealing with these issues.

I also got to meet Thor, a friend and coworker of Zoe. I really got to like him and can’t wait for his story. That right there’s going to be a third book in the series and it’s about Thor!

Yes, this is a story dealing with very serious and difficult subjects and it was difficult to read at times, but there was also some laugh out loud moments. There’s a wonderful balance of humor, angst, and romance. I applaud the way Marie Hall dealt with the issues! They were handled realistically with no sugar coating. She shows how many people are affected by the betrayal of Alex’s father and how everyone deals with it differently. The characters are very believable. They aren’t perfect and make mistakes, some over and over again until they finally learn from them.

Do I recommend this series? Yes! Be warned to tread carefully if certain things are triggers for you, this is a difficult but rewarding read. I have to say that you must read the first book A Moment before this story good thing it’s free right now.

A Moment on Amazon

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ARC Review: Mine To Keep

Mine to KeepMine To Keep (Mine #2) by Cynthia Eden
Pages: 280
Publisher: Cynthia Eden
Review Source: Author/NetGalley
Release Date: September 16, 2013
My Rating: 3.5 stars

Synopsis:

Love is the most dangerous obsession…

Skye Sullivan is trying to put the pieces of her life back together. She survived a brutal stalker and escaped his abduction, and now she is looking to the future—a future that includes Skye’s lover, billionaire Trace Weston. Skye thinks the danger is finally over for her.

She’s dead wrong.

When Trace’s past comes back to haunt him, Skye discovers that the man she loves isn’t quite who he seems to be. Trace has been leading a double-life. An ex-special forces agent, his military training turned him into the perfect killing machine. He made more than his share of enemies during his time in the military—and as he built his security empire—and one of those enemies is striking back.

He won’t lose her.

Skye is the one weapon that can be used against Trace—his only vulnerability. But he won’t let her go—he can’t. Trace will do anything necessary to protect Skye. Anything. Yet when she discovers the secrets that he’s tried to keep hidden, Skye’s pain and rage may send her running directly into the cross-hairs of a killer…

Author’s Note: MINE TO KEEP is a sexy romantic suspense novel. It contains violence, strong language, and hot adult situations. Please consider yourself warned. Thank you.

My Thoughts:

This is the second book in the Mine series and the conclusion to the first Mine To Take. I will mention that the first does not end in a cliff hanger; it ends in a nice spot.  Mine To Keep picks up 4 weeks after the end of Mine To Take. These must be read in order, so I’ll try not to rehash book one or spoil this one.

I was glad to get more of Skye and Trace’s story. This one is a mystery full of angst. Skye is dealing with the aftermath of her abduction including nightmares and Trace’s need to protect her. She is a strong woman to have dealt with all that she has in her life. Finally Skye has the only thing she’s ever wanted, Trace, but now they have to figure out who is out to destroy him by killing her. We see a lot more of Skye’s strength and determination.

Trace is just as alpha and hot in this story. We get to know him so much more and what he’s been through during the 10 years he was away from Skye. Trace has done some bad, dangerous, good, and painful things while in and out of the military. It’s a mission from the past that comes back to haunt him and Skye. He has to eventually tell Skye the truth about his past if he’s going to protect and keep her. It’s after he opens up that their love really grows, if you thought it was intense in the first book you were wrong. I feel more for Trace than in the Mine To Take.

This has just about everything romance, HOT sex, angst, and mystery. I have to say that I figured it out sooner than I would’ve liked and that left me feeling as if it was drug out; but it was still a fantastic “who done it” to solve. Noah is also introduced and I can’t for his story.

 Mine To Keep on Amazon

Review: Thoroughbreds and Trailer Trash

Thoroughbred and Trailer TrashThoroughbreds and Trailer Trash by Bev Pettersen
Pages: 276
Publisher: Westerhall
Review Source: Publisher/NetGalley
Release Date: March 28, 2012
My Rating: 4 ★★★★☆

Blurb:

Jenna Murphy, a dedicated horse masseuse, relies on her job and street smarts to support what’s most important…her younger sister. But when the Thoroughbred Wellness Center experiences a hostile takeover headed by a charming but ruthless corporate shark, both her heart and career are in jeopardy.

My Thoughts:

When I read the title I just had to read this one! I’m glad I did, I really liked it. This was my first Bev Pettersen book. I will be reading more of them.

This is a sexy and heartwarming romance from an author who knows what she’s talking about when it comes to horses and writes as if her readers are smart enough to understand. The story flows nicely and the conversations felt real along with the characters.

Jenna is a very believable, soft hearted, and strong character. She’s trying to make sure her sister gets a college education and working her butt off as horse masseuse to do it. The challenges she faces, her loneliness, and Derek. Both Jenna and Derek have issues that have to deal with in order to come together and love each other.

THOROUGHBREDS AND TRAILER TRASH on AMAZON

ARC Review: Crimson Night

Crimson Night

Crimson Night (Night, #1) by Marie Hall
Pages: 300
Publisher: Marie Hall Publishing
Review Source: publisher/author
Release Date: September 5, 2013
My Rating: 5 ★★★★★

Blurb:

Welcome to Carnivale Diabolique ― or what I affection ally like to call the circus of the damned.

My name is Pandora, and though my face might not seem familiar to you, you do know me. I’m a Nephilim. What does that mean? I’m half demon, what’s my other name? Lust. I’m the dark craving that drives you mad, makes you want, makes you reckless and stupid. I’m the drug you’ll do anything to get your hands on. But I’m not all bad. I fight for light, for goodness and truth. I love my job; killing vampires and werewolves, zombies, and freaks… it’s what makes me happy.

But people are starting to disappear and lately I’ve felt a dark presence lurking around me. I think it might be a death priest, that’s not good. There isn’t much a demon like me fears, but I fear them. This should have been easy, me killing the fanged freaks, getting rid of my pesky priest problem, but I’m about to be betrayed by the one person I thought I could trust with my life and before the night is through I’ll be covered in crimson..

My Thoughts:

I usually only give 5 stars to books I know I’ll re-read and this one is no exception. This is an excellent first book to a series. The first part of the book is devoted to character introduction and world building. Not only are the MCs fully developed; I got to know and like the secondary characters and their unique personalities.  I spent a summer working for a traveling carnival when I was young (great way to see the south) and Marie Hall brings Carnivale Diabolique to life. I could see and smell the midway. I fell into the story from page one and didn’t put it down until I finished it really late at night. I loved everything about this story from the plot and characters to the fact that the writing was faultless (to my eyes anyway).  The pacing was quick and perfect for the book.

Pandora is one of the strongest paranormal heroines I’ve read in a while. Don’t get me wrong she has her issues to deal with, anyone of her age and having another to share your mind and body would. Pandora also sees herself as weak at times and she’s so far from it.

The mystery/suspense kept me turning the pages. It wasn’t so easy to figure out and it was just enough angst to keep me on the edge, but not so much that it got frustrating.  The sex was well done with the right amount of detail that it was very hot and steamy without overwhelming the rest of the book.

I’m impatiently waiting for the story to continue. I recommend this to anyone looking for a well written paranormal that will have you laughing and then tearing up at times this is the one for you.

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ARC Review: Stay With Me (With Me #1)

Stay With MeStay With Me (With Me #1) by Elyssa Patrick
Pages: 270
Publisher: Elyssa Patrick
Review Source: Author/NetGalley
Release Date: August 30, 2013
Rating: 4 Stars

Blurb:

New Adult/Contemporary Romance – recommended for ages 17 and up.

With one look, I’m his . . .

With one touch, he’s mine . . .

With one kiss, it changes everything between us . . .

I’ve been famous since I can remember. Singing, acting, dancing—I’ve done it all. The tabloids cover my every move, but I don’t want that anymore. I want to be normal, whatever that is.

When I leave Hollywood for college in Vermont, I’m on my own for the first time in my life. This is my chance to figure out who I am and what I want in life.

But it’s a lot harder than I expected. I can’t escape my image. Classes are difficult, and I’m struggling. And then there’s Caleb Fox.

Sexy, intriguing Caleb Fox.

Caleb is the one man who doesn’t want to use me. He breaks down my walls. He challenges me. He wants me. And I just don’t know if I can give him the same—or if he’ll stick around when he finds out my shameful secret that the tabloids haven’t managed to uncover.

Dating him is risky enough, but loving him could break me.

My Thoughts:

I really enjoyed this book. I was attracted by the cover and it just got better from there. It has a nice steady pace and the story flows nicely. There is no OTT drama or angst. The focus is on the loving relationship and the growth of the characters.

Hailey is a young woman who is escaping fame and the trappings that go with it to try for a “normal” life and college education. She has been famous all her life; starting out as the Gerber Baby and going on to singing and acting. Hailey has been pushed her entire life by her mother, who is the one who really wanted the fame and money. Hailey is trying to figure out who she really is and what she wants to do with her life. A relationship doesn’t fit into her plans, but Caleb turns out to be too hard to resist.

Caleb is sexy, loving, tender, and solid. He knows what he wants and has the patience to wait for it and the understanding of how to fight for it when needed. He sees Hailey, not THE Hailey. Caleb is there for her from the beginning, letting her come to him on her own time. Proving his love and that he can be trusted by actions as well as words. Caleb helps Hailey figure out a lot of things by simply being there and accepting her for who she is no matter what.

Daphne is one of Caleb’s little sisters and is a freshman like Hailey. Daphne is another person who accepts Hailey and they become fast friends. She is also very funny; I can’t wait for her story.

Overall, this is a great book with an ending. It is a stand-alone as the next book is about another character. I do wish there would be more for Hailey and Caleb. It feels like their story has just started and I hate to leave them. I feel I should mention that there were a few typos, but nothing that took me out of the story.

Book Trailer: