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review 2018-08-17 18:22
The Hideaway (Lavender Shores, #5) by Rosalind Abel 3.5 Stars Review!

Lavender Shores’s resident tattoo artist, Connor Clark, looks the part—six foot six, musclebound, and covered in ink—and most definitely doesn’t blend in. Grafted into the Bryant family as a teenager to escape his abusive father, the Bryants saved his life, but Connor has never truly felt a part of the founding family royalty. And if his heart’s desire were revealed, it would betray everything the Bryants have done for him.

Micah Bryant was born with a silver spoon in his mouth. He’s always had everything he ever wanted—save the one he desires most. Even moving to New York City for a few years didn’t dampen his passion. Not that Micah had expected it to. He’s known his destiny since he was nine years old, the moment it had walked through his door.

After years of longing, years of secrets and stolen moments of passion and love, Connor weakens enough to allow the town to see how he feels, and let the Bryants know his love for Micah is anything but brotherly. But no sooner had the decision been made than Connor’s biological family returns and shatters it all. Still, Micah holds on to the belief that their romance was written in the stars, but maybe he’d been wrong all those years...

 

Review

 

It took a good deal of trust in this writer to get me to read this book. I really can't stand forbidden romances of this nature with stepbrother or in this case adopted brother. I have an adopted brother so eww. But he was adopted when I was a toddler and he was just four and Connor comes into his adopted family as teen. I can squint my eyes and deal with this plot. 

Anyway, Connor is a wonderful hero. Micah is great too but privileged, naive, and reckless in places, I like that he grows and pays certain costs. 

Micah's mother's need for him to leave Lavender Shores to be a great musician is an out of tune beat in the story that is distracting or really not given the page time to make this aspect of the story work. 

Micah and Connor have a hot and cold, push and pull relationship that is painful to read at times but Abel does nice work with this dynamic.

The family piece is really well done but more time could have been spent with Connor's nephew.

I like this series a great deal and am happy for this HEA but there are always aspects of these books that need more craft to be truely wonderful and re readable. 

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review 2018-08-17 02:41
ARC Review: Sky Full Of Mysteries by Rick R. Reed
Sky Full Of Mysteries - Rick R. Reed

This isn't a romance novel as much as it is an exploration of love and loss, and the difference between young love and mature love. It's also a bit of a character study for the MC Cole and explores how a traumatic loss can influence the rest of your life.

Cole and Rory are young and in love, having just moved into their first apartment together, in Chicago in the late 90s. They are somewhat opposites, but perfect for each other, and oh so in love. On a night when Cole has to work late, Rory decides to have dinner in a small restaurant close to the nearby college campus. A couple of beers and a burger later, Rory is on his way home, when a mass appears in the sky above him, a white light blinds him, and he finds himself leaving the ground. While this strongly hints at alien abduction, we're left to fill in many blanks, and it doesn't actually matter for the plot of this book how Rory disappears for so many years - it really only matters that he does.

Cole returns after work to an empty apartment. The author vividly describes his fear, his panic, his search for Rory, as hours turn into days into weeks into months, without a trace of Rory to be found. Cole's despair is palpable, and we see him slowly fall into a black hole of grief and pain. Most of the first half or so of the book deals with Cole searching for Rory, wondering what happened to him, and his reactions felt absolutely realistic. I watched a young, happy, carefree man become withdrawn and a shell of his former self. It is only through an almost accidental connection with Tommy, a law student and friend of the waitress who served Rory his last meal and comes forward with that information, that Cole doesn't fully drown in his grief. 

I felt that Tommy was a clutch for Cole, even as we find them dating and then together, eventually married, for 20 years. They're comfortable in their large apartment, with Tommy being a prolific author, and Cole taking care of the house, neither of them leaving their four walls much. While I believed that Cole loved Tommy and that their relationship was a happy one, it so very obviously lacked the exuberance of Cole's first love for Rory. He hides himself away from the world, something that suits Tommy just fine, but I felt as if Cole didn't really live at all after losing Rory. That he had lost his spark, that piece that made him uniquely Cole. 

Tommy is a nice guy, and he understands that Cole never got over losing Rory. He tolerates it, and he hides his hurt from Cole, loving the other man so much that he's willing to deal with being second place. I wondered if loving someone like Tommy loved Cole would explain why he was such a doormat and put up with Cole's eccentricities around Rory's memory.

At its core, the book pits young, passionate love with endless possibilities against the kind of love that grows over time, the kind that's as comfortable as a well-worn pair of jeans, the kind that has matured over the years, the kind that's familiar and deep and lasting. 

And then out of the blue Rory returns. And Cole has to make a choice. 

The ending - I am grateful that the author chose to go that route, because if Cole had made a different choice, I would have been really angry. I still have some questions, but I also understand that the author chose to be intentionally vague on some of the details, leaving some things to the reader's imagination. Truly, the ending as written here is the only one that made sense, the only one that was palatable to me. 

When I closed the book, I sat for a while wondering - what choice would I make if faced with the same decision Cole had to make? I examined my own feelings, comparing my first love to the love I share with the man I married, and how different my life might have turned out if I had made different choices at different times in my life. Which then spawned the question - how different would Cole's life have turned out if Rory hadn't left the apartment that night to eat dinner elsewhere? How would their young, exuberant love have fared through the years to come? Would they have made it? Would it have ended in tears and heartache as they grew up, matured, and potentially grew apart? Or would they have stayed together and grown old together? 

This is a masterfully crafted story, with an unusual plot, and utterly riveting. I could hardly put it down for any length of time. And any book that makes me think like this one did is surely deserving of the five stars it got. 

Recommended.


** I received a free copy of this book from its publisher in exchange for an honest review. **

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review 2018-08-16 10:00
Release Day Review! Mercenary Princess (Mercenary Socialites #1) Setta Jay!
Mercenary Princess - Setta Jay

 

 

A crown princess living a dangerous double life and a sinfully sexy Russian billionaire with a ruthless penchant for collecting secrets: a match set for disaster.

 

For years, one man has ruled Sophia’s fantasies. The harmless obsession keeps her warm on the nights her double life starts to take its toll. She, unfortunately, gains his attention at the worst possible moment, when she’s in the middle of a dangerous job. Now, she’ll be forced to protect her heart along with her life of lies.

Viktor has been tempted by the innocent princess’s lust-filled glances for far too long, and he has fought hard to resist her beauty. When her secrets finally draw him in, getting through her royal guard proves a minor inconvenience. But one sexually charged night isn’t enough. He wants more, including whatever she’s hiding beneath that demure façade.

 

As much as Sophia wants Viktor, she can never fully allow him in because her secrets aren’t her own. Viktor is determined to have all of his princess. Will they find a way to be together, or will her dangerous secrets tear them apart?

 

 

Mercenary Princess is a fascinating world that mixes the well to do world with the mercenary, take action world and gives reader a whole new view of socialites and what they can accomplish.

 

The characters of this series are strong, vibrant and easily capture readers’ attention while keeping them on the edge of their seat with an intriguing world that full of suspense, conspiracy, subterfuge and steamy encounters. The plot flows smoothly in a steady pace that ensures that readers are unable to put the book down until they have read every last detail and since there are surprising twists and witty dialogue, the readers are well entertained. The author created this fascinating world with well written words that it makes it easy for the reader to become lost in this world and they can practically feel the energetic undercurrent to each of the scenes, so it is very easy to imagine that the story is really taking place.

 

The electrical attraction between Sophia and Viktor is felt throughout the story while the erotic and blazing hot sex scenes set passions burning throughout the story. The relationship has its share of ups and downs and obstacles that the characters will have to overcome so it entertains readers as well as keeping them in suspense and I must say that the dynamic between these characters is quite fascinating to read as their romance progresses.

 

The suspense and dangers in this story is more on the subtle side than in your face action but it is just as dangerous secrets and hidden agendas are revealed. The drama involving Sophia’s family adds tension to Sophia’s complicated life and eliciting outrage in characters and readers alike. Overall, the story is more and better than I was expecting and I can’t wait to read the next book in this fascinating new series.

 

 

Mercenary Princess

 

Goodreads - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40520224-mercenary-princess

 

BookBub - https://www.bookbub.com/books/mercenary-princess-mercenary-socialites-book-1-by-setta-jay

 

 

is the 1st book in the Mercenary Socialites series.

 

Author - https://www.settajay.com/mercenary-socialites-series.html

 

 


& is available in ebook at:

 

Amazon - http://smarturl.it/7dw08y

 

A UK - https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07GBH1T7G/

 

iBooks - http://bit.ly/mercenaryprincess

 

B&N - http://bit.ly/BandNMercenaryPrincess

 

Kobo - http://bit.ly/2MiAyGj

 

Smashwords - http://bit.ly/SWMercenaryPrincess

 


Setta Jay is the author of the popular Guardians of the Realms Series. She's garnered attention and rave reviews in the paranormal romance world for writing smart, slightly innocent heroines and intense alpha males. She loves creating stories that incorporate a strong plot with a heavy dose of heat.

 

An avid reader her entire life, her love of romance started at a far too early age with the bodice rippers she stole from her older sister. Along with reading, she loves animals, brunch dates, coffee that is really more French vanilla creamer, questionable reality television, English murder mysteries, and has dreams of traveling the world.

Born a California girl, she currently resides in Las Vegas with her husband.

She loves to hear from readers so feel free to reach out anywhere below.

 

NEWSLETTER (RELEASE INFORMATION & GIVEAWAYS):
https://landing.mailerlite.com/webforms/landing/x5y8l8

 

AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE (FOLLOW FOR RELEASE NOTIFICATIONS):

https://www.amazon.com/Setta-Jay/e/B00I562W52/

 

GOODREADS:
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7778856.Setta_Jay

 

​GOODREADS FAN GROUP (ARC GIVEAWAYS):
https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/...

 

FACEBOOK:
https://www.facebook.com/settajayauthor

 

SETTA'S SEXIES FACEBOOK FAN PAGE (ARC GIVEAWAYS):
https://www.facebook.com/groups/15460...

 

TWITTER:
https://twitter.com/SETTAJAY_

 

PINTEREST:
​https://www.pinterest.com/jay0198/


INSTAGRAM:
https://www.instagram.com/settajayauthor/?hl=en

 

BOOKBUB:

https://www.bookbub.com/authors/setta-jay

 

EMAIL:
settajayauthor@gmail.com

 

 

 

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review 2018-08-15 18:04
The Glasshouse (Lavender Shores #6) by Rosalind Abel 3.5 Stars!
The Glasshouse (Lavender Shores #6) - Rosalind Abel

Adrian Rivera lives as he damn well pleases, defying his Lavender Shores family to spend his days farming the beautiful Northern California land. Not one to daydream of true love and romance, Adrian’s social life has always been filled with sex and plenty of good times. 

Harrison Getty went from NFL star quarterback to America’s gay heartthrob, to reality TV star—with his wedding day broadcast live on national television. But Harrison feels trapped in a Hollywood life dictated by others. To breathe again, he runs from it all… 



 

Adrian’s attraction to Harrison has been building for months—even as Harrison prepared to marry another man. Lightning strikes between them, stirring emotions and passions as Adrian finds “the one,” a love that’s meant to be. But can Harrison stop running long enough to know his own heart? 

Amid scandals and betrayals, Adrian and Harrison struggle to grow their new love even as life’s storms threaten to shatter it all…


 

Review

 

 

The Glasshouse is likely the most Soap Operay of the books I have read in this series with warring family, runaway grooms, sex tapes, and public throw downs. 

At the heart of the story though is Harrison's need to center himself. Harrison character is really well developed. Adrain is well done as well, even if I think he could have been more thoughtful about what was happening with Harrison at the start of their relationship. However, he redeems himself by waiting and supporting when Harrison gets to a point he is ready to really deal with his demons.

The outside conflicts could be much better written but the romance, setting and circle of friends are well done.

I hope Will gets his own book. :)
 
 

 

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review 2018-08-15 10:00
Review! Snowbound (Secret Heart Ink #1) Deborah Cooke!
Snowbound - Deborah Cooke

 

 

Flatiron Five has a new tattoo shop—run by the enigmatic and legendary tattoo artist Chynna. When the moon is full, Chynna creates one tattoo to set two hearts afire and gives it away, with the goal of making romantic dreams come true. Who will be next?

 

Olivia trusts in here-and-now...
Olivia doesn’t believe in magic or everlasting love—she’s a scientist, after all—but winning a tattoo from Chynna convinces her to take a chance. She’s always admired her best friend Lexi’s big brother Spencer, maybe because opposites attract. What would it be like to seduce him? Would it end her fascination with him? With a little help from her friends and a blindfold, Liv decides to find out. The bonus is that Spencer will never know his secret lover was her…

 

Spencer believes in forever.
But Spencer guesses the truth almost right away. He’s good with having Olivia want him—having her alone in his cabin is the perfect chance to teach her to trust sensation and him. A blizzard interferes with Olivia’s plan, giving Spencer more time to work his own persuasive magic. He knows a night or two will only be the beginning of what he wants to last forever. Can he convince Olivia to give love a try, or will she leave him forever as soon as the snow melts?

 

 

The first book in the “Flatiron Five” spin off is a delightful contemporary romance full of passion and magical charm.

 

The characters are strong and easily connected to, drawing readers in and holding them hostage with their story. The romance is sweet but has a major obstacle, Olivia doesn’t believe in love but she does believe in passion and she’s wanted Spencer forever so with a little help she decides to engage in a one night stand which is one hot night with lots of sizzling chemistry and heated passion. Spencer want more than one night and the readers are held captivated by the suspense and the hope that Olivia will reach for that happily ever after that readers long for. The plot is fast paced and flows smoothly from start to finish with beginning adding a magical element to the story that adds a little something extra to this enchanting romance.

 

This is the first contemporary romance that I have read by Deborah Cooke and I have to wonder –what was I thinking! I am certainly intrigued with the “Flatiron Five” series and the “Secret Heart Ink” series so I have added them all to my TBR pile.

 


Snowbound

 

Goodreads - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/39326114-snowbound

 

BookBub - https://www.bookbub.com/books/snowbound-by-deborah-cooke

 

Author - https://deborahcooke.com/deborah-cooke-books/secret-heart-ink/snowbound/

 

 

 

is the 1st book in the Secret Heart Ink series

 

Author - https://deborahcooke.com/deborah-cooke-books/secret-heart-ink/

 

Amazon - https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07GBC4211?ref=series_rw_dp_labf

 

Pintrest - https://www.pinterest.ca/Cooke_Delacroix/secret-heart-ink/

 

 

which includes


1 Snowbound
2 Spring Fever
3 One Hot Summer Night

 

 

& is the spinoff series of Flatiron Five

 

Goodreads - https://www.goodreads.com/series/213426-flatiron-five

 

Author - https://deborahcooke.com/deborah-cooke-books/flatiron-five/

Amazon - https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07GBFZ665?ref=series_rw_dp_labf

 

Pintrest - https://www.pinterest.ca/Cooke_Delacroix/flatiron-five/

 


Snowbound is available in print or ebook at:

 

Amazon - https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07BF56MYN/?tag=authdebocook-20

 

iBooks - https://geo.itunes.apple.com/us/book/snowbound/id1346848281?mt=11&at=11lqeS

 

B&N - https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/snowbound-deborah-cooke/1127942220?ean=2940158899201

 

Kobo - https://www.kobo.com/ca/en/ebook/snowbound-60

 

GPlay - https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Deborah_Cooke_Snowbound?id=6JtQDwAAQBAJ

 

Direct from Deborah Cooke - http://selz.co/VkVRYXWtE

 

 

For print options see the author's book page (link above).

 

 

Deborah Cooke also writes under the names Claire Delacroix and Claire Cross.

Bestselling and award-winning author Deborah Cooke has published over fifty novels and novellas, including historical romances, fantasy romances, fantasy novels with romantic elements, paranormal romances, contemporary romances, urban fantasy romances, time travel romances and paranormal young adult novels. She writes as herself, Deborah Cooke, as Claire Delacroix, and has written as Claire Cross. She is nationally bestselling, #1 Kindle Bestselling, KOBO Bestselling, as well as a USA Today and New York Times’ Bestselling Author. Her Claire Delacroix medieval romance, The Beauty, was her first book to land on the New York Times List of Bestselling Books.

 

Deborah was the writer-in-residence at the Toronto Public Library in 2009, the first time TPL hosted a residency focused on the romance genre, and she was honored to receive the Romance Writers of America PRO Mentor of the Year Award in 2012.

She’s a member of Romance Writers of America and of Novelists Inc.

 

Currently, she’s writing paranormal romances as Deborah Cooke, and medieval romances as Claire Delacroix.


Website - http://deborahcooke.com/

 

Goodreads - https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1005984.Deborah_Cooke

 

Blog - https://deborahcooke.com/blog/

 

Pintrest - https://www.pinterest.com/Cooke_Delacroix/

 

Twitter - https://twitter.com/Cooke_Delacroix

 

SoundCloud - https://soundcloud.com/debclaire

 

Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/AuthorDeborahCookeFanPage

 

G+ - https://plus.google.com/u/0/+DeborahCooke_writer

 

BookBub - https://www.bookbub.com/authors/deborah-cooke

 

BookLikes - http://booklikes.com/deborah-cooke/author,391126

 

Claire Delacroix -

Goodreads - https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/12694.Claire_Delacroix

 

Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/AuthorClaireDelacroix/

 

Claire Cross -

Goodreads - https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/74485.Claire_Cross

 

 

 

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