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review 2017-04-30 17:27
Exile (Exile #1) by Colleen Vanderlinden Review
Exile - Colleen Vanderlinden

Two races fight for what remains of a dying planet.

For generations, the Maarlai, an alien race who fled the destruction of their own home world, have lived silently, hidden, exiled on Earth. They watched, year by year, as humanity destroyed what was once a planet full of hope and promise.

Unable to idly watch as the planet dipped further into destruction, the Maarlai left their hidden villages and went to war with what was left of humanity. With the death of the last great human king, the Maarlai found themselves victorious and vowed to protect and restore the planet that had sheltered them for so long.

A treaty made, an alliance formed.

Shannen of House Lyon is a member of the last of the human royal families. While they bend knee to the Maarlai ruler, her people have not forgotten their former greatness, the years of bloodshed and horror... or the memory of their fallen king.

To ensure a lasting peace between their two peoples, Shannen and three other prominent human women are sent to the Maarlai capital. One of them will wed the future Maarlai king, cementing the peace between former enemies.

When Shannen finds herself married to the Maarlai warrior, she discovers a whole new world... and freedom unlike anything she could have imagined. When war threatens once again, she will need to decide where her loyalties truly lie.





I forgot that Vanderlinden writes Sagas! Ahhggghhh. We are in for a long luscious ride with this series.


There isn't really a cliffhanger but more of much more to go in this tale.


The alliance marriage makes this feel more like a medieval with aliens and thus a fantasy romance that a science fiction romance but the mash up is well done.


The hero comes to cleave to his wife and the heroine comes into her own power. She is a bookworm which I love and never passive about anything but practical. 


The pace is sedate but lots is happening and the love story could be more detailed but you feel it.


Let's see what happens next!

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review 2017-04-30 15:30
Review: Devour (Unbreakable Bonds #4) by Rinda Elliott and Jocelynn Drake
Devour (Unbreakable Bonds Series Book 4) - Rinda Elliott,Jocelynn Drake




Loved.Loved this book. Great last installment of this series.

Besides Snow and Jude, Ian and Hollis are my favorite couple.
Finally we get Ian's full story. It made me love him even more.











I really loved all the dynamics of these men. They are such an amazing family. I'll sure be reading this series again.

I'm glad we getting Snow & Jude's novella and also Ian & Hollis's cause AND a new spin-off series starting with Geofrey and Sven. I'm not ready to say goodbye to these men yet ...

Nine years ago, he’d been caught in a nightmare and rescued by a few men who’d seen something in him that he might never understand. They’d taken him away, given him a home, and helped him create a new life. A fantastic new life. Together, the four of them had made a family, and now there were four more.

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review 2017-04-30 15:16
Review: To Me I Wed by K.M. Jackson
To Me I Wed (Unconventional Brides Romance) - K.M. Jackson

Two peas in a pod are Lily Perry and Vincent Caro. Both struggling small-business owners who are happy with their relationship-free lifestyles. Lily is a successful event planner who has pulled off amazing parties for her several sisters, living up to the “always a bridesmaid, never a bride” lifestyle. Vin recently opened his own restaurant in memory of his mother who always shared her joy of cooking with him. The pair hooked up a while back, and even though it was an intense evening, neither called for a second chance. However, when Lily sees Vin at her sister’s wedding, sparks ignite and neither can rest until they see the attraction through.


To Me I Wed is the second story in Ms. Jackson’s Unconventional Bride series, and unconventional is the best word to describe Lily’s plans. Doing research, Lily comes across an article how a woman, ready to show the world she’s good just as she is, married herself. At first Lily sees this as a potential business opportunity - which I can appreciate. But then she internalizes it, seeing herself in this woman. She gets swept up in the idea, immediately calling her assistant, Tori, and getting Vin’s restaurant to host it!


I have to say, I struggled with Lily. I understood her desire to show the world she's all good as is. But I had a lot of trouble getting behind the concept of marrying herself. I had hoped it would have been a funny/silly storyline, but Lily was kind of obsessive about her life and the wedding. It was an "I'm gonna show them" kind of thing. She was so serious, not having fun with it at all, which actually made her come off as desperate - not for a man - but for people to believe she’s “okay” as she is.


Similarly, we got a lot of how “okay” Vin is, yet he’s clearly still dealing with his mother’s death and his own father-issues. I loved that he genuinely cares for Lily and pushed her until she gave into her desire. But then their relationship coasts… and when one got too close to the other, they would blow up and push apart. As much as they were falling into one another, they both had serious walls. And we didn’t really see them ever open up to one another. They danced around it, but slammed the walls down hard as soon as one or the other was uncomfortable. They argued about it and instead of moving closer, continually slamming down the barriers. 


The author did include some glimpses of genuine emotion, like when Vin kissed Lily with all his heart and at the point right before the wedding. But those moments were so rare. I don’t want to give any spoilers, but I felt even though there is an HFN ending, we never see the couple work things out and get past the messy emotions. 


In the end, To Me I Wed was an enjoyable read, but I struggled getting into the story, and then, I found it was lacking solid relationship bonding. By the end of the book I felt that Lily and Vin *could* be a couple, but they really never shared a scene that shows me they will be able to open up and be there for one another. 


My Rating:  C+ Liked It, but I had issues

Review copy provided by NetGalley

Originally posted at That's What I'm Talking About

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review 2017-04-30 14:20
Review: Olive Juice by T.J. Klune
Olive Juice - T.J. Klune


















I feel like my heart has been stomped on.


This was so beautifully written but what happend was unthinkable. I don't even wanna go there.

You breathe.

You ache.

You live.

You die inside, sometimes.

These little deaths. It’s how you know you’re still living. That hurt, that damnable pain in your chest that never really goes away, is meant to burn to show you that you’re human. After all, you have these little deaths because you live.

You ache, but you’re able to breathe. And if you can breathe, then you can take another step. You can push yourself up and you can take another step.

Please when you feel strong enough to read this, be sure NOT to read any spoilers. I will really ruin the experience.

Thanks Marco and CinnaMMon for the BR.

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review 2017-04-30 02:56
Pleasantly surprised
Heart of Deception - Taylor Chase
Anger rose to the fore, and he pulled away from her. "Nothing has changed. You still want to rule me."
Her eyes went black when he thwarted her, a darkness that could devour him. Then a small flame flickered in their depths. Silent laughter. "Maybe I want you so much because I can't rule you."
"That won't stop you from trying."
"Or you from resisting." Her lips curved, the small taunting smile mocking herself as well as him. "Are you afraid of losing?"
"No." A lie to add to all the other lies. Already too much had changed because of her.
"Then savor the struggle, my rebel." Viv laughed openly now. Her gleaming eyes invited him to join in the mockery.

This story reminded me that writing is a craft and when, it seems, authors are given time to research and develop their stories, they can transport you to different worlds. What a hidden gem this turned out to be. 

The suspense/mystery storyline is more the focus than the romance; in fact, our leads have an instant attraction and later use the word love a bit out of the blue. But what a mystery storyline it was, there is a plot to poison Queen Elizabeth I and replace her with Mary Queen of Scots. Christopher Marlowe makes an appearance along with others as the hero's family is jailed for suspected treason. Our hero leaves the war in Netherlands and meets up with his friend (epic bromance complete with watery eyes, hugs, and friendship flashbacks) to try and find out who set his family up. I'm not going to lie, the cast of characters is large, complete with code names, and the tangled weave is difficult to follow and unravel but dang if it didn't interest me. 

Even though the story starts off and initially seems to want to be from the hero, the heroine steals the spotlight and thunder. The backstories going on here, y'all! It almost felt like the heroine's part was first written for a male character and the author decided to switch it up and create one badass woman; one of the most real in her honesty, sexual desires, and sense of self. This was published 20yrs ago and it makes me want to weep with how many written heroines today fall very short of her. 

This story has a fair bit of violence and I kind of want to call this a medium erotic, it's not the focus of the story but the sex scenes are descriptive and naughtily hot but not in the tone of cheap porn. This had a very All Through the Night by Connie Brockway feel to me, probably why I liked it. 

Anyway, the focus in the mystery/suspense, the cast of characters gets a bit wide, fairly quick romantic relationship development, the end wraps up a bit quickly (the mystery was doled out fairly slowly only to have the players and explanations throw out in a rush), and a character with a paranormal (psychic) ability added very late in the game. However, this was very well written and the depth of the main characters, especially the heroine, was amazing. If you ever come across this book, snatch it up.

*I just saw that the author wrote a book featuring the character with a paranormal ability, so maybe not so randomly throw in as much as series bait.


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