Genre: Multicultural & Interracial

Guest Review: Hidden Impact by Piper J. Drake

Posted February 23, 2016 by Jen in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: Hidden Impact by Piper J. DrakeReviewer: Jen
Hidden Impact by Piper J. Drake
Series: Safeguard #1
Published by Carina Press
Publication Date: November 9th 2015
Genres: Fiction, Romance, Suspense, Contemporary, Multicultural & Interracial, Military, General
Pages: 183
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars

Meet the men of Centurion Corporation—an elite group of mercenaries who will go to any extreme to complete a mission…even risk their hearts. A new high-stakes series by Piper J. Drake.He's not the hero she's looking forAs part of the elite Centurion Corporation team, military-veteran-turned-mercenary Gabriel Diaz is a natural defender. He'll do anything to ensure a mission is successful. Anything but get emotionally invested—he learned the hard way that can be deadly. Easy bodyguard jobs in between the more challenging missions are all he's interested in now.Maylin Cheng is desperate and running out of time. Her younger sister has gone missing but no one seems to take her concern seriously. Her last hope lies in asking an aloof bodyguard for help. He dismisses her outright, but all that changes when she is almost killed in a not-so-accidental hit-and-run right before his eyes.As Maylin leans on Gabriel, she begins to rely on him for more than just her safety. But as their attraction grows, so does the danger surrounding them. When the elaborate web they're trapped in unravels, Gabriel will do anything to protect them. Even if that means putting his heart in the crosshairs.Book one of the Safeguard series

A new series about a secret security agency? Sign me up! Even better, I felt like this book took those tropes I love but added a tiny dose of realism in its characters. I liked the mix, and I liked the book.

Maylin Cheng is a chef/caterer trying to get help finding her sister, who went missing during a conference visit to China. She approaches Gabriel Diaz because he and his Centurion Corporation team are working the same event she’s catering, and she had heard they are top notch for this kind of problem. He brushes her off, but when she’s almost killed leaving the event, Gabe and his team realize maybe Maylin is on to something big. When the threats against Maylin keep coming, Gabe pledges to help her get to the bottom of things, no matter what. Of course, they also have Feels for each other, and they have to decide how to explore, too.

I loved that Maylin was a chef, and she used cooking to show her love and appreciation. There’s a scene where Gabe’s cool, badass team is helping her in a cool, badass way. She obviously can’t do the hero stuff, so instead she pulls out a picnic basket full of amazing food for everyone on the team, just to offer her version of support. That’s Maylin! She’s smart and holds her own, no small feat given that the rest are soldier/hero types, but she is also keenly aware of her own limitations. Gabe is a lovely match for her, too. He also takes care of those he loves, though he does it through his tough guy actions rather than food. I also appreciated that while he’s a major alpha, he’s still respectful and kind. He cares about Maylin’s feelings (and isn’t afraid of them), values her input, and accepts responsibility for his mistakes without minimizing her feelings. Action heroes can be decent human beings too!

The side characters were interesting, though my favorite was Jewel, the…well, she’s not exactly a villain but she’s definitely an antagonist. Jewel was Gabe’s former lover and teammate who betrayed them and has gone to a rival, morally suspect agency. Something complicated is clearly going on to make her do what she’s done, and I better get her story eventually so I can see more of her badassery, or I will be very, very sad.

Yes, this is still an action adventure story, so there are explosions and secret organizations and guns out the wazoo and the plot doesn’t always hold together under scrutiny, but that’s half the fun. Plus, the characters are interesting and you’re rooting for them the whole way. For me it was the perfect blend!

Grade: 4 out of 5

Reading Order:

Hidden Impact
Deadly Testimony
Contracted Defense

four-stars

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Review: Black Rainbow by J.J. McAvoy

Posted July 27, 2015 by Rowena in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Black Rainbow by J.J. McAvoyReviewer: Rowena
Black Rainbow by J.J. McAvoy
Published by NYLA
Publication Date: May 15th 2015
Genres: Romance, New Adult, Multicultural & Interracial, Contemporary
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three-stars

A sweet and steamy New Adult Romance from author of the bestselling Ruthless People series, J.J. McAvoy...

After an erotic one-week fling with a musician she meets in a bar, Thea Cunning never expects to see Levi Black again. Then Monday morning comes around, and she discovers that her former lover is not only her professor, but he’s also one of the top criminal lawyers in the state of Massachusetts.With everyone in class vying to be one of the twelve disciples—a group of twelve students that Professor Black takes under his wing—tensions run high. Thea considers dropping his class, given their passionate week together and their undeniable chemistry. After all, there are other (less infuriatingly sexy) law professors on campus.But to accomplish her goal and get her father out of prison, Thea knows she needs to learn under the best of the best—and that’s Levi Black.But can she learn under the best, without being under the best?

When Ames told me about this book, I really wanted to check it out because How to get Away with Murder? I can dig it. So I had some pretty high hopes going into the story and at first, I didn’t think that I was going to finish it. I thought the dialogue was pretty cheesy and Thea low key got on my nerves with her attitude but for some reason, I couldn’t put this one down for good. I needed to find out what happened, if Thea ever got her Dad out of prison and what would happen between Levi and Thea because Levi wanted her something fierce.

What I can say about this book is that it ended up surprising me. I thought for sure in the beginning that I was going to hate this book because the heroine wasn’t really likable to me and the back and forth between here and then got on my nerves but I will say that JJ McAvoy did a great job of making me keep reading. I kept telling myself that I was done when Thea would snap at Levi about something dumb or when Levi would do something in class that made me low key not like him but I kept reading and when I finished, I wasn’t mad.

This wasn’t an easy book to read and while the characters made me roll my eyes down the street from time to time, there were things that I did like. I liked the relationship between Thea and her sister. I liked that her being black and him being white wasn’t a big deal. I liked Levi’s sister and best friend and I liked seeing Levi and Thea’s week together. So while this wasn’t the best book that I’ve read, it was still interesting and Thea’s story really came together in the end which was good so that’s something. And that cover? HOLY HOT DAMN, I LOVE IT!

Grade: 3 out of 5

This book is available from NYLA. You can purchase it here or here in e-format.

three-stars

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Guest Review: Over the Line by Emmy Curtis

Posted December 3, 2014 by Tracy in Reviews | 1 Comment

Guest Review: Over the Line by Emmy CurtisReviewer: Tracy
Over the Line by Emmy Curtis
Series: Alpha Ops #1
Also in this series: Dangerous Territory, Pushing the Limit, Compromised, Pushing the Limit, Over the Line
Published by Grand Central Publishing
Publication Date: October 7th 2014
Genres: Romance, Military, Multicultural & Interracial, Contemporary
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars

Army Special Forces Sergeant Beth Garcia owes James Walker big-time for saving her life in Afghanistan. So the least she can do is agree to be his rock-climbing partner. After a year of physical therapy, she's finally eligible for deployment again, and what better way to celebrate than a weekend with a sexy Air Force hero? She's prepared to kick his ass at climbing-until James reveals what he really has in mind . . .

Pretending to be engaged wasn't the most brilliant idea James ever had. Neither was dragging Beth to his sister's wedding. The competitive tomboy is a far cry from the type of woman his family usually pushes on him. Yet Beth is more exciting than anyone he's ever met, and James has a feeling that if he can get her in bed, she'll blow his mind.

They're just supposed to be acting-but as the wedding weekend wears on, Beth and James have a fighting chance at something real and much more lasting . . .

 

Tracy’s review of Over the Line (Alpha Ops #1) by Emmy Curtis

James Walker saved Beth Garcia’s life while in combat. A year later they meet unexpectedly. He always had a thing for her and she him but neither ever said anything. Now he sees his chance to take her out to dinner and she accepts! Their plans for dinner almost immediately morph into a weekend spent climbing together as James is trying to get away from his family, and his sister’s wedding. That’s until he finds out that both of his sisters have been getting creepy emails from an unknown source. James and Beth decide that they need to go to the wedding and James asks Beth to play his girlfriend to ward off any matchmaking his mother and father might do. Playing girlfriend soon turns into playing his fiancé and while neither really like the deception they agree it’s necessary.

They head to James’s parents house and Beth is overwhelmed with the wealth of the place – that’s when James decides to tell Beth that his father is the Director of the CIA. Wow – completely unexpected – especially as Beth is planning to apply to the CIA when she ends her army duty. She manages to play it cool but James’s family is whack. Seriously messed up – well, at least his parents are. His two sisters are wonderful and he loves them. There’s definitely never a dull moment in the Walker household.

Beth and James end up taking their role as an engaged couple to the next level and end up in bed together – multiple times throughout the weekend but strange things keep happening – attacks on Beth and James’s sister Sadie, the bride among the big ones While both of them would like to just concentrate on the other there are interruptions, gun fights and cocktails with his parents to get through. It certainly wasn’t boring.

This was a pretty great story. I really liked both James and Beth individually and together they were even better. I also loved that the author didn’t try to push an insta-love weekend on us and try to get us to believe it. Yes, most of the book took place during that one weekend but there were no “I Love You’s” spoken during that time and I really appreciated it. Because of their close proximity James and Beth were able to explore each other in a way that they probably wouldn’t have ever done had they just gone to dinner or even spent the weekend climbing. The closeness that created made for some pretty great sex scenes and a very good love story. 🙂

I think this was a good follow up to Curtis’s 0.5 novella, Dangerous Territory, and I can’t wait to read what happens with James’s ex girlfriend Harry and Air Force Sergeant Matt in the next book. So far a great series.

Rating: 4 out of 5

This title is available from Forever Yours Publishing.   You can buy it here or here in e-format. This book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

four-stars

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