Publisher: Carina Press

Guest Review: Drawn to the Wolves by Shari Mikels

Posted May 22, 2017 by Tracy in Reviews | 1 Comment

Guest Review: Drawn to the Wolves by Shari MikelsReviewer: Tracy
Drawn to the Wolves by Shari Mikels
Published by Carina Press
Publication Date: May 22nd 2017
Pages: 105
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Goodreads
three-stars

The pack's alpha has finally found his fated mate…and she's terrified of wolves.

Wolf shifter Callan Mohan has a powerful connection to his pack. As alpha, he can sense if something is wrong—and when he feels panic coming from an unknown source, his instincts tell him she's someone to be protected at all costs.

Rescuing a stranger from an unexpected confrontation with two wolf shifters is easy. Helping her move from fear to acceptance of the animals—and him—is a challenge.

Kate Ballard's attraction to her mysterious rescuer is instant. That she falls for Callan so quickly isn't surprising—his strong, confident presence puts her at ease, and the strange connection she has to him makes her feel safe almost immediately. He's the man she didn't know she was waiting for.

It's only a matter of time before Callan has to tell Kate the truth. And find out, once and for all, if her love for him is enough to overcome her fear.

Kate Ballard has worked for the Atlanta PD for the past 10 years.  She has empathic abilities and after 10 years of drawing human monsters she just couldn’t do it any longer.  She’s now taking a much needed rest and she’s in Whiskey Grove, Tennessee on the advice of her best friend.  She plans on relaxing and sketching wildlife to her hearts content.

The first afternoon she’s out sketching, however, she runs into trouble.  She was told to stay of a certain plot of land but after chasing an eagle she finds herself facing the barrel of a gun.  The man wants to shoot her and she’s terrified of the humongous wolves the man has at his sides.

Kate is rescued by Callan.  He calms the gun holder enough to get Kate out of there.  From the first moment that he sees Kate, and feels her in his head, he knows that she’s his mate.  The problem is that Kate has an unbelievable fear of wolves and telling her that he’s a shifter might just make her run from him instead of to him.

This was a sweet little novella.  I liked Kate and Callan both and though they were good for each other.  Their relationship started off pretty quickly but since he knew that she was his fated mate he didn’t waste any time.  Before you know it she’s practically living with him which was fast but again, fated mates.

I found myself entrenched in the book when Kate was being held at gunpoint and was excited to go from there.  Unfortunately I didn’t care for the way Kate handled her fear and the shifter issue.  The way the author wrote her I got the feeling that she would have handled it differently but she ran.  I was happy to read that that part of it wasn’t drawn out too long and Kate and Callan got their HEA.

If you’re looking for a quick, easy paranormal story to read this would be a good one.

Rating: 3 out of 5

three-stars


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Review: Pretty Face by Lucy Parker

Posted February 21, 2017 by Rowena in Reviews | 3 Comments

Review: Pretty Face by Lucy ParkerReviewer: Rowena
Pretty Face by Lucy Parker
Series: London Celebrities #2
Published by Carina Press
Publication Date: February 20th 2017
Pages: 264
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four-stars

Highly acclaimed, award-winning author of Act Like It Lucy Parker returns readers to the London stage with laugh-out-loud wit and plenty of drama

The play's the fling

It's not actress Lily Lamprey's fault that she's all curves and has the kind of voice that can fog up a camera lens. She wants to prove where her real talents lie—and that's not on a casting couch, thank you. When she hears esteemed director Luc Savage is renovating a legendary West End theater for a lofty new production, she knows it could be her chance—if only Luc wasn't so dictatorial, so bad-tempered and so incredibly sexy.

Luc Savage has respect, integrity and experience. He also has it bad for Lily. He'd be willing to dismiss it as a midlife crisis, but this exasperating, irresistible woman is actually a very talented actress. Unfortunately, their romance is not only raising questions about Lily's suddenly rising career, it's threatening Luc's professional reputation. The course of true love never did run smooth. But if they're not careful, it could bring down the curtain on both their careers…

This book is approximately 96,000 words

One-click with confidence. This title is part of the Carina Press Romance Promise: all the romance you're looking for with an HEA/HFN. It's a promise! Find out more at CarinaPress.com/RomancePromise

Pretty Face is the second book in Lucy Parker’s London Celebrities series and it was another winner in my book. I adored Luc. I loved Lily and I really, really loved their romance.

Lily Lamprey’s soap opera career is coming to an end and she’s looking forward to moving on from the homewrecking role she’s been playing for far too long. She’s young and she’s got the rest of her life and career ahead of her but not a lot of people think she’s got what it takes to really make a go of it in the theater world.

Luc Savage is renovating an old West End theater and he’s producing the first play that will debut in the new space and at first glance, Lily is not what he’s looking for in any role on the play. Her voice is all wrong for the theater and not even threats of investors pulling their funding is going to stop him from doing what he wants but that all changes when he meets with Lily and gives her a legit shot. Not only can he see her bringing life to one of the key characters in the play, but he can also seeing her being a star in the theater world.

There’s a huge age difference between the hero and heroine in this one. The hero is 40 and the heroine is 26 but that didn’t matter to me. The romance between the two of them worked well and that’s a credit to Parker’s writing style. There was so much going on and so many road blocks in between the two of these guys that something as small as the age difference just didn’t matter. I liked getting to know Lily and Luc on their own but I adored the two of them together.

They both had lives apart from each other but they were pretty drawn to each other and I liked that. Holly and I were talking just last week about how we’ve been noticing that romance novels these days have the hero and the heroine in each other’s pockets for the entire book. There doesn’t seem to be a lot going on in their lives apart from each other and we miss the couples of old, who had friends and family that were a part of their lives and their stories but that wasn’t the case here. Luc had his family and stuff going on with them whereas Lily had her best friend and family and her own stuff going on with them.

All in all, this was another fabulous read by Lucy Parker and she’s cemented her name on my radar and I will definitely be reading more from her. This was an entertaining novel about two completely different people who came together and made sense. Their love grew with passing page and I was completely on board with their feelings, their passion and their story. It’s a definite recommended read from me.

Grade: 4.25 out of 5

four-stars


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Guest Review: Seconds to Sunrise by Nico Rosso

Posted January 16, 2017 by Jen in Reviews | 2 Comments

Guest Review: Seconds to Sunrise by Nico RossoReviewer: Jen
Seconds to Sunrise by Nico Rosso
Series: Black Ops: Automatik #3
Also in this series: Seconds to Sunrise
Published by Carina Press
Publication Date: January 16th 2017
Genres: Romantic Suspense
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
three-half-stars

Readers of Maya Banks’s KGI series will love the adrenaline-fueled, pulse-pounding suspense of Nico Rosso's SECONDS TO SUNRISE
She thought she’d lost everything…

April Banks thought her website crashing was just a glitch. Starting the online forum for war widows has been the only thing keeping her together since her husband died, and she won’t let anything interfere with her work. But this is no technical malfunction—cyberterrorists have targeted the information locked in April’s website and they’ll do anything to get it. Even if that means removing April. Permanently.

He’ll make them pay…

Automatik gave former SAS agent James Sant a way to protect the innocent again. He thinks life in the shadows is all he deserves…until he meets his newest assignment. April is everything James has never let himself want and he knows she’s already had too much heartbreak in her life to risk feeling for him. But keeping things professional while hunting the hackers with the gorgeous widow is going to be the hardest job he’s ever taken on.

This book is approximately 75,000 words

One-click with confidence. This title is part of the Carina Press Romance Promise: all the romance you’re looking for with an HEA/HFN. It’s a promise! Find out more at CarinaPress.com/RomancePromise

This is the third book in Nico Rosso’s Black Ops: Automatik series, and this time we meet Automatik operator James Sant, who is called in to help widow April Banks. April runs a website for war widows, and it’s given her a purpose and helped her move on after her own husband died in combat. The site was hacked and brought down, though, and personal data of site visitors was stolen. (Why? Personally I was never clear on why the hackers were trying to accomplish. The premise seemed a little flimsy.) James and April have to physically track down the hackers so they can protect the site users and put a stop to whoever is behind the attack.

This book is a bit of fun and fast paced action. I always love a good road trip, and we get one here. James and April have to chase clues through multiple states to track down the hackers, which leads to some great get-to-know-you time. James is an interesting character because he’s not always been with the “good guys”. He has some major guilt and you can see why he’d be so dedicated to spending the rest of his life making up for past choices, as it were. I enjoyed seeing him work to move beyond his past and acknowledge the good he has done since. I also loved the short scene with his dad. I wish we had gotten to spend more time with him, because seeing James with his family really drove home the point that he WAS a decent guy who just made some questionable choices.

I often feel like Rosso’s books are great for the action but not as great at touching your heartstrings, and Seconds to Sunrise was no exception. I expected more emotion from April’s story in particular, as she lost a husband she loved to war. Instead, I felt like the story just assumed it was obvious that such a loss was really painful, instead of helping us see April’s pain. There was also a little depth missing from James and April’s relationship. The right pieces are all there, but the dialogue and inner thoughts just don’t quite express that deeper emotional connection that I personally enjoy in romances. It’s not that I didn’t like them as a couple or enjoy reading their story, but I certainly didn’t end the book with a sweet sigh and won’t be fondly remembering their relationship. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, just something you want to know going in.

If you like action packed romances with racially/ethnically diverse characters and some hot sex, check this one out.

Grade: 3.5 out of 5

*I received a review copy of this book from the publisher.

three-half-stars


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Guest Review: Seconds to Sunrise by Nico Rosso

Posted January 5, 2017 by Tracy in Reviews | 3 Comments

Guest Review: Seconds to Sunrise by Nico RossoReviewer: Tracy
Seconds to Sunrise by Nico Rosso
Series: Black Ops: Automatik #3
Also in this series: Seconds to Sunrise
Published by Carina Press
Publication Date: January 16th 2017
Genres: Romantic Suspense
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
three-half-stars

She thought she’d lost everything…

April Banks thought her website crashing was just a glitch. Starting the online forum for war widows has been the only thing keeping her together since her husband died, and she won’t let anything interfere with her work. But this is no technical malfunction—cyberterrorists have targeted the information locked in April’s website and they’ll do anything to get it. Even if that means removing April. Permanently.

He’ll make them pay…

Automatik gave former SAS agent James Sant a way to protect the innocent again. He thinks life in the shadows is all he deserves…until he meets his newest assignment. April is everything James has never let himself want and he knows she’s already had too much heartbreak in her life to risk feeling for him. But keeping things professional while hunting the hackers with the gorgeous widow is going to be the hardest job he’s ever taken on.

April Banks survived the death of her husband by starting a website for that supported military widows.  The site grew and eventually there was a financial component so that if the need arose, and people wanted to help those in need, they could.  Now a hacker has crashed her site and is trying to get all of the financial information off of the site.  If successful, thousands of women would have their credit cards and identities revealed.  April tries to stop them but can’t get a lead on who is behind it all.

Enter James Sant. He is an ex-SAS agent who now works for a group called Automatik.  They help those who can’t help themselves and April is one of them.  He and his partner are assigned to just watch her but soon it becomes obvious that the hacker has hired out people to get April out of the picture.  Instead of just watching, James ends up partnering with April and they head out to check out leads when they get them and are attacked time and again.  During it all April and James become closer and April starts to see that maybe there is life after tragedy.

Seconds to Sunrise is the third book in the Black Ops: Automatik series.  I didn’t read the first two books in the series but this was a decent stand alone novel.

I thought the book had a good premise and I liked the characters for the most part.  I did find that I wanted to get to know them more by the end of the story, however.  I think I was supposed to feel more emotional toward April due to the loss of her husband but I never really felt that.  Did I think it sad and tragic? Absolutely, but I didn’t have an emotional reaction to it.  Because of this I couldn’t fully grasp April’s hesitance in going after James and I believe that put a damper on the entire story for me. I couldn’t even get into the sex scene because I wasn’t feeling the connection between the H/h (and it was a long scene!).

That being said, there were some things I definitely liked about the book.  The action scenes were great.  I’ve always loved Rosso’s action scenes as they’re written so well that I feel that I’m there in the middle of it all.  I also  liked the aspect of the story that pertained to James and his issues with his past.  He wasn’t proud of them at all and had hidden the information from everyone.  Meeting April made him realize that he couldn’t live with the guilt and secrecy and he came clean to her and his coworkers.  That was a wonderful part of the book which I liked a lot.  Overall it was a good suspense novel…I just wasn’t feeling the romance part of it.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

three-half-stars


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Guest Review: Tell Me No Lies by Lisa Hall

Posted December 28, 2016 by Tina R in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: Tell Me No Lies by Lisa HallReviewer: Tina
Tell Me No Lies by Lisa Hall

Publication Date: October 20th 2016
Genres: Women's Fiction
Pages: 183
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars

From the bestselling author of Between You and Me don’t miss Lisa Hall’s new gripping thriller.

Don’t. Trust. Anyone.

It was supposed to be a fresh start.

A chance to forget the past and embrace the future.

But can you ever really start again?

Or does the past follow you wherever you go…

I have to admit that even though I enjoy many different genres of books, I always tend to gravitate towards women’s fiction and psychological thrillers. I saw Tell Me No Lies on NetGalley and after reading the summary, I submitted my request with my fingers crossed. I had heard a little bit about the author, Lisa Hall, on Goodreads because of her book Between You and Me. One of my “friends” had read it and gave it five stars. So, when I saw that I got approved for a review copy of this one I was pretty stoked. By the way, I purchased Between You and Me on Amazon right before I wrote this review.

I have to tell you that I started this book shortly after I received it and finished it pretty quickly as well. The only problem was that I read it late one night after everybody else went to sleep and my menopausal insomnia chose to keep me up. Yep, you can always count on me for a little TMI! Anyway, being a slightly paranoid person anyway, ( I mean how many times can you check to see if a door is locked??) I started reading and all was good. Well about a third of the way into it, I started getting that creepy vibe and every pop and crack of the house suddenly became somebody coming to get me! Not cool! So, fyi, if you get spooked easy, read this one during the day.

I really did enjoy this book. It was intense read and kept me powering through it because I was determined to finish it before I went to bed. As you read this book you might get that feeling that maybe you read it before, but you probably just watched a movie that was very much like it. I pretty much had it figured out by the last couple of chapters, but I still had to read on as you never know if the author is going to switch it up on you or not! But I have to tell you….I don’t really know how I feel about the ending. I mean I’m not sure if it was so unexpected that I am just freaked out by it or if I hated it. To me it was like driving 85 down the highway and slamming on your brakes! I’m sure Lisa Hall did that on purpose and that it was her intention to leave us all going “WHAT????”. At least I HOPE that was her intention..

I thought this was a great book. It had everything that a really good psychological thriller should have. Well….except that ending. But I will leave that up to you to decide for yourself. I am still on the fence about it. Great book – bizarre ending. Not gonna lie.

I would like to thank the publisher and NetGalley for providing me with a copy of this book in return for my honest review. I enjoyed it and think that if the summary sounds interesting you should give it a try. It’s a relatively quick read and only took a couple of hours from start to finish.

four-stars


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