Tag: Self-Published

Guest Review: Trust by Kylie Scott

Posted July 25, 2017 by Tracy in Reviews | 2 Comments

Guest Review: Trust by Kylie ScottReviewer: Tracy
Trust by Kylie Scott
Published by Kylie Scott
Publication Date: July 18th 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
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four-stars

Being young is all about the experiences: the first time you skip school, the first time you fall in love…the first time someone holds a gun to your head.

After being held hostage during a robbery at the local convenience store, seventeen-year-old Edie finds her attitude about life shattered. Unwilling to put up with the snobbery and bullying at her private school, she enrolls at the local public high school, crossing paths with John. The boy who risked his life to save hers.

While Edie’s beginning to run wild, however, John’s just starting to settle down. After years of partying and dealing drugs with his older brother, he’s going straight—getting to class on time, and thinking about the future.

An unlikely bond grows between the two as John keeps Edie out of trouble and helps her broaden her horizons. But when he helps her out with another first—losing her virginity—their friendship gets complicated.

Meanwhile, Edie and John are pulled back into the dangerous world they narrowly escaped. They were lucky to survive the first time, but this time they have more to lose—each other.

Edie is spending the night at her friend Georgia’s house and having a movie night during summer break. They’re in the middle of a Harry Potter marathon but end up driving across town at midnight to fill up on snacks.  Edie is dressed in pajamas but less revealing PJ’s than her friend so she heads into the Drop Stop to get the snacks.  Unfortunately for Edie she ends up in the middle of a robbery that leaves two dead.  One of the customers in the store starts talking to the robber and Edie starts to wonder if they’re together but she soon figures out that he’s trying to save their lives.  After a crazy standoff Edie and the talker, John, make it out of the store with their lives.

Obviously Edie’s not the same person coming out as she was when she went into the store that night.  Having a gun shoved into your mouth tends to make a person look at life differently.  Edie just wants to be left alone and refuses all interviews but her best friend…ex-best friend goes on camera and twists everything that Edie had told her about John and how he’d helped out the night of the robbery.  Edie is heartbroken.  When she gets back to her private school she starts to get teased but the resident bully – as she has been for the past three years – but she finds she’s not going to take it any longer.  After a horrible first day of school Edie ends up in the public school where she meets…John, her savior from the Drop Stop.

Everyone tells her to stay away from John as he’s the local pot dealer but John says he’s quite dealing and is trying to be a model citizen.  After the night at the Drop Stop and seeing what drugs can do to a person, John is determined to have a better life.  John tells Edie to stay away from him because she’ll look guilty for everything just by association. Edie doesn’t listen and soon the pair are inseparable.  Can the two learn to trust each other enough to take their relationship farther or will their past come back to get them in the end?

This was such a great story.  With the robbery scene happening right off the bat when the book begins it truly sucked me in.  Scott wrote the scene so very well and I was actually scared while reading it – on the edge of my seat waiting to see what happened.  It was good.

The remainder of the story was Edie and John trying to deal with their lives and falling in love after their ordeal.  It was a time of distrust for both of them and the way they dealt with their issues was worth reading about.  John was what was considered a bad boy but he really had a good heart and was a good guy in the end.  Edie needed John’s strength so that she could find her own in the end and she did,  in a big way.

The story is a good and a book I definitely recommend.

Though only a couple of places were mentioned about the town that the book took place in, it was cool as I used to live in that town in Northern California.  It was cool to read about that small but great town. 😊

Rating: 4 out of 5

four-stars


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Review: Clean Sweep by Ilona Andrews

Posted July 24, 2017 by Holly in Reviews | 2 Comments

Review: Clean Sweep by Ilona AndrewsReviewer: Holly
Clean Sweep (Innkeeper Chronicles, #1) by Ilona Andrews
Series: Innkeeper Chronicles #1
Published by Self-Published
Publication Date: December 2nd 2013
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 235
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-half-stars

On the outside, Dina Demille is the epitome of normal. She runs a quaint Victorian Bed and Breakfast in a small Texas town, owns a Shih Tzu named Beast, and is a perfect neighbor, whose biggest problem should be what to serve her guests for breakfast. But Dina is...different: Her broom is a deadly weapon; her Inn is magic and thinks for itself. Meant to be a lodging for otherworldly visitors, the only permanent guest is a retired Galactic aristocrat who can’t leave the grounds because she’s responsible for the deaths of millions and someone might shoot her on sight. Under the circumstances, "normal" is a bit of a stretch for Dina.

And now, something with wicked claws and deepwater teeth has begun to hunt at night....Feeling responsible for her neighbors, Dina decides to get involved. Before long, she has to juggle dealing with the annoyingly attractive, ex-military, new neighbor, Sean Evans—an alpha-strain werewolf—and the equally arresting cosmic vampire soldier, Arland, while trying to keep her inn and its guests safe. But the enemy she’s facing is unlike anything she’s ever encountered before. It’s smart, vicious, and lethal, and putting herself between this creature and her neighbors might just cost her everything.

Dina runs an Inn for otherworldly beings. In order to keep Earth safe from other races with superior technology, it was made a neutral stopover point and Inns were set up to house travelers. The first priority of Innkeepers is to keep their guests safe, while keeping their existence a secret from the outside world. Gertrude Hunt is Dina’s inn. It’s a fledgling Inn that was dormant for a long time and doesn’t have a lot of power.

She has one permanent guest and not a lot else going on. Caldenia is a fugitive who signed a treaty with Dina to remain a permanent guest of the Inn. Dina will keep her safe inside the sanctuary of the Inn, as long as Caldenia doesn’t kill another guest. As a living entity, the Inn needs guests to flourish and thrive. The Inn itself is where Dina gets her magic from. It’s capable of rearranging itself outside the laws of physics, and providing security when needed. Even Dina’s dog is more than she seems. She’s a Shih Tzu by day, but make her angry at your peril.

Dina crosses paths with her neighbor, Sean Evans, an alpha-strain werewolf, when something starts killing the neighborhood dogs. She asks him to take care of it and he blows her off. She decides to handle it herself, but she and Sean keep butting heads.

When a group of vampires show up and it turns out they’re connected to the thing killing the neighborhood dogs, Dina and Sean must work together, along with Arland, the vampire Lord Marshall, to figure out what’s going on, keep the neighborhood safe and protect the humans from finding out what’s happening.

The world is amazing. It’s like watching a movie unfold. Needless to say, this book – and the entire series – is fantastic. A must read it. Really.

4.75 out of 5

four-half-stars


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Guest Review: Ancient Heat by Kira Shayde

Posted July 17, 2017 by Tracy in Reviews | 1 Comment

Guest Review: Ancient Heat by Kira ShaydeReviewer: Tracy
Ancient Heat by Kira Shayde

Publication Date: June 10th 2017
Genres: Romance
Pages: 332
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three-stars

She's trapped in another woman’s body…and the other woman is a werelion.

Nicole Abramson gains more than razor-sharp claws and a taste for raw meat. With a latent telekinetic talent, she’s a weapon to be used in a millennia-long war, but will she serve or resist? Fighting for her life, Nicole rails against the thief who stole her ordinary and safe life, even as she seeks comfort from the woman’s intended mate, the gorgeous Sander Evans.

Although drawn to her outspokenness, Sander keeps Nicole at bay while he defends his clan. Werelions and humans don’t mix, yet he can’t deny the passion igniting between them, particularly with her body in heat. As the danger around them amplifies, they’ll need more than courage and strength to fight for their newfound attraction—and their lives.

Nicole wakes up in a strange room, in a strange bed, with a strange man in her room.  To say she’s freaked out is putting it mildly.  When she finds out that she’s in someone else’s body, all hell breaks loose.

Apparently her brain/soul was put into the body of a shapeshifter named Marseille who is “engaged” to the alpha of the Werelions, Sander.  When he finally believes that what Nicole is saying is true he’s pissed off, to say the least.  They head to Nicole’s house (about 3 hours away) and find Sander’s intended living quite happily in Nicole’s body.

It seems that Marseille never intended to mate with Sander – she was just there because the elders had a plan that involved Nicole helping their kind win a war against their enemy, the Followers.  Everyone is mad but despite that Nicole and Sander start getting closer.  Or do they? Every time Nicole thinks they’re on the same page, Sander pushes her away.  Nicole cries and then he feels bad and then the cycle happens again.

Nicole can definitely help the werelions with the enemy but when she starts to fall in love with Sander she’s confused.  What will happen when she gets back in to her human body – he’ll hate her.  Can they even be together if they survive an attack by the Followers?

There were a lot of good things about this book. I liked the premise, and the writing was definitely engaging.

Unfortunately there was just as much bad as good. The heroine of this story annoyed the ever-loving shit outta me with her whining and constant pity parties. While the hero was better he was still a bit of a bastard at times.

Werelions actually think that humans stink.  Like, they have an odor that can hardly be tolerated. Sander says he has feelings for Nicole but if she goes back to her human body what will happen?  When Nicole asks Sander if he had a choice of being with Marseille in Nicole’s body or Nicole in Marseille’s body, would he overcome his aversion to humans to be with his intended his reply is ridiculous.  He says – would you have sex with a dog?  Seriously?  He thinks humans are dogs but he’s falling in love with Nicole? Ugh.  My brain was just fried by that point.

Between Nicole’s ups and downs and her supposed telekinetic abilities that no one except the elders even knew about, including Nicole, it was all a bit much.  I do have to say that the author’s imagination is pretty darned creative.  Her Werelion/Follower war was inventive and that’s what kept me reading.

Rating: 3 out of 5

three-stars


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Joint Review: Stay by Sarina Bowen & Elle Kennedy

Posted July 6, 2017 by Rowena in Reviews | 2 Comments

Joint Review: Stay by Sarina Bowen & Elle KennedyReviewer: Holly & Rowena
Stay by Sarina Bowen, Elle Kennedy
Series: WAGS #2
Published by Self-Published
Publication Date: June 20th, 2017
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 295
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Goodreads
four-stars

Can you fall in love with someone you've never even met?

Hailey Taylor Emery has a hunch that her favorite client at Fetch--an anonymous virtual assistant service--is actually hockey star Matt Eriksson.

Although it's against the rules for her to check his file, she's 95% sure she spends at least part of each day texting with her lifelong crush and catering to his every need. Still nursing a wounded heart thanks to her recent breakup, Hailey is perfectly content with some harmless online flirting...until she has to meet her client. Face to face. Cue: utter panic.

Matt Eriksson is no stranger to heartbreak. He's still not over the destruction of his marriage, and it sucks to be the only guy on the team who knows the truth--that hockey and long-term relationships are a toxic mix. He barely sees his kids, and dealing with his ex makes him feel insane. The only person in his life who seems to understand is someone who won't show her pretty face.

But it's nothing that a pair of fourth row hockey seats can't fix. Hailey can't resist the offer. Matt can't resist Hailey. Good thing he doesn't have to. Fire up the kiss cam!

Warning: Contains rabid hockey fans, misunderstood dick pics, hockey players at the opera and exploding ovaries.

Rowena: This month, Holly and I are reviewing Stay by Sarina Bowen & Elle Kennedy. Stay is the second book in their WAGS series and it features Matty Cakes Eriksson and Hailey Taylor Emery.

Hailey is a total hockey fan. She’s loyal to her team and has the biggest crush on Matt Eriksson. She also runs a virtual assistant business and one of her biggest clients is Matt Eriksson. At least she thinks he is. She doesn’t know for sure because he marked the privacy box on his initial form but she’s pretty sure Sniper87 is Matthew Eriksson, the star of all of her fantasies.

Matt is divorced and with the help of his virtual assistant, he’s building a home that his kids will feel comfortable in when they come to stay with him. He couldn’t do half of what he’s doing without his virtual assistant, HTE and he’s developed his own crush on her. He finds himself flirting with her and wanting to meet her. Whether it’s a good idea or not is the question…

What did you think of the book, Holly?

Holly: I really liked it. Somehow I skipped the first book in the series, so this is my first taste of the WAGs. I really liked how well-blanaced the story was. Sometimes we were dealing with Hailey’s baggage, sometimes Matt’s. Sometimes it was the trials and tribulations of Hailey running her own company, sometimes Matt’s hockey schedule.

I thought it was cute how they both sort of anonymously developed crushes on each other.

Rowena: I read the first book and think you should go back and read it. It was just a great as this book. It’s Blake and Jess’ book so seriously, go back and read it. 🙂

I agree with you on how well balanced this book was. I appreciated the hell out of that because I wasn’t left wanting more from either of the main characters so that was good. I really enjoyed getting to know both Matt and Hailey and thought they were too cute together.

What did you think about Matt’s ex-wife?

Holly: Honestly I don’t know what I think about her. On the one hand she was terrible to Matt, but on the other hand she apologized in the end and seemed to come around. I don’t know if I fully buy into how easy it was, though. One confrontation and all is well?

I thought Hailey’s relationship with her ex was more complicated and more ..real? I liked that it wasn’t easy for her to run the company with her ex, but they both worked hard to come to a good place together both personally and professionally, if that makes sense?

Rowena: I liked that Matt finally told her where to put her stupid judgments of the way that he fathers their girls but like you, I didn’t completely buy it. I think on Matt’s part, he said what he had to say and while he didn’t completely forgive her, he was done with her and her new boo. He had Hailey and the girls and that was enough for him.

Yeah, I liked reading about Hailey’s complicated life working with her ex-husband and when she opened his sex box, I laughed out loud. Because…damn.

Okay, am I the only person that thought Hailey’s pervy client was O’Connor? LOL.

Holly: OMG! I thought that too!! I just knew when they finally met him in person or was going to be O’Connor. I’m kind of disappointed it wasn’t. Haha

I think you’re right about the way Matt felt, I guess I’m more surprised that she was so quick to apologize after. Based on the way she acted throughout I fully expected her to continue to be a bitch.

I laughed out loud several times. The incident with her ex’s sex toys had me rolling.

I really loved Jenny and the friendship between her and Hailey. I’d love to see her get a book. Do you think O’Connor and the figure skater will be next?

Rowena: Haha, I’m glad to see that I wasn’t the only one. I mean, I get that O’Connor needs to be redeemed because I knew that he was going to get his own book, but it still would have been funny if that pervy client was him. I do think that the next book is going to be him and the figure skater.

Who else do you think is going to get a book? I can’t tell.

I really like Sarina Bowen & Elle Kennedy writing together. I hope they continue writing all of the books because I loved all of the books that I’ve read by them so far.

I liked Jenny too but who would she get with? Lemming? Was that his name? I forgot already. LOL.

Holly: I’m not sure who else will get book either. Definitely O’Connor and the figure skater. And I hope Jenny. Aside from that i have no clue.

You mean Lemur? Haha. That would be hilarious. I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

Overall I really enjoyed this book. I really liked the friendships between the women (Jenny and Hailey, plus the WAGs) and the men (Matt with his teammates) and the romance. I liked how well balanced it was. I did think the situation with his ex-wife was resolved a little too easily, but that was a minor complaint.

I’m giving thus a 4 out of 5. You?

Do you think Jackson and Melinda will get a book?

Rowena: It’s got to be someone on the team because the series is called WAGS so whoever gets a book has to be a WAG, right? That’s why I don’t think Jackson and Melinda will get a book. Jackson isn’t a hockey player so he can’t make Melinda a WAG.

Yeah, Lemur or the guy that they call Lemur cause I know that’s not his name either.

Same. I think that Sarina Bowen & Elle Kennedy need to write books together forever. I enjoyed this one and am looking forward to more. I was talking with Nath the other day and she mentioned how similar this book was to Pipe Dreams by Sarina Bowen and I agree that the stories are pretty similar but it didn’t bother me. I enjoyed both books and thought that there were enough differences for both books to stand out for me.

For me, this book was a 4.25 out of 5 read. Good stuff!

Holly’s Grade: 4 out of 5
Rowena’s Grade: 4.25 out of 5

four-stars


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Guest Review: Lip Action by Virna DePaul

Posted June 19, 2017 by Tracy in Reviews | 1 Comment

Guest Review: Lip Action by Virna DePaulReviewer: Tracy
Lip Action by Virna DePaul
Series: Kiss Talent Agency #1

Publication Date: April 23rd, 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 195
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
three-half-stars


Marissa

Appearance is everything to my upper-crust mother, but when she insists I take back my pedigreed-but-cheating ex? I’d rather stab myself with a salad fork. So I blurt out I’m dating someone new. Someone like…that smoking-hot, vaguely familiar guy across the restaurant, who could be the next James Bond.

Turns out he’s the star of my favorite, cheesy, sci-fi soap opera. (Don’t judge me.) One minute I’m fantasizing about Borg and his green-hued abs. The next, Simon Dale is making me an offer my sex-starved body can’t refuse.


Simon

I’m up for a breakout movie role that’ll launch me off the B-list, but I don’t need a script to read the scene between Marissa and her mum. Even though I’m a London gutter rat who never rubbed elbows with a Royal, I easily slip into the role of Marissa’s doting boyfriend. Why? I need a favor in return— a steady girlfriend, just long enough to convince the producers I’ve changed my wild ways.

Trouble is, I’m going all Method on this relationship—and close to losing the one thing that could break me. My heart.

Marissa is kind of Hollywood royalty because of her family’s money.  She doesn’t feel that way and just wants to live her life as a normal person.  Her mother, however, has very different ideas.  When Marissa tells her mother that she broke up with her long-time boyfriend because she found out he’d been cheating on her for 6 months her mother freaks out like it’s the end of the world.  Not that he’d been cheating on Marissa but that she broke it off.  Nice mom.  Not.  Marissa’s mom is insisting that she get back together with her boyfriend but Marissa refuses.  She sees a guy in the country club they’re at and makes up a story saying that she’s already seeing someone new.  Due to a set of circumstances she actually meets the guy and it turns out that he needs a fake girlfriend as well.

Simon is an actor on a TV show where he’s an alien.  He really needs a big break doing some serious film work but no one believes he can do it.  He’s got a playboy reputation and the producers of the one big film he’s being considered for think his reputation will be bad for publicity.  Simon’s not the person they think he is.  He grew up in the streets of London but he got him and his sister out.  He lives simply and saves his money as he doesn’t feel he deserves better.  When he meets Marissa he tells her that it’s all fake but the more time he spends with her the more he can’t get her out of his head.  Unfortunately they’re ruse depends on the producers believing them as well as Marissa’s parents never finding out who he really is.

This was a cute story.  It was a pretty simple fake relationship story but I like the way the author threw some curve balls in there for us.  Having Simon grow up as a London gutter rat was an interesting aspect of the story and of course that effected almost all of his decisions.  He was a good guy and not an actor that made some money and then lived lavishly.  He lived above a bar and saved his money.

Marissa was a woman who had lived under her mother’s thumb for so long she truly didn’t know how to get out from under it.  Being with Simon made her look at her life differently and want to stand up to her mother and do what she wanted with her life.  She grew a lot during the course of the book and I liked who she was at the end.

The relationship with Marissa and Simon started out as just playing a part, then just sex and then more.  Of course neither admitted it which is always frustrating when that happens with characters but I liked that they worked it all out in the end.  Overall it was a fun book and I definitely enjoyed reading it.

Rating: 3.75 out of 5

three-half-stars


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