Author: Casee

Review: Where Winter Finds You by J.R. Ward

Posted December 6, 2019 by Casee in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Where Winter Finds You by J.R. WardReviewer: Casee
Where Winter Finds You by J.R. Ward
Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood #17.5
Also in this series: Lover Unbound, Lover Avenged, Lover Unleashed, Lover at Last, Lover at Last, The King, The Shadows, The Beast, Lover Enshrined, The Chosen, Lover Mine, The Thief, The Savior
Publisher: Gallery Books
Publication Date: November 26, 2019
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 480
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Casee's 2019 GoodReads Challenge, GoodReads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
two-half-stars
Series Rating: three-stars

#1 New York Times bestselling author J.R. Ward is heating things up this winter with a holiday novel featuring some of her most iconic Black Dagger Brothers.

When Trez lost his beloved to a tragic death (The Shadows, Black Dagger Brotherhood #13), his soul was crushed and his destiny seemed relegated to suffering. But when he meets a mysterious female, he becomes convinced his true love has been reincarnated. Is he right? Or has his grief created a disastrous delusion?

Therese has come to Caldwell to escape a rift with her bloodline. The revelation that she was adopted and not born into her family shakes the foundations of her identity, and she is determined to make it on her own. Her attraction to Trez is not what she’s looking for, except the sexy Shadow proves to be undeniable.

Has fate provided a grieving widower with a second chance...or is Trez too blinded by the past to see the present for what it really is? In this sensual, arresting book full of the themes of redemption and self-discovery, two lost souls find themselves at a crossroads where the heart is the only compass that can be trusted...but that may require a courage that neither of them possesses.

I don’t know how I feel about this book. My feelings are all tangled up and I can’t quite work out if I liked it or not. I’m very conflicted and I don’t appreciate that very much.

Trez’s story was told in The Shadows. That wasn’t a good book. I can see what JRW was doing as far as Trez’s story arc now that I’ve read WWFY. That doesn’t mean I liked it.

Trez lost his mate, Selena, at the end of The Shadows. She was a Chosen and she had a degenerative disease that only the Chosen get. Trez had to watch his mate die at the end and if that doesn’t mess a person up, what does?

Fast forward a few years. Therese has left home after being lied to about being adopted. Arriving in Caldwell, Therese gets a job as a waitress at Sal’s. She’s determined to support herself and to show that she can stand on her own two feet.

When Trez first lays eyes on Therese, he is floored. She looks exactly like Selena. Like a carbon copy. The feelings that he has for Therese don’t make sense unless she is Selena reincarnated.

I didn’t really care for Therese one way or another. If there was one way to go, I would say I didn’t like her. She was so selfish when she left her family, not even thinking that they were protecting her. That part just rubbed me the wrong way. I did like her reaction when she found out that Trez believed she was his mate reincarnated. I thought it was very appropriate. Other than that, I just didn’t connect with her.

View Spoiler »

 

Rating: 2.5 out of 5.

Black Dagger Brotherhood

two-half-stars


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Books to Binge On: December 2019

Posted December 4, 2019 by Casee in Features | 2 Comments

Books to Binge On

We are already in the last month of 2019. I can hardly believe it. There are some good books coming out this holiday season. Which releases are you looking forward to?


A Madness of Sunshine by Nalini Singh

Anahera Rawiri left New Zealand at twenty-one, fleeing small-town poverty and the ghosts of her childhood with no plans to look back. But eight years later, she returns, seeking familiarity as respite from the shattered remains of her new life. And despite the changes brought on by a bump in tourism–the shiny new welcome sign at the town line and a decidedly less shiny new police presence–Golden Cove appears much as it ever was: a small settlement on the savage West Coast of the South Island, populated by all the remembered faces and set against a backdrop of lush greenery, jagged cliffs, and crashing waves.

Detective Will Gallagher knows all about ghosts; his own chased him out of a promising career in Christchurch, landing him as the sole cop in a quaint town where his most pressing concerns are petty theft and the occasional drunk. When Golden Cove resident Miri Hinewai goes out for a run and fails to return, Will finds himself heading up a missing person’s search that rapidly escalates into an official investigation after this case is connected with similar ones from the past. As an outsider, Will begins to rely on Anahera’s knowledge of the area and its residents to help him delve into Golden Cove’s secrets, and to determine whether it shelters something far more dangerous than just an unforgiving landscape.

Casee: I’m not quite sure how I feel about this release yet. I plan on reading it, but I’m low-key nervous about it.

Rowena: Like Casee, I was low key nervous about reading this book but I’m glad that I read it for review because it was good and I’m looking forward to more books like this from Nalini in the future.


House of Scarlett (Legend Trilogy #2) by Meghan March

Gabriel Legend is unlike any other man I’ve ever met.
He came into my life like a hurricane, shattering all my assumptions and preconceived notions.
I wasn’t prepared for him. I wasn’t prepared for any of it.
But life doesn’t wait until you’re ready.
Whatever happens next, I know one thing for certain.
I will never be the same Scarlett I was before I met him.

Casee: I love Meghan March. I’m really looking forward to diving into this trilogy.


The Rise of Magicks (Chronicles of The One #3) by Nora Roberts

After the sickness known as the Doom destroyed civilization, magick has become commonplace, and Fallon Swift has spent her young years learning its ways. Fallon cannot live in peace until she frees those who have been preyed upon by the government or the fanatical Purity Warriors, endlessly hunted or locked up in laboratories, brutalized for years on end. She is determined to save even those who have been complicit with this evil out of fear or weakness—if, indeed, they can be saved.

Strengthened by the bond she shares with her fellow warrior, Duncan, Fallon has already succeeded in rescuing countless shifters and elves and ordinary humans. Now she must help them heal—and rediscover the light and faith within themselves. For although from the time of her birth, she has been The One, she is still only one. And as she faces down an old nemesis, sets her sights on the enemy’s stronghold, and pursues her destiny—to finally restore the mystical shield that once protected them all—she will need an army behind her…

Casee: I have my fingers crossed that this book is better than the last one.


The Plan Commences (The Rising #2) by Kristen Ashley

Once upon a time, in a parallel universe, there existed the continent of Triton. The land was filled with beauty, but it was also splintered by war. Out of the chaos grew a conspiracy to reawaken the Beast, a fearsome creature who wrought only tragedy and devastation. The only way to stop him was to fulfill an ancient prophecy: Triton’s four strongest warriors must wed its four most powerful witches, binding all nations together and finally bringing peace to the land.

This is the story of their unions: the quiet maiden Silence and the savage king Mars. The cold warrior Cassius and the fiery witch Elena. The steadfast soldier True and the banished beauty Farah. And the pirate king Aramus and the mysterious queen Ha-Lah. Their unions will not be easy, but each couple must succeed, for the fate of their world is at stake….

Casee: I missed the first book in this series, but I plan on rectifying that as soon as possible.


Across Time by Elizabeth O’Roark

Amelie Besson is on the cusp of attaining the life she’s dreamed of—until she finds herself stuck in pre-war France, fifty years before her time. The country is about to be under German rule, but her most immediate problem is Henri Durand, the arrogant and infuriatingly handsome vineyard owner upon whom her survival depends.

The fiercely protective Henri challenges everything Amelie holds true—particularly her hatred of the gift that brought her there in the first place. As the bond between them grows, Amelie will begin to wonder if the life she’s returning to is actually the one she wants, and if her connection to Henri might be strong enough to surmount any obstacle…even time itself.

Casee: This book caught my eye because of the title. I love a good time-travel.


Love Lettering by Kate Clayborn

In this warm and witty romance from acclaimed author Kate Clayborn, one little word puts one woman’s business—and her heart—in jeopardy . . .

Meg Mackworth’s hand-lettering skill has made her famous as the Planner of Park Slope, designing beautiful custom journals for New York City’s elite. She has another skill too: reading signs that other people miss. Like the time she sat across from Reid Sutherland and his gorgeous fiancée, and knew their upcoming marriage was doomed to fail. Weaving a secret word into their wedding program was a little unprofessional, but she was sure no one else would spot it. She hadn’t counted on sharp-eyed, pattern-obsessed Reid . . .

A year later, Reid has tracked Meg down to find out—before he leaves New York for good—how she knew that his meticulously planned future was about to implode. But with a looming deadline, a fractured friendship, and a bad case of creative block, Meg doesn’t have time for Reid’s questions—unless he can help her find her missing inspiration. As they gradually open up to each other about their lives, work, and regrets, both try to ignore the fact that their unlikely connection is growing deeper. But the signs are there—irresistible, indisputable, urging Meg to heed the messages Reid is sending her, before it’s too late . . .

Holly: I didn’t love the first book I read by Clayborn, but I liked it enough to try another. This one sounds really cute.

Rowena: I enjoyed the one and only book that I’ve read by Clayborn more than Holly did though I didn’t enjoy it as much as I thought I would. Doesn’t matter though because I’m all in for this one. It sounds too cute to stay away from.


Blood and Blade (Goddess with a Blade #6) by Lauren Dane

Rowan Summerwaite is ready to finish what she started in Blood and Blade , the next installment in the Goddess with a Blade series by New York Times bestselling author Lauren Dane.

It’s been only days since Rowan and her friends eliminated the immediate threat to magic users and Vampires, but they’re already back on the hunt. Rowan’s out for vengeance, and she’s never been more driven—or angry. But she’s up against a being stronger than any she’s ever fought. To bring it down she’ll need more than the powers the goddess Brigid gave her…

This time she’ll need her friends, too.

She knows her husband will always have her back. As an ancient Vampire and Scion of North America, Clive has more clout and dominance than almost anyone. Rowan’s small but trusted inner circle insist they’ll join her in the thick of the battle, even as she argues it’s too dangerous for them. She’s also got a new dog. Familiar. Whatever. Star is a magical being put in Rowan’s path to help and protect her.

The hunt for ancient evil takes Rowan and her team to London and back to Las Vegas, bringing with them an unexpected alliance. Fortified by their rage, grief and determination, Rowan and her friends will stop at nothing when they track their enemy to the high desert in a final, deadly showdown.

Holly: I’m super behind in this series, but I plan to catch up soon. I love Rowan and I’m really looking forward to getting back to this world.


If I Never Met You by Mhairi McFarlane

When Laurie’s partner of eighteen years, Dan, dumps her to ‘find himself’ (and leave her on the shelf at 36), she is blindsided. But not as blindsided as when he announces that his new girlfriend is now pregnant.

Working in the same office with Dan is soon unbearable – until the day she gets stuck in the lift with her handsome colleague Jamie. Jamie is looking for a way to improve his reputation in the company and what better way for Jamie to advance and Laurie to give the rumour mill something else to talk about than a fake relationship?

As Laurie and Jamie progress from Instagram snaps to dates, dancing and more, Laurie feels herself falling further for her unlikely hero. But you can’t break your heart in a fake relationship. Can you?

Holly: I’ve only read one book by McFarlane so far, but I really enjoyed it. I’m looking forward to this one.

Rowena: I love McFarlane’s books so of course I’m looking forward to this book. I can’t wait to read it!


Forever My Duke (Unlikely Duchesses #2) by Olivia Drake

“I find Miss Fanshawe to be quite charming—for an American.”—The Prince Regent

Hadrian Ames, the Duke of Clayton, needs a bride. He even has the perfect one picked out. That is, until he meets the lovely, free-spirited Natalie Fanshawe. She’s the opposite of what a man of his high rank should desire in a wife—an outspoken American who has never even set foot in a London ballroom.

But Natalie doesn’t have time to be swept off her feet by a handsome duke who must be a spoiled scoundrel like every other British lord. And she couldn’t care less about Hadrian’s title. After all, it’s not as if he actually worked to attain his wealth and status. He surely can’t understand what it’s like to be a busy woman, planning to open a school while trying to reunite a six-year-old orphan with his English relatives. Nevertheless, Hadrian launches his campaign to win her heart. Can the utterly delightful American beauty ever find a way to love him…despite his being a duke?

Holly: I’m trying to read more historicals this year. So far it isn’t really working, but I’ve got this one on my list anyway.


Best Knight Ever (A Kinda Fairytale #4) by Cassandra Gannon

What if a warrior falls in love with his fiercest enemy?

For years, Trystan and Galahad fought on opposite sides of the brutal Looking Glass Campaigns. Trystan is a gryphon, part of a winged race who battled Camelot’s invasion of his homeland. Galahad was a knight of Camelot, who helped his king wage a relentless war, before he saw the dishonor in it and gave up combat forever. The two men have every reason to hate each other.

Now, the Looking Glass Campaigns are finally over. Suddenly, these former opponents on the battlefield need to become allies as they search for a “treasure beyond counting.” Traveling through a fairytale world of scheming enemies, magical temples, and the occasional leprechaun, Trystan and Galahad will have to follow an ancient map towards the lost city of Atlantis. Galahad’s reputation for perfection irritates the hell out of Trystan. Trystan’s propensity to kill everybody upsets Galahad. But the attraction between them is undeniable and growing stronger all the time.

As danger mounts and romance swirls, can these two powerful warriors settle the past and find their happily ever after?

Holly: Tristan’s book! FINALLY. I’m so excited.


Sin & Spirit (Demigod of San Francisco #4) by K.F. Breene

Kieran has stepped up to take his place as the ruler of magical San Francisco. As his girlfriend, that unfortunately means I’m under the magnifying glass. Everything I do is noticed, from how I act to how I style my hair. Most notably, of course, is how little I know about my magic.

The Hades Demigods want me on their team, and they don’t plan to ask nicely. Kieran and I are both under fire. They will kill him to get to me, and they’ll take me by force if necessary. It is essential I learn more of my magic.

With no other options, I do what scares me the most – I summon the last Spirit Walker to help train me. Except, he’s a loose cannon with looser morals and learning spirit is treacherous. I might evade the Demigods only to be lost in spirit forever.

Holly: I love this series so much. I’m ridiculously excited to be getting the next installment. Come to mama.


Meet Me on Love Lane (Hopeless Romantics #2) by Nina Bocci

From the USA TODAY bestselling author of On the Corner of Love and Hate comes a romantic comedy about a woman who grudgingly returns home to small-town Pennsylvania, only to find herself falling in love—not only with the town, but with two of its citizens.

Charlotte Bishop is out of options in New York City. Fired, broke, and blacklisted by her former boss, she’s forced to return to her hometown of Hope Lake, PA to lick her wounds. Although she’s expecting to find a miserable place with nothing to do, she is pleasantly surprised to discover it is bustling and thriving.

She’s only supposed to be in Hope Lake temporarily until she can earn enough money to move back to New York. She’s not supposed to reconnect with her childhood friends or her beloved grandmother. She’s not supposed to find her dream job running the local florist shop. And she’s definitely not supposed to fall for not one but two of Hope Lake’s golden boys: one the beloved high school English teacher, the other the charming town doctor.

With a heart torn between two men and two cities, what’s a girl to do?

A perfect blend of humor and heart, Meet Me on Love Lane is the second in a new series from USA TODAY bestselling author Nina Bocci that is sure to charm fans of Josie Silver and Sally Thorne.

Rowena: This book looks like a lot of holiday fun and I’m here for that so sign me up!


The Dating Charade by Melissa Ferguson

Just when you think you’ve met your match . . . the charade begins.

Cassie Everson is an expert at escaping bad first dates. And, after years of meeting, greeting, and running from the men who try to woo her, Cassie is almost ready to retire her hopes for a husband—and children—altogether.

But fate has other plans, and Cassie’s online dating profile catches the eye of firefighter Jett Bentley. In Jett’s memory, Cassie Everson is the unreachable girl-of-legend from their high school days. Nervously, he messages her, setting off a chain of events that forces a reluctant Cassie back into the dating game.

No one is more surprised than Cassie when her first date with Jett is a knockout. But when they both go home and find three children dropped in their laps—each—they independently decide to do the right and mature thing: hide the kids from each other while sorting it all out. What could go wrong?

Melissa Ferguson’s hilarious and warmhearted debut reminds us that love can come in very small packages—and that sometimes our best-laid plans aren’t nearly as rewarding and fun as the surprises that come our way.

Rowena: I’m a little scared to try this book because it’s a new to me author and this book has the potential to be really great or go really wrong for me. I’m hoping that it will be a good one so fingers crossed cause I do plan on reading it.


The One for You (The Ones that Got Away #4) by Roni Loren

The highly-anticipated fourth book in Roni Loren’s unforgettable The Ones Who Got Away series.

She got a second chance at life.
Will she take a second chance at love?

Kincaid Breslin wasn’t supposed to survive that fateful night at Long Acre when so many died, including her boyfriend—but survive she did. She doesn’t know why she got that chance, but now she takes life by the horns and doesn’t let anybody stand in her way

Ashton Isaacs was her best friend when disaster struck all those years ago, but he chose to run as far away as he could. Now fate has brought him back to town, and Ash doesn’t know how to cope with his feelings for Kincaid and his grief over their lost friendship. For Ash has been carrying secrets, and he knows that once Kincaid learns the truth, he’ll lose any chance he might have had with the only woman he’s ever loved.

Rowena: I’ve been wanting this book since we first met Kincaid and I’m super glad that she’ll be reuniting with her old best friend and I’m really looking forward to seeing everyone again. I plan to binge the shit out of this book.

What books are you looking forward to reading this month? Share in the comments!


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Monthly Reads: November 2019

Posted December 3, 2019 by Casee in Features | 7 Comments

Casee: I didn’t read much in November. Only seven books. I was really hoping that I would have time to read over the Thanksgiving week, but that ended up not being so.

Wait by A.L. Jackson (audio) | 4 out of 5
Heartbreaker by Linda Howard (reread) | 4.5 out of 5
Reaper by Larissa Ione | 4 out of 5
Stay by A.L. Jackson | 4.25 out of 5
Into the Dark by Karen Rose | 4.25 out of 5
Where to Winter Finds You by J.R. Ward | 3.5 out of 5
Angels’ Blood by Nalini Singh (reread) | 4.75 out of 5

My favorite read was Into the Dark by KR. I just adore her. Least favorite was Wait by A.L. Jackson. I didn’t hate the book by any means, but I didn’t love it like I’ve loved all the books in her Bleeding Stars series.

Holly: November was a tough month for me. I had a lot going on and not a lot of brain power to focus on reading. I managed to read 25 books, but the majority were re-reads.

Silence for the Dead by Simone St. James (audio) | 4.5 out of 5
The Beautiful Ashes by Jeaniene Frost (audio) | DNF
How to Run with a Naked Werewolf by Molly Harper (audio) | 4 out of 5
Switch Hitter by Sara Ney (audio) | 3 out of 5
Not So Nice Guy by R.S. Grey (audio) | 3 out of 5
The Governess Game by Tessa Dare (audio) | 4 out of 5
An Inquiry into Love and Death by Simone St. James (audio) | 4 out of 5
Smitten by the Brit by Melonie Johnson | 3 out of 5
Repeat by Kylie Scott (reread) | 5 out of 5
Complicated by Kristen Ashley (reread) | 4 out of 5
Good Boy by Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy (reread) (audio) | 4.5 out of 5
Guardian Angel by Julie Garwood (reread) | 3.75 out of 5
The Lion’s Lady by Julie Garwood (reread) | 4.75 out of 5
The Time in Between by Kristen Ashley (reread) | 3.5 out of 5
Hold On by Kristen Ashley (reread) | 3.25 out of 5
Laird Wolf by Vivan Arend (audio) | 4 out of 5
Soaring by Kristen Ashley (reread) | 3.75 out of 5
Fairytale Come Alive by Kristen Ashley (reread) | 4.25 out of 5
Own the Wind by Kristen Ashley (reread) | 4 out of 5
For You by Kristen Ashley (reread) | 3.5 out of 5
Cry Wolf by Patricia Briggs (reread) | 4.25 out of 5
Hunting Ground by Patricia Briggs (reread) | 4 out of 5
Fair Game by Patricia Briggs (reread) | 4.25 out of 5
Alpha and Omega by Patricia Briggs (reread) | 4.5 out of 5
Dragon Bound by Thea Harrison (reread) | 5 out of 5

My favorite new read of the month was The Governess Game by Tessa Dare. I didn’t love the main conflict, but I adored the characters on their own. My least favorite was The Beautiful Ashes by Jeaniene Frost. The main characters were ridiculous and acted very immature. I couldn’t even finish the book.

Rowena: I had a lot of stuff going on in November so by mid-month, I still had only read 2 books but then Holly and Casee told me to start re-reading old favorites and so I jumped on that. I read 4 more books and then called it quits on the month of November. I read the following books.

Open House (Uptown #2) by Ruby Lang (eARC) | 3.5 out of 5
Goddess of Spring (Goddess Summoning #2) by P.C. Cast (eBook) | 3 out of 5
The Lion’s Lady (Crown’s Spies #1) by Julie Garwood (eBook) (re-read) | 4.25 out of 5
Guardian Angel (Crown’s Spies #2) by Julie Garwood (eBook) (re-read) | 4.5 out of 5
The Gift (Crown’s Spies #3) by Julie Garwood (eBook) (re-read) | 4 out of 5
Castles (Crown’s Spies #4) by Julie Garwood (eBook) (re-read) | 4.75 out of 5

Of the two new to me reads, my favorite read for the month of December is Open House by Ruby Lang. It was a cute romance between two charming characters. I adored Ty Yang and loved seeing him try to muddle through his growing feelings for Magda and I just enjoyed being a part of their romance. My least favorite read of the two is Goddess of Spring by P.C. Cast.

Giveaway Alert

Three lucky winners will choose their prize (one book) from any of the books we logged this month. If you want to be entered to win, leave a comment on this post telling us what your favorite – and least favorite – reads of the month were.

Monthly Reads: November 2019

So…what was your favorite read of the month? And your least favorite? Use the Gleam Widget to enter! Good luck!


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Review: Into the Dark by Karen Rose

Posted December 2, 2019 by Casee in Reviews | 2 Comments

Review: Into the Dark by Karen RoseReviewer: Casee
Into the Dark by Karen Rose
Series: Cincinnati #5
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: November 14, 2019
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Pages: 608
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Casee's 2019 GoodReads Challenge, GoodReads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-half-stars
Series Rating: five-stars

When Michael Rowland saves his younger brother Joshua from the clutches of his stepfather, he runs for his life with his brother in his arms. From his hiding place he sees the man who has made their lives a misery taken away in the trunk of a stranger's car, never to be seen again.

Doctor Dani Novak has been keeping soccer coach Diesel Kennedy at arm's length to protect him from her dark secrets. When they are brought together by the two young brothers who desperately need their help, it seems they might finally be able to leave their damaged pasts behind them.

But as the only witness to the man who kidnapped and murdered his stepfather, Michael is in danger. As Diesel and Dani do all that they can to protect him, their own investigation into the murder uncovers a much darker web of secrets than they could have imagined.

As more bodies start to appear it's clear that this killer wants vengeance. And will wipe out anything that gets in his way...

Unsurprisingly, this book packs quite the emotional punch. Karen Rose has such a gift for pulling the reader into the story only to spit you out at the end with all the feels. That was Alone in the Dark for me. Whenever there is a child involved, especially in KR book, it hits me hard. Like really hard. This book was no different.

Michael Rowland has been abused by his stepfather for years. The only reason he hasn’t run away is because he has to protect Joshua, his little brother. When he sees his stepfather inject Joshua with something, the fight is on. Michael gets Joshua away safely. For now. When Brewer comes looking for them, Michael hides in the bushes along the road. He then witnesses something that is hard to comprehend. A man murdering his stepfather. Michael is deaf so he didn’t hear anything that was said. He does feel relief that Brewer is dead, followed by terror that the killer will come after him and Joshua next.

Diesel Kennedy coaches peewee soccer. Joshua is on his team. When his brother, Michael, runs six miles to make sure he is okay, it sends up red flags for Diesel. The only person he can take the boys to is Dani Novak. Dani is not only a doctor, but she is able to do emergency foster care for deaf children. When Dani and Diesel realize the extent of Michael’s abuse, they will not let him out of their site. Diesel has taken it upon himself to protect Dani and the boys, something he takes very seriously. It is hard for him to be around Dani because she’s been rejecting his advances for 18 months. Still, Diesel can only look at the situation as the chance it is to make Dani see that they would be good together.

With Michael able to identify the killer, he is now being hunted by the killer. Who is not just a killer, but a serial killer. Dani, Diesel and all their friends now have to fight to keep the boys safe when it becomes evident that the killer won’t stop coming after Michael. And what a crack team they are together. I loved the dynamic with all the friends and visiting couples that I have read about in previous books.

KR did a superb job here. I was angry at the killer, yet at the same time rooting him on. If that’s not effed, I don’t know what is. KR just has that knack. I loved Michael and Joshua. Their problems were very real and they came out loud and clear through the pages. Dani and Diesel’s love was sweet and passionate. I liked that once Dani decided she was in, she was all in. With Diesel and with the boys. This is yet another book that shows Karen Rose is on top of the romantic suspense genre and not leaving anytime soon.

Rating: 4.25 out of 5.

Cincinnati


four-half-stars


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Sunday Spotlight: Into the Dark by Karen Rose

Posted December 1, 2019 by Casee in Features, Giveaways | 4 Comments

Sunday Spotlight is a feature we began in 2016. This year we’re spotlighting our favorite books, old and new. We’ll be raving about the books we love and being total fangirls. You’ve been warned. 🙂

I love Karen Rose. She is at the top of her game with Alone in the Dark. If you like romantic suspense, or romance, or suspense, you need to give Karen Rose a try. She will not disappoint. She hasn’t disappointed me once as a matter of fact!

Sunday Spotlight: Into the Dark by Karen RoseInto the Dark by Karen Rose
Series: Cincinnati #5
Also in this series: Into the Dark
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: November 14, 2019
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Genres: Romantic Suspense
Pages: 480
Add It: Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Series Rating: five-stars

When Michael Rowland saves his younger brother Joshua from the clutches of his stepfather, he runs for his life with his brother in his arms. From his hiding place he sees the man who has made their lives a misery taken away in the trunk of a stranger's car, never to be seen again.

Doctor Dani Novak has been keeping soccer coach Diesel Kennedy at arm's length to protect him from her dark secrets. When they are brought together by the two young brothers who desperately need their help, it seems they might finally be able to leave their damaged pasts behind them.

But as the only witness to the man who kidnapped and murdered his stepfather, Michael is in danger. As Diesel and Dani do all that they can to protect him, their own investigation into the murder uncovers a much darker web of secrets than they could have imagined.

As more bodies start to appear it's clear that this killer wants vengeance. And will wipe out anything that gets in his way...

Excerpt

Cincinnati, Ohio
Saturday, March 9, 5:40 a.m.

Michael shifted in the chair in the corner of Joshua’s bedroom, trying to get comfortable as he kept watch over his little brother, who slept peacefully, unaware that anything had happened tonight. At least there was that. Joshua wouldn’t have the memory of being drugged by their stepfather. Of their escape through the old orchard.

Michael had tried to sleep in his own bed. He truly had. God only knew, he was exhausted
enough. But every time he closed his eyes, he saw Brewer jabbing Joshua with a syringe and carrying him away. He’d tried to force his brain to see Brewer going limp under the big bald man’s hands, but his brain kept seeing the bastard getting up and walking away. That wasn’t what had happened, but until Michael knew for sure that Brewer really was dead, he’d be on pins and needles, waiting for his mother’s husband to come home.

And watching over Joshua. It wasn’t like anyone else was going to. Their mother had never been what anyone would call maternal, but she’d gotten much worse since Brewer had entered their lives.

He shifted again, then froze as a familiar rumble beneath his feet sent an even more familiar bolt of fear through his body.

The garage door. Someone had opened it.

Someone is here.

Michael shot to his feet, fumbling for the gun he’d taken from Brewer’s safe. Tucking it into the waist of his jeans at his back, he looked around the room wildly, nearly scooping Joshua up into his arms.

But again he froze. There was no time. Someone was coming.

Someone is here.

Brewer? Or . . . He remembered the big bald man tossing Brewer’s keys into the air. Had the man come back? Had he killed Brewer and come back? For us?

Oh God. He saw me. Knows I saw him kill Brewer. He thinks I’ll tell. He’ll kill me, too.

Michael’s brain told him to run, until his gaze fell to his little brother, still asleep. I’ll keep you safe. I won’t let him touch you. I promise.

Stepping back, Michael hid behind the chair and drew the gun. He’d kill whoever walked
through that door. Unless it was his mother. Her, he’d let live. Although she didn’t deserve to.

He’d gone to her, terrified and bleeding. Scared. He’d told her what her husband had done, the first time it had happened more than two years ago. And the second. And the third. But she hadn’t believed him. Or she’d claimed as much.

You’re lying, she’d told him. Michael could still feel the sting of her slap across his face. It was a wonder she hadn’t broken any of his teeth. But he hadn’t been lying about all the things her husband had done to him.

He’d threatened to go to the police, hoping they’d believe him, but his mother told him that they’d take him away— and maybe her, too. He and Joshua would go to foster care, but not together. They’d be separated, she’d told him, and everyone knew what happened to kids in those homes. Joshua would be hurt and it would be Michael’s fault. Unless he stayed quiet. So he had, enduring his stepfather’s “visits” in the night, hoping that Brewer would just go away.

Now he had. Because he’s dead.

He shuddered, pushing those thoughts from his mind. Not now. He couldn’t lose it now. Later, he’d fall apart. Later, when Joshua was safe.

Joshua, the only reason he’d stayed in this house. This hell.

Michael clutched the gun in both hands, willing them not to shake. Willing his eyes to stay open, even though he wanted to clench them shut and pretend none of this was happening. Because the door was opening. Slowly.

He held his breath, his heart hammering in his chest. No, no, no. It couldn’t be Brewer. Brewer was dead. Please let him be dead. Please let this be Mom. Please.

A shadow appeared in the doorway. Big. Hulking.

It was the man. The bald man. The man who’d killed Brewer with his bare hands. He was here. He stepped into the room, the moonlight from the window reflecting off his head as he stopped at the foot of Joshua’s bed.

Michael could see his face clearly. Memorized his features. Every detail, so that he could tell the police.

No, no, you won’t. You can’t tell the police. Because they wouldn’t believe him. His mother would tell them he was a liar. Just like she’d done when he’d told her that her new husband came to his bed at night.

She’ll find a way to blame me. That’s the way it’s always been.

He glanced at the gun he held in his shaking hands. I won’t need to tell the police, because I’m going to kill him.

Except the man didn’t touch his brother. He simply stood there, his gaze fixed on Joshua. There was no anger on the man’s face. None of the lustful leering that Michael had seen so often in Brewer’s eyes. Actually, the man looked . . . relieved. And that didn’t make sense.

The man’s gaze jerked up and Michael wondered if he’d made a sound. But the man didn’t
come closer. He just turned on his heel and left the room.

Michael sagged back against the bedroom wall, letting out the breath he’d been holding. A few minutes later he felt the rumble of the garage door going back down.

He crept to the window and peeked out into the night. And sucked in a breath when he saw the big man running down the driveway, toward the flickering light at the road, a suitcase in his hand.

He was gone.

Michael and Joshua were alone again.

Michael’s entire body began to shake. He stumbled to the chair just as his legs gave out. He didn’t have to wonder what would have happened if the man had discovered him there. He’d have put his hands on Michael’s throat and choked him until he’d gone limp, just as he’d done to Brewer.

Oh God. Oh God. I would have been dead. And Joshua would be all alone, unprotected. He
glared at the gun in his hand. He’d frozen. He should have shot the man as he’d stood next to

Joshua’s bed, but he’d frozen.

I won’t freeze next time. If he comes back, I’ll be ready.

Cincinnati

Giveaway Alert

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Sunday Spotlight: December 2019

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About Karen Rose

Internationally bestselling, RITA-award winning, author Karen Rose was born and raised in the Maryland suburbs of Washington, DC. She met her husband, Martin, on a blind date when they were seventeen and after they both graduated from the University of Maryland, (Karen with a degree in Chemical Engineering) they moved to Cincinnati, Ohio. Karen worked as an engineer for a large consumer goods company, earning two patents, but as Karen says, “scenes were roiling in my head and I couldn't concentrate on my job so I started writing them down. I started out writing for fun, and soon found I was hooked.”

Her debut suspense novel, DON'T TELL, was released in July, 2003. Since then, she has published more than fifteen novels and two novellas. Her twenty-second novel, SAY YOU'RE SORRY, will be released in 2019.

Karen's books have appeared on the bestseller lists of the New York Times, USA Today, London's Sunday Times, and Germany's der Spiegel (#1), and the Irish Times, as well as lists in South Africa(#1) and Australia!
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Her novels, I'M WATCHING YOU and SILENT SCREAM, received the Romance Writers of America's RITA award for Best Romantic Suspense for 2005 and 2011. Five of her other books have been RITA finalists. To date, her books have been translated into more than twenty languages.

A former high school teacher of chemistry and physics, Karen lives in Florida with her husband of more than twenty years, two dogs, and a cat.


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