Source: Author

Review: Give Me a Reason by A.L. Jackson

Posted August 30, 2021 by Casee in Reviews | 2 Comments

Review: Give Me a Reason by A.L. JacksonReviewer: Casee
Give Me a Reason by A. L. Jackson
Narrator: Connor Crais, Desiree Ketchum
Series: Redemption Hills #1
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: August 31, 2021
Format: eARC
Source: Author
Point-of-View: Alternating First Person
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 418
Length: 11 hours and 57 minutes
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five-stars
Series Rating: five-stars


From NYT and USA Today bestselling author A.L. Jackson comes a single-dad, enemies-to-lovers stand-alone romance about a jaded club owner and his son’s teacher…

Eden Murphy came into my club looking to make some extra cash.A girl like her didn't belong in a place like this. She'd get ripped to shreds.Most likely by me.There's nothing but sweetness dripping from her sexy little body, and I'm the monster who's salivating to get a taste.
Trent Lawson is the last man I should want.Dark.Dangerous.So wickedly gorgeous he makes my knees weak. He's also an arrogant jerk who happens to be my new boss.
When I discover his adorable son is also in my kindergarten class, I know I have to keep my distance.
But neither of us can ignore the attraction that flames.One glance, and our hearts race. One touch, and we’re aching for what we can’t have. One night, and we’re falling fast.
Dragging her into my sordid world is wrong.It doesn’t matter. Eden Murphy is mine.

Opposites attract in the first installment of A.L. Jackson’s new Redemption Hills series. Trent Lawson has one reason in life. One reason that he does everything. His one reason is his son, Gage.

Eden Murphy is desperate. Desperate for money to save her father and save their school. She ends up at Absolution, a club whose owner doesn’t think she has what it takes. Never try to stop a determined woman, which is exactly what Eden is. She will do anything to save her family, small as it’s become. Her attraction to Trent is as immediate as it is unwanted.

Neither Trent nor Eden considered that they would see each other outside of the club. Eden didn’t anticipate that the highly sexy and arrogant Trent had a son that was going to be in her kindergarten class. Trent Lawson wasn’t someone that Eden expected in her life nor does she know exactly how to handle him.

This was a story about life and death; of love and loss. What I loved about Eden is that she still saw the good. Being betrayed by your own sibling would generally make someone cynical about life, but she wasn’t. She still had hope. I loved that about her. Her positivity was something that make me a little envious & this is fiction. Like, really? I also loved how she interacted with Gage.

Generally, books don’t stay with me when I finish them. There are too many books to read for me to think about what I’ve already read (which is why I don’t reread very much). This book has been with me for days. I can’t forget these characters. I can’t forget this story. I can’t forget the writing. I just can’t stop thinking about this book. How can I forget it with passages like this?

“Never thought in all my days that I’d be standing in front of a woman like you. A woman who is a treasure. So kind strangers can’t help but smile when she walks into a room, so gorgeous she still nearly drops me to my knees every time I see her. A woman who steals every single one of my breaths. The woman who stole my heart.”

If you’ve never tried A.L. Jackson, this book would be a great one to start with. If you have read her, this is a book you should read. This is the best book I’ve read all year and I can’t wait until the next installment.

Rating: 4.75 out of 5.

Redemption Hills

five-stars


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Review: Wraith by Renee Rocco

Posted February 1, 2021 by Casee in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Wraith by Renee RoccoReviewer: Casee
Wraith by Renee Rocco
Series: Masters of Mayhem #1
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: November 22, 2020
Format: eBook
Source: Author
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Dystopian, Contemporary Romance
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four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

It's a new world order—where the villains have become the heroes.

ERIC ‘WRAITH’ SHAWOnce upon a time… Yeah, no. Let’s stop right here. My life isn’t a fairytale. I'm not Prince Charming. And I haven't forgotten the day Jamie Ellis left town in handcuffs. But that feels like lifetimes ago. My high school crush is all grown up and she’s married to the man holding me prisoner. Drugged and tortured, I've become a monster who’ll stop at nothing to rip David Crane’s world apart.

JAMIE ELLISWhen I left Mayhem at sixteen, my heart stayed behind with the beautiful delinquent I’ve loved since kindergarten. But I'm a product of a life gone wrong, and I married David hoping for a better future. Now that I know the depth of my husband's depravity, I’ll risk everything to ruin his carefully crafted empire, because if Wraith and I want our happily ever after, we’re going to have to fight for it...

Wraith is a complete standalone in the Masters of Mayhem series.

When Eric Shaw was young, he loved Jamie Ellis. Jamie was younger than him, but he was still drawn to her. When Eric realizes how badly Jamie’s dad is abusing her, he makes plans to leave Mayhem as soon as Jamie turns eighteen. The day he decides he’s taking Jamie and leaving, she is arrested for murdering her father. She was acquitted, but she never returned to Mayhem. Eric looked for her for years without luck. Now Eric is Wraith, an enforcer for the Unholy. Wraith is a remarkable MMA fighter which catches the attention of David Crane. David kidnaps fighters off the streets, holds them captive and makes them fight each other for their very lives. They’re prisoners that can’t escape. Wraith knows that his friends are looking for him, he just has to hold on. He gets the shock of his life when he finds out Jamie Ellis is now Jamie Crane. The wife of the very man that he has sworn to kill.

Jamie Ellis has never forgotten the boy she loved since she was a child. She was sixteen when you was acquitted for her father’s murder. She didn’t think Wraith would remember or care if she went back to Mayhem, so she didn’t. After traveling around, Jamie found herself homeless and starving. David Crane rescued her from certain death, though Jamie had no idea at the time that David was a monster of the worst order. She has planned her escape, but when she finds out David is holding an Unholy prisoner, she knows that she can’t leave him. She doesn’t know who it is, but she does know that she won’t leave someone from Mayhem in David’s prison.

When Jamie and Wraith reunite, it’s as if no time has passed. Wraith is furious when he learns that Jamie married David Crane, but he soon comes to realize that she married him out of desperation. It doesn’t matter to Wraith one way or another; he’s going to kill David and make Jamie a widow. Though the two escape Gomorrah, they both know that it doesn’t end with that. The only way it will end is when David is dead. Something both Jamie and Wraith agree on.

I was hooked when I read this book. I’m a sucker for dystopian romances and this was exactly that. The captivity and the torture was so intense that I could feel Wraith’s pain radiating off the pages. I was pulled in immediately and read this book in a few days. If you like dystopian contemporaries, this book is definitely for you. The next book in the series comes out in July and I, for one, cannot wait.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Masters of Mayhem

four-stars


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Guest Review: Champion of Her Heart by Juniper Kerry

Posted October 5, 2020 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: Champion of Her Heart by Juniper KerryReviewer: Tracy
Champion of Her Heart by Juniper Kerry
Series: Warriors of the Augur Nebula #1
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: June 30, 2020
Format: eBook
Source: Author
Point-of-View: Alternating 1st person
Genres: Science Fiction
Pages: 227
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three-half-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

Smart-as-a-whip Callie has a doctorate in Alien Studies. Unfortunately, her grant money has run out, and with it, her rent money. Desperate for a job, she turns to her high-power father, who has an idea: he will appoint her as the liaison for the Xalke - a race of aliens looking for breeding partners. With his daughter in charge of introductions, Grant Holland knows he can find a way to build new business partnerships. Callie is willing to make connections for her father. ...That is, until she meets Prince Dek. Now, the idea of introducing him to beautiful women makes her stomach hurt.

Dek has been sent to Earth with a clear purpose: find female volunteers and bring them back to his planet to breed. Unlike some of his fellow princes, Dek isn't against the humans, nor is he against babies. When he sees Callie, he knows right away that she is the woman for him. But for some reason, Callie resists. Though she seems to melt when he touches her, she also keeps pushing him into another woman’s arms. Dek has only a week before he must return to his home; can he win her heart in time?

Champion of Her Heart is the fifth book in the Warriors of the Augur Nebula series by Juniper Kerry. It is a steamy romance, featuring inter-species pair-bonding, love at first sight, and a guaranteed happy ending.

Callie has finished her PhD in Alien Studies as she lives in a world where Aliens are friends of Earth.  Certain aliens (the Sarta) have been on Earth for years and have started factories and stripped the Earth of its resources.  Why would we want to continue being friends with them? Not only are they friends, but Earth’s governments go a bit far in keeping them happy, obviously. One of the ways they are doing that is allowing representatives of the Denne race from the planet Beshtast to come and collect human women who would like to move to their planet and breed with them.  All voluntarily, of course.

The Denne have discovered that human woman are compatible with them (see books 1-4 to see how that came about), and they don’t die after giving birth, which is what has been happening for centuries with other alien races that are compatible.  One of the Denne Princes, Dek, has come to Earth with 4 warriors to choose women who would like to live on Beshtast and breed with the Denne.

Callie is the liaison between the Denne and the women who have volunteered.  She’s planned events to keep them busy, show them a bit of Washington D.C. and coordinated gatherings to meet pre-selected candidates. When Callie first meets the aliens as they step off the spaceship, she never imagines that she would be so drawn to Prince Dek.

Prince Dek is shocked when he steps onto Earth for the first time and finds his pair-bonded mate right in front of him.  He must convince her to come back to his homeworld with him, which is not going to be as easy as he thinks, as Callie has no intention of leaving Earth.

CoHH is book 5 in the Warriors of the Augur Nebula series.  It is a little different from books 1-4 as it takes place, for the most part, on Earth and not on Beshtast like the other 4 books.

In this book Callie and Prince Dek are pair-bonded – basically fated mates.  They feel a pull towards each other.  Dek knows what he’s feeling almost immediately, but obviously Callie is a little confused as to why she feels such a strong pull to this alien.  Dek is all that is strong, kind, thoughtful – I’ll admit, he’s a pretty good guy (considering I didn’t care for him all that much in previous books) but Callie keeps herself away from him.  She has no desire to leave Earth and she’s determined to find him a mate that’s not her.  This really confounded me, I must admit.  She’s down on her luck, no job, nowhere to live, her dad isn’t making anything easier even though he’s got pots of money, and she doesn’t want to go live with the prince who she’s falling in love with.  What is wrong with you?? Lol  Ok, I see that it’s scary to consider leaving the life you’ve known for something completely unknown, but really, why stay?

The author does a pretty good job of making us understand that Callie wants to feel needed and that she’s making a difference in her life and others. She also finds a solution to the problem, but I won’t tell you what that is. 😉

There are things about this series that I really like.  I like that it’s high on girl-power and that the human women in the books are trying to make the aliens see that they aren’t just things to breed, but people with emotions, needs, rights, etc.  That part is great.  On the other hand I find it a bit ridiculous that the aliens throughout the series are so well versed in just about everything, but they have no idea what tears are, or that little nub that is part of a female’s anatomy. But they know all about going down on a woman? Lol  Ok, whatever.

Overall I find the series entertaining.  The books are pretty short (200-250 pages) and are quick reads.  If you like sci-fi and alien romance, then this might be one for you to check out.  This does say that it’s a stand-alone, but I would recommend reading from book 1 to understand everything that’s going on.

Rating: 3.25 out of 5

three-half-stars


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Throwback Thursday Review: Sanctuary Unbound by Moira Rogers

Posted May 14, 2020 by Holly in Reviews | 1 Comment

Throwback Thursday Review: Sanctuary Unbound by Moira RogersReviewer: Holly
Sanctuary Unbound by Moira Rogers
Series: Red Rock Pass #4
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Publication Date: June 1, 2010
Format: eBook
Source: Author
Point-of-View: Third
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 184
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four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

New England is ideal for vampire Adam Dubois. His cozy home in the Great North Woods reminds him of a happier time when werewolves and witches were stuff of legends, and he was a simple lumberjack.

Hiding from past failures has worked for over eighty years, but a life debt owed to the Red Rock alpha has forced him to leave his retreat--and come face to face with a woman who challenges and tempts him on every level.

Hiding secrets is a lonely business, and Cindy Shepherd is lonely with a capital L. Red Rock isn't exactly crawling with available men, but her interest in the mystery-shrouded new vampire in town seems mutual. After all, it's only sex--there's no danger he'll dig deep enough to unleash the demons of her past.

Casual flirtation turns deadly serious when Adam discovers that the vampire plaguing Red Rock is using his mistakes as a road map. When it comes to his life, he knows Cindy has his back. But in order to secure the future, they both must trust each other with more--even if it means sacrificing themselves to save everything they hold dear.

*** Every Thursday, we’ll be posting throwback reviews of our favorite and not-so-favorite books. Enjoy! ***

This review was originally posted on May 31, 2010.

I’m not a fan of vampires. I can’t say there’s one particular reason why, it’s more of a collection of odd things here and there. I think for the most part I hate how stereotypical most of them are (I’ll have to ponder that for a post at a later date). So I tend to avoid vampire stories. There are, as always, exceptions, but mostly if I see a novel featuring a vampire I skip right by it.

I have to be honest and say I probably would have skipped this one, too, if I hadn’t read the one that comes before it and been intrigued by Adam. I’m adult enough to admit I would have missed out on a really great story if I’d done that.

Adam was strong and caring. For years he’s been living in regret and shame, the things of his past eating away at him. He prefers the solitude of his isolated cabin the woods and though he’s drawn to strong women, he tends to avoid strong attachments of any kind. To see him open himself up to Cindy was wonderful, especially since I knew the depth of his hurt from the past.

Cindy had dealt with her own pain and suffering. She was strong and capable, but soft enough to want someone to share her life with. She didn’t necessarily offer her trust easily, but she wasn’t closed to all relationships as she had every right to be. I liked that though she wanted to push Adam away, she didn’t.

Cindy and Adam were fabulous together. I loved the way they balanced each other – the  Lumberjack Vampire and the Werewolf Doctor. Each had scars from things in their past, and each really helped the other overcome some of the lingering pain and grief. I especially liked that both were strong despite having suffered so much in the past. Neither of them need to be rescued, only healed.

I also liked that the overall story arc of the series is moving forward. Sam and Gavin are starting to let go and Keith and Abby are stepping up. As much as I love Sam and Gavin, it isn’t realistic that they’d hang on forever. I’m glad Rogers recognizes that.  While I think this can be read as a stand-alone, there are references to things that have happened in the past, most recently in Sanctuary’s Price, so you may want to read that one first.

4.25 out of 5

Red Rock Pass

This book is available from Samhain. You can buy it here or here in e-format.

four-stars


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Throwback Thursday Review: Masked by Moonlight by Nancy Gideon

Posted May 7, 2020 by Casee in Reviews | 0 Comments

Throwback Thursday Review: Masked by Moonlight by Nancy GideonReviewer: Casee
Masked by Moonlight by Nancy Gideon
Series: By Moonlight #1
Publisher: Pocket Books
Publication Date: May 25, 2010
Format: eARC
Source: Author
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 375
Add It: Goodreads
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four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

IN THIS STUNNING FIRST BOOK FROM NANCY GIDEON’S SIZZLING NEW SERIES, A TENACIOUS COP AND HER SHAPE-SHIFTING ENEMY SACRIFICE EVERYTHING FOR FORBIDDEN DESIRE.

ALL SHE WANTS IS REVENGE.

New Orleans homicide detective Charlotte Caissie is dedicated to bringing down the crime boss responsible for her father’s murder. Using Jimmy Legere’s mysterious and irresistible right-hand man is a dangerous gamble, and not only due to his reputation as more monster than man. Because her feelings for Max Savoie are . . . complicated.

THEN HE RISKS HIS LIFE TO SAVE HERS.

Rescued from the swamps as a child, Max exists silently in Legere’s shadow, heeding only his voice—until Charlotte Caissie awakens his emotions and tests his loyalties. Stepping outside his cautious rules threatens more than just his heart. He could expose his darkest secret.

NOW THEY’RE BOTH IN OVER THEIR HEADS. Testing boundaries they weren’t meant to cross means facing the truth about who and what they are—and what they need from each other. If Max is the murderer she seeks, Charlotte could be his next victim. She can’t afford to trust any man. Good thing Max isn’t one.

*** Every Thursday, we’ll be posting throwback reviews of our favorite and not-so-favorite books. Enjoy! ***

This review was originally posted on May 25, 2010.

This is the first book in Nancy Gideon’s new series. It caught my attention for two reasons; New Orleans and shapeshifter.

Charlotte Caissie is a detective with the New Orleans Police Department. For years she has been trying to bring down Jimmy Legere, the man responsible for her father’s murder. For years, Legere has evaded her. A particularly gruesome homicide brings Charlotte to Legere’s door and face-to-face with Max Savoie. No one is more loyal to Jimmy Legere than Max which is why Charlotte should feel nothing but disgust for Max. The opposite is true.

Max was brought into Jimmy Legere’s home when he was six years old. After his mother was brutally murdered, Jimmy rescued him and gave him a place to belong. Jimmy accepted Max for what he was, even if neither of them knew exactly what that was. For that alone, Max will do anything for Jimmy even if it means protecting him from Charlotte Caissie.

The dynamic of the relationships in this book are fascinating. Max and Charlotte have a connection that goes back to childhood. Charlotte doesn’t remember everything and has no idea that Max has been silently protecting her for years. Max has no expectations when it comes to Charlotte. He doesn’t believe that he can be loved for himself, especially by Charlotte.

If there was someone in this book that will break your heart, it’s Max. His loyalty to Jimmy is understandable if not admirable. Yet it is clear that he hasn’t become his own person. He is feared by most people because it is known exactly what he does for Jimmy. Max and Charlotte’s paths were destined to cross again and so they do. Charlotte is still going to bring Legere down, even if she takes Max down with him.

When Charlotte starts getting to know Max, she starts questioning everything. Why does Max work for Jimmy Legere? What is he hiding from her? Can she use him to get into Legere’s organization to bring it down? Charlotte is nothing if not honest with herself. At first, there is nothing she wants more than to kill Legere. Then there is nothing more she wants than to protect Max.

The book has an interesting ending that puts Max and Charlotte directly at odds with each other. Max is part of a criminal organization and Charlotte puts away criminals. How can they have a relationship when their lives are so different? There is something compelling about both Max and Charlotte. They are both such raw characters and it is clear that each one needs the other. I’m really looking forward to the second book.

4 out of 5.

This book is available from Pocket. You can buy it here.

four-stars


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