Tag: Berkley

Sunday Spotlight: The Marriage Game by Sara Desai

Posted June 14, 2020 by Holly in Features, Giveaways | 1 Comment

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. 🙂

Sunday Spotlight: The Marriage Game by Sara DesaiThe Marriage Game by Sara Desai
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: June 9, 2020
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 304
Add It: Goodreads
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A high stakes wager pits an aspiring entrepreneur against a ruthless CEO in this sexy romantic comedy.

After her life falls apart, recruitment consultant Layla Patel returns home to her family in San Francisco. But in the eyes of her father, who runs a Michelin starred restaurant, she can do no wrong. He would do anything to see her smile again. With the best intentions in mind, he offers her the office upstairs to start her new business and creates a profile on an online dating site to find her a man. She doesn’t know he’s arranged a series of blind dates until the first one comes knocking on her door…

As CEO of a corporate downsizing company Sam Mehta is more used to conflict than calm. In search of a quiet new office, he finds the perfect space above a cozy Indian restaurant that smells like home. But when communication goes awry, he's forced to share his space with the owner's beautiful yet infuriating daughter Layla, her crazy family, and a parade of hopeful suitors, all of whom threaten to disrupt his carefully ordered life.

As they face off in close quarters, the sarcasm and sparks fly. But when the battle for the office becomes a battle of the heart, Sam and Layla have to decide if this is love or just a game.

Exclusive Excerpt

Sam walked quickly up the stairs to his new office suite, a box of office supplies under one arm. The scents of curry, coriander, and mild incense permeated the air, making his stomach rumble. An accident on the I 280 meant the one-hour journey had taken an extra forty-five minutes, and he would have to hustle if he wanted to get in a workout before the gym closed.

He reached the second floor and walked down the hallway, his footsteps muffled by the mint green carpet that matched the patterned wallpaper on the walls. The frosted glass door to the office was slightly ajar.

Puzzled, Sam pushed it open and walked into the small reception area. Twilight streamed through the large windows on the far side of the modern, open-plan office, spreading lazy orange fingers over the polished wood floor. A stack of boxes tottered inelegantly on the maple reception desk, and a ghastly purple couch had been placed against the wall beside a glass table with a sequined ceramic elephant base. Sam had little interest in interior decor, but the combination offended even his unschooled aesthetic sensibilities.

Crossing the floor past the reception desk, he entered the office proper. Recently renovated and boasting floor-to-ceiling windows, polished wood floors, and exposed brick walls, the spacious office also had a private boardroom and small kitchenette. Nasir had furnished the office with a large cherry boardroom table and two desks, one multicolored and made of metal rods and glass by an obscure interior designer named Eagerson, and the other a traditional two-pillar desk made of rosewood and nickel-plated brass. Sam had mentally claimed the traditional desk; the Eagerson was more Royce’s style.

And then he saw her, shuffling through a massive pile of papers on his rosewood desk.

She was in her mid to late twenties, her long dark hair streaked electric blue and tied up in a ponytail that brushed the graceful curve of her slender neck. Long, thick lashes brushed over soft bronze cheeks, and her plump lips glistened.

He coughed.

She screamed.

He retreated a few steps, but not quickly enough to evade the barrage of office supplies flung in his direction. Small erasers bounced off his chest, and a sharpened pencil almost took out his eye. When she lifted a stapler, he held up his free hand, palm forward in a gesture of surrender. “Do you really want to compound your crimes by adding assault, or even murder, to the break-and-enter charge?” he asked, unable to hold back his irritation.

“Who are you? What are you doing here?” She grabbed her cell phone off the desk, brandishing it like a weapon. “Answer, or I’m calling the police.”

“Please do. Then you can explain to them what you’re doing in my office.”

“This is my office.” She thumped the stapler on the desk. “My father leases this space as well as the restaurant downstairs.”

“And you are . . . ?” Beautiful. Stacked. Frightened. Furious. A number of adjectives came to mind, not the least of which described her generous breasts and lush curves. Too bad she had such terrible taste in music. Had she picked up that unfortunate Nickelback T shirt at a thrift store? Or was she really a fan?

“Layla Patel. Nasir Patel is my father.”

“I’ll need to see some ID.” He held out his hand, gesturing impatiently.

“Seriously?” Her eyes widened and her nostrils flared. “Is this the new way of breaking and entering? You ask for ID so you can make sure you’re robbing the right place? How about you give me your ID so I can tell the police who to arrest?”

Sam added a few more adjectives to his list: snarky, sarcastic, sassy. He almost couldn’t believe this was the daughter of the famous Indian restaurateur who had turned his ethnicity into a brand.

“Well . . . ?”

He tried to think of something intelligent to say. Anything. He was used to being in control of every situation and handling dilemmas quickly and decisively, but the longer he looked at her, the less able he was to command his power of speech. Everything about her was so vivid, so vibrant, from the shine of her knee-high boots to the fire blazing in her eyes.

“Sam.” For a second, he forgot his last name. “Sam . . .”

Her lips quirked at the corners. “Samsam? That’s your name?”

“Sam Mehta.”

Giveaway Alert

We’re giving one lucky winner their choice of one of our Sunday Spotlight books. Use the widget below to enter for one of this month’s features.

Sunday Spotlight: June 2020

Are you as excited for this release as we are? Let us know how excited you are and what other books you’re looking forward to this year!

About Sara Desai

Sara Desai has been a lawyer, radio DJ, marathon runner, historian, bouncer and librarian. She lives on Vancouver Island with her husband, kids and an assortment of forest creatures who think they are pets. Sara writes sexy romantic comedy and contemporary romance with a multicultural twist. When not laughing at her own jokes, Sara can be found eating nachos.


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Guest Review: Alpha Night by Nalini Singh

Posted June 10, 2020 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: Alpha Night by Nalini SinghReviewer: Tracy
Alpha Night by Nalini Singh
Series: Psy/Changeling Trinity #4
Also in this series: Silver Silence, Silver Silence, Silver Silence, Ocean Light, Ocean Light , Wolf Rain , Wolf Rain, Alpha Night
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: June 9, 2020
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Point-of-View: Third
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 400
Add It: Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-half-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

Alpha wolf Selenka Durev’s devotion to her pack is equaled only by her anger at anyone who would harm those under her care. That currently includes the empaths who’ve flowed into her city for a symposium that is a security nightmare, a powder keg just waiting for a match.

Ethan Night is an Arrow who isn’t an Arrow. Numb and disengaged from the world, he’s loyal only to himself. Assigned as part of the security force at a world-first symposium, he carries a dark agenda tied to the power-hungry and murderous Consortium. Then violence erupts and Ethan finds himself crashing into the heart and soul of an alpha wolf.

Mating at first sight is a myth, a fairytale. Yet Selenka’s wolf is resolute: Ethan Night, broken Arrow and a man capable of obsessive devotion, is the mate it has chosen. Even if the mating bond is full of static and not quite as it should be. Because Selenka’s new mate has a terrible secret, his mind surging with a power that is a creature of madness and death…

Ethan is an Arrow who had a very different childhood (if you can even call it that) than any of the other Arrows.  He believes himself to be completely unemotional so he takes a job from someone in the Consortium, just to see if he can feel something.  His job is to protect Selenka Durev, the Alpha of the BlackEdge wolf pack – the most powerful wolf pack in Russia.  Ethan is taken with Selenka from the first moment he sees her and after a bomb threat they realize they are meant for each other.

Selenka loves Ethan’s voice from the moment she hears it, but she never imagines that mating with him at first sight would ever happen.  She thought it was just something that was made up and only existed in Soap Operas.   Even though they’ve mated, they don’t even know each other.  That will come in time, but she has to find out what is wrong with Ethan.  He believes he has a mental disease and is not long for this world, but Selenka is determined to keep him alive as long as possible.

I love the Psy-Changeling series.  While I tend to give them all high marks, there are obviously some I like better than others.  This is one of those.  This takes me back to the feeling I had at the beginning of the series and I loved that.  Dealing with Psy mind issues as well as integrating a Psy and a Changeling mating was so interesting then and now.  I loved seeing Sascha Duncan again in this book and having her trying to help Ethan with his mental state.

Singh gave us romance, intrigue and mating at first sight.  Did I think it would work? Not as well as it did, that’s for sure.  I was skeptical, but Singh pulled it off.  I adored how Ethan was with Selenka from minute one.  He was hers and would do anything for her.  I loved seeing this “unemotional” man fall and fall hard.  I also loved seeing Selenka find a man that was a match for her alpha-ness. She was pretty badass and finding a man who was just as much an alpha and appreciated that trait in his woman was a thing to behold.

Overall – I loved it.  There was only one slower part (I won’t actually say slow – just slower) in the story and that’s the only reason it didn’t get 5 stars.  If you haven’t ever read the Psy-Changeling series – what are you waiting for???  Pick up Slave to Sensation now. Yes, technically this is book 4 in the Psy-Changeling Trinity series but if you haven’t read any of them then start from the beginning.  You won’t be sorry.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Psy-Changeling

Psy-Changeling Trinity

four-half-stars


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Featured Review: Alpha Night by Nalini Singh

Posted May 28, 2020 by Rowena in Reviews | 4 Comments

Featured Review: Alpha Night by Nalini SinghReviewer: Casee, Holly, and Rowena
Alpha Night by Nalini Singh
Series: Psy/Changeling Trinity #4, Psy/Changeling #19
Also in this series: Silver Silence, Silver Silence, Silver Silence, Ocean Light, Ocean Light , Wolf Rain , Wolf Rain, Alpha Night, Mine to Possess, Hostage to Pleasure, The Magical Christmas Cat , Kiss of Snow, Tangle of Need, Slave to Sensation , Wild Invitation, Heart of Obsidian, Shield of Winter, Shield of Winter, Visions of Heat, Mine to Possess, Caressed By Ice, Branded by Fire, Blaze of Memory, Mine to Possess, Hostage to Pleasure, Hostage to Pleasure, Shards of Hope, Shards of Hope, Heart of Obsidian, Caressed By Ice, Branded by Fire, Blaze of Memory, Play of Passion, Allegiance of Honor, Kiss of Snow, Tangle of Need, Shield of Winter, Shards of Hope, Allegiance of Honor, Allegiance of Honor, Wild Embrace, Wild Embrace, Wild Embrace, Tangle of Need, Caressed By Ice
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: June 9, 2020
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Point-of-View: Third
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 400
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Casee's 2020 Goodreads Challenge, Holly's 2020 Goodreads Challenge, Rowena's 2020 Goodreads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-half-stars

New York Times bestselling author Nalini Singh returns to her breathtaking Psy-Changeling Trinity series with a mating that shouldn’t exist…

Alpha wolf Selenka Durev’s devotion to her pack is equaled only by her anger at anyone who would harm those under her care. That currently includes the empaths who’ve flowed into her city for a symposium that is a security nightmare, a powder keg just waiting for a match.

Ethan Night is an Arrow who isn’t an Arrow. Numb and disengaged from the world, he’s loyal only to himself. Assigned as part of the security force at a world-first symposium, he carries a dark agenda tied to the power-hungry and murderous Consortium. Then violence erupts and Ethan finds himself crashing into the heart and soul of an alpha wolf.

Mating at first sight is a myth, a fairytale. Yet Selenka’s wolf is resolute: Ethan Night, broken Arrow and a man capable of obsessive devotion, is the mate it has chosen. Even if the mating bond is full of static and not quite as it should be. Because Selenka’s new mate has a terrible secret, his mind surging with a power that is a creature of madness and death…

Holly: I haven’t loved the last few releases in this series, but I really adored this book. I loved the dynamic between Selenka and Ethan, and I really loved Selenka’s pack.

Casee: I adored this book as well. Like you, I haven’t particularly enjoyed the last few releases. This book was more than a pleasant surprise.

Rowena: I think I enjoyed the last few releases more than you guys and I really liked this one as well. I’ve been in a weird reading mood this past week but buckling down with this book was good for me.

Casee: One of the things I liked was that just because Selenka and Ethan were instantly mated, they weren’t just happy-happy right away.

Rowena: I liked the instant mating thing and I really, really loved Ethan and Selenka. I don’t think I’ve ever read the instant mating thing before, have you guys?

Holly: I know we haven’t seen the instant mating thing from Nalini Singh before. I thought that aspect of the book was really well done. Like Casee said, they weren’t immediately all happy happy just because they were fated mates. They had to learn each other. But I liked that the instant mating made them immediately commit. It wasn’t a matter of if they got together, but how they made a future work. The way Ethan was filled up by Selenka was well written.

Casee: I loved Selenka’s pack. Everyone from the Lieutenants to the Healer to the cubs. I did feel really bad for Selenka because of her relationship with her father. He was such an ass.

Holly: I did struggle with the pacing in the early part of the book. I felt like I got dropped into the middle of a story at first. It took probably a good quarter of the book before I remembered details from earlier in the series and felt like I knew what was what.

Casee: I felt the same way. The information about Selenka’s pack was like a million books ago. It took me a bit to remember as well.

Rowena: I didn’t prepare for this read and it feels like the last book in this series came out so long ago so, like Holly, it took me a while to catch up on who was who again and what was what. Once I caught up, things really picked up for me. I enjoyed seeing everyone again, seeing our friends from the DarkRiver and all of our Psy friends.

Casee: Did you both figure out his designation?

Holly: Yes, I figured out his designation early on. I liked how his abilities morphed based on his upbringing.

Rowena: I thought Ehtan would end up being what he was and I thought it was a neat spin on that designation. He’s so different from the others that I thought it was interesting. I liked seeing him become friends with people, I really loved seeing him form bonds outside of Selenka’s pack and I really loved how fiercely loyal Selenka’s pack became to Ethan, right from the jump. There was no questioning Selenka’s authority or Selenka’s mate, there was just a ready acceptance that I felt Ethan really needed.

Nalini Singh is really good at complicated relationships and seeing the different kinds of relationships in this story was just great. From Ethan and Selenka to the other mated couples but also Mercy and Ethan and hell, even Nomi and Blaise. They’re all different kinds of relationships and I thought each of them was interesting in their own ways.

Holly: I agree, Singh is really good at complicated relationships. I love seeing Ethan navigate his way to forgiveness with the other Arrows, and how things circled back around with Selenka’s father.

Casee: I also enjoyed seeing his relationships with people in the pack develop, as well as with the Arrows. Ethan has never trusted anyone for good reason. I am curious to see what happens when Ming LeBon shows back up.

Rowena: I really liked this book and am looking forward to seeing where Singh takes up from here after what Kaleb and Aden do at the end of this one. Shit just got real and complicated, real fast….and I’m here for it. Who is the next couple, do you guys know? I give this book 4.25 out of 5 stars, what about you guys?

Holly: I’m looking forward to more from this pack, and I definitely want to see where she takes things after the events at the end of this book. I don’t think we’ve heard yet who the next couple will be, but I’ll be here for it.

I’m giving this 4 out of 5.

Casee: I really hope there are more books coming out from this pack. I really enjoyed Selenka’s relationship with Valentin too. Freaking bears. I just generally enjoyed the entire dynamic of this book.

I’m giving this a 4.25 out of 5.

Final Grades

Casee: 4.25 out of 5
Holly: 4 out of 5
Rowena: 4.25 out of 5

Psy-Changeling

Psy-Changeling Trinity

four-half-stars


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Review: Lethal Game by Christine Feehan

Posted May 20, 2020 by Casee in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Lethal Game by Christine FeehanReviewer: Casee
Lethal Game by Christine Feehan
Series: GhostWalkers #16
Also in this series: Predatory Game, Street Game, Ruthless Game, Shadow Game, Power Game, Murder Game, Covert Game, Toxic Game
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: March 3, 2020
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 448
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Casee's 2020 Goodreads Challenge, Goodreads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

The sparks of unexpected passion ignite in this electrifying GhostWalker novel from #1 New York Times bestselling author Christine Feehan.

When Malichai Fortunes attacks a problem, he does it full force–a habit that earns the GhostWalker a painful injury and a forced vacation in San Diego, California. With nothing but physical therapy on the horizon, Malichai is starting to get restless…until a striking blue-eyed blonde makes all his senses come alive.

Amaryllis is kind and warm and sees beyond Malichai’s rough exterior, but he can tell there’s something she’s hiding. Her innate healing abilities indicate she might be a GhostWalker–albeit an untrained one. Malichai doesn’t think their crossing paths is anything more than coincidence, but he can sense that one wrong word could send Amaryllis running.

When strange events at his temporary retreat put Malichai on high alert, he knows he won’t be able to deal with the threat and keep his woman safe in his weakened state. But calling in his brothers means telling Amaryllis what he really is, and revealing that he knows the truth about her too…

Lethal Game is the newest book in Feehan’s GhostWalker series. I adore this series. There are some books I like less than others, but I have generally enjoyed every book in the series. This book is no exception and is even one the better books. This book was “lighter” for lack of a better term. Part of these books can be really dark, but that aspect wasn’t as prominent in this book.

When the story begins, Malachai is on a rescue mission with his paratrooper team. The mission goes south and Malachai finds himself wounded. Although he almost dies, he makes it through with just a bad leg injury. His family decides that he needs some R&R and send him to San Diego to recuperate. While in San Diego, Malachai isn’t supposed to be doing much. He’s supposed to be babying his leg as best as possible and relax. Well, relaxing isn’t Malachai’s thing. Offering to help out at the bed-and-breakfast he’s staying at is the only thing left for him to do. That’s when he meets Amaryllis.

Amaryllis is a fellow GhostWalker who is on the run. She’s found herself a nice place to hide in San Diego and is happy there. She loves working at the bed-and-breakfast and loves the family that owns it. She’s not used to running into men like Malachai and she immediately looks at him as suspicious. She instantly realizes that he is like her. Thinking that he is there to take her back to Peter Whitney, she prepares to run. Then she gets to know Malachai.

Soon Malachai and Amaryllis find themselves in the mist of a homegrown terrorist plot. They know something is going on, but they’re not sure what. Every one that is staying at the inn is a suspect. When two of their guests turn up dead, they have to uncover if it’s something GhostWalker related.

I really enjoyed the romance here. I enjoyed how sweet Malachai was. Oh, the guy could kick some ass, but I really enjoyed seeing the softer side of him. Or maybe it was softer emotions? I don’t know, but it didn’t have dark elements like some of the previous books in the series (Viper Game, Spider Game, etc). It was refreshing in some way. And although it was lighter, that didn’t take away from the intrigue and romance.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

GhostWalkers

four-stars


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Review: Shadow Flight by Christine Feehan

Posted April 20, 2020 by Casee in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Shadow Flight by Christine FeehanReviewer: Casee
Shadow Flight by Christine Feehan
Series: Shadow Riders #5
Also in this series: Shadow Reaper, Shadow Reaper, Shadow Reaper, Shadow Keeper, Shadow Warrior
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: May 5, 2020
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 432
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Casee's 2020 Goodreads Challenge, Goodreads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
three-stars
Series Rating: three-stars

Nicoletta Gomez was a terrified teenager when Taviano Ferraro and his brother saved her life. Ever since, she's been trying to rise above what was done to her, molding herself into a survivor under the protective eyes of the Ferraro family. All the while, she's been falling hopelessly in love with the man who knows her darkest secrets....

With one look, Taviano knew that Nicoletta was his, just as he felt their shadows connect. But no matter how much he wanted to claim her, he knew she needed time to become her own woman. When Nicoletta once again finds herself in the sights of dangerous men, a split-second decision has Taviano breaking all of the Ferraro family's rules to keep her safe. And as far as he's concerned, the reward is more than worth the risk.

Shadow Flight is book six in CF’s Shadow Riders series. I’ve enjoyed this series from the first book. I do have to admit that it’s an acquired taste. The men are overly alpha and take care of their women. That’s just not for some people.

Nicoletta Gomez came into the Ferraro’s lives through violence and heartbreak. Nicoletta’s mom and dad died in an accident and she is sent to live with her three step-uncles. Step-uncles that sexually assault her and pass her around. Her life is literal hell. Just when she decides to end it all, the Ferraro’s show up in the house she is living in and kill her step-uncles. Nicoletta is too far gone to be shocked by the violence. All she know is she’s out of the hell that made her almost take her own life.

In the years that follow, Nicoletta finds her place with her foster parents. She’s deeply loved, but demons still follow her daily. Taviano Ferraro is there when her dreams become too much and she can’t handle the pain. So the problem I have here is that Nicoletta was fifteen when she came into the Ferraro’s lives. Fifteen. Taviano knows that Nicoletta is the one for him because of how their shadows connect. He just has to leave her alone until she’s older.

Fast forward. Nicoletta is eighteen. Eighteen. No thank you. That’s way too young of a heroine for me. I don’t know if it’s because I’m getting older, but I just couldn’t really abide a heroine that was that young and a hero that was in his late twenties. I did like this book. I liked the action and I love seeing how the Ferraro’s bond with each other. Taviano and Nicoletta were really suited (except for the age) and I enjoyed reading their story (except for the age). I look forward to Emmanuelle’s book next.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Shadow Riders

three-stars


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