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Review: Tough

cover106655-medium.pngSavannah Lyons has her secrets —she buried them in the past long ago and she’d like to leave them there.  She never talks about  her past with anyone — especially wickedly handsome restaurant owners like the guy next door.

Casey Moore has met women with moves and instincts like her’s before but not since he was a teenage runaway. He lost his best friend to the streets and for once, he hopes his razor-sharp intuition is dead wrong because there’s just something about Savannah that turns him from a tough guy to a tender heart.

I was hesitant to pick this one up because it’s book five in a series I haven’t read before but not having read the first few books definitely wasn’t a problem as Savannah and Casey’s story absolutely stands on its own. I fell in love with these characters from the first few chapters and was rooting for them the whole way through.

This story deals a lot with dealing with your past, and figuring out how much you let it define your future. It was a genuinely compelling read from start to finish, and one that I think will connect with a lot of different kinds of romance readers as there is a lot of well done character development through the series as well.

I suspect at some point I’ll probably go through and read the past books in this series, as well as keep an eye out for more from Mary Crawford in the future.

Review: A Minor Deception

cover99764-medium.pngKapellmeister Joseph Haydn would like nothing better than to show his principal violinist, Bartó Daboczi, the door. But with the Empress Maria Theresa’s visit scheduled in three weeks, Haydn can ill-afford to lose his surly virtuoso. But when Bartó disappears—along with all the music composed for the imperial visit—the Kapellmeister is forced to don the role of Kapell-detective, or risk losing his job. Before long Haydn’s search uncovers pieces of a disturbing puzzle. Bartó, it appears, is more than just a petty thief—and more dangerous. And what seemed like a minor musical mishap could modulate into a major political catastrophe unless Haydn can find his missing virtuoso.

Based on the cover, I did not expect an adult fiction novel, AT ALL. But I’m still very glad I picked this up as Nupur Tustin can tell a great story. The political stakes of A Minor Deception were anything but minor and I was frantic to see how everything came together in the end. Absolutely no complaints once I started the story and got to know the characters.

This was a genuinely enjoyably read. With a few adjustments to the cover–mainly, getting rid of the border and portrait–I think this book will find a large audience. I’ll definitely be keeping an eye out for more from the author.

Review: Money Can`t Lie

cover99222-medium.pngShould there be three pieces of crap this is of the British intelligence classic

One day there happened what may happen to a sleeping agent, he was burnt by the same intelligence he worked for. He expected to be arrested and suddenly realized all those things he felt overwhelming for the last week were nothing but seeming true. And in reality it was all quite different, and he had to save not his neck but the operation to which he was a shadow partner.
This deal left no legible trace. It was just like a woman always staying with somebody else in her pursuit of money. It was made of thin air, of powerful links, of noncommittal talks and handshakes. In this deal every cent was lying in someone’s hands. So not knowing the hand that handed this cent over to some other hands one could learn nothing at all, and the whole thing turned to be a number of bulging bubbles of virtual money that disappeared from bank accounts with a single keystroke. It became the reality pulling in to death.
So many people wanted to hold that deal in their hands.
Therefore he understood nothing would happen to him there, he could just walk out with no glance back since he knew so well all those counterparties involved in this operation, and these people could sense something went wrong from miles away and could read it by his walk, there was no need to warn them, they would scatter away on their own and hideaway like rats. And the deal would vanish alongside with them, flowing like sand between his fingers.
If someone wanted to hold down that deal nothing wrong could happen to him. He just had to walk into the street. But then, what if he was mistaken?

I almost didn’t pick up this book because the language in the blurb just seemed very off and sloppy, but the story sounded interesting so I decided to take a chance. I do think Money Can’t Lie could stand an extra round of editing, and I worry about what reviews are going to look like because of that on this otherwise great story.

This was a very quick read despite the errors and awkward language and made for a very thrilling story. This would actually make a really great movie.

Review: The Captain’s Kid

cover97613-medium.pngWhenever his parents went out on missions for the Space Survey Corps, Brandon Webb was left behind on Luna, left to dream of journeying between the stars, meeting aliens, defeating villains, saving the world. Now it’s his turn for adventure, permitted at last by the captain, his father, to join a year-long trip to a failing colonial planet on an emergency resupply run. Or so he’s told. Brandon’s former dreams could turn to nightmares when the starship is sabotaged, the alien holds secrets about his past, the villain is on the right side, and the world isn’t ready to be saved.

I recognized Liz Coley’s name from Pretty Girl-13 so decided to give this book a chance (I mean, who wouldn’t be in the mood for a YA space romp) and am so glad I did. The Captain’s Kid was a really fun story. Brandon’s world is quickly turned upside down leading into an adventure peppered with great characters and a lot of cool ideas for where humanity’s future could be headed. I can see this hitting it off with both of my nephews, and I’m always on the look out for new books that will appeal to both boys and girls. Highly recommended!

Review: The Keeper


Nick Geary, jaded clan leader of human guardians, the Keepers, is doomed to love a human woman who’s forgotten him, time after time, for thirteen years: Libby Klink, a skittish accountant who’s as terrified of her recent and strange intuitions as she is of her mundane existence.

When Nick is ordered by the clan’s guiding force to seek Libby’s help in defending the clan against enemy Betrayers, romance sizzles as the pair forms an unlikely alliance in their desperate search to discover the key to the clan’s salvation—which Libby alone holds.

But a haunting secret could cost Nick everything, and in a race against time, both will be forced to choose between their hearts and duty. Can their love, and the clan, survive, or will the very forces that drew them together ultimately destroy them?

The first thing that comes to mind when thinking about Rebecca Neely’s book, The Keeper is world building. A lot of thought clearly went in to crafting the realm of the Keeper’s, how they work and the social dynamics between individuals. We get a small taste of it right from the beginning of the book but it continues to build in on itself throughout the story, which was something I really appreciated.

There is a strong relationship story line weaved in to the fantasy plot as well, which I thought was well done. Nick and Libby are both dynamic characters with their own motivations. Nick’s role within the Keeper world was one that both made his relationship with Libby more complex while also working well to tie their story into the overarching plot at the same time. There was a lot going on at some point, but since I felt like I knew the characters well the story always managed to stay grounded.

Overall, I really enjoyed this story and am really hoping for news on the next installment coming soon!

Back to Business

Hey guys! So sorry I’ve been away all summer. Things got a little crazy with online classes and family and just… summer. The good news is that I did manage to sneak in some reading so I do have reviews coming. Thanks for sticking with me!

Review: A Love That Disturbs

love.pngMaysa Mazari is alarmed by her mother’s talk about arranged marriage. As a hijab-wearing Pakistani-American, she wants to find love on her own. Her judgmental Muslim clique has protected her from racist taunts, although the leader is turning on her as Maysa strays from the group because of her attraction to Haydee.

Haydee Gomez is a former gang member and juvenile detention student. Now living with a clean-cut aunt, she wants to turn her life around, even though one person will never let her forget her roots—Rafe, her abusive pimp. Haydee attempts to pull away from a life of prostitution when she develops feelings for Maysa, although Rafe isn’t willing to give her up too easily.

Finding themselves in danger from Maysa’s friends and Haydee’s pimp, it’s apparent their love disturbs everyone around them as they fight to stay together.

I picked this book up based on the cover, looking for some light romance, summer reading. I didn’t get quite what I was expecting but still ended up reading a fantastic story.

Haydee and Maysa were both great characters with complex lives and backgrounds. Watching their growing attraction for one another and how that managed to make their lives even more intense. Plus, the diversity in A Love That Disturbs enhanced the story on so many levels. There are a lot of great elements that came together in a dynamic novel that managed a great balance between intrigue and romance.

At times this didn’t necessarily feel like a teen read since the characters were all dealing with some very adult situations, but since it’s all laid out there in the description, I don’t imagine it would be a problem for potential readers, so long as they realize what they’re getting into. This ended up being a high impact read, with characters I could really root for. What else could you possibly need in a story?

Review: Trial & Terror

trial.pngThe good news is, public defender Summer Neuwirth just won her first case, which involved a brutal rape and kidnapping.

The bad news? Her client was guilty.

What’s more, he knows all about Summer’s past.

As Summer pursues her next case, this time to keep an innocent woman off death row, elements of that past–a mysterious case of childhood amnesia, her police officer father’s involvement with a serial killer, a terrifying attack she survived just months earlier–entwine with her present legal work, her missing mother, and her rocky relationship with a private investigator, all of which culminates in a thrilling trial… and terror.

Review: Once you see the cover and read the blurb for this book there should be no doubt in your mind about what kind of story you’re getting into. The setup for this story has a lot of potential to scare you silly. A new public defender wins her very first case, which would be impressive if it hadn’t resulted from a near comedy of errors (her client was guilty of several violent crimes, so many not a lot of personal celebration) but these events quickly spiral into something dark and extremely dangerous.

Her first client is less than willing to take his win and run and proceeds to begin harassing Summer and eventually making her fear for her life. Throughout this story Penenberg handles the tension wonderfully, so while I never really felt like I knew all of the characters as much as I wanted it didn’t matter because he practically had me believing that I was the one in danger.

And a big thank you to Wayzgoose Press and NetGalley for giving me the opportunity to discover a fantastic read that I may have missed otherwise.

Blog Tour: A Gentleman’s Surrender

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Call her a romantic—or a fool, Lady Monique Cathdon is determined to marry for love. After watching her parents tolerate an arranged betrothal, life seems too short to be wasted on keeping up appearances.

After all, what’s the point of having a heart if one refuses to follow it?

With a smile the devil himself might be proud of, James Stanton is not what her mother would call a matrimonial prospect. Still, there’s something about the young man that sends Lady Monique’s heart thumping around her chest, and silences her voice of reason.

Unfortunately for Lady Monique, the stakes are high, and young ladies of the ton make for very poor gamblers. Especially when James Stanton is on the hunt for revenge, and won’t let an innocent woman—or his own passionate desires—get in the way of righting past wrongs.

4.5 Stars

I wish my life was a romance novel. Actually, right now I wish my life was THIS romance novel. A Gentleman’s Surrender wasn’t even a book on my radar until I was invited to join this tour, and now Mariel Grey is absolutely an author I will be keeping an eye out for in the future.

Lady Monique’s future is anything but certain as she continues her search for a husband while dealing with way too many outside pressures. Inevitably, she meets James and a romance that’s not quite like anything else I’ve read recently begins. Their story focuses more on the quiet moments than the “private” ones, so by the end of the book you’ll have really come to care for both of them.

I took off the half star in my rating only because of a few stray moments where the thread of the story seemed to get lost in all of the historical details. This is usually something I love, but there were a few moments where it just seemed to be a bit much. All in all, the strong points of Monique’s story far outweighed the slower moments.

If you’re looking for a regency era story A Gentleman’s Surrender will scratch that itch for you nicely. It is actually the second book in its series, but I had no problem falling into the story having not read the first book first.

Review: The Haunting Lessons

haunting.pngThis fun, fast-paced urban fantasy is a coming-of-age thriller with witty sword and sorcery action. On every step of her journey, Tamara Smythe discovers she has powers she never suspected. You’ll laugh. You’ll cry. You’ll see ghosts and demons everywhere.

Join the Choir Invisible. Fight the monsters invading our dimension. Save the future.

While the blurb didn’t offer much in terms of what to expect from The Haunting Lessons but I’m glad I took a chance on it. The cover may have helped me along… love it! This was a really fun and intense read that kept me turning pages throughout.

When Tamara discovers some unexpected new abilities she’s thrown into a world she never could have imagined. I loved the whole concept of the Invisible Choir and can’t wait to see what this series has to offer in future installments.