Showing posts from September, 2014

Review: "Counterpoint" by Rachel Haimowitz

Note: This book was provided by Riptide Publishing via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Counterpoint is the first book in the Song of the Fallen duet by Rachel Haimowitz and is an M/M fantasy romance about an elven warrior named Ayden Vaska and a human prince regent named Freyrík Farr. Centuries of hatred and distrust have made enemies of elfkind and humankind, and when Ayden and his sister are captured by soldiers belonging to Freyrík's kingdom, he refuses to submit to Freyrík, even if what is being offered in exchange is kindness.
I'll be the first to admit that, while I found the book's synopsis intriguing (thus making me request it on NetGalley), I didn't immediately get into the story in the first few pages. Yes, I read almost anything and I have read fantasy romances before; they're just not on top of my go-to list of books I want to curl up to in the middle of the night. Fantasy books tend to be more complicated to read, especially if there's a…

Review: "Rescue Breathing" by Zoe Norman

Rescue Breathing is the first book in the Breathe duet by Zoe Norman. This was given to me as an unexpected gift by one of my fellow bookaholics, Mara de Guzman, who also happens to be a book blogger! This came highly recommended and I've seen a few of the reviews on Goodreads so I was excited to finally be able to read it. ^.^
Olivia Burke is a psychologist who finds herself recovering from a three-year relationship that ended with a betrayal she never saw coming. After many months of getting her life and heart back in order, she's invited to a conference in Seattle to share the findings of her research work focused on those who suffer trauma in the line of duty, i.e. firefighters, policemen, etc. Little does she know that her trip is about to take her away from comfort zone and push her to take a few risks.
Owen Maxwell is a part of one of the Rescue companies of the FDNY, an elite group of firefighters known for taking on riskier and specialized rescues. As much as he loves…

Review: "The Apartment" by Amanda Black (The Apartment Novels #1)

Note: This ARC was provided by Full Fathom Five via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
The Apartment is the first book in The Apartment Novels series by first-time author Amanda Black. From what I've gathered, the book started out as Twilight-inspired fan fiction and, based on past experience with books that have followed the same path, some don't translate as well when re-worked as a totally new novel while others shine on their own merit that Edward, Bella, and all things Twilight never even cross your mind. The Apartment undoubtedly falls in the latter category. ^.^
Two strangers. An apartment for rent. Both in the same place at the same time. He's broken and she's a problem solver. He asks for one thing and she gives it to him. Then, he leaves an open invitation for her to return. The outside world isn't welcome in the apartment and they never exchange names or any other information about themselves. However, they can be ho…

Review: "Scratch" by Rhonda Helms

Note: This ARC was provided by Kensington Books via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Scratch is a New Adult (NA) novel about a college student who exists day to day, not wanting any attention to be called her way. On the weekends, she deejays at a local club, sharing her love of music with others but does it without wanting the spotlight. However, someone's already noticed her and once he does, she begins to wonder if she's satisfied with merely existing or if she's ready to really start living.
Casey has a deep scar on her abdomen but the scars that aren't easily seen are those that go even deeper. She keeps all of that hidden away, refusing to share it with anyone and not really bothering to engage in deep friendships with other people. The only ones who know her pain are her grandparents. Then she meets Daniel, a classmate of hers in Philosophy, and while she's attracted to him and they grow closer over several months, her secrets are something she'…

Review: "Shadows & Dreams" by Alexis Hall

Note: This book was provided by Riptide Publishing via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Shadows & Dreams is the second book in the Kate Kane, Paranormal Investigator series by Alexis Hall. After the events of the first book, Iron & Velvet, we find Katherine "Kate" Kane being put on trial by the council of vampires for the murder of one of the vampire princes. Well, technically, she did kill him...but not on purpose, of course, so she'll have to convince majority of the council.
Aside from her life hanging in the balance, Kate finds herself having dreams that are becoming more ominous with each passing night. Then, the dreams begin to become reality: the Morrigan has been awakened from a centuries-long slumber and a vampire army is quickly being assembled. Kate needs to figure out why this is all happening in order to put a stop to it before more lives are lost. 
Add to all that the ex-girlfriend who killed her partner has escaped prison, another ex-girl…

Review: "Iron & Velvet" by Alexis Hall

Iron & Velvet is the first book in the Kate Kane, Paranormal Investigator series by Alexis Hall and also happens to be the first F/F paranormal series that I've read. It tells the tale of a private investigator named Katherine "Kate" Kane who is hired by a vampire prince named Julian Saint-Germain after a werewolf shifter is found murdered outside a club she owns. From there, Kate's already cluttered life becomes all the more chaotic with a combination of vampires, werewolves, mages, and humans...oh my! 
Kate Kane's still dealing with the murder of her partner at the hands of an ex-girlfriend when she's requested to take on the case of a werewolf shifter who's been murdered in a rather gruesome manner outside the club of a vampire prince. Oops. Sorry. A "motherfucking vampire prince". When Kate meets Julian Saint-Germain, she comes face to face with a beautiful and tempting woman. Kate has a rule against sleeping with vampires and with clien…

Review: "Anchored" by Rachel Haimowitz

Note: This book was provided by Riptide Publishing via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Anchored is the first book in the Belonging series and was written by Rachel Haimowitz. It was originally released in January of 2011 before being re-released in September of 2014 by its new publisher. This book came to my attention after having finished Counterpunch by Aleksandr Voinov, which is actually the second book in the series, and upon the recommendation Mr. Voinov. When I found out this was available for request on NetGalley, I clicked and voila! ^.^
When he was eleven years old, Daniel Halstrom was bought from his original owner by NewWorld Media, a well-known company. They saw that he had potential and a quarter of a century later, he's reached that potential by having his own news program and receiving perks that other slaves do not have easy access to. Still, he isn't so above the rest when he's leased out for a year to, of all people, his main rival in the ratin…

Review: "Icebound" by Corinna Rogers

Note: This ARC was provided by HarperImpulse via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Icebound is the first book in the Mortals & Myths series by new author Corinna Rogers and, as far as I can remember (hey, I've read A LOT of books in my lifetime so I've lost count and can't really recall every single one that I've had the pleasure of reading), the first urban fantasy M/M novel I've come across. Reading the synopsis, I immediately found myself curious as to how the story was going to play out. And you know what they say about curiosity... No, no. Not the one about the cat. Let's just say that curiosity is often a good thing because it leads you to discover new and wonderful things. And yes, you may quote me on that. ^.^
"No deals. No pacts, no treaties, no nothing that'll ever lock us in. Nothing we can't undo. Nothing that binds us to anyone other than each other."
Shane Conell and Drake Young have known each other since they were t…

Review: "Reforming the Rock Star" by Christine Bell

Note: This ARC was provided by Entangled Publishing via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Reforming the Rock Star is the second book in the Head Over Heels series from Entangled Indulgence and was written by bestselling author Christine Bell. The book can be read as a standalone but if you're like me and you prefer reading all the books in a series and in the correct order, go ahead and check out book one, Resisting the Musician by Ally Blake. ^.^
Sydney Metcalf has always wanted to escape her past, filled with memories of being bullied in school and living in less than desirable conditions in a trailer park. She's slowly but surely building her catering business, A Lil' Taste of Heaven, and while she's initially apprehensive at being asked by her best friend, Callie Hanover, to cater not just her wedding reception but the numerous events leading up to the nuptials, Sydney decides to take the task on, knowing it will help drum up business for her. What she doe…

Review: "Resisting the Musician" by Ally Blake

Resisting the Musician by Ally Blake is the first book in the Head Over Heels series from Entangled Indulgence. I decided to check the book out after having been approved to read the ARC for the second book in the series, Reforming the Rock Star by Christine Bell, so that I wouldn't miss anything. You know how I am with reading books in the correct order... obsessive much? ^.^
Lori Hanover is the owner of a bridal shoe company, Calliope Shoes, that was successfully making its name in the fashion industry when news of her younger sister, Callie, and the very famous rock star husband-to-be, Jake Mitchell, of a well-known country singer who just happened to be a client of theirs fell in love with each other, thus ending the engagement of said celebrity couple. Now, other clients are steering away from their company, afraid of the bad publicity that's been hounding Calliope Shoes since the news broke. What she needs now is something to put a positive spin on Callie and Jake's …

Review: "Loving Lies" by Linda Kage

Loving Lies is the second book in the Granton University series by Linda Kage. The book picks up soon after the events of the first book, Fighting Fate (one of my personal favorites for 2013), so yes, reading the first installment is a must in order for you to have a better understanding of everything that happened prior. Don't worry. Fighting Fate will be worth your time. ^.^
This second installment focuses on Tess Simpson, a young woman whose heart is pure and someone who wants to be able to help out anyone in need. While volunteering at the hospital, she hears about one of the victims of the school shooting, Jonah Abbott, who is now suffering from memory loss but has had no visitors or inquiries about his condition. As she's about to check on him, he's just gotten done flinging yet another tray of food. Knowing that he's most probably frustrated at his inability to recall anything or anybody, she wants to be the sympathetic friend he needs. But when he asks her who …

Review: "From the Hat Down" by Andi Marquette

From the Hat Down is the sequel to From the Boots Up, both written by Andi Marquette. This takes place ten years after the events in the first book. We find Meg and Gina leading separate lives yet still connected by shared memories of their time together. Many things have happened and they may have gone through their own changes as individuals but they're both wondering if true love deserves a second chance.
Dr. Meg Tallmadge is part of a successful veterinary practice, maintains a great and open relationship with her father, Stan, will always have a family and a home at the Diamond Rock Ranch, and has good friends that she can always count on (even though they have a bad habit of being a tad nosy from time to time). On the down side, her mother still can't seem to accept the fact that she's gay (too many years and counting), she feels guilty about feeling relief more than sadness over the end of her most recent relationship, and she can't seem to stop thinking of Gina…

Review: "From the Boots Up" by Andi Marquette

From the Boots Up is an F/F contemporary romance novel by Andi Marquette and is about an incoming veterinary student who's currently helping her father out by working on the ranch their family owns. This summer, a writer for the Los Angeles Times is scheduled to visit the ranch and write a piece on their experience there. It proves to be a summer neither of them will forget.
Meg Tallmadge is 24 and, aside from wanting to become a veterinarian, loves spending her free time at the Diamond Rock, helping her dad out with anything and everything he needs. When her dad informs her that a writer from a major newspaper will be spending a week at the ranch, Meg realizes just how helpful the piece will be in getting new people to come and check them out. She promises to be on her best behavior so that nothing gets in the way of a positive review from the visiting writer. 
Meg then comes across a woman trying to change a flat tire and offers to help. There's something about her that grab…

Review: "Once the Clouds Have Gone" by KE Payne

Note: This ARC was provided by Bold Strokes Books via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Once the Clouds Have Gone is a contemporary romance novel by KE Payne and brings the story of a young woman returning to a place she stopped considering home and a family that she moved away from. She also returns to a town that would be rich if it could profit on all the gossiping the locals did. Since the death of her mother, she's been trying to find something that she believed to be missing from her life. Maybe what she was looking for was exactly what she left behind in the first place.
Tag Grainger left Balfour, Scotland nine years ago and returns after learning of her father's death. She is confronted by the anger of the brother who had once been the closest person in her life and by the nephew she never forgot but seems to have little to no memories of her. The mill, the center of her late father's life after the death of Tag's mother, and the businesses their fathe…

Review: "Counterpunch" by Aleksandr Voinov

Note: This book was provided by Riptide Publishing via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
When I read the synopsis for Counterpunch, I immediately knew I HAD to read the book. I didn't know it was previously released under a different publisher in late 2011 but that didn't really matter to me. It's never too late to read a good book so I jumped at the chance to see if my instincts were right, and I'm happy to say that yes, they were very right indeed. ^.^
Brooklyn Marshall's life is changed forever after he's accused, charged, and convicted of murdering a teenage rioter, who just happened to be the daughter of a high ranking member of Parliament, while he was doing his job as a policeman in London. He is later sold into slavery and, when not enduring the ill treatment from certain guards, he's climbing the ranks of the prizefighting circuit that has him going up against other slaves for entertainment and profit. Aside from being an in-demand boxer,…

Review: Ricochet by Skye Jordan (Renegades #3)

Ricochet is the third book in the Renegades series by bestselling author Skye Jordan (aka Joan Swan). The two previous books, Reckless and Rebel, featured the owner and lead stuntman (Jax Chamberlin) and the second top stuntman (Wes Lawson), respectively, of the Renegades group. This third installment spotlights the office manager of the company and the best friend of another stuntman who's going to come on as a specialist for a particular stunt.
Rachel Hart loves working for Renegades. She does more than pick up the phone and make the schedules for each of the men she now considers family. She's smart and sassy and puts the guys in their places when need be but treats them like her brothers, knowing she's loved and respected by each one of them. When she's tasked to go to the airport and pick up Ryker, the military veteran coming in to help with one of the stunts, she shows up very late but finds solace in meeting Nathan at the airport bar.
Master Sergeant Nathan Ryke…

Review: Rebel by Skye Jordan (Renegades #2)

Rebel is the second book in the Renegades series by Skye Jordan. The series is about a group of professional stuntmen and the women in their lives. This second installment is about Rubi and Wes, whom we originally met in the first book, Reckless, as the best friends of Lexi and Jax, respectively. There was already an initial attraction between Rubi and Wes and I'm glad their story was next on the list of stories. 
Rubi Russo is beauty and brains personified. She's a retired supermodel who uses her intelligence to create computer software, applications, and programs for clients. She'd do anything for the friends she considers family but doesn't believe in committing to a monogamous relationship with the opposite sex. She's been abandoned and forgotten more times than she can count and all by the one person who wasn't supposed to. Wes grabs her attention from the first time she sees him at the airport but she doesn't want to risk their friendship for what she…

Review: Reckless by Skye Jordan (Renegades #1)

Reckless is the first book in the Renegades series by Skye Jordan, the pseudonym of bestselling author Joan Swan. Lexi and Jax are both about focusing on what matters--work--and they're each the epitome of the kind of person they're supposed to be avoiding. When they find themselves in the same airport, on the same plane, and then in the same city, are they willing to throw caution to the wind and be reckless?
Lexi LaCroix is a couture wedding gown designer who has achieved a fair amount of success for her beautiful dresses. She doesn't have much time for anything else outside of work and can't seem to find actual motivation to get involved with someone right now. She sees a man who could be the poster child for all things "bad boy" and, on a whim, decides to do something she'd never contemplated until that very moment.
Jax Chamberlin is living the life he wants, no longer being held down by the demands of his former career. Then and now, he's had too…

Review: "Ten Below Zero" by Whitney Barbetti

"Just promise me something. Don't fall in love with me."
Ten Below Zero is a standalone New Adult love story by Whitney Barbetti. If you've read the author's previous book, He Found Me, you'll recognize Six, Mira, and Rosa, supporting characters who are mentioned in this new book. You don't need to read the aforementioned book but it is a good story so check it out anyway. Plus, you'll gain a better understanding of the story behind Chapter 15 in this new release. ^.^
Parker Sloane is a 21-year-old college student and waitress. She used to be many things until she's savagely attacked in a parking lot, leaving her scarred physically and emotionally. She distances herself from people, refusing to form attachments or even engage in casual conversation unless absolutely necessary. Until she receives a text message...
Everett O'Callaghan is a 26-year-old guidance counselor and has battled his cancer diagnosis more than once, and now he simply refuse…