Saturday, December 30, 2017

Happy New Year!

With the new year imminent it's time to once again sign up for reading challenges!  Do any of you do that?  I love them.  Set your reading goals for the entire year and then enjoy some wonderful new books.  I am a particular fan of the Goodreads Reading Challenge.  It is easy to track because Goodreads does all the work when you remember to mark books as currently reading.  Especially because Amazon and Netgalley (if you use them) both now have integrated Goodreads features and will automatically share reviews and mark books as being finished!  Yeah! 

Here's a link to my 2017 Goodreads reading challenge if you want to see some of what I read this year!  Join me in a 2018 reading challenge this year, whether its Goodreads or any other!

Reading challenge banner

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Review: The Dragon's Mage by Kelly Lucille

The Dragon's Mage The Dragon's Mage by Kelly Lucille
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Dragon shifter novels are a favorite of mine. This one, I'll admit threw me for a loop the first time I read it. I've owned it for years, and when I stumbled across it in my reading list I did not remember anything about it. After re-reading it, yup, nothing. So it must not have been a success the first time I read this. BUT...once I discovered that there were four more books after this one, it made a HUGH difference.

Morgan and her family have been hiding from humans ever since their parents were burned at the stack for being Mages. Burned by humans or devoured by Blood Mages were the only outcome for mages in her world. And since she and her siblings are all gifted, hiding was the only option. Until one day, hiding doesn't work anymore and she's captured by the Magnulls employed by the Blood Mages. Her powers have been null-ified and carted off to be devoured, but at least her siblings are safe. When she's placed in a cage with a dragon though, maybe there's another option. If she can strengthen the dragon, then maybe he can get them out of there. Nulls had no effect of dragon magic.

When Ladon is awakened she a mage-woman, he did not expect to discover that not only has she saved his life, but she's his mate. Betrayed by his own family, he has no choice but to take his new-found mate to the safest place he knows of. Eben Kincaid is the oldest dragon alive and long ago lost hope of finding his mate. When young Ladon arrives and asks for his help protecting his mate, Eben never expected that the mage woman would also be his mate. Together, these three must navigate a triple mating, find Morgan's siblings, discover who betrayed Ladon, and, oh, save mage and dragon kind alike.

I think the three part mating was what threw me off originally. You don't get enough character building and relationship logistics around all the other action taking place. But if you follow this up with book two about one of Morgan's sisters, book three about a dragon seer, and all the rest you get more of the interpersonal stuff that makes it all worth while. Great series that I would highly recommend!

View all my reviews

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Review: Leap of the Lion by Cherise Sinclair

Leap of the Lion Leap of the Lion by Cherise Sinclair
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I am a major fan of Cherise Sinclair. All of her series are really awesome, but the Wild Hunt Legacy series seems to be pretty unique for her. Most of her novels tend to be contemporary BDSM novels which are excellently written. She's also done a number of stand-alones that are sci-fi romance novels which are all wonderful as well. This series is the first I've seen from her that involve shifters. Ms. Sinclair offers a WONDERFUL, new mythos around shifters. In these novels shifters originated from the Fae Wild Hunt and now have their own society, rules and mythology. There are cat, wolf and bear shifters only unless you count the evil, dark shifter which feed off the good, hellhounds.

Most shifters are born as multiples, anywhere from two to four in each litter/pregnancy with a much higher percentage of males to females being born. Because of this and the fact that most females only have one litter, males from a litter tend to mate together. In this, the fourth, novel of the Wild Hunt Legacy, Darcy has been a captive of a group of humans using shifters as assassins for political gain. Kidnapped when they were children, her entire village was taken and experimented on. After escaping, Darcy is rescued from re-capture by her people and welcomed back into their society by the guardian of territory. With the help of her assigned mentors, litter mates Gawain and Owen, Darcy is learning what it means to be a shifter. But what she really needs from her people is their help in rescuing the rest of her village, which is still being held captive.

This entire series is EXCELLENT and although each novel can be read alone, it is better to read them in order. All previous couples appear in the following novels and some things would make more sense knowing their stories. Love the mythos of these shifters!!! Cherise Sinclair writes so awesome novels!

View all my reviews

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Review: Rugged Texas Cowboy by Lora Leigh

Rugged Texas Cowboy Rugged Texas Cowboy by Lora Leigh
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Cowboys and Captives is a fabulous name for this series and it's one well-worth reading! Lora Leigh is an amazing author that always wets your appetite with great characters, quality writing and passion. I thought these two stories were both fun and unique. Not at all a recycled concept or plot.

In Cowboy and the Captive, Melina is the good girl younger twin. She has spent years getting her sister out of trouble by pretending to be Maria for her court appearances and charity work. So much so that the world doesn't even realize that she even exists. But when her parents try to pressure her into helping again when Maria might spend the next 20 years in jail, she's had enough. She stands her ground and gets disowned for her trouble. Little does she know her troubles just begun, when she gets kidnapped by one of Maria's victims. One of the especially hot ones too!

In Cowboy and the Thief, ever since being sent to boarding school when she was young, Angel has been keeping herself contained so as not to be sent away again. She loves her home and family and has no interest in being anywhere else. But keeping herself contained doesn't allow for finding someone to spend your life with. When her father sells a family heirloom out from under her, she can no longer contain herself. Following the buyer back to Texas, she breaks in to his house to get it back. While getting caught wasn't on her agenda, the pleasure it brings may just be worth it.

View all my reviews

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Review: Ride Wild by Laura Kaye

Ride Wild Ride Wild by Laura Kaye
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It had been quite some time since I'd read the first two novels in the Raven Riders series. But you can easily follow along with this one, and not really need to have read the previous books at all to love this one. Cora has been living under the protection of the Raven Riders for a while now, and is trying to figure out how to get her life back on track. Babysitting Slider's two boys is one of the things she is doing that she really loves. Not to mention that Slider is this gorgeous lost soul who is very easy to work for. For Sam "Slider," having Cora's help for the past months has been super helpful, but it's also forcing him to wake up from the trance he's been living in for the past few years. Caring for his sick wife took a lot out of him and he barely had anything left for his boys.

Now, those boys are attached to Cora and demanding more of her presence in their lives. With them planting ideas in his head Slider offers Cora an in-house Nanny position. This begins a big stream of change for all involved. Slider and Cora must decide if their interest in each other is what's best for the boys and, oh, there's a dangerous dog fighting ring that's also messing with their lives and the future of the club.

This is a motorcycle club romance series unlike many out their now. It's not into drugs, gun-running or prostitution. More like races and protection. There's violence but it's more in an effort to protect the innocent and help the police get the bad guys. This crew is in this club for the motorcycles and stay around for the family. I really love this aspect of it, especially because I started reading these from meeting them in Laura Kaye's other series, Hard Ink, which is also pretty awesome.

View all my reviews

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Review: Leopard's Blood by Christine Feehan

Leopard's Blood Leopard's Blood by Christine Feehan
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I am only a mediocre fan of this particular Christine Feehan series. The Leopard People have been really hit or miss for me. So I was particularly surprised by who much I liked this one! This was such an awesome book. These two characters meet in really extenuating circumstances.

Sonia is the first female leopard who, I believe, really knew about her leopard before her first heat brought on her change. Gatita saved Sonia life and now she's determine to rebuild and live somewhere where her leopard can run free and she can be happy all the while hiding from her past. When her first heat does actually happen, she thinks she's finally somewhere safe. Little does she know that her neighbor is also a leopard enclave, and Gatita's mating calls are going to draw attention.

Joshua, and his leopard, Shadow, answer Gatita's call and together they do everything they can to mate Sonia and Gatita. Driving them to accept a lasting mating. But Sonia's skittish and Joshua is hiding secrets of his own. Secrets that will ultimately lead Sonia's past right to their door.

We've met Joshua in previous Leopard People novels. He has been a great supporting character and I'm glad he finally got his own story. All of the Leopard People novels seem to be leading down into some ulterior goal which I haven't figured out yet but I loved that Joshua's choice to step into this crime boss position force him and Sonia into conflict. I know that sounds weird but it lead to a pretty phenomenal story. I haven't enjoyed a Leopard story this much since the first one, Wild Rain, which was amazing! I also think that's were we first get introduced to Joshua, although it's been such a long time since I've re-read that one that I may be wrong. Excellent job, Ms. Feehan! (I received this novel as an ARC from Netgalley)

View all my reviews

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Review: Vegas is Burning by Trinity Blacio

Vegas is Burning Vegas is Burning by Trinity Blacio
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

An excellent new series by Trinity Blacio. Ms. Blacio does an excellent at world building, so much so that readers are mostly whiling to overlook the typographical errors that are common. Her characters and plots are so intricate and interesting that you overlook some of the other issues. This story was a little abrupt in the beginning because characters were talking about a prophecy/destiny thing that I didn't know but once the characters bring you around to it (in a way that works) all of that ends.

Bella and Raul are enmeshed in the end-of-the-world destiny thing that is putting a lot of pressure on people that have their own emotional problems, the added stress of this is almost too much. But their connection cannot be denied. While they are getting to know one another the evil starts coming out of the woodwork. Who's loyal and who is trying to set them up? Surely family will be the way to go. See Raul and Bella navigate through the destined path and into an actual, loving relationship. And since it's Trinity Blacio, throw in a little menage to spice things up. All around well done!

View all my reviews

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Review: Dragonsworn by Sherrilyn Kenyon

Dragonsworn Dragonsworn by Sherrilyn Kenyon
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Dragonsworn continues an excellent character progression within the Dark-Hunter series! I'll admit that I had stopped reading Sherrilyn Kenyon's Dark Hunter series, only stopping to read the big characters ones such as Acheron and Styxx's stories. But when the dragon line of stories started, I was back with a vengeance. I really like dragon stories and since it was the first dragon short story that brought me to this series in the first place I was pretty thrilled. Plus, they are jam packed with mythology and how the different pantheons interact. I have no idea how much of it is actual mythology and how much is made-up and I don't really care because it all works out logically for me.

Falcyn character is pretty awesome and since he would definitely need a bad-ass female that wasn't afraid of him, I really liked that the female was Medea, the daimon leader's daughter. They interacted really wonderfully and found themselves in this crazy situation. So many sub-characters are involved that it's difficult to keep them straight but not in a bad way. Thoroughly enjoyed this fun, light read!

View all my reviews

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Series Recommendation: Dragon Knights

Dragon Knights by Bianca D'Arc is an awesome series by an amazing author.  Every story is really well written and a wonderful, each about a specific couple that ties all stories into one ultimate story-line.  Many stories are menage relationships while others are one-on-one couples.  Some novels are better than others but they are all really good.   The series does not need to be read in any particular order but it works better if they are. 

Image result for dragon knights bianca darcMy favorites include Ice Dragon and Keeper of the Flame.  I actually started with Ice Dragon, realized it was a series and started back at the beginning.   The menage relationship  that is needed due to the dragon bond is amazing and the family unit created seems really awesome and not just because dragons are a part of them.  At the same time the black dragon mythos makes for an unique bond as well.  All around fun to read and can't wait for the next ones. 

Interestingly, Sea Dragon, Dragon Fire and Dragon Mates is a different type of book for the series.  This is a three-part story that is also the Sea Captain's Daughter series.  These three novels are all together about the same couple that takes on a different aspect of the Dragon Knights world.  It was frustrating when I didn't realize they were dependent on each other, but all together good stories.

Dragon Knights
  1. Maiden Flight
  2. The Dragon Healer
  3. Border Lair
  4. Master at Arms
  5. The Ice Dragon
  6. Prince of Spies
  7. Wings of Change
  8. Firedrake
  9. Dragon Storm
  10. Keeper of the Flame
  11. Hidden Dragons
  12. Sea Dragon
  13. Dragon Fire
  14. Dragon Mates

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Easy DIY Valance

I saw this easy DIY valance on Pinterest a long time ago.  It's been in the back of my head for two years.  Recently, everything came together and I was able to complete it all in two days.  It probably would've only taken one, but I had family for dinner so I took a break on day one.

Anyways, here's how it goes.  A combination of cloth of choice, poly-fil, cardboard longer than the length of your window by 6 to 8 inches,  1-inch wide board and a window rod.   I think I ended up with 1 inch x 1/2 inch wood that I used by handsaw to trim to the correct lengths.$478$I found it easy to use the window rod as a way to attach my valance to the wall without having to do anything really crazy.  Measure your window and tape your adjustable window rod into the correct length.  Use that as a guide for future measurements.  Cut your wood into the proper lengths for the full size of the valence, the ultimate wood frame will be in the same shape as the window rod.  Glue and nail your frame together.  Cut your cardboard into the length of the valence and use your staple gun to attach it to the wood frame.  Then cover with your poly-fil and, finally, the cloth.  The final product is light-weight and easy to hang with the included hang-rod brackets. 

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Review: French Kiss by Maddie Taylor

French Kiss French Kiss by Maddie Taylor
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I love Maddie Taylor's Decadence series. This is a spin-off series from the original but still really good. The original series characters still show up but the new ones are wonderful at carrying the show.

Marilee is a masochist in denial and Arturo is a visiting MI6 agent, who is also a sadist. They need each other but don't know it. What they also don't know is that Arturo is in town investigating a case that neither know will take them to Marilee's ex-husband.

Now it's just a matter of time before their relationship is tested. Can they survive Marilee's husband's bad decisions or will everything come unraveling? I received this story as an ARC from Netgalley.

View all my reviews

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Review: A Halloween to Remember: Book Nine of the Running in Fear Series

A Halloween to Remember: Book Nine of the Running in Fear Series A Halloween to Remember: Book Nine of the Running in Fear Series by Trinity Blacio
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is book nine in the Running in Fear series which I really like but re-releasing under a new title without any disclaimer is not cool. Everything's the same except for the timeline since it's now A Halloween to Remember instead of A Christmas to Remember. I really liked Shelly and Bo's story and the progression that they took. The Reticulon concept was interesting and it's transformation into Trinity's typical poly relationships worked well. I like the other couples showing up again and the addition of the adopted children is also really nice.

This story had way less errors and typos then past stories have had, but still needs some work. Ms. Blacio also does much better this time with the emotional journey, with less jumping from one extreme emotion to another without any build up. I received this novel as an ARC from Netgalley.

View all my reviews

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Review: Wild Ride by Julie Ann Walker

Wild Ride Wild Ride by Julie Ann Walker
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

As someone who has read a number (but not all) of the previous books in this series I was happy to finally read Ozzie's story! He has been an amazing character in past novels, has a great sense of humor and made an impact on most of the other couples during their novels. It was fun to finally read a novel in this series in which the female character was NOT in some crazy situation that needed the involvement and therefore exposure of the Black Knights secret business.

It was also really fun that Samantha is a reporter on top of that. Yes, she is involved in something crazy, but it's nothing the police can't handle. So an official Black Knights mission it is NOT. The previous friendship between Ozzie and Samantha was pretty fabulous build up to their romance and I really enjoyed each of their back stories. The reasons behind Ozzie's good mood and joking is heart-wrenching.

I received this novel as an ARC and thoroughly enjoyed it. This is not a series that must be read in order, other characters pop up again but not in any way that takes away from the plot.

View all my reviews

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Review: A Very Jaguar Christmas by Terry Spear

A Very Jaguar Christmas A Very Jaguar Christmas by Terry Spear
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I was not familiar with this series, world or author that much when I received an ARC of this novel, but I really loved the world that Terry Spear's has built. Our characters have a very well established society for Jaguar shifters that has proved successful over the years. Demetria and Everett both have roles within various departments of their society and have been circling each other for many years. Now, when a wolf shifter cub is dumped on them, who knew that wolf shifters even existed? They must work together to try to figure out where the cubs parents are and how to get him back to them.

This unexpected situation throws them together during the holidays and now they must deal with their issues. Conveniently, they're also building contacts to be used for a new division that deals with other organizations and unexpected shifter communities. This cute cub will force more cooperation then anyone ever expected!

View all my reviews

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Review: Heart on Fire by Amanda Bouchet (Kingmaker Chronicles)

Heart on Fire Heart on Fire by Amanda Bouchet
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I received this novel as an ARC. I could not wait to finish this third book in the Kingmaker Chronicles! I have been stalking the authors website with news of its release. Cat and Griffin closed Breath of Fire with a second kingdom conquered and almost died doing it. Now, it's on to figure out how to accomplish the next. They control former Sinta and Tarva, with Cat now the crowned Queen Catalia Thalyria. The confrontation with her mother, Alpha Fisa, is the daunting task on the horizon, but Griffin believes in her and their ultimate goal. That is until someone unexpected decides to throw a wrench in their plans.

Cat must overcome an unexpected, new hurdle that will impact the morale of everyone they know. Since she's terrified of her mother, whom she has to defeat in order to accomplish the goal that the very gods have given her, this is just another impossible task set on her shoulders. With Griffins drive wavering, godly interference and powerful elemental abilities all around what could go wrong?

I love mythology and any books with the various gods and goddesses are fun reads for me. This series, mostly has just mentioned the gods with a bit of cursory powers saving the day. This one has multiple of them in all their glory. I loved their interactions with our characters and the hints of the various worlds they have created and visit (one most likely being Earth). Their detailed plan for Cat is amazing and intricate. Cat and Griffin had a wonderful closing to their trilogy even though there was a bit of jumping to the next significant thing, which isn't uncommon in novels today.

I can tell that there will be more novels in this world revolving around Griffin's family and Alpha (Beta) Team. I can't wait for them and I hope we get hints of what Cat and Griffin (and baby Eleni) are up to in future novels! This novel is not available for purchase until January 2018!

View all my reviews

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Review: Secrets in Death by J.D. Robb

Secrets in Death Secrets in Death by J.D. Robb
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Eve Dallas has always been an amazing observational. She can look at a room once and describe, in detail, what most of the people look like, are wearing and more. But when Larinda Mars is murdered in the very bar she is having after work drinks at, she has no recollection of the suspect. And although Eve really dislikes the murder victim, she must stand for her non-the-less. And isn't just even worse that is happened with her right there?

Since this is book #45 in this series some of the guesswork about who the killer is has become typical for readers, but following the investigation to the evidence needed is still fun. And being able to get to spend time with Eve and Roarke at their super awesome house is great too! Their personal lives, relationship and friends are still some of the best parts of this series and this one doesn't leave you hanging.

I am beginning to wonder if less and less time is passing between each novel though. I wonder if the author has a reason for doing this? Early books would have weeks or months passing between novels and now it's just a handful of days. And since the books come out a year apart it is a bit difficult to remember the small details of the previous novel that are mentioned.

View all my reviews

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Review: Dark Legacy by Christine Feehan

Dark Legacy Dark Legacy by Christine Feehan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Dragomir is an ancient Carpathian that is doing his duty to protect the Carpathian people but also avoiding everyone since he's ready to end his battle with the darkness. Emeline Sanchez has survived the most atrocious things at the hands of vampires, Vadim Malinov in particular, but now she must face more as the child in her womb, Vadim's child, is in danger.

These two characters are magnificent together and apart. Their journey to each other is unique in many ways but also a little bit typical of books in the Dark Carpathian series since this is the 27th book. You can tell that Ms. Feehan is doing her best to make things new and interesting for readers without being repetitive. Emeline represents a new way to fight off the vampire threat while also presenting a way to introduce new avenues to pursue.

View all my reviews

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Review: Daughter of the Everstar by Laura Jo Phillips

Daughter of the Everstar Daughter of the Everstar by Laura Jo Phillips
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Wow, did I love this book! As a huge fan of Laura Jo Phillips and all of her other novels/series, of course, I was going to read this one. And she definitely meets the expectations of greatness with this novel. Now, I have no idea if this is going to be a part of a series or not, but it definitely has the potential for it and I do hope it does.

Toni makes a wish in a wishing well and is given the choice to have it fulfilled in another realm that needs her help. With three promises in her cap: anyone who tries to rape her will die, no lasting harm can come to her and she cannot die; Toni has one year to find what she's looking for and decide if she wants to stay in this new realm.

Ronan is a place of former magic, where the people have had to relearn how to do everything after their magic was shattered. But not to worry, they have plenty of time to do it since they have a cure for aging. The bigger problem they face is that there haven't been any children born in over three hundred years, then the Bright Queen, a powerful magical creature that favors their world, announces that she will be bringing a Bright Lady to Ronan. This Bright Lady will have a choice to wed one of the head of the Houses of Ronan and be able to produce children.

Not everyone is happy with this announcement, and Toni must navigate through treachery, desire for both of the brothers that lead Wolf House and the plots and schemes of their crazy female relatives. This is a menage story with twists, turns and wonderful characters!

I was up until 2:30 in the morning reading this on a work night and have no idea what I accomplished at work the next day since I still hadn't finished and it was all I could think about. Excellent!!

View all my reviews

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Review: Pretty Kitten by May Sage

Pretty Kitten Pretty Kitten by May Sage
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Book two in the Age of Night series was a fun addition to this new read I've recently discovered. Following shortly after book 1 (Kitty Cat) finishes, Duante has been fighting his attraction to Clari since they met because she is human and not an acceptable mate. But when his new-born nephew turns out to be a "turner," a rare type of shifter that can convert humans with just a bite, which is forbidden and death-sentence worthy also, Clari is bitten by the little cub and must deal with the possibility of shifting.

And, oh, when it gets out that baby Zachary is a turner, all other shifters ban together to attack and kill both Zachary and Clari. Weird hits the fan in this novel when metaphysical beings come out of hiding to help protect this small clan and prevent this little infant/cub from being destroyed.

A fun, easy read that follow these fun characters and bizarre clan. Looking forward to future novels.

View all my reviews

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Fifty Shades Trilogy

Anyways, back to the novels.  As many of you probably know now that there are movies out, this is a romance BDSM trilogy.  There are a lot of books within this genre but it's mostly a hush-hush thing that isn't in the public eye.  The massive popularity of these novels made this subject a mainstream topic of conversation.  And I think that's wonderful!  I'm a big advocate for the live and let live mentality.  What people do in their private lives: who they love, how they love, what they believe in; I'm okay with all of it.  As long as your beliefs aren't shoved under my nose and you're not trying to force them on me, go for it.  I actually really enjoy reading BDSM and erotic romance novels myself.

Image result for fifty shades of grey trilogy
After years of putting it off because of it's mainstream popularity, I finally picked up the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy by E.L. James to read.  Now, don't get me wrong I read a lot of mainstream novels when they are popular and I read other books in this genre so it wasn't any of that that put me off reading them for so long.  It was the self-publishing, HUGE number of typos and grammatical errors that were prevalent in early editions.  As a English major and a Librarian there are only so many of those I'm willing to overlook before it becomes a problem for me!!!

I've learned a lot from books and these novels are a lot about teaching about BDSM and what it means.  Anastasia is such a naive young female that has almost no knowledge of anything sexual, which is unusual in the free market of information available today, and Christian is such a wounded, jaded character.  What's not to love?  Throughout these novels we are confronted with the realistic horrors of the world and the things that people do to one another, but also who people can come together to help heal each other.  It's a great representation of today's society.  These do end up being a wonderful trilogy that is worth reading if you don't mind the subject matter described.  It's eye-opening and all about understanding and accepting others even when it involves something that is unfamiliar.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Review: Bear's Touch: A Clan Bear Paranormal Shifter Romance by Emma Alisyn

Bear's Touch: A Clan Bear Paranormal Shifter Romance Bear's Touch: A Clan Bear Paranormal Shifter Romance by Emma Alisyn
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

What an excellent book. I've taken to really like bear shifter novels, they're all so different. There are many different ways that bear clans could be different from typical shifter novels. And that's not even taking into account the world surrounding the shifter community. This one was fun, intricate and confusing at times. Lea is a strong female bear shifter that is also a healer. But the healer concept is one that I've never seen because she also has a defensive, venomous weapon touch. Between that and her extreme need of healers to have an alpha to lean on in order to not get 'lost' while immersed in healing.

Yurii is the alpha bear that asked for a healer's help when his clan is attacked by dragons. Yes, dragons. Awesome! Lea swoops in and is stubborn and crazy enough to shake everything up for this bear clan, get unexpected mated to the alpha and then pregnant. Not only is she apparently surprising fertile for a healer, but healers also have a truncated and difficult time while pregnant and, oh yeah, there's still problems with dragons.

I thoroughly enjoyed all the intricacies involved in this novel and actually started re-reading it right after finishing because I felt that I'd missed some of the details. All around excellent!

View all my reviews

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Review: The Emperor's Arrow by Lauren D.M. Smith

The Emperor's Arrow The Emperor's Arrow by Lauren D.M. Smith
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was an amazingly interesting story with a kick-ass warrior female and strong Emperor that are bound to each other. The world that Ms. Smith builds is unique and one that grabs readers from the very beginning. In a world recently conquered by a legendary Emperor, a call for brides from all the powerful families has been made. Everyone must send someone with the necessary blood ties. The Amazi are some of the best warriors in the Empire, so much so that they're only called to fight when it's absolutely the most dire of needs. They are legends and little is known about them since they rarely leave their island. Evony has been elected to represent her people in the bride call.

Little does she know that more than just her presence is required to pacify the Emperor. He'll need her skills and help even though she knows nothing about court and intrigue. Her warrior skills make such an impression on the soldiers around the palace that she finds herself drawn into the secret reason for putting out the bride call in the first place. Traitors are everywhere and without her, Emperor Galen will not survive the coming battle.

The world created in this novel was wonderful. With hints of historical China, Rome, the Amazons and more all thrown into one big intrigue plot. I was up until two in the morning on a work night, not able to put it down! The growing relationship between Evony and Galen and having the female character be the incredible warrior all combined to make a phenomenal read!

View all my reviews

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Review: Wolf's Mate by Celia Kyle

Wolf's Mate Wolf's Mate by Celia Kyle
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

An excellent and thrilling read! Celia Kyle has created a wonderful world full of shifters that has many different aspects of it. Having read some of her other novels I was thrilled to discover that this one takes place in the same world. Declan is a wonderful alpha male that has a screwed up opinion of himself due to the pack he grew up in but he is a magnificent character. He was both aggressive to an extreme and super protective of Abby.

Abby is a very relatable cougar shifter that has a sad past herself that she has overcome to become a boring, normal accountant. She thinks her life is happy. But she gets herself into trouble during what should be a routine audit; uncovering accounts funding a shifter hate group. She's immediately thrown into incredible danger and doesn't know what to do, except run. In steps Declan, who's current mission has him staking out the company Abby's auditing. His inexplicable attraction to Abby has been ignorable until she's in danger.

Together they must overcome a crazy situation and possible help uncover a spy in their ranks all the while battling an attraction and impossible situation. A quick read, but extremely enjoyable story! I did receive this novel as an ARC.

View all my reviews

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Review: The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman

The Light Between Oceans The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I finally got around to reading this, long after it was so popular with book clubs and after the movies been out for a while. This one had me going back and forth from "I really like it" to "what is this?" on a massive scale. I completely sympathized with Isabella but at the same time was COMPLETELY frustrated and pissed off by her. She hid her motivations behind God and Lucy and that was so frustrating to me. Just admit the truth behind your reasoning and move on.

I did really like Tom's character though and the information about the lighthouse was pretty cool since I live in NC and there are a lot of historic lighthouse around. It wasn't until the end that I was finally able to admit to myself and others that I liked this book.  If it had ended differently I'm not sure what I would have done.

View all my reviews

Saturday, July 15, 2017

DIY Mirror Frame

I enjoy looking through Pinterest for crafting and home DIY ideas as much as the next guy.  I saw this project there initially.  What can be frustrating though is that you get the simple idea in your head and the next time you're at Home Depot or Lowes you raid the proper section for the wood pieces you think you'll need to accomplish this.  And great, it's less then $30 that you've spent on materials.  But what you don't think of when you're out getting the pieces needed is the logistics behind actually accomplishing this.  So you get home and cut your wood to the proper size (if necessary) and  you're ready to go.  Only, now what?  All you did in Pinterest was look at the pretty picture for the idea.  You have absolutely no idea how to actually attach your materials to a mirror. 

Turns out, after reading a couple of blogs thoroughly, this is much easier than you would think.  With some Loctite and glue gun you can attach your 'frame' to the mirror without having to stand there for an hour holding everything in place while you're waiting for glue to dry.

Materials Needed:
  1. Loctite
  2. Glue gun and glue sticks
  3. Window/door trim of your choice
  4. Paint of your choice
 Tips that make this easier.
  • Have patience while painting your wood the proper color and remember that you need to paint the back of the trim also because it will be reflected in the mirror.  
  • Make sure the glue gun is really hot and glue melted well, it'll dry to fast and not stick well to the mirror if it's not hot enough.  
  • Apply the Loctite glue to your piece first as this has a 30 minute dry period. Then apply the glue gun and immediately stick in place on the mirror.  The glue from the glue gun will dry quickly and hold your trim in place while the Loctite is drying.  
    • The glue gun is a temporary glue giving the Loctite time to dry without having to hold it in place.
It's all fairly easy you just have to take your time and do it right.  Here's my finished mirror project.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Review: Warrior's Heart by Bianca D'Arc

Warrior's Heart Warrior's Heart by Bianca D'Arc
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I have been a fan of Bianca D'Arc for a long time. She is very good at character development and story building. This is a short story that is the beginning of a new series for her. Childhood friends have finally grown up and gotten to the point in their lives that they're ready to admit how they feel about each other. Casey has been secretly in love with her brother's best friend since she was a teenager, but he joined the military and is never around. Plus, he's never looked at her as anything but a pseudo-little sister. Now, Hal is back in town and he's decided to change the nature of their relationship.

Hal is back from a mission gone crazy and after having to confront some crazy things while on tour he's not willing to pretend he's not crazy about Casey anymore. But can Casey deal with the consequences of his last mission? The results of which have changed him and his team forever.

I really loved the concept of this series. What could be mythological gods make an appearance in the modern world and decide to mess with Hal's team. I love mythology so this was super intriguing to me. Plus, Casey and Hal's long time friendship makes the step into a romantic relationship fun and believable. I was sad at how short this novel was and am looking forward to more of this series!

View all my reviews

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Favorite Read & Review

I have been writing this blog for over a year now.  In that time I have shared a lot of my favorite authors and series, many of which I have been loyal to for many years.  And many authors that titles that I have sought just to be able to review for this blog and for my library job.  I wanted to take the time this summer to share my favorite book out of all of them.  This post has previously been on my blog and I stand behind it and will include the 2nd book in the series, Breath of Fire, as an EXCELLENT read as well (although not as good as the first).  I have re-read this book many times in the last year and hope you will like it too.  It was nominated for many new author awards in this genre as well.

My Original Review

As a librarian I sometimes receive advanced readers copies of books, to write reviews on and with the hope that I'll purchase copies for my library.  One of the more recent books I received was A Promise of Fire by Amanda Bouchet.  Since I get a lot of ARCs, I don't also approach reading them with the best attitude.  They're often short, simple and not much to dwell on, this one COMPLETELY surprised me!  I loved it so much!

Cat is a mysterious figure that is protecting herself, her secret and everyone else that she lets into her life.  She is discovered by Griffin, the strong and powerful leader that has recently overthrown the royal family that's been in power for ever.  In a world were those with magic and power have ruled for as long as can be remembered, Griffin thinks he's discovered in Cat the secret to keeping his family in power during this time of turmoil.  But there's a lot more than meets the eye with her.  Kidnapping her may prove to help the realm but also may bring war to them all.

I loved reading this book and seriously hope that there will be more to the series.  I believe that there has to be at this point because although some things were resolved and there was a happy ending, there's still so much more that has to be dealt with.  Looking forward to them all, but dreading what will probably be a long wait for them to be published!

Breath of Fire is now available and Heart on Fire will be available in January 2018.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Review: His Sapphire by Maggie Chase

His Sapphire His Sapphire by Maggie Chase
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

An interesting perspective for a BDSM romance. Not often do you see historical fiction BDSM novels, let allow novels of this genre where the female submissive is the knowledgeable one and the dominant is still a novice. It was an interesting combination and ended working really well. I received this novel as an ARC and was impressed with it's well developed characters and subject matter. As far as I could tell it was historically accurate and interesting.

I looked through the other books in this series and surprised to see the wide variety of relationships Maggie Chase presents. Well done, Ms. Chase!

View all my reviews

Saturday, June 17, 2017

June Re-Readathon

I have a favorite  historical fiction romance novel that I end up going back to read over and over again.   Moonlight Mistress by Patricia Rice was published in 1999.  I came across it at a used bookstore and have now read it more times than I can count.  Set in the time of Henry II of England when England is still recovering from King Stephen and the chaos of the Robber Barons under his rule. 
Image result for moonlight mistress by patricia riceAelvina Fairfax is a peasant who has been thrust into a desperate situation that has forced her to seek assistance from Lady Ravenna, a reclusive widow.  Taking matters into her own hands Aelvina approached Sir Philippe St. Aubyn for protection against becoming indebted to Lady Ravenna.  Bargaining her maidenhead and loyalty to one man is better than being offered to many under Lady Ravenna's rule.

A soldier under King Henry II's command, Sir Philippe has been sent to take possession in the name of the king the widowed Lady Ravenna's holdings.  When he is approached by a fair-haired beauty for protection, he can't help but be tempted by her bargain.  Little did either of them know that the Lady Ravenna had her own plans for them.  Philippe and Aelvina must navigate lies, secrets, hatred, the dark arts, and King Henry II to find their happy ending. 

I really love this novel.  It's the only one of Patricia Rice's novels that I've read, but it's wonderful.  The turmoil between this couple is amazing.  I love the details of each person and their EXTREMELY rocky relationship just keeps drawing me back.  I wish it was available as a downloadable book, but not so far.  I did email the author a couple of years ago to ask about that possibility and she said there was some hope, her materials were being purchased by a new publisher and were starting to be moved to digital.  Here's hoping!

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Review: Back Of Beyond

Back Of Beyond Back Of Beyond by C.J. Box
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I have started listening to audiobooks in the car since my job involves a lot more driving then it used too. Since then I've been able to seriously cut down my reading list, but there are some draw backs to listening to books. The readers have to have a good voice and be able to portray the different characters well. This can sometimes be hard to find, for instance I can't listen to the readers of the Game of Thrones novels AT ALL. Also, stopping and starting a book so often when you are in and out of the car a lot can be disconcerting as well.

Back of Beyond was an excellent listen. C.J. Box gives readers enough intrigue into situations that you leave each time with skeptical indecision as to whether you liked what just happened or not but just enough to interest you as soon as you return to it. Cody Hoyt is such a love/hate kind of character. He has some strong character flaws that could easily become annoying but enough is happening around him that it doesn't impact reader interest. When a friend of his is killed, whether by accident or murder, he reacts badly to say the least. Then when very slim chances evidence point in the direction to where his son is spending part of his summer, Hoyt overreacts and dramatically, illegally leaves town and throws around his 'cop' status to get people to help him even though he's been suspended and no longer has a badge.

Justin Hoyt and sisters Danielle and Gracie, who are on another part of this story are a wonderful addition to this story. What's happening on their adventure meshes with what's happening to Cody in a great way that is unexpected to all characters. I really loved how everything came together, but some of it was sort of the expected, convenience that would get Cody Hoyt out of as much trouble as he should have been in.

View all my reviews

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Review: Odd Thomas by Dean Koontz

Have you ever picked up a book to read because you really liked the movie?  It’s become common for books to be made into movies and in many cases no one bothers to read the book before they see the movie.  What people forget is that the book has so many more details, descriptions, and activity than can be fit into an hour and a half long movie.  Often the movies are really well done interpretations of the books, but that doesn’t mean that the book isn’t still much better.

Odd Thomas by Dean Koontz was turned into a movie in 2013.  It was a pretty good movie starring Anton Yelchin and William Defoe.  Odd Thomas is a young man from a small town in California named Pico Mundo.  Yes, his name is actually Odd, that’s not a typo.  He is rightly named because he was born with supernatural abilities, one of which is seeing ghosts.  Although ghosts don’t talk, Odd can see them and many times they seek him out for justice.  When they touch him they feel like normal people and can sometimes show him the tragedy that ended their lives.  Conveniently, Odd has a great relationship with the local sheriff, who knows his secret, and with whom he helps seek justice for the ghosts he sees.  

Beyond seeing ghosts, Odd has a few other abilities that are harder to describe but involve being able to ‘psychically’ find people he’s looking for as well as sometimes having prophetic dreams.  Other than this, he’s a normal twenty-year old fry cook at the Pico Mundo Grill.  Although he tries to live a simple life by working, helping out when necessary and enjoying his life, he is continually drawn into situations, some of which readers hear about and some we see.  Today, Odd wakes from a disturbing dream that he tries to brush off only to find himself faced with a supernatural situation.  Nothing about what he’s experiencing makes any sense but he can ‘feel’ it leading to some terrible, disastrous end.  He is forced to follow clues and puzzle together what is happening in his small town and, hopefully, save the day. Odd Thomas is the beginning of a series of books that follow the life of, obviously, Odd Thomas.  He finds himself drawn into new situations as each book progresses, until he comes full circle.

If you enjoy mysteries, paranormal reads or are just a Dean Koontz fan you will really like this series.  Following Odd Thomas through the twists and turns of his life and experiencing this mysterious web of sinister plots was really fun.  Although seeing the movie first does take away from some of the ‘who-dun-it’ mystery, there is so much not included in the movie that it was still really worth it.  Continuing to read the rest of the series was enthralling as Odd meets some great characters and gets himself enmeshed in some really interesting situations.