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Tuesday, May 31, 2016

NEW RELEASE: The Darkest Torment by Gena Showalter

Published May 31, 2016 by Harlequin!

New York Times bestselling author Gena Showalter returns with her most explosive Lords of the Underworld tale to date, about a fierce warrior on the brink of sanity who will stop at nothing to claim the exquisite human with the power to soothe the beast inside him… 

Driven to his death by the demon of Distrust, Baden spent centuries in purgatory. Now he's back, but at what cost? Bound to the king of the underworld, an even darker force, he's unable to withstand the touch of another…and he's quickly devolving into a heartless assassin with an uncontrollable temper. Things only get worse when a mission goes awry and he finds himself saddled with a bride—just not his own.  

Famed dog trainer Katarina Joelle is forced to marry a monster to protect her loved ones. When she's taken hostage by the ruthless, beautiful Baden immediately after the ceremony, she's plunged into a war between two evils—with a protector more dangerous than the monsters he hunts. They are meant to be enemies, but neither can resist the passion burning between them…and all too soon the biggest threat is to her heart. 

But as Baden slips deeper into the abyss, she'll have to teach him to love…or lose him forever.

Keep reading for an excerpt!

______________________________________________________________________

About the Author

Gena Showalter is the New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author of the spellbinding Lords of the Underworld and Angels of the Dark series, two young adult series--Everlife and the White Rabbit Chronicles--and the highly addictive Original Heartbreakers series.  In addition to being a National Reader's Choice and two time RITA nominee, her romance novels have appeared in Cosmopolitan (Red Hot Read) and Seventeen magazine, she's appeared on Nightline and been mentioned in Orange is the New Black--if you ask her about it, she'll talk for hours…hours!  Her books have been translated in multiple languages.

She’s hard at work on her next novel, a tale featuring an alpha male with a dark side and the strong woman who brings him to his knees. You can learn more about Gena, her menagerie of rescue dogs, and all her upcoming books atgenashowalter.com or Facebook.com/genashowalterfan

Links:

Twitter: @genashowalter
____________________________Excerpt___________________________

Katarina wasn’t afraid of Baden. Not anymore.
He took a step to the side, intending to move around her. Oh, no. She flattened her hands on his shoulders, keeping him in place.
“I want to know what’s wrong with you.” She said. “Tell me.”
He snapped his teeth at her in a show of dominance. “You think you want to know my problem. You’re wrong.”
Her tone dry, she said, “I’m so glad you know my mind better than I do.”
“Very well. I need sex.” He threw the words at her as if they were weapons. “Badly.”
Whoa. Blindside!
Heart pounding, she jerked her hands away from him. “Sex...from me?”
“Yesss.” A hiss. “Only from you.”
Only. Amazing how one little word could send pleasure soaring through her, warming her. “You told me never to touch you.” Which she’d just done, she realized. My bad.
“I’ve changed my mind.” His gaze dropped, lingered on her lips.
Burning her... “But you and I...we’re a different species.” As if that mattered to her body. Gimme!
He took a step closer, invading her personal space.  “We’ll fit, I promise you.”

Tristo hrmenych! The raspy quality of his voice, all smoke and gravel...she shivered with longing. Must resist his allure.
But...but...why? Before she’d committed to Peter, she’d dated around, had made out in movie theaters, cars and on couches. She’d liked kissing and touching and “riding the belt buckle,” as her friends had called it. Then, after committing to Peter, she’d gifted him with her virginity. At first, he hadn’t known what to do with her—he’d been just as inexperienced—and she’d left each encounter disappointed. When finally she’d gathered the courage to tell him what she wanted, he’d satisfied her well.
She missed sex. But connection...intimacy...she thought she missed those more.
The dogs barked, jolting her from her thoughts. They’d cleaned their food bowls, and now wanted to play. She clasped Baden’s hand to lead him out of the kennel. He jerked away, severing contact.
One action. Tons of hurt.
“I’m allowed to touch you and you want to have sex with me, but you’re still disgusted by me.” She stomped outside the kennel, done with him. “Well, I’m leaving. Good riddance! Your do-what-I-say-or-else attitude was annoying, anyway.”
He darted in front of her, stopping her. Breath caught in her throat as sunlight streamed over him, paying his chiseled features absolute tribute, making his bronzed skin glimmer.
So beautiful. Too beautiful.
“I’m not disgusted by you. You need me. I’ve come to accept it,” he admitted, looking away from her. “But being skin-to-skin with another is painful for me. We’ll have to proceed carefully. And you’ll get over your annoyance.”
Another order!  She would show him the error of his ways.

Grab your copy of THE DARKEST TORMENT here!

And don’t miss the previous titles in the Lords of the Underworld Series!

Once again a huge thanks to author, @genashowalter and the @InkslingerPR team for allowing me to be a part of the release!

Sunday, May 29, 2016

REVIEW: Christine by Stephen King

Christine counts as my Book Riot entry for book published in the decade I was born. This 1983 King novel tell the story of an evil alive in Libertyville, PA--an evil that inhabits a red 1958 Plymouth Fury named Christine and the car's teenage owner, Arnold Cunningham after he buys it from strange, anger ridden Roland LeBay.

It soon becomes apparent that Christine isn't like other cars.  With a sense of awareness as if she's alive, Christine targets those who bully Arnie and reacts jealously to those who sway his attention from her. Best friend Dennis Guilder learns of the car's dark past including murder, suicide and it's heinous regeneration.

In hopes to save Arnie and put an end to Christine's reign of terror, Dennis joins forces with Arnie's ex-girlfriend Leigh Cabot. But will they all survive or will Christine and the evil manifested by LeBay cost them their lives?

Christine doesn't disappoint. It's super creepy but also interesting in its plot and character development. We so often hear people speak about a car as if it were a real person that the prospect of a car as a sentient being is pretty frightening.  Overall, I enjoyed the book as well as the audio narrated by Holter Graham.

I still have a qualms about King's depiction of female characters.  At this point I've read The Shining, Doctor Sleep, Carrie, The Dead Zone, and Salem's Lot. I want a BA and strong female character that isn't so hopelessly flawed or comes across as a bitch.

Final rating: 4 out of 5 stars



#horror #Christine #stephenking #cars #possession #audiobook

REVIEW: Troublemaker by Leah Remini

My reading challenge includes reading a book about religion.  For this, I chose Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and Scientology by actress Leah Remini.  Throughout she recounts her experience growing up as a Scientologist as well as the impact this had on finding success in Hollywood.

I've always liked Remini as an actress from the first time I saw her on Saved by the Bell to her leading role on King of Queens.  I watched her stint and Dancing with the Stars and when she's filled in as a co-host, I prayed to the TV gods that she'd permanently fill in for Erin Andrews.

Remini is smart, funny, and tells it like it is. I admire her honesty and courage to write this book despite the increase in backlash she's already experienced. Truthfully, I went in not knowing much about Scientology as a religion.  Sure I recognize key celebrity names (i.e. Tom Cruise, John Travolta) but when it comes to beliefs and principles I was a bit in the dark.  Remini sheds light on how it all is supposed to work but also blows the whistle on questionable actions and continued mysteries. Speaking her mind led her to be unjustly ousted because she spoke her mind and raised questions based on what she saw and how that factored into what she was always taught to believe.

This was a fascinating read made even more interesting by Remini's own narration of the audiobook.

Final rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Follow the author on Twitter: @LeahRemini


#troublemaker #memoir #hollywood #religion #books #audiobook #celebrity #humor

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

NEW RELEASE: Charged by Jay Crownover

Published: May 24, 2016

From the New York Times bestselling author of the Marked Men books comes the second installment in the Saints of Denver series featuring a bad girl and a by the book attorney who could be her salvation...or her ruin.

Avett Walker and Quaid Jackson’s worlds have no reason to collide. Ever. Quaid is a high powered criminal attorney as slick as he is handsome. Avett is a pink-haired troublemaker with a bad attitude and a history of picking the wrong men.

When Avett lands in a sea of hot water because of one terrible mistake, the only person who can get her out of it is the insanely sexy lawyer. The last thing on earth she wants to do is rely on the no-nonsense attorney who thinks of her as nothing more than a nuisance. He literally has her fate in his hands. Yet there is something about him that makes her want to convince him to loosen his tie and have a little fun…with her.

Quaid never takes on clients like the impulsive young woman with a Technicolor dye job. She could stand to learn a hard lesson or two, but something about her guileless hazel eyes intrigues him. Still, he’s determined to keep their relationship strictly business. But doing so is becoming more impossible with each day he spends with her.

As they work side-by-side, they’ll have to figure out a way to get along and keep their hands off each other—because the chemistry between them is beyond charged.

Don’t miss CHARGED by Jay Crownover! Grab your copy and meet the #LegalEagle!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Keep reading for an excerpt!
____________________________________________________________________

About the Author






Jay Crownover is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Marked Men, The Point, and the Saints of Denver series. Like her characters, she is a big fan of tattoos. She loves music and wishes she could be a rock star, but since she has no aptitude for singing or instrument playing, she'll settle for writing stories with interesting characters that make the reader feel something. She lives in Colorado with her three dogs. 

Links:



_____________________________Read an Excerpt____________________________

Avett

Don’t worry, Sprite, bad decisions always make for good stories…
              I could hear my dad’s gruff voice, lightened with humor, in my ear as he told me those words every single time I got caught doing something I wasn’t supposed to do when I was growing up. I was always doing something I shouldn’t then and now, so I heard those words a lot from him. Unfortunately, as an adult, my bad decisions resulted in consequences far worse than a scraped knee or a broken wrist from falling out of the tree in the backyard he warned me repeatedly wasn’t sturdy enough to limb. And sadly, my dad reassuring me in his firm and gentle way, while calling me his little Sprite as he kissed my boo-boos, wasn’t going to help my current situation at all.
              This boo-boo was big-time.
              This boo-boo was life-changing.
              This boo-boo was anything but a good story waiting to be told.
              This boo-boo very well could be the end of me, the end of the rope where my patient parents had dangled precariously for years, and it very well could be the end of any kind of future I may have had. A future I was well on my way to letting a lifetime of bad decisions and even worse choices screw up. At barely twenty-two, bad decisions had sort of become my stock in trade and were as familiar to me as my own face. I was almost legendary, at this point, for putting all my trust in the absolutely wrong kind of people. If there was a wrong path to take, I was going to skip gleefully down that road and not look back until I ended up exactly in the kind of situation I found myself in at the moment. It wasn’t like this was even a new dead end; it was the same one I ran into over and over again. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t get myself turned around, and the longer I was at this dead end, the darker and more wicked it became.
              I knew better. I really did, even if there was a boatload of evidence contradicting that fact.
              I wasn’t stupid, na├»ve, immature, or senseless. I might appear that way to anyone on the outside looking in, but I had my reasons for being a consummate failure and lifelong loser. All of those reasons had nothing to do with me not knowing better and everything to do with me knowing exactly what I deserved.
              For a long time now I had been spiraling out of control, whirling, falling deep and deeper into a pit of really awful actions and consequences, each seemingly worse and more painful than the last. I also hadn’t made any kind of effort to try and pull myself out of it, so logically I knew the only place I was going to end up was right here, right at the lowest part of rock bottom. I never imagined the landing would be so jarring.


Go buy it today!!!

A special thanks to @JayCrownover @InkSlingerPR!  

#legaleagle #charged #SoD #jaycrownover #books



Thursday, May 19, 2016

REVIEW: 'Unwanted' (Elemental Assassin 14.5) by Jennifer Estep

Expected publication: July 18, 2016

"Unwanted" is a novella from Finnegan Lane's perspective falling just after Bitter Bite.  The events of the previous novel were pretty devastating for Finn.  He's delighted when his long thought dead mother, returns very much alive and seems to want to be part of his life. Step-sister and deadly assassin, Gin, is skeptical as to her true motives but has to let Finn find out the truth for himself. Unfortunately, Finn is manipulated, betrayed and gruesomely tortured by his mother resulting in the deaths of multiple people.

Readers find Finn guilt ridden and depressed weeks after these events. His co-workers despise him and view him as a traitor; however, Finn carries on since he feels that the spite is warranted. He soon discovers that Bart the Butcher, a notoriously violent bookie is threatening the widow of Finn's former employee and he's vowed to protect them in lieu of his actions.  In this act, Finn finds a bit of redemption and some hard won solace but he's no where near being over what his mother did or his role in it.

I breezed through this story and just adored it.  It was important for Finn to explore what happened in Bitter Bite and for readers and fans of the series to have this story from his perspective.  He's grown as a character exponentially since Spider's Bite but that progression is too often seen from Gin's point of view. Finn's just as much of a bad ass as Gin but in his own way, especially since he lacks elemental powers--Fletcher would be proud.

Final rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Follow the author on Twitter: @Jennifer_Estep





#unwanted #elementalassassin #urbanfantasy #netgalley #ginblanco #porkpit #novella #books

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

REVIEW: Boundary Born by Melissa F. Olson

*Thanks to Netgalley for an ARC in exchange for a fair review*

Expected publication: June 21, 2016

Boundary witch Lex Luther is back in this third installment to the Boundary Magic series.  Someone is poisoning the vampires of Colorado, leaving them paralyzed or dead. With the alliance between vampires and witches already tense, Lex is called in to find answers.  It just so happens that the man claiming to be her biological father shows up at this time too.  Nothing is ever a coincidence as Lex discovers the keys to her past are directly tied to current events. She has to draw upon her newfound powers as well as allies living and dead if she's going to face down the threat and save the day.

This series just keeps getting better with Boundary Born by far the strongest to date. I love the progression of Lex's character and those around her as both she and readers discover more about her magical power.  The narrative builds nicely on developments introduced in the first two books as well as providing direction for Lex's future quest to take down the evil baddies causing all the problems.

Overall,  I enjoyed this and look forward to the next adventure.

Final rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Follow the author on Twitter: @MelissaFOlson






#boundaryborn #boundarymagic #urbanfantasy #netgalley #books #magic

Monday, May 16, 2016

REVIEW: Wedding Cake Murder by Joanne Fluke

Wedding Cake Murder is the final? entry to Joanne Fluke's Hannah Swensen mystery series.  Hannah is finally getting married! While she'd hoped for a low key affair, her family has other plans.  In typical Hannah fashion, she relents especially since she has to plan to be a contestant on a nationally televised baking competition.  When the head judge, world renowned Alain Duquesne, a celebrity chef with a nasty reputation, ends up stabbed to death in on the show's kitchen set, Hannah once again finds herself embroiled in this whodunit mystery.

This book had a lot more content than a few of the previous series entries. If this is the end, then Hannah has a fitting fairy tale wedding with the love of her life.  Fans of the series won't be disappointed by the mystery elements, characterization or delicious recipes. I wouldn't mind at least one more book to wrap up secondary character stories and to see how Hannah adjusts to married life.

Final rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Follow the author on Twitter: @JoanneFluke


#hannahswensen #weddingcakemurder #mystery #recipes #humor #realisticfiction #bookreview

REVIEW: You're Never Weird on the Internet by Felicia Day

You're Never Weird on the Internet (almost) is a humorous and poignant memoir by actress Felicia Day detailing her life, career and professional prowess turning a wee little web show (The Guild) into a crazy popular, global phenomina.

This is a charming read! I laughed and also felt Day's anxiety over life in Hollywood and the pressure she put upon herself to be successful but also not to lose her sense of self. I love her voice and honesty. There is a sincerity to the writing that I admire and despite her humorous musings, there is depth regarding her unconventional upbringing and struggles with depression.

Readers will enjoy it no matter what but if you have the chance to listen to the audio narrated by Day, you won't be disappointed!

Final rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Follow the author on Twitter: @feliciaday




#memoir #youreneverweirdontheinternet #theguild #humor #audiobook #whatimreading

REVIEW: Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan

This is my Book Riot Reading Challenge entry for an author from Southeast Asia. 

The first in a seris, Crazy Rich Asians tells the story of three super-rich, pedigreed Chinese families and the scheming, backstabbing and gossip associated with them as one of their heirs and most eligible bachelors brings his ABC (American Born Chinese) girlfriend home to Singapore for the wedding of the year.

Nick Young thinks that Rachel Chu might be the one but love isn't that simple in his wealthy family.  He hasn't told her that he is heir apparent to a massive empire and his family is all but royalty in elite Singapore society.  Convinced that she is an unworthy gold-digger, Nick's family set about ruining their relationship.

This isn't a novel that would have been on my radar but it was delightful in its humor and thought provoking nature. The characterization is brilliant. The described opulence is staggering and I had no idea about the cultural clash between old money and new money. This should be a new reality show on BRAVO!  I'm pretty much hooked on these characters and need to read the follow up, China Rich Girfrield, to find out what happens with Rachel and Nick plus the score of other characters.

PS - the audiobook is fantastic!

Final rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Follow the author on Twitter: @kevinkwanbooks




#crazyrichasians #kevinkwan #drama #money #opulence #discrimination

REVIEW: Boundary Crossed by Melissa F. Olson

Book 1 in the Boundary Magic series is a solid first entry to this urban fantasy series.  When ex-military veteran, Lex, foils the kidnapping of her niece, Charlie, she learns about the existence of the Old World and the supernatural.  As it turns out, Lex is a boundary witch, and Charlie is a highly sought after null.  With plenty of interesting secondary characters, politics and plot surprises.

Lex is a kick butt female protagonist whose journey of self exploration is engaging. It's important that she's an Iraqi veteran and how that experience has shaped her current life. This was a good debut for the series, even if I read book 2 first.

Definitely recommended for fans of urban fantasy with a female driven lead. Despite a few flaws with development and pacing, this was a well written and enjoyable read.

Final rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Follow the author on Twitter: @MelissaFOlson



#boundarycrossed #melissafolson #urbanfantasy #strongwomen #magic #books

Friday, May 6, 2016

REVIEW: Tuesday by E.L. Todd

*A big thanks to @InkSlingerPr for making me part of the E.L. Todd team!*

It's been two years since the events of Monday. Frankie has finally moved on from losing Hawke; however, the pain still cuts deep.  She unwilling and unable to pursue any other meaningful relationship despite the fact that a few great guys have come along.  While her personal life is in shambles, her professional one continues to flourish as her Manhattan bakery The Muffin Girl is a huge success.

Following the engagement of her best friend Marie and Frankie's brother, Axel, she has to prepare herself to see Hawke again--he is the best man after all. Swirling emotions resurface for both of them.  Hawke's successful in his own right but his personal life is still hallow. He wants to make a go of things with Frankie but she's not sure if she could handle the pain of loss and rejection again.

Tuesday is a bit of an emotional rollercoaster. What I did like was the continuation of Frankie and Hawke's story and the process of moving forward. Both characters are a little frustrating. Hawke is still set in his 'player' ways but realizes what he needs to do much sooner this time around.  His character shows some growth but he is still too alpha and impusive. I hate the reoccuring, blind jeaousy. It is off putting and a serious red flag for any real relationship. Frankie is equally infuriating. I'm pretty upset with her for being horrible to Kyle. Yes, I know these are just book characters but still! He got the short end of the stick. I hope there is a book for him to find some happiness.

Overall, I still enjoyed the story despite some flaws. The pacing and flow felt a bit off, leaving me to wonder if it all couldn't be one really epic book by combining Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday into a stellar and more cohesive narrative.  That being said, I still want to see what happens with their story in Wednesday.

Final rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars


Follow the author on Twitter: @E_L_TODD



#Tuesday #romance  #erotic #angst #Timeless #eltodd #books #InkSlingerPR

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

REVIEW: Unhidden by Dina M. Given

*Thanks to Netgalley for an ARC in exchange for a fair review*

Unhidden is Book One in the Gatekeeper Chronicles.  Protagonist Emma is former miltary turned mercenary.  Ten years prior, she suffered memory loss after a car accident. With no known family, she's honed herself into a tough as nails badass who relishes being in control. When the supernatural world unveils itself to her, all hell breaks loose as Emma soon realizes she must have had a rather colorful past.  With all manner of scary creatures on the prowl, two mages (one with whom she has a deadly attraction) and some pretty powerful magic artifacts, Emma discovers more about her past and what role she'll play when two worlds collide.

What I liked...
  • That cover!
  • Interesting urban fantasy premise
  • Intriguing characters
  • Kick-butt female protagonist
  • A plethora of delicious, hot guys as eye candy
What I didn't love...
  • There's a bit too many gaps in world building
  • Some lapses in pacing
  • I wanted more dimension from the secondary characters (as a whole)
Overall, this shows good promise for subsequent books and I'm curious enough to continue to book 2, Unraveled.  

Final rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Follow the author on Twitter: @dinagivenauthor




#Unhidden #GatekeeperChronicles #DinaGiven #UF #romance #mystery #books