Monday, December 25, 2017

Book Review - Blood and Magic by Ilana Waters

Bloodseeker Titus isn't looking for trouble-just a quick meal, but when his path crosses with witch Abigail's that plan gets shot to Hades.

Abigail is a member of the Paranormal Investigation Agency (PIA), a secret organization that can spell death to supernaturals.  Titus vows to stay as far away from her as possible.  But when Abigail suspsects a high-ranking PIA member of a monstrous plot, she vows to investigate.  For that, she needs Titus's special skills.   Against his will, Titus is swept into a world of exploding gas mains, lethal bird shifters, and sadistic vampire minions.  The only way out?  Uncover the PIA's murderous secret.  Which means going up against the power figure at the center of it all.  The only problems is, that person will stop at nothing to get what they want.  Even if that means destroying every supernatural in their path.

Blood and Magic is the first book of the Mage Tales Prequels series, and I would tell you the exact moment I realized this was a YA book and not one of the typical books I review here, but I was pretty much at the end of the book at that point.  Jenn HATES reviews with spoilers, but by the final showdown exactly zero people had lustily removed their clothing and the only thing passionately consumed was a couple of veggie samosas.  Not that I can blame Abigail for that.  I love me some Indian food.

Set in the early 1980's, which the intro tells us is the dark ages of humanity before cell phones or the internet.  Weirdly, the setting didn't impact the story to any degree other than the heroine looking for a pay phone at one point.   There are  talks of libraries but also that supernatural folks like things old school, and Google hasn't gotten around to scanning the full library of random paranormal societies that catalog supernatural events for no real reason other than being weirdly voyeuristic.  We did see some people in punk clothes, but this is London.  There are still punks there right now.  The only other nod to the time was that the villain has a signed photo of Margaret Thatcher on their desk, because it may as well have been a big flashing sign saying "VILLAIN SITS HERE."

The author's website notes that she likes blended characters, and that is clearly apparent from her characters here.  Abigail is a spunky Jewish baby witch hippy midwife from New York.  Titus (don't say Andromedon....don't say Andromedon) Aurelius is an ancient Roman general witch vampire hybrid.  I almost quit after the first couple paragraphs with strong inward groans and shouts of "BUT BEER DOESN'T CATCH ON FIRE."  Of all of it, the characters were not the strong point.  There were well thought out details.  Nods here and there to what they were supposed to be.  But there just wasn't much there there.  Titus, who is intriguing in concept, falls flat.  I guess at leas he didn't sparkle.  One or two endearing moments from Abigail and some strong action sequences redeemed a book that could otherwise be various shades of deep blue gray watery violently translucent forgettable. 

MATURITY RATING - Suitable for Younger Audiences, Some Fantasy Violence

Ilana is a USA Today best selling author of the Mage Tales and specializes in fast paced, snarky YA urban fantasy novels.

Keep in touch with Ilana via her fan website, twitter, facebook, or via email at

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Book Review - Hold Her Again by Shannon Stacey


A country-music star returns home to win back the woman he loves in this charming holiday novella from New York Times bestselling author Shannon Stacey 

Ava Wright isn't happy to see her high school sweetheart rolling into their hometown a few weeks before Christmas. He's only come back to bury his estranged father, but there's no way she'll be able to avoid him. No one can: he's become a country-music superstar since going solo and leaving Ava behind. 

Jace Morrow grew up believing "money can't buy happiness" was something people said to make themselves feel better. But now he knows it's the truth: no matter how many number-one hits he has, he'll never recapture the magic of singing with Ava. Missing her—loving her—and living with making the wrong choice in life were what made him who he is. 

When Jace is roped into being part of the town's annual Christmas party, he only cares about earning Ava's forgiveness. And though Ava's heart has never healed, she loved Jace too much and for too long to shut him out when he's hurting. As they fall in love all over again, they're both faced with choices for their future…and this time Jace intends to make the right one.


I love second chance romances, rock star romances, and Shannon Stacey so this story seemed like the perfect slam dunk for me.  I’ll start with the good.  There is a lot of small town charm that Stacey is able to bring to life and makes it easy to feel a part of the town, which is difficult to portray in a novella format.  Ava and Jace were really interesting characters and well developed and would be very easy to root for and want together except… Now for the bad.  Jace was such a jerk to Ava when he left I personally couldn’t really get over that and I really couldn’t see how Ava could.  It actually made me like Ava less as a character for being able to forgive so easily.  I think this is where the novella length really hurt the story because I get for the sake of time this needed to happen quickly, but it just felt too forced and was hard to enjoy all of the rest of the good in the story. 

MATURITY RATING - 18+ a little steamy


Shannon Stacey, a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, lives with her husband and two sons in New England, where her two favorite activities are writing stories of happily ever after and riding her four-wheeler. From May to November, the Stacey family spends their weekends on their ATVs, making loads of muddy laundry to keep Shannon busy when she's not at her computer. She prefers writing to laundry, however, and considers herself lucky she got to be an author when she grew up.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Book Review - Right Where We Belong by Brenda Novak


New York Times bestselling author Brenda Novak returns to Silver Springs with a moving story about rebuilding your life when you've got nothing left to lose 
Savanna Gray needs a do-over. Her "perfect" life unraveled when, to her absolute shock, her husband was arrested for attacking three women. With her divorce settled, she takes her two children home to Silver Springs to seek refuge between the walls of the farmhouse where she was born. It needs a little TLC, but she's eager to take control of something
Gavin Turner understands the struggle of starting over. Abandoned at a gas station when he was five, it wasn't until he landed at New Horizons Boys Ranch as a teen that he finally found some peace. He steps up when Savanna needs help fixing things—even when those things go beyond the farmhouse. 
Despite an escalating attraction to Gavin, Savanna resolves to keep her distance. She trusted her ex, who had a similarly tragic background, and is unwilling to repeat her past mistakes. But it's hard to resist a man whose heart is as capable as his hands.


More than just a love story, Where You Belong is a story about characters and family and is a quick and compelling read.  Savanna and Gavin are both captivating characters and the story of how the two of them are brought together would have made for an enjoyable book but the additional storyline with Savanna’s ex-husband makes it a great novel and easy to recommend to anyone, even people who don’t generally read romance novels.

MATURITY RATING - 18+ a little steamy


New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Brenda Novak has penned over 45 novels. A two-time Rita nominee, she's won The National Reader's Choice, The Bookseller's Best, The Bookbuyer's Best and many other awards. She runs an annual online auction for diabetes research every May at To date, she’s raised over $2 million. Brenda considers herself lucky to be a mother of five and married to the love of her life.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Book Review - Only for You by Melissa Foster

Love only works when your heart is in the right place. 
Hers could be right next door…

Sugar Lake #2
Melissa Foster
Releasing Dec 5, 2017

Single mom Bridgette Dalton doesn’t have time to stop and smell the roses—not even in her own flower shop. But that doesn’t mean she hasn’t noticed Bodhi Booker. Her ruggedly handsome next-door neighbor would be the perfect candidate for a no-strings fling. Having loved and lost, Bridgette’s not ready to hand over her heart…but she could use a distraction.

Bodhi has one rule: never leave anyone behind. As a special operative, he knows that each new mission is more dangerous than the last. He’s never made a promise of forever to a woman, not even to the beautiful widow who has him tied in knots. And if there were anyone who could tempt him into putting down roots, it would be Bridgette and her adorable son.

But as his next deployment nears, they make a startling discovery. Their passion, meant only for the here and now, might already be blossoming into something more…

**ONLY FOR YOU is published by Montlake (an Amazon imprint) and won’t be available on other ebook retailers, but you can download a FREE ereader app to read it HERE, or order the paperback.

Only $1.99

Review - 4.5 Stars
Melissa Foster does it again.  Bridgette and Bodhi have chemestry from the begining but what Foster does best is create characters and stories that more than just a sexy story where two people fall in love.  These are real characters who have to get through real problems that feel more than just a contrived plot divice to keep them apart.  I recommend this to anyone looking for a book with well developed characters and a story with depth then this is the book for you.

Melissa Foster is a New York Times & USA Today bestselling and award-winning author. She writes sexy and heartwarming contemporary romance and new adult romance with emotionally compelling characters that stay with you long after you turn the last page. Melissa’s emotional journeys are lovingly erotic and always family oriented–perfect beach reads for contemporary romance lovers who enjoy reading about wealthy heroes and smart, sassy heroines.

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Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Book Review - Hard Headed by Kim Law (Free in Kindle Unlimited)


Construction tip #1: Never anger a hot-tempered woman who knows how to wield a sledgehammer. And right now, Jill Sadler is spitting mad. Her company is competing on the wildly popular show Texas Dream Home, and she intends to give it her all. The opposition: We Nail It Contractors, helmed by the man who once married her…and walked out twenty-four hours later. Jill can’t let Cal Reynolds take this round. Not when she has her foster sisters and years of righteous resentment spurring her on.
Winning the contest would do wonders for Cal’s firm. Getting under Jill’s skin is just a bonus. She paints him as a villain, though Cal had no choice but to leave. Yet being around Jill again—fiery on the outside, vulnerable and warm underneath—is setting off sparks that can’t be blamed on faulty wiring. And the only way to fix the Jill-size hole in his heart is to risk everything and see if this love is built to last…


Kim Law creates a great world in this first book in what I hope becomes a long series.  This is a second chance romance and Cal and Jill prove that it really is a thin line between love and hate.  There is so much chemistry and comedy going on in this book that the story moves quickly, even with several well developed secondary characters sharing screen time.  I recommend to anyone who is a fan of Kim Law, loves a second chance romance, or is a sucker for a romantic comedy.

MATURITY RATING - 18+ a little steamy


As a child, award-winning author Kim Law cultivated a love for chocolate, anything purple, and creative writing. She penned her debut work, The Gigantic Talking Raisin, in sixth grade and got hooked on the delights of creating stories. Before settling into the writing life, however, she earned a degree in mathematics and worked for years as a computer programmer. Now she’s living out her lifelong dream of writing romance novels. She’s won the Romance Writers of America Golden Heart Award, been a finalist for the prestigious RITA Award, and served in various positions for her local RWA chapter. A native of Kentucky, Kim lives with her husband and an assortment of animals in Middle Tennessee.

Monday, December 4, 2017

Book Review - So Over You (The Chicago Rebels Series Book 2) by Kate Meader


Three estranged sisters struggle to sustain their late father’s failing hockey franchise in Kate Meader’s sizzling Chicago Rebels series. In this second entry, middle sister Isobel is at a crossroads in her personal and professional lives. But both are about to get a significant boost with the addition of a domineering Russian powerhouse to the Rebels...

Isobel Chase knows hockey. She played NCAA, won silver at the Games, and made it thirty-seven minutes into the new National Women’s Hockey League before an injury sidelined her dreams. Those who can’t, coach, and a position as a skating consultant to her late father’s hockey franchise, the Chicago Rebels, seems like a perfect fit. Until she’s assigned her first job: the man who skated into her heart as a teen and relieved her of her pesky virginity. These days, left-winger Vadim Petrov is known as the Czar of Pleasure, a magnet for puck bunnies and the tabloids alike. But back then... let’s just say his inability to sink the puck left Isobel frustratingly scoreless.

Vadim has a first name that means “ruler,” and it doesn’t stop at his birth certificate. He dominates on the ice, the practice rink, and in the backseat of a limo. But a knee injury has produced a bad year, and bad years in the NHL don’t go unrewarded. His penance? To be traded to a troubled team where his personal coach is Isobel Chase, the woman who drove him wild years ago when they were hormonal teens. But apparently the feeling was not entirely mutual.

That Vadim might have failed to give Isobel the pleasure that was her right is intolerable, and he plans to make it up to her—one bone-melting orgasm at a time. After all, no player can perfect his game without a helluva lot of practice...


This is so much more than just a story about hockey.  This is a story about family relationships and a second chance romance.  It is also a romantic comedy at its best.  The relationship between the sisters, while rocky at times, is often humorous and relatable even for someone without sisters.  Isobel's interaction with Vadim goes from being hot to intense to hysterical.  Meader writes the language barriers and situations very well and while I don't know if they are accurate or not, they feel real and I really enjoyed the way they are portrayed in the book.  Vadim is such a well written and complex character and Meader always writes family intricacies well.  If you are looking for a book with layers, but still plenty of sizzle and comedy, this is the book for you. 

MATURITY RATING - 18+ a little steamy