Monday, February 29, 2016

Dark Lycan (Carpathian (Dark) #24) by Christine Feehan


Tatijana of the Dragonseekers spent centuries encased in ice with her sister, trapped in limbo between life and death, never speaking to a soul other than those who tormented her. Now, she has been freed from her frozen prison by an unknown descendent. Awakened in human form, Tatijana yearns to explore the modern world in which she now lives—a world with more mysteries than she is prepared for.

Fenris Dalka has returned to the Carpathian Mountains after a long absence to be with his brother. He is scarred by centuries of battle, and every hard-won victory. But the real reason for his return home could prove deadly if discovered by the wrong man—or woman. Upon his arrival, he is compelled by a beautiful and enigmatic stranger who carries the scent of fresh earth, of forest, of the night itself.

In time Tatijana and Fenris will discover all that unites them—their secrets and pasts, their predators, and the hot flush of passion that stirs their souls. Yet just as surely, seduced into the silvery darkness of a full-moon night, they’ll also discover everything ancient and evil that exists to destroy them.

This book is absolutely amazing. I'm not joking when I say that, start to finish, Dark Lycan is white knuckles, edge of your seat action. As I said before, the Carpathian's world is changing in ways I never imagined it would. It's becoming more dangerous, more complex, and the stories are almost impossible to put down!

Tatijana of the Dragonseekers lineage, after centuries of captivity at the hands of her depraved great grandfather Xavier an evil and powerful Mage, is tired of resting. She's finally free and she's ready to spread her wings - no pun intended - and learn of the world that evolved while she was trapped in an icy tomb. While out and about she finds herself in the company of Fenris Dalka, a man who is much more than he appears to be, a man with secrets he wants to keep hidden. It doesn't take long for them to realize that they are lifemates and, once they do, the passion they share sets the pages on fire.

I am always amazed at Christine Feehan's imagination. The worlds she creates are unlike any others in their genres - and if there are similar worlds it's likely because she was copied. The stories are fast paced, exciting adventures filled with danger, romance and passion. They keep you guessing, keep you trying to puzzle out the problem, and keep you turning the pages into the wee hours of the night - or morning.

I'm thrilled to have picked up the Carpathians again. I didn't realize how much I was missing them!

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Playing Dirty (Bad Boys Undercover #1) by HelenKay Dimon


As an elite Alliance agent—the joint undercover operation of MI6, the British Secret Intelligence Service, and the CIA—Ford Decker lives for the adrenaline. But when he befriends sexy property manager Shay Alexander in hopes of finding her cousin, a known national security threat, Ford crosses the line, getting to know her better . . . in bed.

After being burned by her last relationship, Shay wants to take things slow. Yet she can't keep her hands off the drop-dead gorgeous hottie who's moved into her apartment building. So when Ford's identity as an undercover agent is exposed, his betrayal cuts deep. Shay never wants to see him again, but Ford can't let her go, not when her life is still in danger. He will sacrifice everything to protect her, then be prepared to walk away from the only woman he's ever loved, even if it breaks him.

Terrorists and traitors and spies, oh my!

Playing Dirty is the first book in HelenKay Dimon’s Bad Boys Undercover series and it’s a sexy, fast paced tale. There’s a whodunit type mystery involved with lots of twists and turns.

Ford and Shay are great characters, both with pasts they can’t seem to leave there – in the past. They’re attracted to each other and their sexual chemistry is off the charts, but they just can’t seem to … trust or open their hearts to one another. I suppose that makes sense on Ford’s part given that Shay is an unwitting player in his mission to find a potentially deadly ‘terrorist’, not someone he should be falling in love with.

I truly enjoyed Playing Dirty. The world Ms. Dimon has created is more than a little exciting and definitely intriguing. Then, add-in the amazing cast and this is a series not to be missed!

An ARC was provided by Avon Books. In appreciation I'm giving them an honest review.

Click here to purchase Playing Dirty from Amazon

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Dark Storm (Carpathians (Dark) #23) by Christine Feehan


Awakening after all this time in a world of absolute darkness and oppressive heat, Dax wonders in how many ways the world above must have changed. But it is how he has changed that fills him with dread and loathing. Buried alive for hundreds of years in a volcano in the Carpathian Mountains, Dax fears that he has become the full-fledged abomination that every Carpathian male fears, a victim of the insidious evil that has crept relentlessly into his mind and body over the centuries. But there are some things that never change.

His name is Mitro, the vampire Dax had hunted all these long centuries. Second in command to the prince of the Carpathian people he is the epitome of everything malevolent, and perpetrator of one of the most shocking killing sprees known to man - and beast. Even his friends and family weren't safe from Mitro's bloodlust. Neither was Mitro's lifemate, Arabejila, an extraordinary woman with extraordinary gifts. But now that Dax has re-emerged, so too has Mitro. The ultimate battle between good and evil has been re-engaged. Between Dax and Mitro, a violent game has begun - one that has marked Riley Parker, the last descendent of Arabejila, as the reward.

I’ve been a fan of Christine Feehan’s Carpathians for years now, but the last few books haven’t WOW’d me like the earlier books did… until now. Dark Storm is, start to finish, an action packed and passionate story!

The Carpathian world is so intense, so detailed, and so exciting. It’s a complex world filled with compelling people and beings. It’s a world of hunters vs. vampires, good vs. evil, and in Dark Storm the very best of this world comes into play. Dax and Riley are perfect for each other. They are both are solid, mature people who trust their instincts and each other, so there isn't a lot of relationship drama and back and forth bickering, which helped make this one of my favorites of the series.

The bottom line...

I was captivated from the start, unable to put it down, and I'm excited to have the next book in my hot little hands!

Click here to purchase Dark Storm from Amazon

Friday, February 19, 2016

A Son's Vow (The Charmed Amish Life #1) by Shelley Shepard Gray Virtual Tour

Welcome to my blog and my stop on the Tasty Books Tours "A Son's Vow" Blog Tour. Be sure to read to the end and enter the awesome Rafflecopter Giveaway for a chance to win 1 of 3 print sets of Shelley Shepard Gray's The Amish Brides of Pinecraft.


Three months ago, everything changed for Darla Kurtz and her family. Darla’s father was responsible for a terrible fire at Charm’s lumber mill which killed five Amish men. And though he, too, lost his life, the town of Charm hasn’t looked at her family the same since. Even Lukas Kinsinger—with whom Darla used to have a close friendship.

Now her brother’s anger at the town is spilling over onto Darla, and she has the bruises to prove it. The accident already cost five lives, but if something doesn’t change soon, Darla fears it will cost her—and her family—even more.

Lukas Kinsinger wants to mourn the loss of his father, but he can hardly find the time to breathe. Suddenly the head of his father’s lumber mill and responsible for taking care of his three siblings, he’s feeling the pressure. He has also never felt more alone—especially with the new tension between he and Darla. But when he learns of her troubles at home, Lukas knows he can’t simply stand by and watch. Someone has to help her before another tragedy occurs.

As Lukas and Darla attempt to repair their families, they discover something deeper than friendship growing between them. But will Lukas and Darla’s love be accepted after so much loss? Or will the pain of the past overcome any chance of future happiness?

Shelley Shepard Gray writes inspirational romance novels, stories filled with hope, joy, and unconditional love. A Son's Vow is the first book in Ms. Shepard's new The Charmed Amish Life series and the first I've read by her, and I can't express just how much I enjoyed this story.

Sometimes what I want is a feel-good, meaningful story, and that's exactly what this is. Despite what you might think, this isn't merely a charming Christian romance, it's an emotional story of overcoming life's tragedies, accepting responsibility for your own actions, and letting go of your anger so you can find the compassion to forgive - and the strength to accept forgiveness. And through all heartache, A Sons Vow is a beautiful romance and an uplifting story.

I'm looking forward to making frequent visits to the Amish village of Charm, Ohio because there are many amazing people there whose stories need to be told.

Amazon | B&N | Google Play | iTunes | Kobo

Shelley Shepard Gray is a New York Times and
USA Today bestselling author, a finalist for the American Christian Fiction
Writers prestigious Carol Award, and a two-time Hold Medallion winner. She
lives in southern Ohio, where she writes full-time, bakes too much, and can
often be found walking her dachshunds on her town’s bike trail.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Wild Bells to the Wild Sky by Laurie McBain


West Indies, 1571. Shipwrecked on an island for most of her young life, Lily Christian is rescued by the dashing sea captain, Valentine Whitelaw. On the voyage back to England, Lily falls hard for the sun-bronzed man, but her love is not returned.

Back among the glittering halls of court, Valentine tries to forget the young beauty he plucked from the Caribbean. But when he discovers innocent Lily is caught up in a treacherous plot to murder the queen, he will do everything in his power to protect Lily and save his liege. Thrust together into perilous adventure, Valentine and Lily have only each other to trust...and to love.

Wild Bells to the Wild Sky took me by surprise. I hadn’t read anything by Laurie McBain prior to Wild Bells but, from reviews I had seen, I knew this wouldn’t be a run-of-the-mill historical romance. Even so, I wasn’t expecting the epic adventure spanning decades and continents which took me on an exciting journey that had me holding my breath, afraid to read on but unable to put it down.

I had seen a review calling this a ‘bodice-ripper’, but I’m not sure that’s accurate as there was no actual bodice-ripping, no rape…not even an unwanted fondling or groping. Still, I could definitely ‘feel’ the 80’s writing, the kind of storytelling that came before authors were expected to keep page count to a minimum... and I loved every word!

Filled with richly detailed period apparel, elaborate coiffures, architecture, landscapes, and accurately portrayed (though fictionalized) political maneuverings and machinations, I felt as though I was there in Elizabethan England! I could imagine myself walking along the deck of the Arion and the Madrigal, living on a Caribbean island paradise, visiting the royal courts of Elizabeth, The Virgin Queen, traveling with gypsies, escaping danger… I could go on and on but suffice it to say - what a wonderful reading experience this was!

There’s no doubt about it – I will be reading everything Laurie McBain has written. And, thankfully, it appears that her stories are being re-released in e-book (if they aren’t all already) and this makes me very happy!

The bottom line… Wild Bells to the Wild Sky is so much more than a historical romance - it's an intriguing, exciting, poignant, romantic adventure!

An ARC was provided by Sourcebooks Casablanca and in appreciation I’m giving them an honest review!

Click here to purchase Wild Bells to the Wild Sky from Amazon

Monday, February 15, 2016

Barefoot with a Bad Boy (Barefoot Bay Undercover #3) by Roxanne St. Claire

A man who trusts no one is forced to believe the unbelievable...

For years, former spy Gabriel Rossi has been secretly searching for CIA linguist Isadora Winter, a woman he loved and lost long ago. But recently, he learned of her untimely death in an accident...and death of her son named Gabe. Angry, hurt, and uncertain of his next move, Gabe is stunned when a woman he's never met approaches him on the beach and claims to be Isadora. She doesn't look, act, or talk like his beloved Isa, but she knows things about their past that only a lover could know, and she assures him that his son is alive as well. As much as he wants to believe her and knows that in the spy world, anything is possible, doubts and distrust plague him. Still, he sees glimmers of the woman he once knew shine through and she begins to melt his hardened heart.

A woman who is tortured by emotions must endure the pain of love...

Lila Wickham has been working deep undercover for so long that sometimes she's forgotten who she really is. Now that her assignment is over and the surgeries she endured left her utterly changed, she is determined to fix the broken life she left behind and assure that her little boy is safe. With lingering threats from an unknown source and blinding headaches that torment her whenever she feels deep emotion, she seeks Gabe Rossi for help and protection. But instead of setting her up with a new undercover identity, he insists on luring her nemesis to Barefoot Bay so he can end the threat to Lila and her son once and for all.

Can they survive the worst betrayal of all?

Even if they succeed in drawing out the killer who has Lila in his sights, a much more serious threat hovers over them...a treacherous, deadly truth that could not only destroy their love but end their lives as well.

Barefoot with a Bad Boy is the 3rd book in Roxanne St. Claire’s Barefoot Bay Undercover series. It’s a story filled with passion, adventure, romance and lots of humor. There are twists and turns - some expected and some totally not expected, and a great supporting cast made of up quirky, totally endearing people!

Gabe Rossi is one of my favorite romantic suspense hero types in that he’s cocky, sexy, honorable, and willing to do whatever needs to be done to bring down the baddies and save the woman he loves. But Lila is strong, independent, and capable of bringing down the baddies and doing some saving of her own!

As with her Bullet Catchers and Guardian Angelinos series, Barefoot Bay Undercover is an exciting world to live in! With terrorists, spies, and all sorts of bad-guys lurking about, this is a series not to be missed and I’m looking forward to reading more!!!

An ARC was provided by the author. In appreciation I'm giving her an honest review.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Barefoot Bound (Barefoot Bay Undercover prequel) by Roxanne St. Claire


This 100 page story will tell you exactly how Gabe Rossi (yes, that Gabe Rossi, the legendary bad boy of The Guardian Angelino series) is picking up his life and moving to Florida to launch a covert operation in Barefoot Bay. This isn't his "love story" (that's coming soon, I promise!) but the novella is told completely from his point of view and will treat long-time fans to a few days with old friends (the Angelino and Rossi family! Uncle Nino!) and introduce a new world.

To be honest, this has to be one of the best prequels I've ever read.

I had read the first book or two of the Guardian Angelinos series, and that was about 5 years ago. But reading Barefoot Bound was like… like a visit with close friends and family, but more. This story sets up the spin-off series, Barefoot Bay Undercover and does so brilliantly! There’s certainly a promising story-base here, and I’m so excited to read more about Gabe, his ‘secret’, and to spend time with he and "Uncle" Nino as they set up Gabe’s new business!

At the time of this posting, Barefoot Bound is free for Kindle Readers.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Spider Game (GhostWalkers #12) by Christine Feehan


The Cajun dive in the middle of the godforsaken swamps wasn’t exactly Trap Dawkins’ idea of fun. But the GhostWalker wasn’t there for a good time. He was looking for her. Cayenne. It’s where she found her victims. Poor suckers. Then again, who wouldn’t want to leave a place like this with a woman like her?

It’s not Cayenne’s fault. Locked up, experimented on and never knowing kindness, she was bred this way—with a heart of pure venom. Trap understands her. He survived his own dark past and he shares her desire for getting even. But now Trap’s greatest danger is Cayenne herself. Because what’s inside her is hard to control—especially when it’s aroused by a lover as reckless as Trap.

I absolutely love the direction Ms. Feehan is taking the GhostWalkers series. The world is scary intense and, truth be told, just a little bit freaky! Cayenne’s enhanced DNA being that of a Black Widow spider was more than a little unsettling for me because I’ve been bitten by one of those bitches and it hurts. Like, mad pain! To imagine an adult woman with those traits... **shudder**


As I shared in my review of Viper Game, it’s true the stories are changing from the way they were in the beginning, but they're changing in ways I would expect them to, given Peter Whitney's evil (and totally twisted) desperation to create the perfect soldiers. The experiments are more and more extreme, and more and more heartbreaking. And, as with Viper Game, I found Spider Game to be more exciting, more captivating, and more intriguing than the last several books in the series.


I understand the GhostWalkers are alpha and demanding, but too often Trap's comments directed at Cayenne were demeaning – so much so that I found them offensive. There came a point when his apologies meant nothing to me. Cayenne is insecure around other people, and understandably so, but because she put up with so much of Trap's garbage she came across as a needy woman who suffered from the "Anyone Is Better Than No One" syndrome. Trap seemed oblivious to her discomfort and acted out in completely unacceptable ways. In fact, I’m not sure any amount of remorse or groveling could have redeemed him in my eyes – and most importantly, in my heart.

The bottom line…

I think longtime fans of the series will love this installment – if you can overlook Trap’s appalling behavior toward Cayenne. I was thrilled to see so many familiar GhostWalker faces and, especially with Violet Smythe back, I expect there to be more crazy twists and turns in upcoming stories! What a wild ride this has become!

Book information:

Print Length: 446 pages
Publisher: Jove
Publication Date: January 26, 2016
Sold by: Penguin Group

Click here to purchase Spider Game from Amazon

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

A Sword for His Lady (Courtly Love #1) by Mary Wine


He'd defend her keep...

After proving himself on the field of battle, Ramon de Segrave is appointed to the Council of Barons by Richard the Lionheart. But instead of taking his most formidable warrior on his latest Crusade, the king assigns Ramon an even more dangerous task—woo and win the Lady of Thistle Keep.

If only she'd yield her heart...

Isabel of Camoys is a capable widow with no intention of surrendering her valuable estate. She's fought long and hard for her independence, and if the price is loneliness, then so be it. She will not yield... even if she does find the powerful knight's heated embrace impossible to ignore.

But when her land is threatened, Isabel reluctantly agrees to allow Ramon and his army to defend the keep—knowing that the price may very well be her heart.

Mary Wine has long been one of my favorite historical romance authors. It's hard to put into words why that is, other than to say she just brings a little something extra to her stories. More detail, but not so much that it's boring. The characters feel right, like they truly do belong in the time she's placed them. These are the things that make her standout as one of the best in the genre, and why I always look forward to her books.

Even though this story isn't completely unique, Ms. Wine created characters who more than make up for it. I thoroughly enjoyed reading about the strong, feisty, determined Isabel! She's been widowed long enough to know she doesn't need a husband to make sure the people and the lands are prosperous. But when King Richard heads off to the Crusades again and tasks his Baron, Ramon de Segrave with marrying Isabel so that her lands will be protected, she finds herself torn between what her mind tells her she needs, and what her body won't be denied.

Ramon is stubborn, arrogant, and determined to marry Isabel, as his King demands. But before long he finds himself in a battle of wits and wills with one of the most formidable opponents he's ever faced! And it's a woman!

This really is an entertaining story. There's humor, intrigue, danger...and plenty of passion. I'm excited to read more in the Courtly Love series, especially Ambrose's story. I'm looking forward to Ramon giving him a taste of his own taunting when he meets the woman who will be his match!

Click here to purchase A Sword for His Lady from Amazon

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

The Groom Wore Plaid (Highland Weddings #2) by Gayle Callen


Maggie McCallum's dreams about her new fiancé aren't the romantic sort. It's not just that she was bartered to Owen Duff like a piece of property to end a clan feud. She's also haunted by premonitions of his death on their upcoming wedding day. Yet the exasperating Highlander won't let her call it off, even though his life and his clan are both in jeopardy.

Owen has wanted Maggie in his bed since he first glimpsed her years ago. If their union restores peace between their clans, so much the better. But while lusting after another chief's sister had its risks, growing to trust Maggie is far more dangerous. Owen is falling deeply in love with the one woman he cannot hope to claim . . . and survive.

This is the 2nd installment in Gayle Callen’s Highland Weddings series. Like the 1st book, The Wrong Bride, The Groom Wore Plaid is a fun story. The witty banter between Maggie and Owen made me chuckle more than a few times. Their passion - though it didn’t happen until later in the story, made this a steamy read! There’s also a mystery, a little poignancy, and overall The Groom Wore Plaid is an entertaining tale and a great addition to the series.

There are definitely characters I’d like to know more about, and I’m looking forward to what Ms. Callen offers up next in the series.

An ARC was provided by Avon Books. In appreciation I’m giving them an honest review.

Monday, February 8, 2016

A Big Little Life: A Memoir of a Joyful Dog Named Trixie by Dean Koontz, Narrated by Christopher Lane


In a profound, funny, and beautifully rendered portrait of a beloved companion, bestselling novelist Dean Koontz remembers the golden retriever who changed his life. A retired service dog, Trixie was three when Dean and his wife, Gerda, welcomed her into their home. She was superbly trained, but her greatest gifts couldn’t be taught: her keen intelligence, her innate joy, and an uncanny knack for living in the moment. Whether chasing a tennis ball or protecting those she loved, Trixie gave all she had to everything she did, inspiring Dean and Gerda to trust their instincts and recapture a sense of wonder that will remain with them always. Trixie lived fewer than twelve years; in this wide world, she was a little thing. But in every way that mattered, she lived a big life.

I literally just finished listening to Christopher Lane’s brilliant performance of Dean Koontz’s poignant A Big Little Life: A Memoir of a Joyful Dog Named Trixie, stopping only long enough to blow my nose and wipe the tears from my eyes before writing this review.

I can’t find the words to use to tell you how amazing this memoir is. It’s not just a story about a man and a woman and their dog, it’s what I can say is one of the most life enriching stories I’ve had the pleasure of reading or listening to. I was so impressed and moved by Mr. Koontz's openly candid thoughts and recollections of how Trixie changed his life, and in my opinion, in many ways, saved it. There are so many quotes I wanted to share, but being on audio and being a complete blubbering ninny while listening to the most profound of the quotes I wasn’t able to catch them.

Make no mistake, this isn’t a depressing story. Sure, there were moments I sobbed so deeply I was sure I'd never recover, but in fact it’s one of the most uplifting, hopeful, insightful books I can remember experiencing, and I will listen to it again and again.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Leaving Yesterday (Laurel Falls #1) by Zoe Dawson


Rafferty Hamilton doesn’t plan on putting down roots anytime soon. With her divorce final, the hotel heiress has left Manhattan behind to scout new locations for her family’s chain of resorts. Which is why it’s so frustrating to be stranded in Laurel Falls while a good-looking, slow-talking, Stetson-wearing mechanic takes his sweet time with her overheated coupe.

A decorated vet who paid his dues in Afghanistan, Trace Black can fix anything with an engine and get it revving—even Rafferty’s ridiculous sports car. He couldn’t say the same for the knockout driver, who looks like she’s never gripped a gear shaft in her life. Women like Rafferty don’t usually stick around in Laurel Falls, but Trace finds himself showing her everything his hometown has to offer before she cruises on down the road.

As the days pass, Rafferty finds herself charmed by the pace of life and the openhearted warmth of the residents. She’s even tempted to trust again—and it’s all thanks to Trace. He’s not the kind of guy she’s used to falling for, but he just might be the man she needs.

Leaving Yesterday is the first book in Zoe Dawson's new Laurel Falls series, and it's everything I love about small town contemporary romance. The people of Laurel Falls are down-to-earth, hard working, and loyal. They've got hopes and dreams, trials and triumphs and, no matter what, they will always have your back! All this makes them people I can't help but cheer for and care about.

One of the things I most enjoyed about the story - and there are many things to enjoy - is Trace's unshakable devotion to his family, especially his youngest brother, Harley, who suffers with PTSD, the result of his time in the Marines and a mission gone very wrong. Trace feels the guilt of of Harley's illness, blaming himself because Harley was following in Trace's footsteps when he enlisted, wanting to be like his big brother. There's a lot of poignancy throughout the book, but this... this really tugged at my heart.

Another person to love is Rafferty. Sure, she's a product of her upbringing, but she is - without a doubt - her own person. This becomes crystal clear when she sets aside her 'assignment' and opens her eyes to the beauty of the people and the town she found herself stranded in. She might be a wealthy, big city girl, but she's not ostentatious, nor is she foolish enough to let a good thing pass her by!

The bottom line... Leaving Yesterday is a wonderful start to this series, which promises to be an amazing one. If you love Susan Mallery, Kristan Higgins, or Rachel Gibson, you won't want to miss out on the romantic, passionate, captivating world and people of Laurel Falls.

An ARC was generously provided by Random House Publishing Group - Loveswept. In appreciation I'm giving them an honest review.

About the book:

Print Length: 268 pages
Publisher: Loveswept
Publication Date: February 9, 2016

Click here to purchase Leaving Yesterday: A Laurel Falls Novel, from Amazon