Oct 262016

barely-breathingBarely Breathing by Pamela Clare
Series: Colorado High Country #1

Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: May 7, 2016

Lexi Jewell left Scarlet Springs twelve years ago, vowing never to return to the small Colorado mountain town where she grew up. Now, here she is—over thirty, out of a job and with little choice but to move back in with her eccentric father. Lexi knows it’s just a matter of time before she runs into Austin Taylor, her first boyfriend and her first heartbreak. She’s determined to show him she’s over him—until he steps out of a pickup truck and back into her life, looking sexy as hell in his mountain ranger uniform.

As far as Austin is concerned, Lexi can turn her snazzy little convertible around and drive back to Chicago. After all, she ripped his teenage heart to pieces and turned her back on the town he loves. But from the moment he sees her again, he can’t get her out of his mind. Even her smile messes with his head.

When an evening of conversation turns into something else, Lexi and Austin agree to be friends—with benefits. But as Lexi starts making plans to return to the big city, Austin realizes he’ll lose her a second time unless he can show her that what she’s searching for has been right here all along.

D.G.’s Rating: 3 stars = B-

Barely Breathing is the first book in Pamela Clare’s new “Colorado High Country” series. It was a good solid story but it was missing the usual excitement that I’m used to from Ms. Clare books. There was a bit of action but it was a definite secondary plot that came in too late.

Lexi and Austin used to date in high school until something went wrong and they both ended up heartbroken. 12 years later, the prodigal daughter returns and runs into Austin pretty much the second she arrives in town. He’s not happy to see her and acts very cold towards her which surprises and hurts Lexi.

The description makes it seem as if Lexi and Austin don’t get along but this is not the case. Austin acts a bit like a spoiled brat at the beginning but after a few people point it out, he makes nice with her. Pretty soon after, they’re rolling around in bed. Even though they say they are friends with benefits, they act like a committed couple. They hold hands, make plans to see each other almost every day, sleep together almost daily, etc. That was the weirdest “friends with benefits” relationship I’ve seen.

Because there was no tension in their relationship, the conflict felt manufactured. There were grumbles about her returning to Chicago but there was no doubt in my mind that she would stay. She fit so well in Scarlet that you wonder why it took her so long to come back.

A good beginning to a series but let’s hope the next book has more in the way of conflict.

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Oct 252016
5 Things I Learned From Books

Today is my birthday and a milestone one at that. This has made me think about what I’ve accomplished in these (mumble, mumble) years of my life. Where I’ve been and where I’ll go. As I reflect on things I care about, I’ve thought of all the books I’ve read and the important lessons I’ve learned. Here are some of them: Lesson #1: You know nothing (but that’s why we have books) Growing up I had no access to books, and my education – from grammar school to high school – sucked. When I first came to the US, I knew [ Read More of this Review ]

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 Posted by on October 25, 2016 at 7:25 am
Oct 242016
Early Review: Cast in Flight by Michelle Sagara

Genre: Fantasy Publication Date: October 25, 2016 Publisher: Harlequin Mira Source: e-arc from Netgalley via Harlequin Mira Synopsis from Goodreads: Private Kaylin Neya already has Dragons and Barrani as roommates. Adding one injured, flightless Aerian to her household should be trivial. Sure, the Aerian is Sergeant Moran dar Carafel, but Kaylin’s own sergeant is a Leontine, the definition of growly and fanged. She can handle one Aerian.But when a walk to the Halls of Law becomes a street-shattering magical assassination attempt on the sergeant, Kaylin discovers that it’s not the guest who’s going to be the problem: it’s all of [ Read More of this Review ]

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 Posted by on October 24, 2016 at 6:00 am
Oct 212016
Review: The Hating Game by Sally Thorne

“The Hating Game” is a hilarious mix of romance and chick-lit. And you’ll ask…what’s the difference? Isn’t there always some sort of love interest in chick-lit? Well, yes, but I feel that in chick-lit, everything is about the female character. In The Hating Game, the story is really about both of them, even though it’s told in first person from Lucy’s POV. And then there’s the sexy love scene, who puts it squarely in the romance category (there’s just one but it’s a SCORCHER!) *fans self*

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Oct 202016
A Year of Sarah Dessen | Along for the Ride

Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen Genre: Young Adult Publication Date: June 16th, 2009 Synopsis from Goodreads:  It’s been so long since Auden slept at night. Ever since her parents’ divorce—or since the fighting started. Now she has the chance to spend a carefree summer with her dad and his new family in the charming beach town where they live. A job in a clothes boutique introduces Auden to the world of girls: their talk, their friendship, their crushes. She missed out on all that, too busy being the perfect daughter to her demanding mother. Then she meets Eli, an [ Read More of this Review ]

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 Posted by on October 20, 2016 at 7:00 am
Oct 192016
Review: Do You Want To Start A Scandal

Genre: Historical Romance Publication Date: September 27, 2016 Publisher: Avon Source: Reviewer Purchase Synopsis from Goodreads: On the night of the Parkhurst ball, someone had a scandalous tryst in the library. •Was it Lord Canby, with the maid, on the divan? •Or Miss Fairchild, with a rake, against the wall? •Perhaps the butler did it.All Charlotte Highwood knows is this: it wasn’t her. But rumors to the contrary are buzzing. Unless she can discover the lovers’ true identity, she’ll be forced to marry Piers Brandon, Lord Granville—the coldest, most arrogantly handsome gentleman she’s ever had the misfortune to embrace. When [ Read More of this Review ]

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Oct 182016
Should mainstream romance series include M/M couples?

When I first learned that Shadow’s Seduction, the next installment in Kresley Cole’s popular “Immortals After Dark” series will feature a M/M relationship, I was super excited. Even though I’m only an occasional M/M reader, I thought including a gay couple would be great for the series.

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Oct 172016
Release Day Review: Friendly Fire by Cari Z

Friendly Fire by Cari Z Genre: M/M Romantic Suspense Publication Date: October 17th, 2016 Publisher: Riptide Publishing Synopsis from Goodreads: Elliot McKenzie is the king of reinvention. Five years after losing his job and his lover and almost going to prison, his self-help program, Charmed Life, is more successful than he’d ever dreamed. He thinks he’s put his sordid past firmly behind him, until he starts receiving cryptic threats . . . and realizes it might not be as over as he’d hoped. Security expert Lennox West has been lost since a deadly skirmish in Afghanistan led to his forced retirement from [ Read More of this Review ]

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Oct 142016
Badass Hidden Gem: Fallen from Grace by Laura Leone

Horrible cover notwithstanding, “Fallen from Grace” is one of the best contemporary romances I’ve read in a long time. With a topic like this, you expect the book to be somewhat sordid but nothing farther from the truth. The story was romantic, tender and real enough that I was able to understand the circumstances of a person in the life. How the author was able to balance a real love story and a background of prostitution, rape and abuse is beyond me but she did a great job at it

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Oct 132016
New Release Review: Her Halloween Treat by Tiffany Reisz

Her Halloween Treat by Tiffany Reisz Book #1 in Men at Work Genre: Contemporary Romance Publication Date: September 20th, 2016 ARC Provided by Netgalley and Harlequin Synopsis from Goodreads: Trick…or wicked treat! It was a devastating dirty trick—Joey Silvia just found out her boyfriend of two years is married. What. A. Dick. Joey knows her best chance to get over one guy is to get under another. Of course, heading home to her family’s remote cabin in Oregon poses some challenges in the “available men” department…until she discovers this cabin comes with its own hot handyman! Holy crap, Chris Steffensen. When did [ Read More of this Review ]

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 Posted by on October 13, 2016 at 7:00 am
Oct 112016
Release Day Review: Tell the Truth, Shame the Devil by Melina Marchetta

Tell the Truth, Shame the Devil by Melina Marchetta Genre: Mystery Publication Date: October 11th, 2016 Publisher: Mulholland Books Synopsis from Goodreads: Bashir “Bish” Ortley is a London desk cop. Almost over it. Still not dealing with the death of his son years ago, as well as the break-up of his marriage. Across the channel, a summer bus tour, carrying a group of English teenagers is subject to a deadly bomb attack, killing four of the passengers and injuring a handful of others. Bish’s daughter is one of those on board. The suspect is 17 year old Violette LeBrac whose [ Read More of this Review ]

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Oct 102016
New Release Review: Well Hung by Lauren Blakely

“Well Hung” is without a doubt, Lauren Blakely’s best book to date. It was sexy, it was funny, it was romantic and finally, finally! There was a conflict. It wasn’t anything angsty – Ms. Blakely doesn’t write angst – or silly, or earth-shattering, but it MADE SENSE FOR THE CHARACTER.

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Oct 072016
Early Review: The Delphi Effect by Rysa Walker

The Delphi Effect by Rysa Walker The Delphi Trilogy #1 Genre: YA Paranormal Publication Date: October 11th, 2016 Publisher: Skyscape Synopsis from Goodreads: It’s never wise to talk to strangers…and that goes double when they’re dead. Unfortunately, seventeen-year-old Anna Morgan has no choice. Resting on a park bench, touching the turnstile at the Metro station—she never knows where she’ll encounter a ghost. These mental hitchhikers are the reason Anna has been tossed from one foster home and psychiatric institution to the next for most of her life. When a chance touch leads her to pick up the insistent spirit of a girl [ Read More of this Review ]

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Oct 062016
Review: Breakaway by Avon Gale

Breakaway by Avon Gale Book #1 in Scoring Chances Genre: LGBTQIA/Sports Contemporary Romance Publication Date: November 27th 2015 Audiobook provided by Dreamspinner Press Synopsis from Goodreads: Drafted to play for the Jacksonville Sea Storm, an NHL affiliate, twenty-year-old Lane Courtnall’s future looks bright, apart from the awkwardness he feels as a gay man playing on a minor league hockey team. He’s put his foot in his mouth a few times and alienated his teammates. Then, during a rivalry game, Lane throws off his gloves against Jared Shore, enforcer for the Savannah Renegades. It’s a strange way to begin a relationship. Jared’s been [ Read More of this Review ]

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 Posted by on October 6, 2016 at 7:00 am
Oct 052016
Review: The Forgetting by Sharon Cameron

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy Publication Date: September 13, 2016 Publisher: Scholastic Press Source – Reviewer Purchase Synopsis from Goodreads Nadia lives in the city of Canaan, where life is safe and structured, hemmed in by white stone walls and no memory of what came before. But every twelve years the city descends into the bloody chaos of the Forgetting, a day of no remorse, when each person’s memories – of parents, children, love, life, and self – are lost. Unless they have been written. In Canaan, your book is your truth and your identity, and Nadia knows exactly who hasn’t written the [ Read More of this Review ]

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Oct 032016
Release Day Review: Dinner at Jack's by Rick R. Reed

Dinner at Jack’s by Rick R. Reed Genre: M/M Romance Publication Date: October 3rd, 2016 Publisher: Dreamspinner Press Synopsis from Goodreads: Personal chef Beau St. Clair, recently divorced from his cheating husband, returns to the small Ohio River town where he grew up to lick his wounds. Jack Rogers lives with his mother, Maisie, in that same small town, angry at and frightened of the world. Jack has a gap in his memory that hides something he dares not face, and he’s probably suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. Maisie, seeking relief from her housebound and often surly son, hires Beau to cook for [ Read More of this Review ]

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Sep 302016
Review: Stuck-Up Suit by Vi Keeland & Penelope Ward

Stuck-up Suit by Vi Keeland & Penelope Ward Genre: Contemporary Romance Release Date: Apr 9, 2016 Audiobook Narrated by: Joe Arden & Maxine Mitchell It started out like any other morning on the train. Until I became mesmerized by the guy sitting across the aisle. He was barking at someone on his phone like he ruled the world. Who did the stuck-up suit think he was…God? Actually, he looked like a God. That was about it. When his stop came, he got up suddenly and left. So suddenly, he dropped his phone on the way out. I might have picked [ Read More of this Review ]

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Sep 292016
A Year of Sarah Dessen | Keeping the Moon

Here I am keeping the momentum going with my latest Sarah Dessen read. As usual, she leaves me reflecting on and longing for those days from way back! Keeping the Moon by Sarah Dessen Genre: Young Adult Publication Date: September 1st, 1999 Synopsis from Goodreads:  While her mother, aerobics queen Kiki Sparks, spends the summer touring Europe, fifteen-year-old Colie Sparks is stuck in sleepy Colby, North Carolina. But she’s not complaining. For one thing, her Aunt Mira is a sweet, laid-back eccentric; for another, no one knows that back home in Charlotte Colie is seen as a formerly-fat “golf-course slut,” [ Read More of this Review ]

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 Posted by on September 29, 2016 at 7:00 am
Sep 282016
New Release Review: The Sinner by Amanda Stevens

New Release Review: The Sinner by Amanda Stevens Book 5 in The Graveyard Queen series Release Date: September 27, 2016 Book provided by NetGalley and Harlequin MIRA Genre: Paranormal, Horror, Urban Fantasy Synopsis from Goodreads: I am a living ghost, a wanderer in search of my purpose and place… I’m a cemetery restorer by trade, but my calling has evolved from that of ghost seer to death walker to detective of lost souls. I solve the riddles of the dead so the dead will leave me alone. I’ve come to Seven Gates Cemetery nursing a broken heart, but peace is [ Read More of this Review ]

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Sep 272016
Early Review: Can't Hide From Me by Cordelia Kingsbridge

Can’t Hide From Me by Cordelia Kingsbridge Genre: M/M Romantic Suspense Publication Date: October 3rd, 2016 Publisher: Riptide Publishing Synopsis from Goodreads: Charles Hunter’s team is on a mission to extract an unidentified ATF agent from an undercover job gone wrong. All they’ve got to go on is the rendezvous location—until Charles recognizes the ex he hasn’t seen in years. Their “simple rescue mission” is about to get a lot more complicated. For Ángel Medina, adjusting to life after his cartel nightmare is hard enough without confronting memories of a failed relationship. All he wants is a fresh start. But when a violent [ Read More of this Review ]

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