"Hope: Hope is the Light when Darkness Descends (Catwalk Book 2)" by S. Q. Orpin

Hope: Hope is the Light when Darkness Descends (Catwalk Book 2) by [S. Q. Orpin]


Happily ever after comes at a steep price as past relationships and betrayal threaten to destroy a marriage.

Newlywed Casi Roberts struggles to find a balance between her career as a model, a failing business deal, and living between the quaint town of Blackberry Falls and the chaos in Los Angeles.

Kyle Jensen questions his choice to follow his heart when everything he values is threatened and his new wife becomes a stranger.

Devastation, jealousy, and lies, force Casi and Kyle to focus on what they cherish and believe in each other. They soon learn true bonds cannot be broken while loyalty runs deep.

Through faith and sacrifice, Casi learns who she can trust and whom she should fear. She navigates a new path, discovering the truest meaning of love and what is worth fighting for.

Family and friends suffer disturbing circumstances and devastating events forcing them to make difficult choices. When secrets from the past begin to surface, lies unravel and relationships are shattered.

Hope prevails when they learn to face their fears and open their hearts to the power of love.

The second novel in the Catwalk Series continues with an epic journey of love, intrigue, and triumph, revealing deeper stories within the captivating saga.

This book probably felt longer than it was because it contained an enormous cast of characters, a long list of entanglements, turmoil, and complications. I didn't find it difficult to keep track of the people, but I found it difficult to connect with them. I didn't feel like Kyle and Casi loved each other. Their hot and cold, I love you/I hate you attitudes, Casi's horrible decisions, and their immature passive-aggressive non-fights with borderline cheating afterward followed by long-winded apologies and declarations of their undying devotion put me off. A lot of the dialogues were speeches unloading information and drawn out explanations of how a character felt or why they did something or shouldn't have done something. I also found it disturbing that Casi would tongue kiss her husband's brother, and that they would all be okay naked around each other. How did Casi become qualified for a marketing executive job? There were so many things crammed into the book and mostly glossed over matter-of-factly that it didn't impact me as much as if there were fewer tragedies and traumatic instances that were more deeply written. I began to think most people in the story had personality disorders. How do you find this much dysfunction in one family? I don't even want to tell you how many of the same women the brothers slept with. Without giving spoilers, it held endless near-unbelievable drama dealing with addictions, exceedingly promiscuous sexual escapades, and maladjusted family relationships.


"Don't Make a Sound: A Sawyer Brooks Thriller" by T.R. Ragan


Plagued by traumatic childhood memories, crime reporter Sawyer Brooks still struggles to gain control of her rage, her paranoia, and her life. Now, after finally getting promoted at work, she is forced to return home and face her past.

River Rock is where she’d been abandoned by her two older sisters to suffer alone, and in silence, the unspeakable abuses of her family. It’s also where Sawyer’s best friend disappeared and two teenage girls were murdered. Three cold cases dead and buried with the rest of the town’s secrets.

When another girl is slain in a familiar grisly fashion, Sawyer is determined to put an end to the crimes. Pulled back into the horrors of her family history, Sawyer must reconcile with her estranged sisters, who both have shattering memories of their own. As Sawyer’s investigation leads to River Rock’s darkest corners, what will prove more dangerous—what she knows of the past or what she has yet to discover?

The description sounded like a book I'd enjoy, and as I started reading, it intrigued me. The multiple layer storyline worked well at first, but I figured out who Malice was and how it related to Sawyer's story too quickly. I found it a little weird that several characters were stereotypes of abuse victims. A lot of quotes from therapists as to how abuse victims should or would act as opposed to the characters' actions showing us the effects of abuse on victims. As the book approached its conclusion with crazier and wilder secrets emerging, it felt rushed and unbelievable. Things didn't play out naturally. Although the ideas were promising, I found the execution lacking. I still may give this author another shot.


"Apollo's Raven (Curse of Clansmen and Kings Book 1)" by Linnea Tanner


AWARD-WINNING APOLLO'S RAVEN sweeps you into an epic Celtic tale of forbidden love, mythological adventure, and political intrigue in Ancient Rome and Britannia. In 24 AD British kings hand-picked by Rome to rule are fighting each other for power. King Amren's former queen, a powerful Druid, has cast a curse that Blood Wolf and the Raven will rise and destroy him. The king's daughter, Catrin, learns to her dismay that she is the Raven and her banished half-brother is Blood Wolf. Trained as a warrior, Catrin must find a way to break the curse, but she is torn between her forbidden love for her father's enemy, Marcellus, and loyalty to her people. She must summon the magic of the Ancient Druids to alter the dark prophecy that threatens the fates of everyone in her kingdom.

Will Catrin overcome and eradicate the ancient curse. Will she be able to embrace her forbidden love for Marcellus? Will she cease the war between Blood Wolf and King Amren and save her kingdom?

I started reading this book and thoroughly enjoyed the evolving curse, the evil banished brother trying to overthrow his father, and Catrin's forbidden love for Marcellus. It consisted of more politics and war than the star-crossed lovers' budding romance, in my opinion, which confused me at times, and there were many gruesome scenes I could not fully read, but others may not be put off by the things that make me squeamish. Something that bothered me was Rhiannon's treatment of Catrin and that she chose to take Agrona's side (whom she proclaimed she didn't trust) against her daughter. The way Catrin connected with the raven fascinated me. I grew invested in Catrin's and Marcellus's fate and wanted to find out if they'd remain true and stop constantly doubting each other. Their actions at the end of the book answered my question, and I'd like to read the sequel to see if their relationship becomes more steadfast and sure and discover what happens with Marrock. I feel Catrin will have to face him eventually.


"The One Enlightened (Chronicles of the Diasodz Book 2)" by Yvette M Calleiro

The One Enlightened (Chronicles of the Diasodz Book 2) by [Yvette M Calleiro]

Sofia has lost everything that was important to her: her mother, her boyfriend, and her best friend. Even the belief that humans are the only beings in the world has been stripped away, but she has no time to dwell on her losses because she’s been transported to a new world to become the savior of the Diasodz. Sofia trusted Ar’ch and Angel to be there for her and to guide and protect her, but only Angel has held true to his word. Ar’ch has abandoned her, leaving her to feel tricked and betrayed.

Ar’ch brought Sofia home, fulfilling his mission to bring their savior safely to their world, but it didn’t come without a cost. Rafe, Sofia’s boyfriend, was killed, and Ar’ch believes Sofia blames him for it. Ar’ch’s sole focus becomes doing what is best for Sofia, and in his mind, that does not include him.

As Sofia deals with Ar’ch’s absence, she throws herself into learning about the Diasodz’s history. She grows stronger both emotionally and physically, and begins to accept her role in their world, but not everyone is convinced that she is the one whom the prophecy states will save them.

Beliefs will be challenged. Secrets will be revealed. Relationships will be shattered. And in the aftermath, evil will see its opportunity and strike. Will Sofia be able to handle it all? Or will the savior of the Diasodz lose her will to continue?

The One Enlightened is the second book of the Diasodz. I read the first, but I enjoyed this one more. Complicated levels within the battle of good versus evil developed. That was the best part of the story, in my opinion. It was detail-focused; I found myself skimming over the repeated inner thoughts of Sofia and Ar'ch about how they did or didn't feel for one another at the beginning, the minutiae of everyday routines, and sometimes the exercise sessions. The book reads very formally. It took me eight hours to finish the entire thing. I think a lot of the detailed sections could use shortening. Some of the story/history was repeated by different people.
Characters in this installment were a plus. New people to love and hate. Nolan and Valerie's secrets came to light and played an essential role in moving forward. I want to find out what happens with Drake and what Sofia's future holds. It has been hinted she will have to make a choice, and I need to know what that choice is. Whom will she save? Whom does she love the most? As the end of this second section of the series neared, so many things sprang up that left me wanting answers. That's great when reading a series.
I look forward to reading more.

"a Thousand Little messages: A KLM Origin Novel" by Linda Armstrong

a Thousand Little messages: A KLM Origin Novel (KLM Casebook Book 1) by [Linda Armstrong]


A new romance, a strange cat and a woman in desperate need of help turn Melissa's world upside down. Turning the business of her tea shop to her good friend and employee, Melissa goes on a whirlwind trip to investigate the man she thought she knew.

One missing woman, three states and a Thousand Little messages have Melissa seeing things differently. Finding her life in danger, will she be able to find the man before her friends are left to pick up the pieces?

A unique mystery with a lesson to be learned. Pay attention to all those little gut feelings. I liked the main character and the idea that her love interest felt he was doing the women a favor, that they actually wanted to die. His character was probably my favorite, even though he took a back seat to the investigation portion of the novel. Some parts moved a little slow, but the ending satisfied.

"Strawberry Moon" by Joy M. Lilley

Strawberry Moon by [Joy M. Lilley]


The Patterson family leaves the U.K. to begin a new life in France. St Severin, in the Dordogne, provides the backdrop for the family's new home and all of the life-changing obstacles they are about to encounter. Maisie, who is almost seventeen, narrates this unpredictable story. Maisie struggles as she experiences the changes of coming of age, the pain of loss, and the rollercoaster ride of competing love interests. Maisie's older brother, Dan, rebels over the move and frequently threatens to return to England when his studies are over. Dan starts an affair with a married French woman. After a few months in France, he goes missing which begins to unravel the family. What starts as an exciting move becomes more difficult with each passing chapter. Maisie is left navigating this complicated new world, all while trying to plan the rest of her adult life.

I liked the cover of the book. It's enticing. I did find the smallest piece of the story related to the cover and title- Maisie described the moon when tragedy struck her family. I felt the book dragged on much longer than necessary, and even though there were parts that captured my interest for a minute, and I thought, "here we go; something is going to happen," nothing came of it. No questions were answered, and no resolutions evolved. I didn't care for Maisie or her constant fizzling and straying affections. Her mother's addiction/mental illness and her belief that she'd committed murder led to a confession, a possibly great angle that ended before it began. Was Gange the man Maisie had seen on the canal? Was Maisie's 'accident' really an accident, and if it wasn't, did someone attack her to end her questions about the murder? Why was Ralph hinted at as an alternate suspect? Why was Franz injected into the story buzzing around at the end with no real explanation? There were too many very long, slow passages that forced me to step away from the book. Perhaps the author has a sequel planned that will answer some questions, but I felt dragged in circles without any satisfaction. It is in dire need of editing and proofreading.


Make A Little Wish: A Paranormal Women's Fiction Romance Novel (Make A Little Magic Romantic Comedy Book 3) by Jennifer Archer

Make A Little Wish: A Paranormal Women's Fiction Romance Novel (Make A Little Magic Romantic Comedy Book 3) by [Jennifer Archer]


In Make A Little Wish…“Jennifer Archer has taken the premise of the body switch and turned it into a story that will definitely resonate with women over 40. With humor and thoughtfulness, the story explores the values that our society holds and what it really means to find your soulmate…interesting and entertaining…”-The Internet Writing Journal

When I made a wish to switch lives with the twenty-something college student who works for my husband, I wasn’t being literal. So, imagine my shock when I looked in the mirror and saw Tory Beecham’s blue eyes staring back at me. Somehow, fortune granted me Tory’s head-turning, jaw-dropping body, and in return she got . . . mine.

But as eager young men try to win my attention, only one guy piques my interest. He has intelligent eyes and a sexy, caring smile; but he’s married – to me, or rather the woman I used to be, – and he thinks he’s falling in love with Tory, unaware that inside her body it’s me he’s drawn to. Now, the only thing that matters is finding a way to reverse the results of my careless wish and return to the life – and the husband and kids – I once took for granted . . .

Oh, to be twenty-one again. Lisa thought it would be grand, and after reading a fortune cookie about her wish coming true, she wished to trade lives with Tory, a young and carefree college student. The problem was Lisa loved her kids and her husband; she'd just lost sight of some important things and hadn't communicated all her needs effectively. She desperately missed her family and tried everything she could think of to switch into her body and regain her life. The beginning captured my interest, but between half and three quarters through, I just wanted to see how they'd get back together. It took so long. I could sympathize with Lisa's character. Frazzled and feeling unappreciated, she wanted more, yearned for more. It didn't mean she didn't love her kids. I think the moral of the story proved worth the read.

"My GRL" by John W. Howell

My GRL by [John W. Howell]


John J. Cannon, a successful San Francisco lawyer, needs some well-deserved time off. He takes a leave of absence from the firm and buys a boat he names My GRL. His short-term plan is to become a charter fishing boat captain. John is unaware his craft has been targeted by a terrorist group to be used to destroy a class of Annapolis Midshipmen on their summer cruise. John’s first inkling of trouble is when he wakes up in the hospital and learns he was unconscious next to the body of the young woman who sold him the boat in the first place. To further complicate the situation, he was lying on the gun that killed her

John now has a more critical plan than charter fishing. He needs to convince law enforcement that he is innocent of the woman’s murder and to figure out why he was in the position of taking the fall.

John’s quest for answers takes him from the small fishing village of Port Aransas to eventually confront those who are holding him prisoner on the cargo ship carrying My GRL in the hold. The answers come fast and not to John’s liking. The chief terrorist has decided to lash John to the wheel of My GRL which is packed with C4 explosives and by remote control steer them to certain death at the Port of New York. The plan is to destroy the Midshipmen and the Intrepid museum. All this to satisfy the terrorists need for revenge on perceived grievances against America and the leader’s hatred for John.

If you like your heroes’ to be regular people and you want your thrillers to be exciting with plenty of twists and turns this is the book for you. It is the first in the John Cannon Trilogy.

My GRL's main character, John Cannon made an impression; likable, funny, and obsessive at points, I could relate to him. I'm glad the author explained a lot of the technical aspects of the yacht because I'm unfamiliar with boats and sailing terms. In one of my favorites scenes, John drove his FJ across the beach fleeing from the terrorists and thought he'd succeeded, but things aren't always what they seem. Sometimes the pace slowed too much, for example, the many pages devoted to the cotter pin and if it could be helpful, but for the most part, the story held my interest and kept me turning the pages. While John planned to escape and save the day, the story came alive again and I didn't want to stop reading until I discovered the outcome of his plight. The motivation for the terrorist attack seemed strange to me, but these kinds of things often seem crazy or mindless when they happen in real life. I would like to read the next book in the series.


"Verity's Sunset" by Brett Galen

Verity's Sunset by [Brett Galen]


John Tyson is the yearbook photographer at his school, but he continues to wonder if anyone sees the guy behind the camera. Signing up for an environmental workshop during Spring Break, he meets a girl named Verity with a zest for life and a mission to find the perfect sunset. As their friendship deepens, a dark secret is revealed. Will her secret be enough to keep them apart or will they be strong enough together to find Verity's Sunset?

The author crafted a sweet, endearing read that brought forth tears and imparted an important message. I liked the main character, John. His familiar high school plight - secretly adoring Donna, a girl he didn't think would ever date him - had a unique twist. Although he worried that no one saw him beyond his camera and his photographs, he learned to view himself and life through Verity's eyes; she, and her circumstances, helped him come out of his shell. The book had very few typos or mechanical issues, but the story could have been more impactful by removing "was" as a repetitive verb choice and replacing it with a powerful verb.


"Murders on the Ridge: Mystery in Briar County" by Andrea Smith

Murders on the Ridge: Mystery in Briar County by [Andrea Smith]


Eight bodies were found in less than four hours in Briar County, Ohio . Every significant member of the Hatfield family of Briarton, their ages ranging from 16 to 44, were shot execution-style inside of four different homes not far apart.

Local, Federal and State law enforcement officers have swarmed the community, interviewing more than 50 people and combing the wooded areas surrounding the crime scenes. Sheriff Charles Ridley called the investigation one of the largest in Briar County history.

Ohio Attorney General Nick Devlin said the massacre was “pre-planned” and “sophisticated.”

A wealthy Ohio businessman out of Cincinnati, Ohio offered a $25,000 reward to anyone with answers.

But when the answers started to come, they only raised more questions.
Fingers began to point, family conflicts grew, and before this crime was solved, one more local would be found dead.

This book was based on an intriguing true story. The author did a pretty good job weaving it into fiction. It could use a little editing. When two people converse, they don't generally address each other by name each time they speak. It's cumbersome. The small town dripping with political conspiracies, corrupt law enforcement, and drug activity made for a compelling read. 


One Lakeside Summer (Bluegill, Michigan Book 3) by Amie Denman

One Lakeside Summer (Bluegill, Michigan Book 3) by [Amie Denman]


When Olivia Cleveland buys a historic building in Bluegill, Michigan, to follow her dream of opening The True Love Yarn Shop, she discovers it comes with an unexpected guest. A handsome man is borrowing her dock so he can restore his wooden sailboat and launch a long voyage to fulfill a dream. Olivia’s previous experience with dreamers has proven that yarn is the safest place for her heart, but Max England charms her enough to keep his boat at her dock. With each summer day, Max weaves himself more into Olivia’s heart until they both wish he didn’t have to sail away. When the summer ends, will true love be waiting at the end of his journey?

Max and his dog, Captain steal Olivia's heart. Olivia and Max's connection builds slowly, behind the scenes. This is a sweet, clean romance. The couple eventually shares a kiss, and they know they love each other. I like that Olivia is a strong female lead. She's okay without Max, even when they're separated, but somehow they're better together. An easy read where a happily ever after awaits. When trying to describe the feeling the book evokes, it reminds me of a Hallmark movie.

"Who's at the Door?" by JC Bratton

Who's at the Door? by [JC Bratton]


Due to an unfortunate accident, 17-year old Jamie Patterson had to decline a Hawaiian cruise with her family and stay at home. To protect the home while they were away, Jamie's father installed a video-monitored doorbell. Little did Jamie know that the device that was supposed to guard her would ultimately become her biggest nightmare. At 3:33 PM, Jamie received a notification on her phone that the doorbell rang; however, there was no one at the door…With the aid of her estranged boyfriend, Jamie unravels a mystery more dangerous than she could possibly imagine in order to answer one simple question: "Who's at the door?"

Too much telling and not enough showing. Anticlimactic and sometimes confusing. The premise and some of the ideas were very promising. I think attempting a 'Carriesque' theme - as a character mentioned in the story- fell flat. Could be so much better if the book was longer and the reader got to watch things happen and not hear about what happened.

'Think Murder (Adina Donati, Accidental Sleuth Book 1)' by Cassidy Salem

Think Murder (Adina Donati, Accidental Sleuth Book 1) by [Cassidy Salem]


Good friends, wine and conversation… Great fun – until somebody turns up dead.
Adina Donati came to Washington D.C. to find excitement, not a dead body. When a friend is murdered, Adina is drawn into the middle of the police investigation. Tensions rise as the suspect list expands to include Adina, her friends, and colleagues at the prestigious think tank where she works. But every cloud has a silver lining. Between the nice detective, the hot new volunteer at the dog rescue center, and the newly available preppy ex-boyfriend, Adina’s dating dry spell appears near its end. That is, if she doesn’t become the next victim.

I read this book rather quickly. I don't regularly read mysteries of the cozy variety. Although all the points of a thrilling story were present, I couldn't help but feel a little disappointed when I'd finished it. Wait, That's it? I suppose the even keel of emotions throughout the book may be typical for the genre? Adina didn't seem quite upset enough over finding her murdered best friend. It appeared her lukewarm romantic interest in two different men mitigated her distress pretty quickly. When she uncovered political secrets that could have triggered the killing, I thought, 'here we go; this is an interesting angle,' but again, even with attempted kidnapping, the tension didn't seem to rise. The drama appears at the office amongst coworkers and the jealousy between volunteers at the animal shelter. Alternate suspects were hinted at with little to no reason behind the suggestions - and those spins didn't take root, they could have been played out to the benefit of the mystery. So many times, I thought scenes were building to an event, 'maybe this will happen,' I thought, 'or maybe that,' but really, nothing happened. Even though Adina uncovered the clues that led to the case being solved, once those details were known, the investigator figured it all out and then just dumped the info into Adina's - and the reader's - lap. Boom; done. All we're left with going into the next book is wondering which man Adina will choose. If you enjoy a book with a realistic setting and clean romance that entails murder, kidnapping, and political intrigue but reads quickly and easily without making your emotions reel and doesn't keep you awake at night, perhaps you'll enjoy this book. 


'What We Forgot to Bury' by Marin Montgomery


Truth and deceit blur as one woman’s desperation twists into another’s desire for revenge in this mind-bending psychological novel.

Charlotte Coburn has a tragically dark past. But she’s safe now. She lives in a gated community, protected from danger. When teenager Elle knocks at her door looking for shelter during a particularly severe storm, the woman can’t help but think how lucky Elle’s been to have found someone as friendly as her. Except Elle chose her door on purpose…

She knows all about Charlotte’s secrets because they ruined her family and her life. And it is time that everyone else knew. But Charlotte’s past has left a dark void in her life, so she is concocting her own vicious plan, convinced that Elle can help fill that void.

As events unfold, the truth unravels and pulls both women into a dangerous game that will leave you wondering, Who’s the villain?

I am excited about reading again! I don't give Five Stars lightly. Marin Montgomery slowly paints the background of this twisted tale and gradually clues you in on secrets necessary to put all the puzzle pieces together that will lead to the explosive conclusion. I felt equally bad and angry with both characters at some point in the story, and I was engrossed in this thriller until I reached the end, which left me saying, "Wait, what?" I had to think back over the journey to see how this could have happened, and yes, it could happen, and I didn't see it coming. Charlotte and Elle's tragic lives strategically collide, and they'll never be the same. Sometimes the "bad guy" isn't the worst guy you'll encounter. I will definitely find more work by this author.

'Lord of Fire (Wytchfae Book 5)' by Flossie Benton Rogers

Lord of Fire (Wytchfae Book 5) by [Flossie Benton Rogers]


When The Hawk meets his Wytchfae, the result is spontaneous combustion.

Garnet McAnna chases the demon responsible for enslaving innocent fae familiars. She never expected to run headlong into a mesmerizing stranger known as The Hawk.

Exiled from an elite warrior's brigade, Lord of Fire Gabriel Hawk guards his heart and his solitude. He wants nothing to do with the world of men or the realm of fae. Then a fiery Wytchfae bursts into his life, stirring desire and sparking need. Will darkness conquer this couple or will love burn their souls into one?

This book was well-written; grammar and punctuation were not an issue. The story felt light and superficial, almost fairytale-like; it didn't upset me when Hawk was struck down and could have been dead during Garnet's kidnapping, yet some language and intimate moments marked it not for children. I was surprised to find people turning into animals. I enjoyed the time travel and multi-dimensions. I read the book in one sitting; the story flowed, quick and easy entertainment.


"A Candle in the Darkness" by Karen Black

A Candle in the Darkness by [Karen Black]

Is there life after death? Not according to Valerie. Following the accidental death of her husband, Randy, she Valerie was distraught. With her mother-in-law saying repeatedly that Randy was still with her, Valerie’s grief was amplified. Randy, had been the center of her life, and now he was gone. He was not with her. He died and was buried in a casket in the ground.

In spite of severe storm warnings, and against her in-laws' advice, Valerie set out for Maryland, where she and Randy had been planning to live. It took a tornado, and the words of a stranger to show Valerie exactly how to move on without Randy; or was it with him?

Valerie suffers a significant loss when her husband dies, and she rejects the comfort her mother-in-law blankets herself in: he is still there; he'll always be near. At once sympathetic to the main character, I understand her pain. She gets herself into scary circumstances when she insists on traveling home after the funeral, even though the projected weather is foreboding. The descriptions are vivid, and the setting compelling. She finds 'a candle in the darkness' during the storm, and it changes the way she views death; it lightens her burden of grief. Do you believe a person is truly gone when they leave this earth? A hope-inspiring short tale, I enjoyed "A Candle in the Darkness."


"Shattered Treasure" by Cindy Patterson

Shattered Treasure by [Cindy Patterson, Charlene Patterson]


Addison Morgan has spent years ignoring the broken pieces of her past that etched deep scars in her heart, scars that left her vulnerable to remain in a relationship with an unfaithful boyfriend. Her feelings for him have been fading for months, and after he betrays her again while she’s still hurting over the untimely death of her sister, Addison causes a car accident involving a teenage girl.

Police Officer Logan Tant is devastated when his sister’s in an accident involving a drunk driver. And he’s determined to bring the driver to justice. When he finds out the driver has befriended his sister and family, his anger escalates. It isn’t until he meets Addison face-to-face that the truth becomes blurred and there’s an unstoppable connection that draws him to her.

When Addison falls for Logan, her ex-boyfriend seeks to reclaim her at all costs, leaving her abused and with a life-altering choice to make that will change the course of her relationship with Logan and both of their lives forever.

Tender and emotionally stirring, Shattered Treasure is a tale that reminds us that mercy can mold the most broken of hearts and hope can lead to new journeys that arise from shattered beginnings.

Addison and Logan are compelling characters; their relationship is sweet, and in the end, Logan proves to be a true hero. However, the book is filled with page after page of long-winded stints inside their heads. At about fifty percent I grew tired of the battle between Addison and Phillip and the way she didn't make anything firmly clear to anybody. I would have enjoyed the book much more if the long, boring sections of repetitive internal worries, self-doubts, and insecurities would have been edited out.


Protecting What's Mine: A Small Town Love Story byLucy Score

Protecting What's Mine: A Small Town Love Story by [Lucy Score]


If you can’t stand the heat, don’t fall for a firefighter…

Fire Chief Lincoln Reed is known for his heroics in the fire department and in the bedroom. Life is a never-ending good time. Until she lands in the middle of the accident scene he’s working…and then his backyard. Too bad she’s immune to flirty first responders.

Flight trauma surgeon Mackenzie O’Neil is on a crash course with burnout. She’s got a scar on her face and a shake in her hands. A temporary job as a small-town family physician is just the prescription. She’ll learn to meditate. Sleep more. Take up gardening.

She definitely won’t take her shirtless, firefighting neighbor’s hot body for a test drive.

But Linc and his tattoos are very persuasive. What’s a harmless little adrenaline-fueled fling between neighbors? It’s all naked fun and games until the shadows from Mack’s past find their way into her present. Can Linc be her hero when she needs him the most or will their scars ruin everything?

One thing is certain: Someone is going to get burned.

Author’s Warning: This small-town happily ever after is smokin’ hot, sweetly hilarious, deliciously suspenseful, and a one-two punch to the feels. One-click for a disaster dog, precocious kids, a good ol’ fistfight, nosy neighbors, high-adrenaline first responder heroics, firefighter bromance, and kitchen sexytimes.

I enjoyed the characters in the book, the plot, the relationships, and the setting. The anticipation of Mackenzie and Linc finally giving in to their chemistry was great. Once they had sex, it was often, and it was a major portion of the story. The whole thing could have been shorter. It took a long time to finish.

"Smoke Rose to Heaven" by Sarah Angleton

Smoke Rose to Heaven by [Sarah Angleton]

New York, 1872, Diviner Ada Moses is a finder of hidden things and a keeper of secrets. In her possession is a lost manuscript with the power to destroy the faith of tens of thousands of believers. When a man seeking the truth knocks at her door with a conspiracy theory on his lips and assassins on his heels, she must make a choice.

Spurred by news of a ritualistic murder and the arrival of a package containing the victim's bloody shirt, Ada must either attempt to vanish with the truth or return the burden she has long borne to the prophet responsible for one of the most successful deceptions in US history.

Protecting someone else's secret may save Ada's life, but is that worth forcing her own demons into the light?

Ava's compelling narrative held me tight; the sad tale of her childhood and how she struggled into adulthood with her maniacal aunt kept me reading. The aunt's character traits fell well-balanced between good and evil, and with uncovered glimpses into her life story, it was hard to completely hate her. I highly enjoyed this book and look forward to reading its companion novel to read more about the snake oil salesman, Lyman, who played a large role in Ava's journey.


"The Kiss" by J Robert Brown

The Kiss by [J Robert Brown]

Based on true events, this is a story about a backpack trip taken on a whim. Sitting on a train preparing to leave Poland, the imagery and adventures of the journey are overlaid on the faces of two strangers standing on the platform saying goodbye. The tears, the miles and the forgotten are recounted amid some awkward situations and gentle reflection that end with The Kiss.

I enjoyed the adventure of this tale; powerful in its humor and profound in its sadness; the descriptions, and seeing through the author's eyes. However, it bounced back and forth in time which left me feeling shaken. The love story that he returns to every so often is sweet but repetitive until finally, the young couple's parting can no longer be delayed, and their emotions culminate in a kiss. A quick read worth the time.

Leveling Up: A Miami Football Romance bySultry Reads

Leveling Up: A Miami Football Romance by [Sultry Reads, Abiegail Rose]


First rule: Don’t get drunk and invent fake boyfriends.
Second rule: If you do, make sure he’s smoking hot and willing to make your fake dreams a reality.
Believe it or not. Tasha didn't think anyone would believe her when she drunkenly blurted out that Tank, the NFL’s most eligible Bachelor and tight end of the Miami Dragons, was her boyfriend! She just wanted to stop being set up and he was the first name she thought of since she couldn't get him out of her mind after meeting him earlier in her restaurant.

She also didn't believe that she had sent the real Tank a relationship request on Facebook; until he said yes! Now everyone is going crazy and Tank is doing his damnedest to prove to her that he’s just as good off the field as he is on it!
Tasha’s been hurt before and doesn't know if she's ready to rock with a guy on Tank's level. Between the paparazzi and crazy ex-girlfriends, Tasha is leaning toward calling it quits.

Her friends keep telling her to stop tripping, fight for what she wants, and start leveling up.
Tasha's starting to think that maybe she should!

This book had many grammatical, punctuational, and formatting errors and didn't read smoothly. The story had potential, although predictable. Some polishing to develop the mechanics could serve it well. 


"A Peach For Big Jim" by Lisa Belmont

A Peach For Big Jim by [Lisa Belmont]


In 1947 racially-charged Mills Hollow, South Carolina, Chloe Mason knows not to go near the Negroes who live in the river shacks, especially sixteen-year-old Big Jim. He’s something of a myth, a big black boy known for eating opossums and howling at the moon. At least that’s what Chloe’s brother, Caleb, and her Pa, a fiddle-playing Southerner who waves a Confederate flag, tell her. Yet when Chloe slips into Foxhole Swamp, it’s Big Jim who saves her from an alligator. She secretly befriends Big Jim and takes it upon herself to teach him to read, even bringing him a forbidden peach from Widow Jones’ tree. Chloe meets Big Jim in a tree fort he constructs in the woods, and together they endure the injustices Big Jim suffers – like being whipped by Chloe’s father for trespassing. But once her father discovers their secret meetings and is ready to lynch Big Jim, Chloe’s loyalty is tested to the breaking point, calling into question everything she’s come to believe about herself, her family, and what truly matters most.

A familiar theme in an imaginary place, the message came through. The mechanics flowed smoothly, and the story interested me, but Chloe seemed younger than thirteen to me; maybe it was the time and setting. I found other characters more captivating, such as Widow Jones; the secrets the woman carried could have been a novel unto themselves. The point at which Chloe's father had to choose between her or his best friend and their beliefs, I didn't think I'd ever see that happen; it shocked me. The ending left with me with nagging questions, will there be a sequel?

"The Cowboy and His Runaway (Rock Springs Texas Book 1)" by Kaci Rose

The Cowboy and His Runaway (Rock Springs Texas Book 1) by [Kaci Rose]


Maybe if she'd known that running for her life would have changed her life for the better, she would have done it sooner...

My momma always believed in fate, but I didn't believe until I met him. The sexy cowboy who'd found me hiding in his barn. A series of disastrous events led me to him. He and his family took me in, protected me, and gave me the life I always wanted. But at what cost?

I didn't expect to find the beautiful blonde in my barn that morning. Or the intense rage I'd feel after seeing her bruises. At that moment she became mine. Mine to take care of. Mine to spoil. Mine to protect from anyone who intended her harm. Anyone.

Come meet the small town of Rock Springs Texas with a family that has your back, a town that knows your business, and men who love with everything they have.

There is plenty of horses, nights under the stars, sweet tea, and a few road trips!

Get ready for some HOT Texas Nights!

This is a cowboy romance, with a sexy cowboy and a strong woman who have a lot of heat! This is full-length romance. Complete with a happy ever after, no cheating, and no cliffhanger!
This book may have some trigger points centering around abuse but it is what makes these characters strong and protective. Plus justice is always served!
Readers 18+, please.

This book has promise. However, it needs serious editing and proofreading. Repetitive, slow, and too many grammar and punctuation errors. I wouldn't hold a few errors against it, but the time spent reading and rereading sentences/paragraphs in this novel for comprehension detracted from enjoying the story.


"Shameful Beings" by January Joyce

Shameful Beings by [Joyce, January]

Twenty-four hours from now, I'm slated to be executed. I guess that’s the way it has to be to make them happy. I’m guilty, okay. There you have it, my big confession. I haven’t always been a good person. I’ve made mistakes, done bad things, and made wrong decisions. I wasn’t a good daughter. I was a terrible sister and the worst possible wife. I’ve betrayed all of the people who trusted me. I’ve deceived my friends, my family, and my coworkers. But what I did to get here, now that’s a different story. I broke the law and am guilty of doing a lot of dumb things, shady things even. But if you knew anything about me, you’d know that everything I did that got me here, I did for a righteous reason. I did it for her. So if you've got a little time, why don’t you sit back and let me tell you a story. Let me tell you how a nice naive girl from Bakersfield, California ended up in a crazy little place like this.

This book had so much action and good intentions skidding sideways that it completely held my interest; I read it within a 24-hour period. There was a lot of violent descriptions, and I personally don't care for that but was able to skim over those pieces and not lose any of the story. Right to the very last second, I still wondered if there was a happily-ever-after in store for Ronnie. I felt sorry for her because it seemed she didn't have much control over anything in her life. When she did have control, she made bad choices, but in her final moments, she felt the ends justified the means, and she made peace with her actions. I guess in a way, that was her happily-ever-after. I enjoyed this book and recommend it.


"The Button" by D.L. Finn


Lynn Hill left a difficult childhood behind when she turned eighteen. The 1980s were going to be the beginning of a great life. Then what started as an ordinary evening out with her best friend, Stacy, turns into a nightmare. Lynn hears warnings: “Go!” “Leave!” Believing she is hearing things after partying too much, she goes back for one more drink before going home. That decision sets off a chain of events that nothing could have prepared her for. While humans and not-so-human beings are attempting to either help or harm her, Lynn risks everything to find the only person she trusts, Stacy. Who can help her? The stepbrother who shows up right when she needs him or the attractive, helpful bartender who gives her his phone number? Lynn must learn to trust again. Her survival depends on it in this paranormal thriller.

Lynn has quite an adventure in this story, along with her best friend, Stacy. She wakes up next to a dead body after a night of liberal drinking and drug use; she can't find Stacy, and she doesn't know whom to trust. Her building a tolerance to drugs played a role in the results of her situation on more than one occasion. There are several complicated relationships, visible and hidden, between the characters of the book that you may question when all is revealed. There are also good and evil forces in play. Angels who look over the girls try to help them make good decisions and positively change their outcome. I would have liked it if the story had begun with Lynn waking up in bed next to the dead guy, the beginning felt slow and a little muddled for me when the angels are discussing what has happened and what will happen. The evil entity that used the villain as a host also confused me because they were a character and had thoughts or dialogue. It's presence alone was sufficient, but I believe it began that way to conceal the identity of the villain. The significance of the title, the button involved in the book (which I won't post the phrase here:) I recall seeing those buttons as a teenager. Movie quotes and other descriptions also fit within the year of the story. Once Stacy and Lynn are reunited, they are in for a fight of their lives.

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