Monthly Archives: November, 2012

40 Souls to Keep – Libby Drew – 4 stars

 

Ok…  I have to say this..  I want more of this world and stories of these poor souls who get saddled with the job of helping souls in trouble.

 

Jase wakes up on a park bench with no memory of his past, who he is, what he is supposed to do or anything…  He’s got a strange tattoo of the number 40 on his arm but no idea why.  He’s helped by a woman and her grandson who inadvertently show him what he is supposed to be doing with his life.  He can heal people by taking their sickness and pain in to himself.  We next see him years later almost done with the 40 souls he is supposed to help.  We find out quite a bit more about these people and I loved this…  He’s drawn to his last soul and meets Lucas.

Lucas is a social worker called out to work with a little girl who witnesses her mother and father getting killed.  She’s a special child and immediately latches on to Lucas.  He takes a lot of responsibility for her safety and care but seems to not be in a good place where his personal life is concerned.  He’s gay and wants to find someone who accepts him plus is able to be openly with him.  He just needs to be loved and accepted which made me sad for him.  When he and Jase meet sparks fly but at the same time Lucas is skeptical as what he is being told requires a belief in the paranormal and that doesn’t come easily.

 

Overall the tension in this book is driven by who is after the little girl and why exactly she is targeted.  Who Jase truly is and why the 40 is significant was very interesting to me and I hope to see more of the people chosen to save souls.  Thanks to NetGalley.com and Carina Press for giving me the chance to read this in exchange for my honest review.  As always if you want any Carina Press titles I review please click the link in my sidebar.

Forbidden Desires – Jodie Griffin – 3.5 stars

I am definitely going to have to pick up the first in this series.  It was a nice hot read with a bit of angst built in.

 

Bella is coming to terms with what she wants and needs in a relationship.  When she has brought her needs up to other men it has been met with disdain and scorn so she isn’t 100% comfortable with those needs.  You see as much as she doesn’t mind to be dominated by her partner she also needs to dominate.  Most men she knows just want to dominate her but can’t submit to her when she needs it.  She meets Marcus and immediately notices that he likes it when she is forceful with him but she’s also extremely aware of the fact that he isn’t comfortable with his own need to submit.

 

Marcus needs to submit…  he truly desires it as much as he likes to be in control this desire does not go away.  His ex did a number on him though so he thinks these desires are fundamentally wrong and fights this need to the point where you want to just shake some sense in to him.  Bella is very patient with him but when he tries to play Alpha male with her and doesn’t seem to understand why bullying doesn’t work she leaves.  There is a bit of angst as they both find their way to one another and when they both finally communicate their wants and needs it is HOT.  I enjoyed watching them both own their desires and by doing so find the one person that can complete them and accept them as they are.

 

Nice quick story so go grab it for a bit of heat.  When she takes control it was hot and watching her submit to him was just as powerful.  I liked seeing the give and take both of them had to do in order to make it work.

 

Thanks to NetGalley.com and Carina Press for letting me read this in exchange for my honest review.  As always if you are interested in purchasing the story please click the Carina Press link in my sidebar.

Undercover Professor – December Gephart – 3.5 Stars

 

Lucy has some rules for dating… These rules make sense when you find out her past but man are they made to be broken when Andy comes around.  She can’t understand why she feels drawn to this socks with sandals wearing, scruffy, lives with mom and jobless man but she is.  Their chemistry is off the charts but when she finds out he has asked out her cousin already she puts the brakes on this attraction.  Well…  sort of…  I mean she is sort of seeing a man that meets every criteria on the list but he doesn’t do it for her at all.  She tries to keep away from Andy but keeps spending more and more time around him even though she knows it won’t work.  She’s a nice person but I got a little tired of her rules and her inability to just trust in him.  I mean I know why she did what she did but at the same time it did get a bit frustrating.

 

Andy (Drew) is an extremely well known man in his real life.  He is only pretending to be something he isn’t in order to write a story and do research for a new article he is writing on gaming.  He doesn’t expect to find the “one” while he is undercover but when he meets Lucy he’s a goner.  He learns about her rules and why she has them but as much as he wants to tell her the truth he wants the story done correctly.  I felt for him as he tried to tell her the truth but knew he couldn’t do it without driving her away.  I liked him and his need for her but man did he have issues with her cousin.  I’m glad he got to t he truth of the matter with his story as it made quite a few changes to his own life but also proved out that his feelings for her were true and that he needed to grow up in order to make it work.  He’s a big child in a man’s body but at the end of this you sensed that now he was truly a man who would be what she needed.

 

I liked the pairing and would like to see more of the two of them in another short story.  Maybe show them in a few years and how their lives have evolved.

 

Thanks to Carina Press and NetGalley.com for the chance to read this in exchange for my honest review.

Naughty and Nice: Three Holiday Treats – Ruthie Knox/Molly O’Keefe/Stephanie Sloane – 4 Stars

 

ROOM AT THE INN by Ruthie Knox

Carson has been avoiding Potter Falls for years.  He’s stuck on the fact that it is a small town and there are expectations.  He’s convinced I’ll get in…  help dad…  and go back to my life.  Then he sees Julie…  again…  they have amazing chemistry but she’s happy in this adopted home town and he just can’t see himself there.  Thru this story we get to see what happens when two people that are meant to be together finally get it right.  I loved this but then I have consistently enjoyed Ruthie’s voice.

 

ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS IS YOU by Molly O’Keefe

This is the one sort of odd story in the book.  I enjoyed it but then I have been looking forward to Billy and Maddy’s story so it was nice to see how it started.  I have to say this was a bit heartbreaking if you have read her other stories as you know what happens after this.  It was sad to see two kids that do love one another have to make a decision that others seem to not agree with.  I was a bit teary at the end of this one.

 

ONE PERFECT CHRISTMAS by Stephanie Sloane

Jane is jilted by her fiancé at the altar but turns to her great childhood friend Lucas.  He gets a bit frightened by how strong his feelings are for her and proceeds to run away.  He ends up running in to her again and realizes that he still has feelings for her but he doesn’t want to stand in her way until….  A nice sweet read with a bit of heat that will have you smiling.

 

All in all this was a nice read with some good stories of holiday love.  Go grab it!!

 

Thanks to NetGalley.com and Random House for letting me read this in exchange for my honest review.

How Beauty Met The Beast – Jax Garren – 4 Stars

 

This is a rather interesting start to a new series and an enjoyable one at that.   Set in Austin TX we get to see a melding of the current world with an idea of a future where an underground society attempts to get the real news out there and make sure the general public gets the information others attempt to hide.

 

Jolie Benoit is a part of a family that controls most of the media.  She doesn’t see eye to eye with her father but is in school as a post-grad student by day and works as a burlesque dancer by night.  She has an amazingly hot encounter with a man that is separated from her by a sheet but she knows his voice and is extremely intrigued by him.  Shortly after this encounter some men attempt to kidnap her and she is rescued by what she terms a monster.  Waking up with his arm around her isn’t what she planned but she keeps her wits about her and finds out things that she didn’t want to know about her father and in some respects even about herself.  I liked Jolie as she rolled with the punches a lot in this but never backed down due to fear or stupidity.  I did also like that we didn’t see her jump into bed with Hauk but that she is having trouble coming to terms with her burgeoning feelings for him and is taking her time to get to know the man before she leaps.  There is definitely chemistry on both sides and to see this slow buildup is fun.

 

Wesley Haukins (Hauk) was horrifically burned and injured in a fire while he was on active duty in Afghanistan.  He now sports horrible scarring on his face and body along with a prosthetic leg.  He wants very badly to be loved and accepted for who he is under the scars but has lost hope of ever finding a woman who will love him and see past the scars.  He has moments when he goes in to a “beserker” mode and following those moments has no memory of what occurs.  He sees Jolie performing and immediately is drawn to her.  He loved their moment with the sheet between them but has no hope of it ever being repeated or anything building from it when he gets thrown in to becoming her rescuer.  He works with her to get her niece back and as this happens they develop the starts of a great friendship.  He wants more but is convinced he won’t ever get it from her because after all why would Beauty love the Beast.

 

I’m extremely excited to see how books 2 and 3 work out because I love this pairing.  I think the best thing Jax does is to not rush this relationship…  even though I can’t wait for more to come about..  I think showing both of them working through issues is a wonderful touch as when the walls come down and they take that next step it will be incredibly meaningful and we as readers will cheer.

 

Thanks to NetGalley.com and Carina Press for giving me the chance to read this in exchange for my honest review.  Please head out to the link in my sidebar to purchase this one as I think it will be a great quick read for you like it was for me.

Logo design… Such a fun thing

A co-worker recently had a class project where she needed to design a logo for a business. She asked if I minded if she tried out a few things and designed one for me. I’ve been meaning to come up with something and since I’m not an artist … I jumped at the chance.

I will tell you I loved this tentative design out of the four she provided….

This will be changing a bit but it suits me to a T and I hope you enjoy this initial glimpse…

Naturally, Charlie – S.L.Scott – 5 Stars – Contest!!

I’m going to be honest…  I was a bit worried when I read the premise of this book.  I mean both main characters known as Charlie??  I will have to say this was a charming read that had me laughing, crying and wanting so badly for them to figure things out and get their HEA.  It will tug at your heartstrings as both need to work thru issues before they can find that elusive HEA.  This book gives you both viewpoints and even though I am not typically a fan of first-person reads this one works.

Charlotte “Charlie” Barrow is struggling to figure out exactly who she is and what she wants in life.  She split with her fiancé after catching him cheating and not long after that split he was killed.  She’s trying to figure out exactly who she is since as a part of that relationship she put herself on the back burner and focused on being what he wanted/needed.  She runs in to a handsome man on the subway which causes her to miss her stop but neither of them got each others contact information so she writes it up as a “oh well, sigh”.  She runs in to him again later at a bar where she is out with a co-worker but the co-worker has already decided she wants him so Charlie backs off and chalks it up to more bad luck.  The two of them run in to one another again as she is on the way to her exes funeral and he is on the way to a funeral as well.  They start to talk and then both support each other as they attend the funerals together.  Odd start to a relationship but it works for these two.

Charlie Adams has his own issues to work thru with his family.  You see he is a freelance writer rather than living up to the family legacy and always feels like the odd man out with his family and honestly his friends.  He is intrigued by Charlie and only goes up to her friend in hopes of getting to meet her so he can get to know her better.  He thinks her disinterest at the bar to be a sign she doesn’t want him so goes out with her friend once…  ummm this doesn’t go well thankfully.  When he runs in to her on the way to the funeral he takes the opportunity to get to know her and his attraction to her takes flight.  She puts in place we are going to be friends only after a night of making out which he agrees to as he knows she is still reeling from the loss of her ex even after what he put her thru.  I loved how he knows what she means to him and is willing to take what she can offer even if it isn’t what he really wants.

We get to see two people truly fall in love with one another even if one is in severe denial.  It broke my heart when she walks away from him but honestly you need to read this to see why this was for the best and what truly happens when two people are meant to be together and meet their soul mates at a time when they were at their lowest.  It is such a charming read and you will be extremely happy with the build-up and emotions that the author will bring out in you.

Go grab this today or enter the contest below then go buy it if you don’t win.  I loved this book and cannot recommend it enough so you can watch their journey unfold.

Thanks to NetGalley.com and The Writer’s Coffee Shop Publishing House for the chance to read this in exchange for my honest review.

Buy links:

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

The Writer’s Coffee Shop

Now for the fun stuff…  For a chance to win a Kindle copy of the book answer the following question –

Do you believe in true love and soul mates?

Winner will be drawn on Friday 11/16 at 2 am Central.  Please make sure to provide a valid email address when entering your comment in the form.

All He Ever Desired – Shannon Stacey – 5 stars

Shannon Stacey does it again!!  The Kowalski series has to be one of my favorites and I always wish she could give us one every month as I don’t think I will ever get tired of the heart, heat and humor that each book contains.

In this installment we get to see Ryan get his HEA in the form of the woman who got away.  I mean sure they never dated…  sure she married his best friend while he watched from the shadows…  sure they got divorced and he had some major cajones when he was younger but…  they never actually dated.  They definitely felt a connection and there was something there but they never acted on it.  He’s been married and now runs his construction business out of town but when he comes back in town to work on the family lodge he finally decides to make his move on Lauren.  He’s such a sweetheart and a serious man so watching him lighten up and relax around her was fun.  He’s also really great around her son and treats the teenager as if he was his son which I adored.  He doesn’t know how to make it work with her but he knows he wants her in his life permanently he just needs her to admit it.

Lauren is raising her son on her own with very little help from her ex Dean.  He got caught cheating on her in their marital bed when her son was old enough to see (maybe not completely understand) what was going on.  She’s made the best of it but you sense she wants to have a true partner in her life even if she won’t acknowledge it.  She’s always had an attraction to Ryan but never acted on it as she was faithful to Dean even if he didn’t deserve it.  When she lets Ryan in it is with the understanding this is just an until the lodge gets done sort of thing since she can’t see it working with him living elsewhere and her not willing to uproot her son.  There is a ton of heat when these two act on their attraction but the heart behind it will make you smile at the same time you will want to scream when something he does makes her react without thinking.

I’m so happy with this series and all I can say is “KEEP THEM COMING!!!”  (hint hint to Angela James and Carina Press… more more more)

Special thanks to NetGalley.com and Carina Press for letting me read this in exchange for my honest review.  If you wish to purchase this (HIGHLY RECOMMEND) then please see the Carina link in my sidebar to do so.

Big Shot – Joanna Wayne – 3 stars

Durk is heading to the ranch for a nice week off when he gets a call from his mom to check in on his aunt.  When he gets to the hospital he steps out of the way of a gurney with a badly beaten woman on it and his heart stops.  The woman is someone he thought he would never see again and the woman who holds his heart even though they split over two years prior, Meghan.  He steps in and knows he has to help even though they aren’t together any more.  He’s a very sexy man and when the truth starts to come out about him and Meghan you wonder why she ever let him go.  Oh yeah…  she thought her career was more important than her safety and him…  oopsie.  I liked that he just wanted to keep her safe but realized that she would do what she felt was right even at the expense of self.  He didn’t want to control her but wanted her to stop taking so many risks that would eventually catch up to her.  I guess you could say this latest risk did catch up to her but not in the way he feared.

Meghan has been working as a PI and is very good at her job.  Unfortunately she takes a lot of risks but is willing to do so if it means getting put in the line of fire.  She’s beaten almost to death and has lost her memory of almost everything including her family and her time with Durk.  She’s also lost her assistant as he was killed in her office shortly after her beating by the gun she always carries.  She’s hurting and confused but wants to help figure out what exactly happened and is very attracted to Durk.  She wants him but isn’t sure why he would want her since he is amazingly handsome and wealthy.  I enjoyed watching her put together the pieces of her life and realize what truly was important.  My only complaint was I wanted to see more time put in to their relationship than what was given.  I know with the little history we get they had an amazing connection so the whole yes we are meant to be together wasn’t overly hurried but…

Anyway thanks to NetGalley.com and Harlequin for the chance to read this in exchange for my honest review.  Please check the sidebar for the link to the Harlequin website if you wish to check this one out.

After the Storm – Amy Knupp – 4 Stars

I have to say this was a really nice read that made me smile and sniffle a bit.  There is a lot to be said for a read that can make you feel like you are a part of the characters lives and you understand why they are doing what they are doing even if you don’t like what they are doing to each other.

Nadia is running a bit late.  She’s such a work-a-holic that she stayed later than expected during a mandatory evac of the island as a hurricane approached.  As she is trying to leave a sign falls and pins her car.  She can’t get out and makes a call to 911 for rescue.  It comes in the form of a man she rescheduled one date with then left in the middle of another to go to work.  She’s got major issues with taking any time for herself but instead throws herself in to the running of her family’s hotel.  She’s good at what she does but sometimes you need something to kick you in the ass to realize work isn’t everything and if you use it as a substitute for a life…  you end up lonely and shortchanged.

Ok..  that came out a bit harsh…  not that I think everyone needs to be in a relationship to be happy but if all you have is work and you even put friendships on hold…  now that is sad.

Penn is obsessed with being a firefighter.  It defines him and all he is..  or at least that is what he thinks..  He’s not surprised that Nadia’s work made her run late on evacuating since she messed up two date attempts.  While he is working on getting her car free he gets hit by debris which permanently changes his future.  He can’t be what he loves any more and he takes it out on everyone…  especially her.  After all if she had left on time he wouldn’t have lost his passion.  He’s still attracted to her but does all sorts of things to drive her away.  He keeps everyone at a distance but in this story as he comes to terms with his injury and loss he learns a ton about his family and himself.  Watching him wake up and heal was wonderful.

Thanks to NetGalley.com and Harlequin for giving me the chance to read this in exchange for my honest review.  This is worth a read for many reasons so go grab it.  Check the sidebar for the link to the Carina Press website to pick this up in the format you choose.

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