*Review* Wraith Enchanted (Wraith #2) – Melissa Fox

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Synopsis:

Celia Brian is a witch—and that’s not the worst of her problems.

She’s been in love with spell-catching Wraith warrior Jonas Grey her entire life. Sparring partner, friend, confidante—that’s all she expects from Jonas. Beautiful golden gods aren’t meant for mere mortals, even if she does entertain fantasies every once in a while.

After demons murder his wife, the only focus Jonas has is killing his enemies. He lost his Amorta, his soul mate, and doesn’t deserve to be interested in another woman, especially not his good friend and boss’s daughter.

When Celia unearths an ancient riddle that triggers a series of attempts on her life, Jonas’s protective instincts are roused. Bound by a prophecy that could grant their deepest desires or take their lives, Jonas and Celia engage in the age-old battle between good and evil, life and death, and male and female.

Celia’s a spell caster, Jonas a spell catcher. Opposites attract.

Right?

My Review: 4 out of 5 Stars ****

Um! I’ve mulled and digested over the star rating for this book. I got this last year but never got round to reading it until now. I love, love, love the cover and along with the blurb I thought it sounded great.

I’ve decided to round up the rating but it took me a day to get there. It’s not that it doesn’t deserve a 4 star, it’s, well read the review.

It starts of super good. Celia, a spell castor is attacked on her way to the Organization, by a demon. She thwarts that attempt and goes on her way. She is researching an ancient legend that so far is alluding her. So the story is sort of set, something is after Celia yet no one knows why.

Enter Jonas Grey, yummy delicious Jonas, he is a Wraith, an angel so to speak that is on Earth to fight demons. There are only 9 Wraiths and each are destined to love and marry one woman, their Amorta. Alas, poor Jonas’s Amorta was brutally murdered 4 years ago and Jonas is a broken man.

Celia has loved Jonas all her life.

So we get the picture. I liked the story in general, it flowed, it had demon action and it had our hero tortuously denying he was falling in love with Celia, after all he had his one love. He’d failed to save her, he didn’t deserve another chance. Did he?

That was the part of the story I loved the most, the way he wanted to protect her at all costs, he angry angst when she was in the presence of her former boyfriend Rory, his moody broodiness trying at all costs to resist his feelings to Celia. Got to admit I do love a little bit of love angst.

What I struggled with the most was the story seemed to repeat itself, and you are constantly being told why things were the way they were, why Jonas was how he was and Celia continuing to question whether or not he could truly love her. It was repetitive enough to become a little annoying and that’s where I struggled with the star rating.

However, the story was good, the whole legend of them being together to produce a power so strong that the Demon King wanted Celia and Jonas dead was enough for me to keep reading. Then there was the sex, there was plenty of sizzling steam in this book. That’s always going to keep me reading lol.

So over all it was a good read, if you like your Wraiths hot and moody, your spell castors lusting and lots and lots of wanting sex then this is the book for you. I also liked that Celia was a regular girl, she had lush curves and a proper body and Jonas went wild for her.

I also loved the epilogue, it made me laugh.

*Review* Just Remember to Breathe (Thompson Sisters) – Charles Sheehan-Miles

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Synopsis:

Alex Thompson’s life is following the script. A pre-law student at Columbia University, she’s focused on her grades, her life and her future. The last thing she needs is to reconnect with the boy who broke her heart.

Dylan Paris comes home from Afghanistan severely injured and knows that the one thing he cannot do is drag Alex into the mess he’s made of his life.

When Dylan and Alex are assigned to the same work study program and are forced to work side by side, they have to make new ground rules to keep from killing each other.

Only problem is, they keep breaking the rules.

The first rule is to never, ever talk about how they fell in love.

My Review 5 Stars out of 5 *****

Oakies, I think I’m almost through with all the romantic downloads I did last summer! There is a cliched line there somewhere, but I won’t use it!

I think I inadvertedly left the best until last. Just Remember to Breathe was a gem, an eye opener and one hell of a story. I didn’t realize at the time, but this book is written by a man. Forgive my obvious sexist retort, but the title alone is beautiful, and I’m not saying a man can write romance, it just isn’t something I think about when I think about romance books.

That said, I think it gave it an edge, and edge you son’t usually get from the genre. There was a gritty realism to the story and that only enhanced the whole story. I loved Alex, the broken, yet “I will still get up in the morning” heroine.

A few years previous she had been an exchange student to Tel Aviv and had fallen madly, passionately and whole heartedly in love with Dylan. Dylan wasn’t only broken, he was flawed and fragile. He came from a completely different background than Alex and never quite felt he was somehow good enough for her.

Because of that he kept his feelings inside and that had caused a split between them, one full of misunderstandings and regret. Something that would change their lives forever, as well as the people around them.

So, Dylan is out of the army and Afghanistan. Recovering from a bomb attack on his humvee he is nursing wounds that go deeper than the scars on his leg. He is now in New York, back at the same school as Alex, hoping and praying he doesn’t meet her. But their paths are to cross…

What I loved about this book the most was the gritty reality of war, what it does to everyone who has fought, who stays at home to wait and the friends & family you go through this with.

I also loved the slow, deliberate way the story unfolded. It would be in the present, then flash back to the past explaining why Alex and Dylan were the way they were. Dylan’s story brought a lump to my throat on more than several occasions. I was so involved with them I was rooting for them all the way.

The one night, a party was to change everything. A frat boy from Alex’s past was to set Dylan on a course of down would spiral to soul redemption. I had a lump in my throat. The subject matter I think maybe a little too adult for the book to be considered YA, but it was refreshing to have a romance set around the realities of war and sexual assault (I know that sounds weird). That’s what gave it it’s edge.

When Dylan finally came to his senses and realized his only hope of a future was to confront and accept the past I was cheering, his “I thought I’d stop by” line to Alex when he showed up on her doorstep in San Francisco from New York had tears in my eyes.

This story was truly wonderful. Any romance lover should read this book. I loved it…..

*Review* Tamed by You (A Laurel Heights Novel) – Kate Perry

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Synopsis:

First rule of matchmaking: Don’t fall in love with your client.
Second rule of matchmaking: Don’t fall in love with your client!

Valentine Jones has never been good at following rules, especially the one that matters most: following the family tradition of being a matchmaker. She’s tried, but she happens to suck at it. So when her mother swoops in to help, Valentine is determined to prove she doesn’t need a babysitter.

Enter Ethan “The Predator” Hunter, ex-fighter and all-around hunk. Career on hold because of injury, his sole focus is to get back in the ring. He has no interest in the people until Valentine sets her matchmaking sights on him. Suddenly Ethan’s world is filled with nonstop commotion and lessons on attracting women. Only Ethan doesn’t want a random woman. He wants his matchmaker rules be damned

My Review: 3.5 Stars out of 5 ***

So, as I liked the previous Kate Perry Looking for You I saw this one was also offered for free on Amazon, got to dive right and and get that super sweet deal. I was really looking forward to this story because I do enjoy Kate’s style of writing.

After I was finished I wasn’t sure where to place the story with the previous one, or if it were fair to even compare them to each other. Why? I liked the story, it was cute and warm and Ethan has to be the funniest, surliest hero that I’ve read in a long time. He wanted Valentine and he was damn well going to have her…..family business/tradition be damned.

I like Valentine, in the main. She wasn’t your usual heroine and was definitely quirky. What I didn’t like was the repetitive reminders that the first born girl in the family became a match maker, why? I also wasn’t that fond of her mother Venus, who was clearly manipulating her daughter. Strange for a woman who was also a matchmaker.

I would’ve liked to see Valentine stand up to her mother more, heck if I’d a man like Ethan drooling over me, loving me the way he did I’d have stood up like a Spartan in 300 yelling “I am Sparta”

What worked was the interaction between Valentine and Ethan, you could taste the chemistry, the desire and the love long before they knew it themselves.

I also loved Sophie, she was a hoot, and Tony and their little side story. In fact there were times I liked their story a whole lot more. I also loved, loved the friendship Sophie struck up with Julia the florist. Very entertaining. All in all this was a cute romance, it was easy to read and a good way to spend an afternoon sitting in the garden by the pool.

If you like your romance easy, cute and a little sugary this series is one to take a chance on.

*Review* Dead Light District (Sasha Jackson #2) – Jill Edmondson

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Synopsis:

As open-minded as she is, private investigator Sasha Jackson feels out of place when her latest case plunges her into the world of commercial sex. A classy madam has hired Sasha to find a missing Mexican hooker, which seems easy enough at first. However, everything becomes complicated when a nasty pimp turns up dead in the wrong hotel.Things get even worse when a spaced-out call girl, an arthritic old lady, and a Rastafarian pawnbroker enter the scene. Sasha figures out why the hooker ran away but not where to. Besides,how fast can anyone run in stiletto heels? When the next body turns up, Sasha has her moral compass tested as she tries to understand the sex trade and how those enmeshed in it will do anything to survive– even if it means murder.

My Review: 4 out of 5 Stars ****

Oakies, I’m really not one for mysteries, but this caught my eye last Summer. Yes I am still going through all the books I downloaded for the travels I was doing last year. I picked this because, although I’m not a huge fan of the cover the blurb grabbed me. It also came across as being a little on the Chick Lit side too.

I didn’t realize that this was in fact book two of a series, I am happy to report you can read it as a stand alone. I am also pleased to report that I really, really enjoyed it. Although it could’ve been a 5 star rating, but there was just a little bit on long winded writing that didn’t need to be in the story, that after a while started to irk me.

Having said that I really, really liked Sasha, she was a hoot. Smart, sassy and a little self effacing. She had it all going on, sometime singer in a band, totally broke, slightly happless P.I. She was a real woman, she liked a drink, and when she ate she did what I believe 99% of all women do, worry it was going to go to her hips.

When hooker Carmen goes missing, along with the lack of funds in her bank account she takes on Candace, a bordello owner’s request to try and find out what happened to her. All doesn’t go quite how Sasha wants it to go, and she has to quickly get over her slightly closed mind to the world of prostitution.

The story flows nicely, not sure if we needed the hooker’s POV, it did seem to give the game away slightly. But when a pimp turns up dead, graffiti sprayed on her house and a near hit and run the notches of the story went into a higher gear. There were plenty of twists and turns to keep the reader interested and I really thought Sasha was going to let the hooker get away with murder.

That is until the body count started to climb. The bordello owner had her own secrets, which gave dimension to her character, as well as a nice little sub plot. Did it make me laugh as much as your traditional Chick Lit books? No, but I had some belly laughs, especially the part she is chasing the hooker down after being held at knife point. That had tears streaming down my face.

The book wrapped up nicely, and while I would’ve liked a little more romance. Derek seemed divine, Sasha was a ballsy enough girl that it probably wouldn’t have fit in with the story. All in all I am glad that I downloaded it.

*Review* Looking for You (A Laurel Heights Novel) – Kate Perry

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Synopsis:

Gwendolyn Pierce has a secret. A big secret.

No one knows that the gourd artist is really the missing Grape Princess—the wine heiress who ran away fourteen years before. And that’s the way Gwen likes it. No paparazzi recording her every mistake, no stern family disapproving of her life. She has her gourd shop in Laurel Heights and lives in peaceful bliss.

Until she meets Rick Clancy.

The last person she should get involved with is a private investigator who finds her as suspicious as he does sexy. Only she can’t help herself, and she can’t help wondering if she can trust him with her secrets—and her heart

My Review: 3.5 Stars out of 5 ***

Oakies, I’m slowly but surely working my way through the Chick Lit books I downloaded last Summer. Most all of them have been happy reads with warm, funny stories. This book doesn’t quite fit into what I call Chick Lit but I got it because I knew it would have romance in it, and who doesn’t want some romance while they are on vacation? (That’s what I got it for)

Though I didn’t read it while on vacation, instead it was read over two of the coldest days in South Texas it did warm my heart.

The story was a little implausible, a missing wine heiress living in disguise in San Francisco, only to hook up and casually date a private eye. Who just happened to want to know her secrets, but agreed not to dig for them while they were in the throws of having hot, passionate sex.

Then there was the journalist, Camille. So desperate to please her mother she for goes her dreams of being a writer and her chances of snagging her crush Dylan, she gets the unenviable task of covering the story of Gwen (the runaway heiress) who is now a gourd artist that has been chosen to show her pieces in the local museum. It is her that uncovers Gwen’s secret and outs her to the world.

What I loved the most about this book was its easy pace and style, there was nothing that didn’t draw you in no matter how much you thought the story wouldn’t play out the way it did. The characters were likable, and the men deadly sexy. Isn’t that what you want in a romance novel?

I do. I, at times wished the story had a little more depth or dimension, but overall when I reached the end I was smiling. This is the perfect beach read, there is nothing better than sun, sea and hot, hot seduction.

*Review* No Easy Choices – Trista Cade

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Synopsis:

Art major, Andie McDaniels was used to not being part of the “in” crowd. But now that she is a member of Theta Zeta Delta, the most sought after sorority on campus, she wants to try to fit in for once in her life.

Fitting in with the clique of Southern Belles isn’t so easy though, especially when she falls hard for the socially unacceptable Javier, a gorgeous South American student from a Colombian drug cartel family.

Faced with snooty sorority sisters holding nightly meetings to vote her out, her fear for Javier’s safety from a rival drug cartel, and her family’s high expectations of her, Andie must make some hard choices

My Review: 2 out of 5 Stars **

Oh Lordy me! This story could’ve been so much more than it was! I only continued reading because it was a short, quick read. I’m not too sure of what to say about this story, it wasn’t that it was bad, it was just not written with any depth.

Andie has gone to Georgia to college, she is living in the sorority house of the Theta Zeta Delta, a group of girls that I would turn on my heel and run as fast as I could from if I saw them coming my way. It centers on their rules and regulations, of what is expected of Andie and whom she can date.

That all gets turned on its head when she meets Javier, a mysterious hunk working in the library. It was all well and good, and the premise sounded like we were heading down a very good path. The sisters hated him for who and what he was, a foreigner! A lesser mortal than they were and not in the approved circle of who Andie could step out with.

Andie stood her ground and all of a sudden the sisters liked him!! That is until Quinn, the sister’s leader found some rather juicy gossip about his family. Then Andie had to dump him, only to get back with him when he explains it away. Don’t get me wrong, I wanted them to get back together but everything was a little too perfect. Especially when she realizes ahe cannot stay in the house and leaves, her parents come to town to hep her look for a new apartment. I don’t know about you, if my teenage daughter was hooking up with a Colombian drug lord’s son I wouldn’t be so quick to move into his apartment.

It was all so twee and situations righted themselves long before they got out of hand. I was wanting bitch fighting, grug cartels and chases galore. What I got fell a little flat on what could’ve have been a great book. Unfortunately this wasn’t for me

*Review* The Color of Water in July – Nora Carroll

Since going back to work and trying to adjust to a routine in the grown up world of earning a pay check, I’ve slowed my reading down just a little. Last summer I down loaded a whole heap of free books from Amazon (not in one day, over the course of some weeks) and because of commitments to tours some of the books got a little forgotten. I am now trying to get to all of them. This is one of them…..

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Synopsis:

Jess has not been back to the lake house since she was seventeen– the summer she fell in love with Daniel– the summer when a tragedy caused her to flee.Now, she is back, and the beautiful Victorian overlooking the lake belongs to her. Will the old house give up its secrets?

As Jess sifts through trunks filled with old letters and photographs, she tries to unlock the mysteries of the past, and maybe, just maybe, the secret to her own heart.

My Review: 4 out of 5 Stars ****

Wow, that is all I can say! Wow! This is not at all my normal genre (though I do have a guilty pleasure in Chick Lit from time to time) This is not Chick Lit either, this story was a complete surprise to me. I liked the synopsis, it was free and I thought it would make a great summer read.

This story is hauntingly beautiful, rich in descriptions and vivid in its poignancy. It starts with Jess Carpenter, 33, living in a small apartment in a dull job with her boyfriend Russ. Jess has just inherited her family home situated on a lake in Michigan. She hasn’t been back to the house since she was 17 years old. She is going back now, she is going to sell the house and finally put her past behind her.

The story is told from three POV, Jess as she is now, her 17 year old self and Maime, her grand mother. Jess would summer with her throughout her childhood because her mother Margaret was away being an international journalist. The story centers mainly on her last summer there. One of love, tragedy and sorrow. It also tells the story of Maime’s tragic sister Lila, who drowned in the lake.

The story is slow, but being detailed in its telling that’s just beautiful. It weaves in and out of Jess and Maime’s lives connecting the dots to a secret too big to tell, too shameful to whisper and it will be the one secret that will rip out Jess’s heart and send her on the path to no where.

Not until she goes back with Russ does she begin a journey of self discovery, one of Maime’s and Lila’s past, one where she can finally put the pieces together and finally find the happiness she thought she had lost forever. Daniel, the boy she loved and couldn’t be with was so dreamy, it was heart breaking to read just what stood in their way to true happiness.

I loved the gentle pace this story took, I could picture in my mind the scenes from the 1920’s -1930’s and I could feel Jess’s heart shatter when the one, tiny detail would rip her world apart.

If I had any complaints about this book it would be with the end. From the final chapter, which I have to say the last line….OMG, one of the best last lines ever “There is something I need to tell you” she said. To where it picked up in the epilogue, it left me a little confused, how did she get to the point she was at, was she with Daniel and Maggie? I would’ve liked it to have been a little better told.

However, overall this story was beautiful, entrancing and poetic. Again not my normal genre, but if you like stories of self discovery, love and what secrets a family can keep and how they can tear us down yet build us up then this is the book for you. Lovely story