Thursday, May 18, 2017

ARC REVIEW Ararat by Christopher Golden

Ararat is a horror, mystery, monster-ish book. It's not what I thought it would be, but that is not a bad thing. It was well written and even though I really didn't like the overall plot it was written engaging enough to keep me wanting to read it and finding out what happens. It wasn't bad just not my usual cup of tea. Don't get me wrong I love creepy, scary, paranormal, and horror stories but demonic possession stories don't really do it for me. I was expecting something a little more monstrous and abominable, so yes I was disappointed there. I did like the creep factor Christopher Golden inserted into the whole Noah's Ark story, that was a good twist. I halfway expected all the characters introduced in the first chapters to die at the end of the those chapters.

Earthquake in Turkey reveals a cave opening with a giant ship inside it. Locals and scholars believe it to be Noah's Ark. Advanced teams are sent up the mountain Ararat to discover the truth.

Adam, Meryam, Feyiz, and Hakan made a deal with the Turkish government that who ever made it to the cave first would have the rights to the cave. Adam and Meryam are adventurist and authors, they record all their adventures and put them out on the internet and finding Noah's Ark, if it is indeed The Ark, would be the big break they needed. Feyiz and Hakan are sherpas they know the mountain better than anyone else. In a race against time these four start ascending the mountain hopefully to get their before the other team. Three weeks later specialist Dr. Ben Walker, Dr. Kim Seong, and Father Cornelius Hughes are called up the mountain for their expert opinion, but on what they don't know yet. Once they get there it's immediate, a dark feeling surrounds them. Something isn't right with the cave or the ruins of the ship. Once they see what Adam and Meryam found in the ruins of the ark strange things start to happen. The sarcophagus with a demonic looking corpse makes everyone uncomfortable. Rumors are running rampant and the workers are getting scared of the creature but a blizzard she them trapped inside the cave until the next morning at least. But people start disappearing and people keep behaving out of the norm. Can the crew make it past nightfall or will they be forced to leave the cave and face the blizzard instead of the thing inside it.

Overall, like I said not normally my kind of read but was written in a way I needed to find out what happened.      

ARC REVIEW Falling Hard by Stacy Finz

Book 9 in the Nugget series by Stacy Finz stars the intelligent Annie Sparks whom we first met in the last book along with Logan Jenkins the illegitimate son of Ray Rosser, the convicted murder and no good sonovabitch of Nugget who died in prison. Logan didn't even know who his biological father was until he was contacted by a lawyer about being named in his father's will. Logan out of curiosity went to the ranch that use to be his father's, it now belonged to Gia Trendwell, he didn't care about any of that he just wanted to  know more about his father. Annie moved on to the Rosser ranch when she walked out on her boyfriend. She had enough with lazy moochers who did nothing but waste her time and this included her brother who continually made bad decisions and cost their parents lots of money and this time collateral on the farm they could not afford to lose. Annie wanted nothing more than to help Gia's tree farm succeed especially the part of the plan that helped women get back on their feet, learn money management and business.  

It was just suppose to be temporary, it was just suppose to be a fling until he left to San Diego and then Annie would get on with her life wherever that was heading and that was it. Annie and Logan never intended to fall in love, but they did and hard and neither of them knew how to handle that. It's hard enough trying to figure out where your relationship is going when moocher brothers cause problems and then there is Raylene, Logan's half sister who if you've read the other books you know how she is, getting in the picture just to rock the boat and stir up trouble for Logan. Logan, omg, he's such a freakin' sweetheart; even though it's "casual" he ends up buying Annie new boots because she needs them and a pair of cowboy boots just because he knows she'll like them. Logan is the opposite of what Annie normally goes for but he is exactly what she needs. Logan is the opposite of his father, he was raised by a good man and it shows he even goes out of his way to help Raylene after she acted like a twat.

Overall, this is another great read. I love this series it is one of my favorite small town romance series and they just keep getting better and better.

ARC REVIEW Reed by R.C. Ryan

Reed is book three of the Malloys of Montana series by R.C. Ryan. Reed is the youngest of the three brothers and even though he has the playboy image he takes one thing very seriously, his cattle. He is trying to raise a herd of free range organic cattle that has been a money pit, until now. This latest herd is doing surprisingly well and if he can get them to market he has a buyer who will pay very well for them. Ally Shaw and her son Kyle needed a do over. Kyle's father was a military man who died overseas. After it happened a coworker of Ally's started acting weird, and possessive. Ally wanted to get away from him and everything else. She moved to Glacier Ridge and into her uncle's home. Uncle Archer reluctantly let them stay until Ally could get the apartment upstairs from her new business liveable. Archer had some strict rules for them to follow and half the time it was difficult for a four year old Kyle to remember them. It was the wrong time for them to meet, Ally needed to worry about her store and her son and Reed needed to concentrate on his keeping his livestock healthy until roundup. But once Reed saw Ally, no matter how much he tried to convince himself otherwise, he knew there would be no other woman for him.

Trouble followed Ally to Montana, it started as little things but the closer she got to Reed the worse things got. Even her relationship with her Uncle which was precarious already got worse. But she had lots of good things going on that outweighed the bad, her business was successful the towns people loved her, and she even acquired a new assistant a young girl with a knack and passion for vintage clothes. She also had the love and support of the entire Malloy family especially Reed. The only thing bringing her down was the crazy stalker and her temperamental Uncle.

Ally is, of course, hesitant to start anything with Reed, after what happened with Kyle's father she was worried about a relationship with any man. I loved the slow but constant seduction Reed goes through with Ally, the not so subtle reminders that he is there for her, and willing to wait until she's comfortable but not letting her forget how much he wants her. Reed is great with Kyle and with dealing with all the crap that followed her Ally can't resist the charm and the attraction.

Overall, this was an enjoyable read. I like R.C. Ryan her style of writing is smooth and easy well balanced between the suspense, emotional and the romance. OHHHHHH and the continuing story arc is finally concluded! I really enjoy reading R.C. Ryan western romance and I can't wait for more.    

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

ARC REVIEW Lord of Pleasure by Erica Ridley

Lord of Pleasure is book two of Erica Ridley's new series Rogues to Riches. This is another great story by Erica Ridley, the characters are likeable and the whole situation is humorous. It's a fantastic Cinderella type story. Camellia is the perfect daughter she does as she's told, she sings when they want her too and what they want her to sing, she's also the sensible one, but her parents go too far when the arrange her marriage to a much older gentleman who doesn't even have the courtesy to actually ask her, then leaves for a month. Lord Wainwright, Michael, is tired of getting his image drawn as a caricature in the paper linking him to all sorts of gossip and rakish behaviour, sometimes it's true but he's tired of being made fun of, as a joke his friends bet him he couldn't stay out of the gossip column for 40 days.

In an atypical act of rebellion Camellia accepts the invitation meant for her sister to the notorious Lambley's masquerade ball. Once there she is swept off her feet by a masked man who seems to not only listen to her but enjoys talking to her. She has four weeks until her fiance returns and has the banns announced so she decides to enjoy her time with the masked man and returns to the masquerade ball every week.

So far Michael is succeeding in avoiding the gossip rags, he's seen in all the right places and attends his duty in the House of Lords and is terribly bored the only thing keeping his interest is Lady X a wonderful woman whom he has no idea who she really is. The other perplexing thing he comes across is the obvious dislike the Grenville sisters have for him. He has no idea that he made one off hand remark that caused the backing out a charity that was run by one of the sister and out of loyalty all the sister must hate him too. It doesn't take very long before Camellia discovers her masked man is none other than Lord Wainwright. Camellia is despaired that the man she has fallen in love with the same man who is a notorious seducer and who inadvertently hurt her sister. Camellia needs the strength to finally stand up to her parents and shake things up a bit, but can she find the courage Michael knows she has or will it all be for nothing.        

Overall, it is a great Cinderella retold story.

ARC REVIEW Lethal Lies by Rebecca Zanetti

I absolutely love The Sin Brothers series and this is book two of the spinoff series Blood Brothers. The problem of Dr. Madison and Sheriff Cobb continues as they try and track down the missing brothers. Heath Jones is in the middle of an investigation trying to track down a serial killer who just murdered an undercover FBI agent. I feel like RZ pulled a Psycho on us introduced one character then killed her off and replaced her with her sister. It all good though Anya and Heath are a dynamite couple the attraction is palpable and undeniable, hot, so so so hot. I really like Heath, he has so much in common with Shane it was like reading another version of his story. I love the writing RZ is one of my favorite Romantic Suspense authors she always keeps it paced well with a well balanced story.

The Copper Killer strikes again. This time it's Anya Best's sister and FBI agent Lorraine. Anya has been the target the whole time with each kidnapping she received a letter and a picture and the dead body of the redheaded victim would show up a few days later. The Bastard Brothers were hired by one of the family but it's personal now. Even more so when Anya (very traumatized and devastated) acts selfishly and announces for the world to hear that Heath is her fiance and that they will be investigating it together. Heath and the rest of his brother are now on alert because it's only a matter of time before Dr. Madison sics her soldiers on them. But Heath can't leave Anya alone with a serial killer after her. But the killer is close he's teasing them and taunting them and they know it's only a matter of time before he finds Anya. Anya and Heath know it's not the appropriate time to start a relationship or to even fall in love they even try to avoid it altogether especially since Heath is on the run but you can't deny true love and Heath will risk his life to keep Anya away from the killer.

Overall, it was a great read. I loved it it had a spectacular twist, I really didn't see it coming.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

ARC REVIEW My One True Highlander by Suzanne Enoch

Book two in the No Ordinary Hero series by Suzanne Enoch, My One True Highlander has a serious undertone to the cliched almost comical storyline. Kidnapped English Lady and the rugged Scottish Laird, what makes this more serious than other stories is the situation behind it. Laird Graeme wants to be loyal to the clan his family swore fidelity to but the chieftain of the clan just wants to make war with the Englishman who inherited the land and refused to sell it. Graeme just wants to live in peace and have his family and his tenants happy and healthy but with the increasing tax and the threat to be thrown out of the clan looming over his head Graeme is just trying to survive. Graeme is the guardian to younger brothers and when they get the idea that kidnapping the Englishman's sister and giving her to the chieftain and be given a reward for her and Graeme is stuck between a rock and a hard place.  He knows giving over the English woman won't solve anything and will endanger her life, but if her brother finds out his life is pretty much forfeited because he will cover for his brothers stupid mistake. He is even more confused by his feelings for the English miss.

Marjorie is tired of being on the sidelines, she went from a ladies companion to a Duke's sister in the matter of seconds and he newfound status didn't win her any friends she in fact lost the few she did have. When Marjorie get a letter from her brother stating he's getting married and will send for her sometime in the spring she makes the decision to leave now. The large age difference between them kept them apart for most of their lives and Marjorie is determined not to miss another major event in his life. Together with the companion she hired to see her into society she travels up to Scotland without incident until they almost get they get within a day's journey of her brothers new estate. Marjorie gets kidnapped. Misconceptions and presumptions between Graeme and Marjorie lead to the initial dislike between them. Marjorie thinking they are a bunch of barbarians and Graeme thinking she is a spoiled London Miss. But over time they learn the truths about each other, especially after Marjorie covers for Graeme and his brother by posing as a tutor for the youngest brother. At that point she stops being a prisoner and becomes a willing guest and Graeme lets her write a note to her brother telling him she's okay. The letter however is intercepted by Sir Hamish Paulk, who is not a nice man and wants to bring about the doom of Marjorie's brother.

Despite the seriousness of the story there is a very cheesy romance feel to the book the Marjorie and Graeme romance, once they get over the whole English Scottish kidnapping thing falls into place fairly easy, but by then Marjorie gets kidnapped again. Overall, it was a good read, I enjoyed it. It's read fine as a stand alone so you don't have to worry about reading book one to understand what's going on.          

ARC REVIEW Bad Behavior series by Melissa Marino

 So Twisted, the first book in Melissa Marino's Bad Behavior series is a cute story.  I had a hard time getting into it because I normally stay away from alternating person POV, the beginning feels way too much like they are telling me instead of showing me; especially when it came to Aaron's former marriage. It was just kind of thrown out there right off the back, I felt like information overload and none of the emotion that went with it, I had a hard time trying to figure out why Aaron reacted the way he did because when he "remembered" everything at the very beginning of the book he didn't really show his reaction just his determination. It's not until at the end where it explains more. I couldn't justify Aaron's actions, I couldn't empathize with him because of it and ended up not really liking him. Callie on the other hand the opposite very open with her emotions with herself and I sided with her completely through the whole debacle.

Callie is going to school to be a teacher but to afford her tuition she has to work as a bartender in a sleezy-ish hook -up night club that is until her best friend Evelyn finds her the perfect job for her as a live in nanny for a well off business owner. There is instant chemistry between Aaron and Callie and they manage to hold off on acting on their feelings until after Callie goes on a date with Aaron's playboy brother Abel. Callie and Aaron's lives fall into a nice and easy pattern. Aaron starts trying to hard and moving way too fast for Callie. Callie just wants to please Aaron and in her fear of messing up and repeating whatever mistake his first wife made she started up a good friendship with Abel when ever she starts to freak about something Aaron did or said she uses Abel as a sounding board. Callie doesn't tell Aaron the she's good friends with his brother had when he finds out he (way) overreacts and kicks her out. Callie after some time of healing she becomes determined to do things for herself and not to please other people. Aaron realizes his mistake but is it to little too late to win Callie over.

Overall, it was sweet and the ending was pretty good. Delilah, Aaron's daughter, really stole the show.      



 So Screwed takes place some months after the first book. As soon as I read about Evelyn and Abel in the first book I knew they were destined to be together. This is probably my favorite out of the three. Abel and Evelyn are both playing the field neither of them ready to settle down yet and no matter how many time Callie has told them both not to do it Evelyn finally gives in to Abel's charms and agrees on a date. It was easier for me to get into this one with the alternating person POV Abel's narration was more open and even when the shit came down toward the end I felt like I knew him well enough to know he had his reasons for doing it. Evelyn is very career driven she won't give herself time for an actual relationship but for Abel she makes the exception. Abel is a teacher without a teaching job, he feels like he is living under the shadow of his successful brother; Aaron including him in on business opportunities and letting him work as a bartender in his very exclusive bar but it all makes him feel like he's lacking like he will never be good enough or do good enough for his brother or parents. Abel has a secret he's been telling everyone that he's been making extra money teaching courses online but what he's really been doing is gambling. Abel is a very good card player but he's been on a losing streak. Abel trust Evelyn enough that she knows about this and she keeps his secret. Evelyn finally works through her feelings of abandonment with Abel and they both finally admit their feelings to each other but an incredible job opportunity came up for Evelyn where she has to spend three month out of state. When she gets back Abel is engaged to someone else. Evelyn is very appropriately devastated. Abel has a whole lot of work ahead of him to make it up to her. I loved that what he did it was so freakin sweet.

Overall, emotional rollercoaster the whole way and I loved it.


   
So Wicked takes place some time after the events of book two, it follows Aaron's best friend and business partner, Marshall, from Chicago to California opening a brand new bar. Marshall's idea to make the place stand out and be unique was to offer desserts that complimented the drinks he never expected the genius baker who made the delicious confections (I have to admit I would love to try some of them) is none other than Alexis, formerly known as Lexie, Aaron's ex-wife who abandoned her infant daughter. I didn't know what to expect with Alexis but her story when she finally comes out and admits everything to Marshall is so emotional and heart wrenching, she did have a good excuse but it could have been handled differently. This one is probably one of the easiest reads of three and Marshal is definitely the sexiest.

Once Marshall and Alexis get over the initial shock of oh god it's you and the anger that was there, they find themselves trying to ignore the attraction. Marshall has been attracted to her from the beginning but out of respect for Aaron's feeling on Lexie he never made his move. Even now his business relationship, brother like friendship with Aaron is keeping Marshall from acting on this attraction. Alexis has grown so much since she first meet Aaron and Marshal. Alexis is surprised to find the clean cut college boy has turned into a tattooed foul mouthed bad boy. Alexis liked Marshal before but now she finds him down right irresistible. Alexis however is dealing with not only her feelings for Marshall but also trying to overcome the guilt of her past. Only when they give in to each other do they both start dealing with it. Marshal however never told Aaron that Alexis was here let alone started a relationship with her so when he does show up unexpectedly tempers flare and harsh words are spoken.

Overall, as emotional as this book is it's probably one of the most emotionally grown up books with how they reacted and dealt with the problems. I liked that.