Monday, 29 February 2016

Finding Hope by: Colleen Nelson

Finding Hope is a YA contemporary standalone. 


Finding Hope is about a girl named Hope who lives in a small town with her drug addicted brother, Eric, trying to focus on the only thing that keeps her sane, writing poetry. So when she has a chance to attend Ravenhurst Academy as a boarding student, she jumps at her chance of escape. At Ravenhurt, life is better than Hope could have ever dreamed it to be-she has a boyfriend, a cool roommate, and a place where she finally fit in- that is until her brother shows up at the school gates desperate for help. With the Ravens turning on her, trapped and unsure, Hope realizes that if she wants to truly save her brother, she has to save herself first. 


The novel, Finding Hope, started off pretty well but as the novel continued to progress I started to lose interest. The way the characters handled serious situations and topics (i.e. bullying, drug addiction, bullying, etc.) left me feeling rather annoyed and intolerable. I understand that imperfection makes perfection, however when certain scenes came up in the novel [I am not going to spoil anything for you all...okay maybe one spoiler] I felt rather dumbfound, not in amazement. 


Finding Hope is a book with trigger warnings, serious topics, poor decisions, and endings that are rather too good to be true. In the end, I would this novel is just not for me. 




Rating:



Summary from Goodreads:
Hope leaves her small town for a fresh start, but her plans are derailed by an online romance and the appearance of her brother.

Hope lives in a small town with nothing to do and nowhere to go. With a drug addict for a brother, she focuses on the only thing that keeps her sane, writing poetry. To escape, she jumps at the chance to attend Ravenhurst Academy as a boarding student. She’ll even put up with the clique-ish Ravens if it means making a fresh start.

At first, Ravenhurst is better than Hope could have dreamed. She has a boyfriend and a cool roommate, and she might finally have found a place she can fit in. But can she trust her online boyfriend? And what can she do after her brother shows up at the school gates, desperate for help, and the Ravens turn on her? Trapped and unsure, Hope realizes that if she wants to save her brother, she has to save herself first.



Special Thanks:
ARC was kindly provided by publisher, Dundurn, via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you.



Buy Links:


About The Author:
Colleen Nelson is the author of YA fiction books Finding Hope (2016), 250 Hours (2015), The Fall (2013) and Tori by Design (2011). 'The Fall' and 'Tori by Design' both won the McNally Robinson Book of the Year Award. 'The Fall' was also nominated for the White Pine Award. Currently living in Winnipeg with her husband, two young sons and three grown step-children, Colleen manages to eke out time to write everyday, but usually in the early morning after a strong cup of coffee. A junior high school teacher for ten years before having children, Colleen is familiar and comfortable with the tricky phase of life called 'adolescence'. Now a Teacher-Librarian in Winnipeg, Canada, Colleen is constantly on the look-out for books that will catch the attention of her reading-reluctant sons.




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Saturday, 27 February 2016

If I Run by: Terri Blackstock

If I Run is the first book in the If I Run Series.


If I Run is about Casey Cox and Dylan Roberts. Casey Cox's DNA is all over a crime scene, one that she did not commit. Knowing that there is no use talking to police, since they have failed her before, she flees before she is arrested. Dylan Roberts, the war-weary veteran hired to find Casey, knows that bringing Casey back can redeem him. However, details of the murder aren't adding up and Casey doesn't seem to fit the profile of a killer. The question is, if she wasn't guilty why did she run?

Unraveling her past and the evidence that condemns her will take more time than he has. The girl who occupies his every though is either a psychopathic killer or a selfless hero. 


Where do I even begin? Casey is running for her life, her friend Brent is murdered and she stumbled upon the body. With her DNA all over the scene of the crime, Casey feels that she has no other choice then to run. Brent, when murdered, was investigating the death of her father which was ruled a suicide though there is evidence that points to it being a murder. 

Dylan Roberts is hired by Brent's family to find out what really happened but the police want him to find Casey and bring her back. The more he investigates the more that he knows that Casey could not have committed the crime. He just has to find her before the police do and before she gets arrested for a murder she did not commit. 


This is the first time I am reading any of Terri Blackstock's novels. The characters, plot, and overall writing of the novel left me wanting to read more and ending...just pure amazing. I can not wait to get my hands on the sequel. 


Definitely recommend this novel if you like suspense and mystery mixed together to create an awesome read. 



Rating:



Summary from Goodreads:
Casey knows the truth.
But it won’t set her free.


Casey Cox’s DNA is all over the crime scene. There’s no use talking to police; they have failed her abysmally before. She has to flee before she’s arrested . . . or worse. The truth doesn’t matter anymore.


But what is the truth? That’s the question haunting Dylan Roberts, the war-weary veteran hired to find Casey. PTSD has marked him damaged goods, but bringing Casey back can redeem him. Though the crime scene seems to tell the whole story, details of the murder aren’t adding up. Casey Cox doesn’t fit the profile of a killer. But are Dylan’s skewed perceptions keeping him from being objective? If she isn’t guilty, why did she run?


Unraveling her past and the evidence that condemns her will take more time than he has, but as Dylan’s damaged soul intersects with hers, he is faced with two choices. The girl who occupies his every thought is a psychopathic killer . . . or a selfless hero. And the truth could be the most deadly weapon yet.




Special Thanks:
ARC was kindly provided by publisher, Zondervan Fiction, via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you.



Buy Links:


About The Author:
Terri Blackstock is a New York Times best-seller, with over six million copies sold worldwide. She is the winner of two Carol Awards, a Christian Retailers Choice Award, and a Romantic Times Book Reviews Career Achievement Award, among others. She has had over twenty-five years of success as a novelist. 

Terri spent the first twelve years of her life traveling in a U.S. Air Force family. She lived in nine states and attended the first four years of school in The Netherlands. Because she was a perpetual “new kid,” her imagination became her closest friend. That, she believes, was the biggest factor in her becoming a novelist. She sold her first novel at the age of twenty-five, and has had a successful career ever since.

Recent books include Truth Stained Lies (Book 1 of her Moonlighters Series), and her acclaimed Intervention Series (Intervention, Vicious Cycle, and Downfall). Other recent favorites include Predator, Double Minds, the Restoration Series, the Newpointe 911 Series, the Cape Refuge Series, and the SunCoast Chronicles series.

In 1994 Terri was writing romance novels under two pseudonyms for publishers such as HarperCollins, Harlequin, Dell and Silhouette, when a spiritual awakening prompted her to switch gears. At the time, she was reading more suspense than romance, and felt drawn to write thrillers about ordinary people in grave danger. Her newly awakened faith wove its way into the tapestry of her suspense novels, offering hope instead of despair. Her goal is to entertain with page-turning plots, while challenging her readers to think and grow. She hopes to remind them that they’re valued by God and that their trials have a purpose.




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Friday, 26 February 2016

A Hold On Me by: Pat Esden


A Hold On Me is the first book in the Dark Heart Series.


A Hold On Me is about 20 year old Stephanie, also known as Annie, Freemont. Annie, having an immense love of rare things, enjoys buying and selling antiques until one day her father is diagnosed with dementia. His illness ultimately forces Annie and her father to return to Moonhill and to the family they left behind fifteen years before after the death of Annie's mother, who died rather suspiciously. Once at Moonhill, Annie is shocked when her aunt separates her from her father. In order to unlock the secrets that lay before her, Annie must face her greatest fears and embrace the legacy she must face. 


The plot was captivating, the characters were dark, and I can not possibly wait to get my hands on book two and read it as soon as it is released. The descriptions within A Hold On Me at times left me rather on edge and made me jumpy, especially when I read this novel when it was dark out. Wonderfully written and definitely worth checking out. 


If you like creepy, paranormal, romantic, and suspense filled books then A Hold On Me is definitely a novel you should check out. 



Rating:



Summary from Goodreads:
She never wanted to return.
He wants nothing more than for her to leave.
But the fire between them is as strong as the past that haunts them.


Annie Freemont grew up on the road, immersed in the romance of rare things, cultivating an eye for artifacts and a spirit for bargaining. It’s a freewheeling life she loves and plans to continue–until her dad is diagnosed with dementia. His illness forces them to return to Moonhill, their ancestral home on the coast of Maine–and to the family they left behind fifteen years ago, after Annie’s mother died in a suspicious accident.

Once at Moonhill, Annie is shocked when her aunt separates her from her father. The next time Annie sees him, he’s a bizarre, violent shadow of his former self. Confused, she turns to an unlikely ally for support–Chase, the dangerously seductive young groundskeeper. With his dark good looks and powerful presence, Chase has an air of mystery that Annie is irresistibly drawn to. But she also senses that behind his penetrating eyes are secrets she can’t even begin to imagine. Secrets that hold the key to the past, to Annie’s own longings–and to all of their futures. Now, to unlock them, she’ll have to face her greatest fears and embrace her legacy…



Special Thanks:
Thanks to Pat Esden (Author of the A Hold On Me) & Giselle (Xpresso Book Tours) & Kensington for giving me the opportunity to review A Hold On Me


BUY LINKS:


About The Author:
PAT ESDEN would love to say she spent her childhood in intellectual pursuits. The truth is she was fonder of exploring abandoned houses and old cemeteries. When not out on her own adventures, she can be found in her northern Vermont home writing stories about brave, smart women and the men who capture their hearts. An antique-dealing florist by trade, she’s also a member of Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America, Romance Writers of America, and the League of Vermont Writers. Her short stories have appeared in a number of publications, including Orson Scott Card’s Intergalactic Medicine Show, the Mythopoeic Society’s Mythic Circle literary magazine, and George H. Scither’s anthology Cat Tales.





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Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Seize the Dawn by: Shannon Drake & Heather Graham

Seize the Dawn is the third book in the Graham Clan series. 


Seize the Dawn is about Lady Eleanor of Clarin who is the sole heir to her ancestral lands. Eleanor has decided to marry the aging French noble rather than Edward I's choice of a brutal knight. As she was on her way to marry the French noble, also her father's friend, a Highland outlaw named Brendan Graham kidnaps her and takes her as his hostage. Swept away from her beloved land and into an arranged marriage, she must now rely on one man to rescue her from the torture that lies before her...the man who should remain her greatest enemy, yet holds her heart and life in his hands.

The novel was set around the 13th century England and Scottish highlands. The characters (both Eleanor, Brendan, and even some minor characters) felt rather intriguing but the writing, to me, did not seem to support the novel or the characters in any way. I often had to push myself to read another page. 

I could actually see the potential Seize the Dawn seemed to emanate but I, unfortunately, could not get into the novel. It is a decent book but it did drag on and leave me wanting to finish the novel as soon as possible. 



Rating:


Summary from Goodreads:
Bold and beautiful, Lady Eleanor of Clarin--sole heir to her ancestral lands--chooses to marry an aging French noble rather than Edward I's choice of a brutal knight. To preserve Clarin and defeat the rebellious Scots who killed her father, she would gladly give her hand to the devil himself. 

But when the fiery Highland outlaw Brendan Graham takes her hostage, he also inspires her deepest desires. Now, as Eleanor is swept away from her beloved land and into an arranged marriage, she will be surrounded by treachery and accused of murder. Only one man can rescue her from the torture and death that lie ahead. The man who should remain her greatest enemy…yet holds her heart--and her very life--in his hands.


Special Thanks:
ARC was kindly provided by publisher, Kensington Books, via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you.


Buy Links:


About The Author:
Also published as Heather Graham Pozzessere and Shannon Drake.

New York Times and USA Today best-selling author Heather Graham majored in theater arts at the University of South Florida. After a stint of several years in dinner theater, back-up vocals, and bartending, she stayed home after the birth of her third child and began to write, working on short horror stories and romances. After some trial and error, she sold her first book, WHEN NEXT WE LOVE, in 1982 and since then, she has written over one hundred novels and novellas including category, romantic suspense, historical romance, vampire fiction, time travel, occult, and Christmas holiday fare. She wrote the launch books for the Dell's Ecstasy Supreme line, Silhouette's Shadows, and for Harlequin's mainstream fiction imprint, Mira Books.

Heather was a founding member of the Florida Romance Writers chapter of RWA and, since 1999, has hosted the Romantic Times Vampire Ball, with all revenues going directly to children's charity.

She is pleased to have been published in approximately twenty languages, and to have been honored with awards frorn Waldenbooks. B. Dalton, Georgia Romance Writers, Affaire de Coeur, Romantic Times, and more. She has had books selected for the Doubleday Book Club and the Literary Guild, and has been quoted, interviewed, or featured in such publications as The Nation, Redbook, People, and USA Today and appeared on many newscasts including local television and Entertainment Tonight.

Heather loves travel and anything have to do with the water, and is a certitified scuba diver. Married since high school graduation and the mother of five, her greatest love in life remains her family, but she also believes her career has been an incredible gift, and she is grateful every day to be doing something that she loves so very much for a living.




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Monday, 22 February 2016

Russian Tattoos Obsession by: Kat Shehata

Russian Tattoos Obsession is the first book in the trilogy.


Russian Tattoos Obsession is about a competitive tennis player named Carter Cook, who wants freedom from her overprotective father. When her father gets employed by Vladimir Ivanov, a sexy Russian with tattoos, Carter can almost taste the danger within her grasp. Without her father knowing, Carter enjoys spending time with Vladimir at his estate. But is he really all that he says he is?

It turns out that Vladimir spent five years in a Siberian prison camp, earned every tattoo inked onto his body, is a powerful man who gets what he wants, and has been stalking the gorgeous tennis player for years. 

As their romance reaches deadly levels, Carter senses something is not right. Fighting for freedom turns out to be harder than planned when the Russian mafia play for keeps. 



I really wanted to give Russian Tattoos Obsession a better rating because the novel was so well written but ....no, the novel was not the most romantic or even appealing in anyway. 

I really don't want to spoil this novel but there are multiple scenes that left me dumbfound and cringing thinking that anyone that thinks this is romance should read a Nicholas Sparks novel, seriously read one if you think this is "love". I also hated the fact that Carter seemed to fall for Vladimir's charms even after stating a disturbing fact about what draws him to her. 

In the end, I am really being generous with my rating only due to the fact that the novel was well written.



Rating:


Summary from Goodreads:
Falling in love isn’t a crime—but falling in love with a Russian mob boss could be deadly.

Competitive tennis player Carter Cook wants a taste of freedom. Her overprotective father monitors every aspect of her life, so when he becomes employed by Vladimir Ivanov –a sexy Russian with an array of tattoos and an accent that weakens her knees—a taste of danger is within Carter’s grasp. Behind her father’s back, she enjoys spending time with Vladimir at his lavish estate. But is he really the upstanding businessman she believes him to be?

Vladimir Ivanov—godfather of a Russian mafia crime ring.

Vladimir spent five years of his life in a Siberian prison camp and has earned every tattoo inked into his skin. He is a powerful man who gets what he wants, and after stalking the gorgeous tennis player for years—he wants Carter. A little charm melts her heart, and behind the scenes, he orders his henchman to track her every move.

He’s a tattooed stick of dynamite ready to blow at the slightest spark.

As their romance reaches deadly levels, Carter senses something’s not right. When she’s lured into a compromising position at the hands of a shady European drug dealer, she calls in Boris, Vladimir’s right hand man, to rescue her—without telling Vladimir. With his authority questioned, he sets out to teach Carter a lesson about loyalty she’ll never forget.

When Carter realizes she’s in too deep, she must fight for her freedom before the attraction turns fatal. But the Russian mafia plays for keeps, and Vladimir’s fierce lust to possess her spirals their romance out of control.



Special Thanks:
Thanks to Kat Shehata (Author of the Russian Tattoos Obsession) & Giselle (Xpresso Book Tours) for giving me the opportunity to review Russian Tattoos Obsession


BUY LINKS:


About The Author:
Kat Shehata went to school with a bunch of animals–literally. She is a graduate of the Cincinnati Zoo’s Animal Conservation and Care Program. Her first career involved caring for exotic, dangerous, and adorable animals as a zookeeper. She has had her shirt ripped off by a jealous orangutan, hand-fed grapes to fruit bats, played tug-o-war with a three-toed sloth, and escorted an elephant down Pete Rose Way in the Cincinnati Reds Opening Day Parade. As an author, Kat weaves her love of animals into her work. She is the co-author of New York Times bestseller Animals on the Other Side.

She is a competitive tennis player and spends her free time smashing tennis balls, cheering on her teammates, and playing matches in a recreational league. She lives in Cincinnati, Ohio with her husband, three kids, and an enthusiastic poodle. She holds a bachelor’s degree in theatre from Wilmington College, a professional writing certificate from the University of Cincinnati, and a master’s degree in creative writing from Spalding University.

Author Links:
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Saturday, 20 February 2016

Dark Alpha's Embrace by: Donna Grant

Dark Alpha's Embrace is the second book in the Reaper series.


Dark Alpha's Embrace is about Kyran, one of the two Dark Fae who works as a reaper. His immediate and strong attraction to River takes them both by surprise. Especially since River is hiding some secrets of her own, getting involved with a Dark is definitely something that should not be added onto the list. 

The chemistry and connection between Kyran and River was beautifully written and brought to life the struggles of a Reaper and the world that they live in. The ending was also beautifully wrapped up and left me wishing to read more about Kyran and River's story. 

In the end, I throughly enjoyed reading this novel and have to recommend Dark Alpha's Embrace to anyone that enjoys fantasy and paranormal mixed with romance. 


Rating:


Summary from Goodreads:
An exclusive new series from New York Times bestselling author Donna Grant!

There's no escaping a Reaper. I'm an elite assassin, part of a brotherhood that only answers to Death. And when Death says your time is up, I'm coming for you...

I'm a warrior. My unbreakable determination, my backbone of steel define me. As a Reaper who does Death's bidding, weakness is a word I don't understand. Until a stunning librarian stirs emotions deep within me I've never felt before. Her soft curves blunt the sharp edges of my soul, crushing my defenses - yet make me stronger. But underneath those wide eyes and fierce femininity, she has a weapon, one she won't hesitate to use. And when the Dark begin their deadly descent, we'll need each other's love and protection...or risk fracturing apart.
 



Special Thanks:
ARC was kindly provided by publisher, St. Martin's Press, via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you.

Buy Links:


About The Author:
Donna Grant is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of more than forty novels and novellas spanning multiple genres of romance.

She was born and raised in Texas but loves to travel. Her adventures have taken her throughout the United States as well as to Jamaica, Mexico, and Scotland. Growing up on the Texas/Louisiana border, Donna’s Cajun side of the family taught her the “spicy” side of life while her Texas roots gave her two-steppin’ and bareback riding.

Her childhood dream was to become a professional ballet dancer and study under the amazing Mikhail Baryshnikov. Though she never got to meet Baryshnikov, she did make it to New York City and performed in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Later, Donna’s love of the romance genre and the constant stories running through her head prompted her to sit down and write her first book. Once that book was completed, there was no turning back.

Donna sold her first book in November 2005 while displaced from Hurricane Rita, a storm that destroyed portions of the Texas Gulf Coast. Since then, Donna has sold novels and novellas to both electronic and print publishers. Her books include several complete series such as Druids Glen, The Shields, Royal Chronicles, Sisters of Magic, Dark Sword, Dark Warriors, and her new series, Dark Kings.

Despite the deadlines and her voracious reading, Donna still manages to keep up with her two young children, four cats, three fish, and one long haired Chihuahua. She’s blessed with a proud, supportive husband who loves to read and travel as much as she does.

You can contact Donna any time.





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Wednesday, 17 February 2016

Russian Tattoos Obsession Book Tour



Russian Tattoos Obsession
by Kat Shehata
Release Date: January 12th 2016

Summary from Goodreads:



Falling in love isn’t a crime—but falling in love with a Russian mob boss could be deadly.

Competitive tennis player Carter Cook wants a taste of freedom. Her overprotective father monitors every aspect of her life, so when he becomes employed by Vladimir Ivanov –a sexy Russian with an array of tattoos and an accent that weakens her knees—a taste of danger is within Carter’s grasp. Behind her father’s back, she enjoys spending time with Vladimir at his lavish estate. But is he really the upstanding businessman she believes him to be?

Vladimir Ivanov—godfather of a Russian mafia crime ring.

Vladimir spent five years of his life in a Siberian prison camp and has earned every tattoo inked into his skin. He is a powerful man who gets what he wants, and after stalking the gorgeous tennis player for years—he wants Carter. A little charm melts her heart, and behind the scenes, he orders his henchman to track her every move.

He’s a tattooed stick of dynamite ready to blow at the slightest spark.

As their romance reaches deadly levels, Carter senses something’s not right. When she’s lured into a compromising position at the hands of a shady European drug dealer, she calls in Boris, Vladimir’s right hand man, to rescue her—without telling Vladimir. With his authority questioned, he sets out to teach Carter a lesson about loyalty she’ll never forget.

When Carter realizes she’s in too deep, she must fight for her freedom before the attraction turns fatal. But the Russian mafia plays for keeps, and Vladimir’s fierce lust to possess her spirals their romance out of control.




BUY LINKS:




About the Author
Kat Shehata went to school with a bunch of animals–literally. She is a graduate of the Cincinnati Zoo’s Animal Conservation and Care Program. Her first career involved caring for exotic, dangerous, and adorable animals as a zookeeper. She has had her shirt ripped off by a jealous orangutan, hand-fed grapes to fruit bats, played tug-o-war with a three-toed sloth, and escorted an elephant down Pete Rose Way in the Cincinnati Reds Opening Day Parade. As an author, Kat weaves her love of animals into her work. She is the co-author of New York Times bestseller Animals on the Other Side.

She is a competitive tennis player and spends her free time smashing tennis balls, cheering on her teammates, and playing matches in a recreational league. She lives in Cincinnati, Ohio with her husband, three kids, and an enthusiastic poodle. She holds a bachelor’s degree in theatre from Wilmington College, a professional writing certificate from the University of Cincinnati, and a master’s degree in creative writing from Spalding University.

Author Links:
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Excerpt

“No way. Promise you won’t rat me out to Dad.” I jumped in front of him and blocked my bedroom door, as if I could stop him. “He’ll be so ticked. Probably madder at you than me, and trust me, you don’t want to see him angry.”

Vladimir crossed his arms and studied my freaked out, arms-stretched-across-the-doorframe-stance. “You think I am afraid of your papa?”

“Of course not, but why do you want to provoke him? Everything’s fine. If he finds out, he’ll never let me see you again—please, I need you.”

Vladimir peeled my fingers off the doorframe, held my wrists, brought my arms down. He kissed my cheeks, but not in the usual way. His warm lips lingered on my skin while he massaged the nape of my neck. The closeness of our bodies and the heat emanating from his skin caused a groan to escape from my lips. Vladimir rubbed warm circles on my back and whispered Russian words in my ear to soothe me.

“What does it mean?” I whispered.
“Something good.”
Blood rushed down there. I wanted to tackle him on my bed and run my fingers through his sexy hair and touch his chest and feel the warmth of his lean, muscular body. Lately, I’d felt The Urge. Right or wrong, Vladimir lit my sexual fire. It wasn’t his body or his incredible blue eyes, it was how he made me feel—like the important person in his universe.
“What kind of good?” I laid my hand on his chest and snuck my finger inside his shirt to touch his skin. I traced the outline of the devil tat with my fingernail. Vladimir inhaled sharply, excited by my touch. I unbuttoned the top button of his shirt—
He lowered my hand. “Your papa will be home soon.”
He left the house a minute before Dad turned into the driveway. I replayed the day’s events from his smoldering eyes, to his strong embrace, to the taunting words: “Oh, Carter is that what I am, your boss?”
What did he want to be? My friend? Boyfriend? Lover?





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