The Happy List ★★★★☆ [Review]


Book: The Happy List

Author: Briar Prescott

Series: Better With You

Genre: M/M Romance; Contemporary Romance; Humor

Pub date: 10/25/2020

Pages: 307

Publisher: BooksGoSocial(?)

Source: Netgalley

Gray

There are some things I excel at:

– Exercising rigid control over every aspect of my life

– Making sensible decisions at every turn

– Being organized, predictable and responsible to an abnormal degree

In short, I’m boring as hell and in desperate need of a change.

Luckily I have my best friend by my side and a newly written to-do list to guide my way through the murky waters of finding happiness.

It’s all very promising at first, but as weeks pass, I start to realize that the best part of my day has always been Kai.

And when I see him out on a date with some guy?

Let’s just say I’m definitely not happy about it.

Kai 

I’m back in Boston after ten years of traveling, and I’ve fulfilled all my goals:

– See the world

– Figure out what to do with my life

– Get over my impossible crush on Gray

Check, check and check.

Life’s good until I accidentally find Gray’s happy list, which contains some very interesting things that friends never ever do with each other.

And as weeks pass, it becomes clear those not-so-innocent parts are the ones Gray is determined to explore with me.

In short, I’m screwed because no matter how hard I try, I can’t resist him, and pretty soon I’m forced to admit that I’m not as done with my crush as I thought I was…


Please note: This book was provided to me through Netgalley to give an honest review. I never go into a lot of detail in my reviews because why would you read the book if I told you everything that happens with my personal bias that you may or may not agree with if you’d have read it yourself?

So umm… where to start? I don’t review books very often anymore. I’ve been in the mood lately to read but, even with a Kindle Unlimited membership, nothing has caught my attention. Out of desperation, I decided to turn to NetGalley to see if there’s anything new out. The Happy List is probably something I would skip over in a different mood. But, I have to say I’m just sooo sick of cover art with some mostly naked guy it caught my attention. I read the description and was intrigued.

The concept, gay man in love with his best friend doesn’t want to ruin their relationship by telling him then suddenly best friend develops feelings for him… kinda overdone. So really, you’d think I’d be bored out of my mind. But, I wasn’t. It had me hooked from the first paragraph. Also, having a demi character, even if it’s not spelled out that way in the book, makes me very happy. I can only remember one other book with one. AND best of all, there is no angst or anything over it. No turmoil at all. Gray’s just kinda like “oh, I like a guy… whatever.” *sigh* If only more books could be that way.

Poor Gray. He thought he was going to a leap-year surprise birthday party with all of his closest friends and family there. Instead, his girlfriend proposed to him. After telling her no, he has no urge to be married or ever having the kids she’s suddenly talking about, he takes his grandmother’s advice and climbs out the bathroom window. And, of course, Kai’s there. Kai’s been his best friend since they were like 12 or something and has been pretty much nomadic all their adult lives. When he finally decides to put down roots, Gray asks him to move in with him. Kai thought he was over his crush on Gray but after living together he realizes… not so much.

Anyway, on to the happy list. After the unwanted surprise proposal followed by a night of bar-hopping with Kai, his sister Monica and brother-in-law Ian in which they all share stories about all the crazy things they’ve done in their lives, Gray decides he needs a change. He makes a list of things he’s never done, mostly things mentioned during the drinking game, and when Kai finds it he decides to help him out with the list, even if it means seeing his best friend with someone else. So yea, obviously in the process Gray discovers feelings for Kai. *trumpets blare* And none of the “OMG he’s a guy” things that usually happen ensue. It’s more like “holy shit he’s my best friend.”

Okay, so I’ve said more than I usually do in book reviews. But dang this was a really good book! The banter between Gray and Kai was hilarious. There weren’t any really emotional and depressing moments despite both of them having childhood tragedies. I’d say it was a good fluff read but it really was more than that. Truthfully, it had a 5-star rating from me until it got to all the sex. Sorry peeps, I’m just not into all that and all the skimming over it got kind’ve annoying. So yea, if you enjoy all the hotness along with the hilarity, it’ll be a 5-star book for you for sure. Highly recommended. And so, I’m going to end this review with some of those hilarious quotes I mentioned…

It can be, and often is tedious, kind of boring, and monotonous. Especially in corporate law, which is coincidentally my specialty, so good choice past Grayson. I commend you for your tolerance of tedium.

-Grayson thinking of his job as a lawyer

” No wonder you thought I wouldn’t get it. Hey, as a lighting expert, what are those things called in the ceiling of my office? I’ve been referring to them as little suns and asking the maintenance to fuel my tiny suns every time one of them burns out, and then I yell a star is born when it shines again in the morning.”

-Grayson when Kai says “Good lights. In the ceiling.”

“I’ll end up with a boatload of, I don’t even know… chairs that’ll remind me of my failure for years to come. Eventually I’ll start conversing to the chairs because I’m so bitter and lonely, and before you know it, I’ll start treating them as my children, and you’ll start receiving Christmas cards from me and my family of chairs. I’ll die surrounded by my chair children, and you’ll have to transport them all to my funeral and set them up next to the grave, which is both sad and convenient because my human mourners, the few there might be, can sit on my kids.”

-Kai describing his predicted failing business.

I had tried so hard not to rock the boat that in the process I’d forgotten that some motion was necessary in order to move at all.

-Grayson looking back on his life and the list.
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My Week in Books & Quotes 6/1/20 to 6/7/20

Note: If you click on the book it will take you to my review if there is one.


June 1st ★★★☆☆

A touching book about a homeless father who has to turn to prostitution to survive until he’s given shelter by, and falls in love with a kind man. Despite enjoying the book, I didn’t feel the need to continue reading the Camassia Cove series just yet.

Quote: “It’s difficult to explain, but you’re my home. I’ll do my best to never lose it.”

Road to Blissville & Curl Up and Dye

June 1st ★★★★☆

Continuing with the Road to Blissville audiobooks which are a spinoff of the Curl Up and Dye Mysteries series. It was a cute and funny book I thoroughly enjoyed. [m/m, romance, humor]

June 2nd ★★★★☆

Another funny book from Aimee Nicole Walker with the bonus of having a dragqueen! [m/m, romance, humor, drag]

June 3rd ★★★★☆

The best of the Road to Blissville books thus far. It had a very interesting mystery with ghosts and psychic investigations. [m/m, romance, humor, ghosts, psychic, mystery]

June 5th ★★★★★

So good I listened to the whole audiobook from beginning to end without stopping. [m/m, romance, humor]

Quote: “In his eyes, I saw my future. In his smile I rediscovered joy. In his heart, I made my home. This man turned me inside out and I would follow him anywhere.”

June 6th ★★★☆☆

This is the last of the Road to Blissville novels, at least for now. After the last two books, this one was just plain boring. Nothing exciting happened at all really. Don’t get me wrong, I liked it I just hoped for more. [m/m, romance, contemporary, humor]

June 7th ★★★☆☆

The last of the Curl Up and Dye Mysteries, Gabe and Josh go on a little vacation which was pretty boring. There were tons of unneeded details that drove me nuts. Oh, and the cover looks like Josh is naked unless you look super close and can see the top of his jeans. Ugh. It had some very funny parts and was really sweet which is why it got 3 stars. [m/m, romance, mystery, cops/detectives, humor]

Spires

June 2nd ★★★★☆

I decided to re-read the Glitterland book after one of the other books in the Spires series was recommended to me. So far, the Spires books have been completely unrelated to each other. Ash is bipolar and Alexis Hall does a spectacular job with it. Based in England, I adore Darian’s Essex accent. [m/m, romance, disorders/disabilities]

“There was little I feared more than happiness, that faithless whore who waited always between madness and emptiness. My moods, when they were not sodden with medication, cold turn upon a tarnished penny; happiness was merely something else to lose.”

“It would have been, at that moment, effortless to step onto the breath of the wind and be borne away like a falcon. But it was only mania tugging on the kite string of my consciousness. Glittering promises that were nothing but ashes. Falling, not flying.”

“I don’t know what I like anymore. I don’t know if what I think is what I think, if what I feel is what I feel, if any of it at all is me. If there is a me that isn’t just a reflection of or a response to… mental illness.”

June 2nd ★★★★☆

A short story based immediately after the end of Glitterland. [m/m, romance, disorders/disabilities]

June 3rd ★★★★☆

An interesting novella about a man with a terrible stutter whose house is threatened by a flood and an engineer from the Environment Agency working to aid the residents of his neighborhood. [m/m, romance]

6/5 ★★★★★

Not my usual story type, it kept me totally enthralled although Toby’s age did kinda creep me out as most books with a large age gap do. [m/m, romance, BDSM, erotica]

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My Month in Quotes: May 2020

While writing My Month in Books, I noticed I had quite a few highlights on Goodreads thanks to my Kindle Unlimited addiction and thought it would be fun to share some quotes! I would have a lot more I’m sure if I hadn’t listened to so many on audio this month. Click on the pics to go to my Goodreads review.


“I firmly believe a man should see you at your worst so he can appreciate when you’re at your best. That way, he’s never disappointed.”

“Sometimes, I feel like my thoughts and emotions get bottled up, and I don’t know how to understand them, so I just stuff more and more on top. I’m scared that one of these days, that bottle is going to break and I’m going to break with it.”

“I didn’t think I still felt like that. But you want to know the moment I realized it all over again? When I looked at you and felt like the fight for you was all I’ve ever known?”

“You told me it was like the fight for me is all you’ve ever known. I think about that a lot and someplace inside me, some secret place that I can only look at for a little bit at a time, I know you’re right. I know this because I’ve been fighting for you to come home. I’ve been screaming and dying and praying for you to come home.”

“And nothing about this screamed at you that this was happening way too fast?” He shakes his head and grins that Otter grin. “Nothing’s too fast if it means forever, Bear.” “But how do you know?” “I have faith,” he says simply.”

“I’d have to make sure I wrapped myself around him so that when he broke apart, the pieces wouldn’t fall too far away, and I’d be able to pick them up like I always did. Even if I had to leave pieces of myself behind.”

“I refuse to go to a college whose only claim to fame is having the world’s longest keg stand at a party thrown by the fraternity Notta Hava Fuchure.”

“So while things can be shit, you just remember that you’re alive, and if you’re alive, that means you can take another step. And if you can take another step, then you are nowhere near close to being done.”

“Royce felt Sawyer’s pulse pounding wildly beneath his thumb. Home wasn’t a place; it was a heartbeat. Royce had found the one he wanted forever.”

“Every time you touch me, I’m on top of the world because I know what kind of gift I’m receiving.”

“We connected perfectly, mind, body, and soul. Maybe we had a unique relationship, but it was ours. This was our normal, and I wouldn’t change a thing, because nothing is impossible.”

“I was drawn to follow him without question. A frightening thought occurred to me. I had no doubt, if Arden asked, I’d follow him to the ends of the earth.”

“Scotch Mints are disgusting, so if you carry them around in your pocket like most old people just know I don’t ever want one.”

“Every time we’re together, I forget to think and worry.”

“I’m scared all the time someone will judge me or laugh at me or criticize me. It’s so much pressure, sometimes I can hardly breathe.”

“A little wonderingly, he says, ‘You’re exactly who I never would have picked out for myself.’ ‘Yea, well.’ I snort. ‘Right back atcha.”

“My mom? Never, never, never, plain and simple. I could probably be into goats, sexy style, and she still wouldn’t use it against me. She’d want me to achieve whatever goat-wooing dreams I set my mind to.”

“Yes. Exploring my options sounded like a good thing to be. Isn’t that what people said when they were going job hunting? Well, I was going… sex hunting.”

“Sometimes it’s about letting go of what your mind tells you and following what your heart shows you instead. That’s how you know it will always be real.”

“Who needs normal when abnormal is the greatest thing in the world?”

“I tend to take the road less traveled just to be a pain in the ass.”

“I turned around to see Vince smiling at me. ‘What?’ He shrugged. ‘I just like it when you talk.’ ‘Oh. Um. Thanks? I like it when you… exist.”

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My Month in Books: May 2020

I was planning on doing this as more of a weekly thing but I’ve yet to actually start it and when I realized we’re about to start a new month I thought I’d do a quick one for May to see how it goes. If you click on the book it’ll take you to my review on Goodreads if I wrote one.

My Goodreads profile: Stormy Day Reader. I’m currently reading mostly m/m romance in one form or another at the moment.

Individual Books…

May 1st ★★★★☆

The second in the Small Town Hearts series. The books are completely unrelated though. It was very good as was the first book. [m/m romance]

May 1st ★★★★☆

I found this unfinished on my tablet and decided to give it another try. An entertaining book once you get past the beginning. [m/m romance]

May 7th ★★★★☆

Retribution is the third book in the Protectors Series. I’ve been trying to get into this series since a crossover book Sloane Kennedy did with Lucy Lennox in her Made Marian series. For whatever reason, it’s slow going. I’ve also stalled out in the Made Marian books so beats me. [m/m, romance, cops/detectives, family]

May 6th ★★★★☆

Point of No Return is the first of three books in the Turning Point series and yet I’ve had no urge to read on. [m/m, romance, cops/detectives, sports]

May 6th ★★★☆☆

The first book in The Rebuilding Year series was so unlike what I expected I have yet to go back and read the other two books. [m/m, romance, disorders/disabilities, family]

May 7th ★★★☆☆

The first non-fiction book I’ve read in ages. It turned out not to be what I was hoping for but was very educational nonetheless.

May 8th ★★★☆☆

My attempt at delving back into reading to review. I have mixed feelings about the book even though books with gender fluid characters are sadly lacking I think the comedy just didn’t work for me personally. [romance, humor]

May 10th ★★★★☆

A very sweet and funny novella. Warm fuzzies all around! [m/m, romance, humor]

May 11th ★★★★☆

Since I enjoyed Last Text, Change of Heart was recommended to me. It was sweet and a little sad. [m/m, romance]

Curl Up and Dye Mysteries

May 2nd ★★★★☆
May 7th ★★★★☆
May 15th ★★★★☆
May 18th ★★★★★

The Curl Up and Dye series saw a lot of activity this month. Mostly cooking. I wanted to find something light and entertaining to listen to while getting things done around the house and these books surely didn’t disappoint. Gabe is a police detective so there are mysteries throughout the series, the first of which involves Josh aka Jazz who owns a hair salon which is where the clever series name comes from. The books are funny and snarky and the romance is sweet. They grew to be one of my favorite couples. I will admit I’m not a fan of the covers even if they do look like them. [m/m romance, cops/detectives, mystery]

Road to Blissville

May 22nd ★★★☆☆
May 31st ★★☆☆☆

The Road to Blissville series is a spin-off of Curl Up and Dye. There is so much overlap from the first series in these first 2 books they weren’t very enjoyable. [m/m, romance, psycic]

Zero Hour

May 6th ★★★★☆
May 23rd ★★★★☆

The Zero Hour series is about two police detective partners Royce Locke and Sawyer Key. I still have one book left in the series. It’s written by the same author as the Curl Up and Dye and Road to Blissville books but much more intense and not nearly as funny. [m/m cops/detectives, mystery, romance]

Nice Guys

May 3rd ★★★☆☆
May 7th ★★★★☆

Double Full and Full Disclosure are the first 2 books in the Nice Guys series. I haven’t read the third one, Full Domain, yet. The books are largely unrelated and the second is way better than the first. [m/m, romance, sports, cops/detectives, mystery]

Loving You

May 5th ★★★★★
May 9th ★★★★☆
May 9th ★★★★☆
May 10th ★★★☆☆

This was the third time I’ve read the first book in the Loving You series, the second time for books 2 and 3 and the first for the 4th book. Loving Jay is one of my favorite books and when I was trying to find something to read and saw it on my tablet I decided to read it again. When I saw there was a new book in the series I decided to read them all. [m/m, romance, humor, sports]

At First Sight + Bear, Otter, and the Kid

May 10th ★★★☆☆
May 14th ★★★★★
May 15th ★★★★☆
May 16th ★★★★☆
May 17th ★★★★☆
May 18th ★★★★☆
May 19th ★★★☆☆
May 20th ★★★☆☆

It all started with The Androgynous Love Tale. I was thinking about how there aren’t really many books with gender-fluid characters when I remembered Why We Fight which I hadn’t read yet. The thing is, Corey/Kori is also in the Bear, Otter, and the Kid series which also had a new book so I ended up re-reading that series as well! Sadly, all of the build-up ended with a total let-down. Why We Fight wasn’t nearly as good as I’d hoped. [m/m, romance, humor, family]

Marshals

May 21st ★★★★☆
May 22nd ★★★★☆
May 24th ★★★★☆
May 24th ★★★☆☆
May 24th ★★★★★

The Marshals series is a spin-off of Mary Calmes’ A Matter of Time series following two of the marshals working under Sam Kage. I freaking loved Miro and Ian. I have no idea why I didn’t finish this series when I first started it. Maybe I was hoping for something similar to Jory and Sam which it isn’t. [m/m, romance, cops/detectives, military, mystery, humor]

Trials of Fear

May 25th ★★★★☆
May 26th ★★★★☆
May 27th ★★★★☆
May 28th ★★★★☆
May 29th ★★★☆☆
May 30th ★★★★☆
May 30th ★★★★★
May 31st ★★☆☆☆

I loved the Trials of Fear series so much. All of them (except Krew and Rigger’s) covered a different phobia. They were fascinating, heartbreaking, and just so good! I’m so sad it’s over. [m/m, romance, disorders/disabilities, humor, bdsm]

Best Man ★★★★☆ [Review]


Book: Best Man

Author: Chris Delyani

Series: (standalone novel)

Genre: M/M Romance; Contemporary Romance

Pub date: 06/01/2019

Pages: 271

Publisher: Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA)

Source: Netgalley

Frank Mercer is a forty-year-old high school math teacher, newly divorced from his husband and struggling to make his mortgage payments. He thinks his problems will be solved by a romance with his old friend Jonathan Butler, a man Frank has secretly admired for over twenty years. But Jonathan is engaged to Marcus Pierce, his unfaithful longtime boyfriend. When Jonathan asks Frank to serve as best man at his wedding, Frank must choose between supporting his friend and speaking from his heart.

Julio Robles is Frank’s roommate and a popular yoga teacher. Julio’s star student is none other than Marcus, Jonathan’s fiancé and Frank’s nemesis. And Marcus has made it clear he’d like more from Julio than yoga lessons. When Frank asks Julio to pretend to be his boyfriend on a dinner date with Jonathan and Marcus, Julio can’t resist accepting the invitation. And finds himself in over his head.

Frank and Julio invent a fake relationship in the face of Marcus and Jonathan’s all-too-real relationship. But which relationship is real, which relationship is fake? Their story leads them to ask themselves fundamental questions about love, friendship, and what it means to be true to one’s partner.


Please note: This book was provided to me by the publisher through Netgalley to give an honest review. I never go into a lot of detail in my reviews because why would you read the book if I told you everything that happens with my personal bias that you may or may not agree with if you’d have read it yourself?

When I was looking for a book to review a week or so ago this one caught my eye but I decided to review another one first. And so, when I was finished with the other, I went back to this one. In the meantime, I’d pretty much forgotten the entire synopsis. Which is good. I’ve actually read many books without reading what it’s even about. It’s too easy to anticipate something or other happening from just the short description.

In the case of Best Man, it worked out really well for me. I swear to you I was baffled until near the end of who would end up with who. I mean, the author did the dual main characters as many do when they want to show both sides of the story. But it really threw me for a loop. Frank and Julio were nothing alike. Julio and Marcus seemed like a much better fit. Frank and Jonathan seemed almost fated to be together. Jonathan and Marcus were terrible together. What would happen?!

As I said above there were four main characters. Two points of view. At the beginning you could tell how much pain Frank was in. The poor guy was shattered and a shadow of his former self going through life and his routine as if on autopilot. His only hope for a happy future was Jonathan whom he’d been in love with for over 20 years.

Julio was Frank’s eccentric roommate. Kind of flighty. He based almost every decision on what his mentors would do or say but skewed their supposed responses to what he personally wanted. He had an interesting backstory and once I got to see the deeper side of him I grew very fond of him rooting for him to have a better life.

And then we had Marcus and Jonathan. The very Jonathan that Frank was in love with. They were engaged to be married and Jonathan asked Frank to be his best man. Julio, who was posing as Frank’s boyfriend, and unknowing of the history between the three, pushed him into the role. I hated Marcus from the very first. Perhaps because of Frank’s feelings about him. I did feel a tiny slice of compassion for him near the end but not much.

Jonathan seemed like this weak man who was overpowered by his dominant lover. He even let Marcus sleep around. Total pushover who would be so much better off with Frank. Julio had stars in his eyes. In love with the idea of an exciting life that he was sure he wanted. Marcus could give him that life. I swear to you I thought that the story was wrapped up tidily and then looked and I was only a little over halfway through!

I expected this to be predictable. Just one of those fluff books you read with a happy ending that makes you sigh and smile. It wasn’t predictable. And it was an emotional mess. I cried a lot reading it and I think my only complaint would be that there was no comic relief to break the tension. I always say the best books make you laugh and cry. Despite this shortcoming, I did read the entire book in one day. I kept forgetting to look and see how far I was in the book and thought surely this is close to the end!

The ending was not what I’d expected. It was so much more. Although, I’d have liked there to be an epilogue giving us some sort of closure on the way things went at some point in the future. It was kind of a “let’s do this” and ride into the sunset type ending. Sweet but left me feeling cheated in the end. If this were a series, then I would know there would be some kind of update in the next book on how our final couples did after that ride into the sunset.

All-in-all it was a great book. I can’t think of one spelling or grammatical error. It had a good pace to it even if I did keep thinking it was nearing the end. I enjoyed Chris Delyani’s writing style and would be happy to read more of his works in the future. From his Goodread’s profile it doesn’t look like he’s written much in the past with 4 years between his first and second books and a whopping seven before this will release.

Witchbane ★★★★☆ [Review]


Book: Witchbane

Author: Morgan Brice

Series: Witchbane (Book #1)

Genre: M/M Romance; Paranormal Fantasy; Mystery

Pub date: 02/19/2018

Pages: 275

Publisher: Darkwind Press

Source: Netgalley

Seth Tanner and his brother Jesse’s fun evening debunking local urban legends ends with Jesse’s gruesome murder. Seth vows revenge on Jesse’s killer – too bad the murderer has been dead for a hundred years. Seth uncovers a cycle of ritual killings that feed the power of a dark warlock’s immortal witch-disciples, and he’s hell bent on stopping Jackson Malone from becoming the next victim. He’s used to risking his neck. He never intended to risk his heart.


Please note: This book was provided to me by the publisher through Netgalley to give an honest review. I will keep spoilers to the end of the review. I never go into a lot of detail in my reviews because why would you read the book if I told you everything that happens with my personal bias that you may or may not agree with if you’d have read it yourself?

It’s been quite some time since I’ve read a book with the sole purpose to review it so I wanted to choose a book that sounded intriguing. I was first drawn to the beautiful cover art by Lou Harper. And, of course, the genres. Reading the description I was a bit confused but decided to delve in nonetheless. Better to have a slightly confusing description than one that gives away the entire plot.

Our main characters were Evan aka Jackson aka Sonny and Seth. All of the characters save the antagonist had very average names. Indeed I have nephews named Evan and Seth. I find this disappointing and uncreative on the author’s part. I’m not a fan of using very popular names in fiction. For me, reading those names always brings to mind the many people I know with it. For example Mike which I can name several offhand including my ex.

Despite my annoyance with their names, I did grow to like both Evan and Seth. But, it wasn’t until at least halfway through the book. I even thought to myself at one point that they were a bit boring. I know, how could magic and evil witch stalkers be boring? But that’s the outlying threat not their individual personalities. It wasn’t until they began to struggle with their relationship and the circumstances that I started to get a real feel for their characters.

I enjoyed the way they met anticipating that first meeting is my favorite part about romance books. They had chemistry from the start and it was quite steamy indeed. The author gave them a very good basis for a relationship beyond just physical chemistry and went as far as to show the readers how great they were together before Seth discovered that Sonny is the person he was there looking for in the first place. How convenient. Fate perhaps? The romance scenes were steamy but not overdone. Although, I wouldn’t suggest this to a reader new to the genre as a first gay romance.

There weren’t really any supporting characters save Seth’s employer and fellow paranormal beastie hunter, Toby. There are some of Seth’s cohorts mentioned once or twice that I expect will pop up in following books. Evan’s boss and co-workers are barely mentioned after the beginning into type part other than the one who shows up in the very end.

Overall, the plot was well done and fairly seamless. The author gave just enough information about the history and current struggle to not confuse the reader with needless details. Save one thing that I will mention in the spoilers. It was fairly fast paced with romance and such interspersed with the overall conflict. There were very few grammatical or punctual errors and I was shocked to see it mentioned in someone’s Goodreads review. I’d say less than a handful. I’ve seen more in some very popular author’s books.

I was quite pleased with the ending and feel this could be the start of a very good series if done well. There is a novella and second book in the series already both of which are highly rated. The author Morgan Brice also has another m/m paranormal romance series called Badlands.

“The knife will fall on the stroke of midnight. That’s how magic works”

-Toby

Possible spoilers below…

I suppose I should start with the part I mentioned above in which the details got a bit confusing. In the beginning, with Seth and his brother Jesse, there was something to do with a train. Later, when Evan began talking about a train derailment that apparently happened in Richmond I got confused. Was there two train derailments? What on earth does that have to do with anything? Are trains somehow linked to the overall plot and I missed it?

Another thing that bothered me was the duffle bag. I know I know what a weird thing to fixate on but that’s the type of reader I am. When an author mentions something more than once I assume it has something to do with the plot. Supposedly, the duffle was packed for a camping trip with “friends.” It’s also mentioned when in Evan’s apartment that there are pictures of him out on various excursions with “friends.” But, no friends are ever mentioned save a few from work that I’d say were more acquaintances than anything. Indeed, near the end of the book, Evan has a sort of revelation that he has no friends holding him there in Richmond. Personally, I’d have made the duffle there in case he needed to leave quickly if the stalker ex showed up.

Next was something you’ll likely find so silly but I feel like the author missed an opportunity to add a bit more mystery to the plot. At the very end, when the ritual was about to take place, items were put out onto the altar from all of the previous victims. Things like pocket watches and trinkets. And, as Evan’s contribution, a wallet. What? Seriously? Why not something more important to him that he lost at the beginning of the book and looked for and was disappointed he couldn’t find it? Instead, it’s his wallet which must have been taken from him that day as it had never been mentioned that I could remember as being lost.

Yes, I know, silly things niggle at me when I read. Perhaps, upon re-reading the book, some of these things would make more sense.

(Review) Bear Naked ★★★★☆

Author: Dana Marie Bell
Series: Halle Shifters
Genre: Paranormal Romance
236 pages

 To win a frightened heart, you have to bare your own.

Any woman would be eager to be Ryan Williams’s mate. Any woman but Glory Walsh. The sexy bear shifter is beautiful, strong and persistent, she’ll give him that. But Glory’s past taught her one simple truth: people leave. She can’t get past the fact he left her once before. Okay, so he had a good reason, and he did come back. Try convincing her emotions.

When Glory finally agrees to a date, Ryan feels like shouting hallelujah. He only left his mate to hunt down the man who’d shot her, but convincing the stubborn woman she has a permanent place at his side is tougher than he thought.

Their date takes a turn for the bizarre when Glory thanks Ryan for the series of romantic gifts—gifts Ryan never sent. It seems her past is coming back to bite her, and before it has a chance to sink its teeth in and tear her out of his life, Ryan will have to bare it all, right down to his soul, to protect the woman he loves. Even from herself.

Warning: This title contains explicit sex, graphic language, a blue-haired heroine, and a hero who isn’t afraid to get all kinds of naked.

I have been waiting for this book since I read Bear Necessities, the first book in the Halle Shifters series almost a year ago. It was worth the wait. Dana Marie Bell does such a good job of mixing serious and humorous in her books. If you haven’t read the Halle Shifters series yet you’ll want to read the Halle Pumas and Pocono Wolves books first. The pumas and wolves are usually in or at least mentioned in the Halle Shifters books. I look forward to the next book in this series although there isn’t one shown on the Goodreads page yet I’ll keep watching for it.

I love Glory. She’s this crazy blue haired girl that works as a piercer in a tattoo shop with her best friends. Although she puts up a good front she is very insecure due to her twin sisters disappearance and her families abandonment. That abandonment makes her feel that she will lose anyone that she gets close to. So although she is attracted to Ryan she is afraid to let him in. Ryan has his work cut out for him. As a shifter, once he meets his mate, the need for his mate is like a driving force that could make him go insane.

There’s a lot more to this book than just Glory and Ryan’s story. The story picks up where Cynful left off. Have I mentioned how much I love these books? It’s not your regular romance story… lots of action and mystery. But at the same time you cheer for them to get together. Another great book by Dana Marie Bell.

Feature and Follow Friday #15

This is a weekly meme hosted by: Alison Can Read and Parajunkee that is aimed to help bloggers grow their audience and make new friends. They feature two bloggers every week and have a question for everyone to answer.




This week’s question: 
Share! Tell us about one of your hobbies that is NOT reading.

One of my hobbies is a game called Second Life:

This pic is my avatar modeling a new outfit.  It’s pretty fun.

Follow on Bloglovin




http://www.linkytools.com/basic_linky_include.aspx?id=232906

(Review) Wild Wolf ★★★★☆

In the latest Shifters Unbound novel, a man has resigned himself to a life half lived. But a beautiful, courageous woman has him longing for something more…

Graham McNeil knows that his pack is unruly, but he’s not sure he can take the next step toward Shiftertown stability—choosing a new mate. After losing his mate and son long ago, Graham has worked hard to keep his heart in check. And even if he was inclined to bind himself again, his girlfriend, Misty, is human—a fact that won’t sit well with Graham’s old-fashioned wolves.

But Graham is up against a new enemy, one who could spell danger and death to all of Shiftertown. Graham must now defend his leadership and save Misty, the woman he has grown to love—before Shiftertown is pulled into an all-out war.

Wild Wolf is book 6 in the Shifters Unbound series. There are like 6 novellas in between the books. I’ve read and loved them all. The series is really starting to heat up now with Wild Wolf. I seem to say this a lot but the book description doesn’t compare to the book itself. If you’ve read the previous books than you are familiar with Misty. She’s the girl who chats with Graham at the shifter bar after he fights with Eric. Some jerk tries to get Misty to spy on Graham and she tells him about it. That was in book 4 Mate Claimed.

Wild Wolf takes place approximately a year after Mate Claimed. At this point Graham is sort of dating Misty. Misty is kidnapped and Graham comes to save her. In doing so he gets hurt and their relationship starts to crumble. With being hurt he is afraid he cannot hold onto his place in shiftertown. All the shifters are pressuring him to take a mate so that he will have a strong heir.

I don’t want to say much more because it’ll ruin the surprises but let me just say that it’s all been leading up to this. All the work on taking the collars off and such. All leading up to the shocks that you’ll read in Wild Wolf.

I really like Misty and Graham so this was a great book if you ask me. I enjoyed the by-play between them and Graham’s nephew Dougal. Also the twin cubs that Graham is taking care of. All in all I wouldn’t say it was an especially romantic book but there was a lot of action and lots of laughs which made up for it.

(Review) The Cowboy Lassos a Bride ★★★★☆

Jake Matheson loves everything about ranching the Double-Bar-K, except for his father’s controlling nature. It’s bad enough the old man won’t step down and let him run things his own way. Now Holt has demanded that Jake find a wife—in the next thirty days. Jake knows just the woman he wants–Hannah Ashton–but they haven’t even gone on a date, let alone been together long enough for him to propose. He’ll have to work fast to secure her hand in marriage before his time is up.

Hannah Ashton loves the fifteen hundred pound bison she rescued from being the object of a trophy hunt. She’s grateful for Gladys’s temporary home on the Double Bar K—and for the chance it gives her to see Jake on a daily basis. But now Holt Matheson is threatening to kick Gladys off the ranch—or eat her!—unless Hannah spends fourteen consecutive nights with Jake. What they get up to together is their business, but if Hannah misses a night, it’s bye-bye bison.

Jake can’t believe Hannah has agreed to move into his cabin, but now his brother Ned is stirring up trouble, trying to break them up before he can propose. Hannah’s beginning to think it’ll be hard to leave the ranch when her fourteen nights are over—even if she’s heading to veterinary school. She’s falling for Jake–hard–but Jake wants a traditional wife, not a career woman.


Excerpt:
“Sleep with my son for two weeks.”
Hannah’s jaw dropped open. Her cheeks flushed to what she was sure was a brilliant red. Had Holt lost his mind? Had she? He couldn’t have said that out loud.

Could he?
“You heard me right, but you can get your mind out of the gutter.” Holt’s laconic tone was shaded with a hint of laughter at her expense. “I said sleep with him, not screw him. What you two get up to is on your conscience. All I ask is that you share a bed.”
“I… what…?” She glanced around wildly, wondering if anyone else had overheard him. Surely this had to be a joke. Would Holt’s youngest son, Rob, come rushing out with a video camera? He was always playing practical jokes.
“Sleep with my son for fourteen consecutive nights. All night. That’s it. Your bison gets a pasture, food, and shelter for the rest of her life. What do you say?”
She sputtered, searching for something to say that encompassed the depth of her anger that he’d even speak to her this way. She settled on sarcasm. “Two weeks? I’ll have to check my calendar. Some other guy’s father might have extorted me to sleep with him one of those nights.”

Holt chuckled. “Just how many bison do you have stashed around the ranches in these parts?”
“I don’t need to listen to this.”
“By the way, the son in question is Jake.” He eyed her sharply and Hannah felt the heat creep up her cheeks all over again.
Jake?
An image of them together in bed—naked, disheveled—flashed into her mind and her body tingled with the idea of it. She and Jake could have a lot of fun between the sheets.
She forced the thought out of her head. “Not interested.”
“Then I guess I’ll get my pasture back sooner than I thought. And I’ll have to find some other woman to get my son’s mind on marriage.”
“Damn it, Holt—that’s not fair.”
“Which part isn’t? The part where I eat your bison or the part where another woman sleeps with my son?” 

Review:

This is the 6th book in the Cowboys of Chance Creek series and the 2nd Matheson book. The first was Rob’s book… book 5. Although I didn’t like Rob’s book as much I loved Jake’s. Jake is the oldest Matheson son and the father Holt has decided it’s about time to get him married off. Hannah is the vet assistant of Bella from The Cowgirl Ropes a Billionaire and the girl who rescued the bison in the last book.

After reading the description and the excerpt I’m not sure there’s much more that I can add to it. I really enjoyed this book and flew through it in a day. I’m a big fan of the Cowboys of Chance Creek series and have read them all. They are light fun reads.  The Cowboy Lasso’s a Bride doesn’t disappoint. 

Hannah and Jake, despite their differences make a great couple and it was fun learning more about each of them.  I look forward to updates on how they are doing in the next two books which are Jake’s brothers.  I wonder if Holt gets up to his old tricks with them.


Author Info:
Cora Seton loves cowboys, country life, gardening, bike-riding, and lazing around with a good book. Mother of four, wife to a computer programmer/eco-farmer, she ditched her California lifestyle nine years ago and moved to a remote logging town in northwestern British Columbia.

Like the characters in her novels, Cora enjoys old-fashioned pursuits and modern technology, spending mornings transforming a neglected one-acre lot into a paradise of orchards, berry bushes and market gardens, and afternoons writing the latest Chance Creek romance novel on her iPad mini. Visit www.coraseton.com to read about new releases, contests and other cool events!

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Cora will award a $100 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour.

(Review) Feral Heat ★★★☆☆

Jace Warden is sent to the Shiftertown in Austin to find a way to free all Shifters from their Collars. But pulling off the Collars can cause Shifters to go mad or kill them outright.

In Austin, Jace meets Deni Rowe, a wolf Shifter with troubles of her own—she was deliberately run down in the road, and while her body has healed, she still has episodes of total memory loss during which she retreats into her pure animal self.

Jace has never met anyone like Deni. Courageous and beautiful, she volunteers to help him test the Collar removal. And as Deni and Jace work together, they feel the mate bond begin. But can Jace help Deni believe she can heal enough to be anyone’s true mate?

I cruised through this novella in an afternoon. I love the Shifters Unbound series. If you’re not familiar with the characters Jace is Eric’s son… the head of the Las Vegas shifters and Deni is Ellison’s sister. Jace is visiting Austin to help with the problem of trying to remove the collars when he meets Deni.

This one wasn’t as good as some of the other Shifters Unbound books but it was still worth the read. You might remember from Ellison’s book that Deni has some major issues after a car rammed her on her motorcycle the year before. She has a hard time holding back her feral side and has blackouts.

There isn’t much romance in this story at all. It’s a series of events that throws together two very unlikely shifters. I enjoyed the story altogether though I can’t say I have a favorite part or quote for this one.  


(Review) Wildcat ★★★★☆

ONLY ONE WOMAN CAN TAME HIM
When horse breeder Sara Shield encounters Jerden Morokovitz riding bareback and naked, she’s stunned by the magnificence of both man and stallion. But Sara came to Terra Minor to get away from men.

IF SHE CAN GIVE UP HER FEAR…
The murder of Jerden’s lover by a deranged woman has left this former star attraction of the Zetithian Palace brothel shattered in mind and body. Jerden is sure Sara can heal his anguish—but not unless he can find the key to her heart.

The book description leaves out quite a bit.  Sara is neighbors with Bonnie and Lynx from book 4 of the Cat Star Chronicles series, Outcast.  They are in the book quite a bit and anyone who knows me knows that I love updates on previous characters.  I figure it’s about 20 years since the first book since Jack and Cat have teenage children.  Yes, there’s a few parts with them in the book as well as some other books.  I was very pleased.  

But enough about previous characters!  This book is about Sara and Jerden.  Sara has sworn off men due to a rape when she was young and has no interest in any mans advances even Jerden.  Jerden is suffering from the brutal murder of a co-worker at the brothel he worked at before becoming Sara’s neighbor.  He has secluded himself because he sees either the face of the girl or her murderer in every woman… until Sara.  

As with all of the Cat Star Chronicle books there are some lengthy sex scenes.  I have to confess to skipping ahead a few times.  One of the things I enjoyed in this book were how wild animals would follow Jerden around.  Including Sara’s lost horse.  That horse was a matchmaker I swear!  I also enjoyed the back and forth between Sara and her employees.  Some of it had me laughing so hard.  

All in all a great addition to the Cat Star Chronicles series.  If you aren’t familiar with the series it is very good and I would strongly suggest starting with book 1 Slave.  There is a lot that is discussed that someone jumping into the series would be confused about.  Trust me, the books are worth the read.   

Feature & Follow Friday #14

This is a weekly meme hosted by: Alison Can Read and Parajunkee that is aimed to help bloggers grow their audience and make new friends. They feature two bloggers every week and have a question for everyone to answer.




This week’s question:
Tell us about a book that you didn’t like and why we shouldn’t read it…nicely.
It took me all of 2 seconds to think of what book I wanted to talk about… Allegiant by Veronica Roth:
You can read my review here.  I have had several people tell me after reading Allegiant that they wished they would have listened to me and stopped at Divergent.  Divergent is one of my all-time favorite young adult books.  I absolutely loved it.  The second book, Insurgent, was pretty good.  But in my opinion Allegiant was terrible.  Because of things that happen in the third and last book of this series I cry when I see commercials for the Divergent movie.  I’m afraid to go see the movie because I don’t want to cry through it.  The book broke my heart.  I also had a terrible time getting through it.  It took me weeks to read.  I won’t yammer on any longer because I know you have other blogs to stop at just let me say that if you haven’t read this book yet and when you read Divergent you love that book I would advise you to stop there and enjoy the glow of a wonderful book.

http://www.linkytools.com/basic_linky_include.aspx?id=231303

Feature & Follow Friday #13

This is a weekly meme hosted by:Alison Can Readand Parajunkee that is aimed to help bloggers grow their audience and make new friends. They feature two bloggers every week and have a question for everyone to answer.




This week’s question: 

Find a “new to you blogger” and feature their button on your post this week. Tell us why this blogger stands out to you.


I keep a list of all of the Feature and Follow blogs that I *ahem* follow.  This blog wasn’t on my list and I liked the name of the blog and the artwork on the button:

http://www.linkytools.com/basic_linky_include.aspx?id=226383

Feature & Follow Friday #12

This is a weekly meme hosted by:Alison Can Readand Parajunkeethat is aimed to help bloggers grow their audience and make new friends. They feature two bloggers every week and have a question for everyone to answer.




This week’s question: 
If you could read a book for the “first time” again, which book would it be? Why?


The Wheel of Time Series

Because I can remember waiting for each book to come out… talking to my brother about the books when they came out and sharing the series with my son when he was old enough to read them.  There is no other series that can compare with the complexity of The Wheel of Time.


http://www.linkytools.com/basic_linky_include.aspx?id=224232

Top Ten Tuesday #5

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. Each week they will post a new Top Ten list for everyone to answer.

February 4th: Top ten books that will make you cry-


(In no particular order… 
making this list has made me tear up again.)

1. Blood Promise (Vampire Academy, #4)    2. The Sea of Tranquility  3. The Hero of Ages (Mistborn, #3)  4. Fool's Errand (Tawny Man, #1)  5. Acheron (Dark-Hunter, #14)  6. Styxx (Dark-Hunter, #22)  7. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Harry Potter, #6)  8. Allegiant (Divergent, #3)  9. If I Die (Soul Screamers, #5)  10. Bone Crossed (Mercy Thompson, #4)

(Review) Visions of Fire and Ice ★★★★☆

Author: Teresa D’Amario
Genre: Sci-Fi Romance; Mythology
450 pages

Blurb:

Trapped on a planet not their own, the Petiri spend their lives hiding the natural gifts that set them apart from the world. They live long and unfulfilled lives, unable to find their soul mates on this backward planet known as Earth. That is until the night Ramose comes face to face with Tamara, a woman whose gifts rival his own. Determined to find why this human is in possession of an ancient magical Petiri relic, he arranges a meeting.

But Tamara, embittered from past events, is wary despite lifelong dreams of Ramose and a sure knowledge he is her soul mate. Before long the couple find themselves ensnared in a battle that has raged for millennia in Egypt’s desert. Set, Egyptian God of Chaos, is determined to take his just due: the throne of Osiris.

The only way to stop him is for Ramose to put his trust in Tamara, but, first, he must gain the same from her. The ensuing sensual relationship is filled with romance, lust and love. Their relationship is tested by an unnatural evil. Will her powers over fire, combined with his ice be enough to win the day? Or will the ancient gods and goddesses of Egypt destroy more than just their love?

Excerpt


Tamara pulled out the costume with a grin. It was red. Fire red. Small bits of orange peeked beneath the folds, enhancing the image. This would be perfect for her youngest sister who always teased her about the fire she herself wielded. She held the costume before her, judging its size. A spark of energy caught her attention, and she raised her eyes to Ramose. He was moving toward her, his muscles tight, his face pale in the darkened light. But his eyes, they burned with unfettered need.

Tamara swallowed. Hard. Never in her life had she expected to see any man, much less Ramose, look at her the way he did now. What had she done to trigger such a response? Maybe he thought shopping was sexy. Hell, it didn’t matter. He had the look of a man ready to cross to the next level in their relationship. No, not the next level. He looked ready to leap all the way past and into a new relationship. His eyes were filled with need, but other emotions glimmered beneath the surface. Possession. Relief. Stark, irreversible hunger.

Before she could utter a word, he was there, pulling the dress from her fingers, handing it to the shopkeeper still standing beside her.

He spoke in rapid Arabic, handing the man cash. The store owner protested loudly, probably hoping for a good bartering session.

Ramose totally ignored him, his focus glued only on her. Never had he seemed so tall. Powerful. And even imposing. Tamara stepped back. Just moments before, he’d stood across the room, silent, watching. Now his scent whispered over her, dark and sensuous. Her blood rushed through her veins, heating her body in response. She bit her lip at the sudden onslaught of emotions and need building inside her. Inside, her heart fluttered in panic, while the rest of her body yearned for him. She was part rabbit, part tigress. She was terrified. She was starved.

“I can….” She could what? Pay for it herself?

Ramose leaned forward, his lips brushing against her ears, his breath feathering across her neck.

“Nanik,” he whispered fiercely.

Mine, her mind translated.

Tamara’s heartbeat spiked, and her knees weakened. She grabbed the clothing rack and struggled to breath, yet it was impossible. Not with him so close. So hungry. Did he suddenly recognize her as his soul mate? Did he have that skill as well? She tipped her face to meet his gaze. Heat coiled low in her belly. His scent stripped her of her desire for control. The fear fluttered inside her, yet she ached for more, to feel his lips against her flesh.

The hard lines of his jaw, shadowed by the late afternoon beard, combined with the power surging from his being, gave him the look of a warrior of old. Demanding. Powerful. And sexy as hell.

Her body moved of its own accord, leaning forward, blending his heat with her own. Muscles inside her softened, melting, while others drew taut, hungry for his touch. Her lashes fluttered, her eyes heavy, her mind and body drugged by this man’s desire.

“Ramose—”

But he wanted none of her words. His eyes silenced her, as though he were afraid she’d reject him. Long, warm fingers closed over hers. It was the first touch of what she hoped was soon to be more. The pulse in her throat beat a rapid staccato message. Need. Fear. She wasn’t even sure which held more power.

When the shopkeeper returned, Ramose held out his hand, not even looking at the man. His fingers closed around the plastic bag, and, without a word, he turned, escorting her out the door.

Once outside, they moved past the small shop, pressed inward by the throngs of people surrounding them. He didn’t seem to care. He stopped, right in the middle of crowd, tugging her hand until she turned to face him. His eyes raked over her, searching. With calloused fingers, he brushed away the wisp of hair now falling in her face. The heat from his fingers burned her flesh, regardless of his gift of ice.

“Kha-Ib.”

The word was so soft, so worshipful, she had to strain to hear it. Tamara shook her head. “What, Ramose, what is it?”

“Nanik,” he whispered again, his gaze softening, offering her a smile of wonder.

Oblivious to the crowd surrounding them, Tamara’s knees wobbled. She should be running, racing to her hotel to block away the world. This was too fast. Too dangerous. And, yet, the sudden possessiveness in his response only built the hunger inside her. Her gaze moved to his lips.

She wanted to feel him. Against her mouth. Hungry. God, what was wrong with her? His arm hooked about her waist, and, as his head lowered, she tipped her face to meet him. Wanting. Breathless.

His gaze held hers, even as his face inched closer.

When at long last their lips met, her heart, the one she was sure had quit beating, exploded in her chest, pounding as though to crack her ribs. The exquisite heat of his lips burned against hers. Oh, God. Please. Please what?

He groaned when she wrapped her arms about his neck, drawing even closer to him. He swept his tongue over her lips. She needed no further encouragement. For the first time in her life, she didn’t hesitate when a man touched her. She opened. And, when their tongues met, it was divine.

The inside of his mouth was hot and hungry, his taste an explosion of wild masculine heat, and, yet, he swept in slowly, as though in wonder, tasting her. The chill of his mouth drew her, cooling the overwhelming heat burning inside her. The combination of need and gentleness sent a shudder of hunger through her body, and she wanted more, needed to crawl even closer.


Review:
Visions of Fire and Ice is unlike any other book that I have read.  I love sci-fi romance… you know a little alien hunk romance.  I also love mythology.  I’ve read a few books that sprinkled a bit of Egyptian mythology in so it was refreshing to have a whole book that had at least a basis within Egyptian mythology.  Basically the book is about a race of aliens that have been stranded on Earth for approximately 4,000 years.  They have not been able to find a soul mate within the human population and so are forever alone.  Already after reading Visions of Fire and Ice I am looking forward to more books.  I hope that Teresa D’Amario decides to make this a series because I can see big opportunities already!
Visions of Fire and Ice is mainly about Ramose, who is one of the aliens, meeting Tamara.  Their relationship blossoms slowly throughout the book.  It’s not one of those love at first sight things.  Although it should be because they had both been dreaming about each other.  But, in addition to the romance factor we also have our bad guy.  Set, the Egyptian God of chaos, has taken over one of Ramose’s friends and is determined to kill Ramose.  He thrives on pain and suffering so there’s a lot of… you guessed it: chaos.  Altogether this was a great book and as I said before I really hope this will become a series.

Author Info:


Born in Atlanta, the daughter of an Army Soldier during the early stages of the Viet Nam war, I spent my childhood traveling from state to state, finally ending up overseas in Germany where I graduated high school six months early.

My writing career however began as a young Airman in the Air Force, writing monthly articles for the weekly base paper. The articles ranged from climatological data to full center fold articles on the destructive forces of hurricanes. As I increased in rank, my writing changed to more technological instruction, including such works as WSR-88D Doppler Radar Data Interpretation Guide for North Carolina Stations, and Station Operating Procedures.

But my early writing wasn’t limited only to the technological side. I’ve written multiple dog training and behavior articles for canine websites such as Sonora Canine Freestyle, and also the Ask Blackjack column, a fun training column in the voice of my labrador retriever, then a young pup.

My first book, SheWolf, won 2nd place for Best First book in RWA’s PFF&P Prism awards.

I’m married to a wonderful man named Doug, who is also retired Air Force. We live in North Carolina with our two dogs.

Links:

http://facebook.com/AuthorTeresaDamario
http://twitter.com/TeresaDamario
http://teresadamario.com

Buy Link:

Freya’s Bower: http://www.freyasbower.com/paranormal-c-14/visions-of-fire-and-ice-p-292.html?zenid=4d46ff6ab4ce380ff8ab5ecbe6ef1135

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Top Ten Tuesday #4

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. Each week they will post a new Top Ten list for everyone to answer.

January 28th:
Top Ten Worlds I’d Never Want to Live In-

(I listed them by series… in no particular order)
  1. The Walking Dead 
  2. Gone With Respiration
  3. Revivalists
  4. Love & Decay
  5. The Wheel of Time
  6. The Song of Ice and Fire
  7. Dark Age Dawning
  8. Divergent
  9. Penryn and the End of Days
  10. Mindjack Trilogy

(Review) Dangerously Hers ★★★★☆

BLURB:
Loving Dangerously, Book Three Jess hates aliens. After the invasion that destroyed Earth, the extraterrestrial bastards sold her to a brothel as a sex slave. She may have escaped but the old memories and fears still linger in the dark corners of her mind. Supposedly Sonis is just the place for her—somewhere safe, where she can heal and start fresh. She’s almost hopeful…until she meets Rasha, her new boss.

Rasha, Captain of the Sonis Royal Guard, is a warrior through and through. He’s huge, sinfully sexy and could have any woman on Sonis—but the woman he wants is Jess. He’s very much an alien and Jess knows she should hate him or at least be wary, but whenever he’s around, she loses control. She tells herself it’s only sex—amazing, mind-blowing sex like nothing else she’s ever experienced—but there’s something about Rasha that shakes her soul. The feel of his skin against hers, the look in his eyes as he touches her—they make her want to believe it’s possible to find love and begin again.

A Romantica® science fiction erotic romance from Ellora’s Cave

Excerpt:

He inhaled sharply. “I can smell you.” Then he let his gaze drop to crotch.
Her hands instinctively dropped to shield herself.
She gasped as he dropped to his knees. “What are you doing?”
He wrapped his arms around her and cradled her ass. Her mouth dropped open as he nuzzled his nose between her thighs. “I can take care of this…you.”
She dug her nails into his shoulder blades. Should she push him away or keep him where he was?
He made a sound so animalistic. So hot and sexy that it made her pussy respond in ways she didn’t want it to.
“That’s it.” He sniffed into her.
His fingers worked in unison to massage her ass, all the while pulling her onto his face. She tried to stand her ground even when she rocked to her toes.
He looked up to her with eyes smoldering with heat. “Can I do it Jess?”
She blinked, trying to remember his question. “Do…do what?”
“Lick you until you until you come.”
Oh God.
Her knees buckled.
“I want to taste you. I want to bury my face in your pussy. I want to…to…” Growling, he bit her.



My Review:
Although I did not read the previous books in this series I did not feel at any time that I was lost.  I really enjoyed this book.  Especially the other planets and the general theme of the series….people getting kidnapped from earth by aliens.  A.M. Griffin wrote well and there were no lags in the story.  I plan to read the other stories from this series.  
In Dangerously Hers we have Jess and Rasha.  Let’s just start out by saying that Rasha is clueless.  Totally clueless males seem not to be only human.  He has no idea how to act around Jess and is used to women throwing themselves at him.  Jess on the other hand is tough and independent but also suffers from her time spent in a brothel as a slave.  
I really enjoyed the by-play between Jess and Rasha.  This was  an excellent book and I would recommend it to a friend.  

AUTHOR Bio and Links:


A. M. Griffin is a wife who rarely cooks, mother of three, dog owner (and sometimes dog owned), a daughter, sister, aunt and friend. She’s a hard worker whose two favorite outlets are reading and writing. She enjoys reading everything from mystery novels to historical romances and of course fantasy romance. She is a believer in the unbelievable, open to all possibilities from mermaids in our oceans and seas, angels in the skies and intelligent life forms in distant galaxies.


Find Me Here


Website: http://www.amgriffinbooks.com


Amazon Page: http://www.amazon.com/A.M.-Griffin/e/B00APK4V4G/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1380414029&sr=1-2-ent

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/amgriffinbooks

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AMGriffinbooks

Blog: http://amgriffinbooks.blogspot.com

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/amgriffinbooks

Join me on Triberr! http://triberr.com/AMGriffin

Buy Links:

Buy Link: http://www.ellorascave.com/dangerously-hers.html

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Dangerously-Hers-3-Loving-ebook/dp/B00FWSTTKM/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1382404909&sr=1-1&keywords=Dangerously+Hers

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Feature & Follow Friday #11

This is a weekly meme hosted by:Alison Can Readand Parajunkee that is aimed to help bloggers grow their audience and make new friends. They feature two bloggers every week and have a question for everyone to answer…

This week’s question:

What books are you looking forward to reading in 2014?

Vampire Most Wanted

Up From the Grave

The Undead Pool

6th Grave on the Edge

Night Broken

Bear Naked

The Book of Life

Shield of Winter

Magic Breaks

http://www.linkytools.com/basic_linky_include.aspx?id=224230

(Review) Wicked Waves ★★★★★


Author: Sharon Kay
Genre: Paranormal Romance
355 pages

Making daggers out of raindrops is only the tip of the iceberg for Brooke Bonham. As one of four women who can control the elements, her ability to manipulate water packs a deluge of potential. Eager to learn more, she’s frustrated at the precautions she must take to avoid the wrong kind of attention on Earth.

Kai’s duties as a Lash demon have kept him busy on Earth for nearly two hundred years. Fighting? He was born to do it. Females? They’re drawn to him. And Earth? The perfect place for him to avoid supernatural bounty hunters.

Though the two of them mix like oil and water, Kai senses that beneath Brooke’s frosty exterior hides a vortex of simmering passion. He’s determined to thaw his ice princess.

Forced to work together in the immortal realm, they track a rogue Lash demon at the helm of a widespread kidnapping operation. All too soon, Kai’s dark past catches up to them. Time runs out as a second enemy, bent on revenge, vows to stop at nothing short of Brooke’s enslavement and Kai’s death. As they and their foes stalk each other in a demonic game of cat-and-mouse, will her evolving skills and their fledgling bond be enough to save them?

*I received a copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review*
I just finished reading Wicked Waves and all I can say is wow!  I loved Wicked Wind, the first book in the Solsti Prophecy series, and was afraid that I wouldn’t like the second book as much as the first.  I was so wrong.  I actually liked Wicked Waves more than Wicked Wind.  If Sharon Kay keeps this up the third book will be awesome.  I can’t wait for Gin’s book.  There’s just not enough demon books out there!  Especially hot demons like in the Solsti series.
The story picks up a few weeks after the ending of the first book.  As Brooke says “Things that used to seem weird were becoming the new normal.”  The action starts right from the beginning as well as the tension between Brooke and Kai.  Now, I started this book during a reading slump so I was afraid I would have a hard time finishing it on time. Curiousity on how they will manage to get together makes me want to keep reading.  I take notes while I’m reading books and I noted twice: This book is hot!  The tension between them is strong.  The story just keeps getting better and better and I totally didn’t expect this story to go where it does.
One cool thing is the continuation of Raniero and Ashina’s story.  If you remember in Wicked Wind they were torn apart and Ashina hidden from Raniero for almost 100 years.  How that ends out had me bouncing up and down saying I know what’s gonna happen next!  
Brook and Kai end up in Torth, the alternative universe, just like Nicole and Gunnar did in the first book.  But they visit a much different area.  Let’s just say that Brooke’s visit is not nearly as relaxing as Nicole’s was.  I felt there was a better villian in this book.  Also a bit of foreshadowing for the villian in the next book as well.  Despite all the kick-ass-ness of this story (is that a word?) it is still very romantic and did I mention hot?  For sure, pick up this one but read the Wicked Wind first or you will be confused.
Favorite Quotes:

“If she wasn’t careful, they’d crush her with sensual, devastating percision.”
“Yeah, I’ll just put that on my calendar: visit a really old witch.  In the demon realm.  I’ll pencil her in for Tuesday night.”

Top Ten Tuesday #3

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. Each week they will post a new Top Ten list for everyone to answer.

January 21: 
Top ten things on my reading wishlist? 
(if you could make authors write about these things you would)

  1. Time-Travel Romance
  2. Sci-Fi Romance
  3. Steampunk Romance
  4. Parallel Universe/Earths
  5. More geeky heroines
  6. Different shifters than just wolves 
  7. More mythology
  8. Unique magics
  9. Several characters point-of-view 
  10. Surprise me! (I love a book that shocks me)

My Decision on Goodreads vs BookLikes

After months of comparing Goodreads to BookLikes I have decided to stick with Goodreads.  For one thing copying everything to both is a chore.  I post my reviews on my blog, then Goodreads, then BookLikes and sometimes even Amazon.  It’s a real pain.  So I stopped posting to BookLikes sometime in December.  I’m not sure when but I realized I had stopped posting there.  Also, I already have a blog so the blog format of BookLikes isn’t really needed.  I know they are still working on their site but there are things that they don’t have that I wish they did.  I don’t like the format of the groups.  I love the way the Goodreads groups are set up.

So after giving it several months trial and using both I have decided to drop BookLikes.  I don’t like how you can’t really assign the format of a book without a real pain in the butt.  I don’t like how the reviews aren’t easy to find.  Truthfully I’m just not happy with much of anything.  What I do like is how I can read people’s posts.  BUT this is very similar to Bloglovin’ on my iPad so I’ll use that and concentrate on Goodreads and blogs.  I know this post is random and not very organized but those are my thoughts and my decision.  If you have any thoughts on my decision please leave a comment.

Feature & Follow Friday #10

This is a weekly meme hosted by: Alison Can Read and Parajunkee that is aimed to help bloggers grow their audience and make new friends. They feature two bloggers every week and have a question for everyone to answer…



This week’s question: 

Who is your blogger BFF? Tell us a little bit about him or her? If not tell us why you need or don’t need a blogger BFF.



Answer: 

I have no blogger BFF.



I would love to have a blogger BFF so that we can compare notes on blogging and collaborate on fun things like contests.  It could be like a big fun party!



http://www.linkytools.com/basic_linky_include.aspx?id=223923

(Review) Shelter Mountain ★★★★★

Author: Robyn Carr
Genre: Contemporary Romance
384 pages

For the second time in a year a woman arrives in the small town of Virgin River trying to escape the past.

John “Preacher” Middleton is about to close the bar when a young woman and her three-year-old son come in out of a wet October night. A marine who has seen his share of pain, Preacher knows a crisis when he sees one—the woman is covered in bruises. He wants to protect them, and he wants to punish whoever did this to her, but he knows immediately that this inclination to protect is something much more. Paige Lassiter has stirred up emotions in this gentle giant of a man—emotions that he has never allowed himself to feel.

But when Paige’s ex-husband turns up in Virgin River, Preacher knows his own future hangs in the balance. And if there’s one thing in the marines’ motto of Semper Fidelis—always faithful—has taught him, it’s that some things are worth fighting for.


The first book in the Virgin River series was awesome.  The second book did not disappoint at all.  I was already familiar with the characters of Preacher and Paige because I read this series out of order while reading all the Christmas stories.  To say I was eager to get to their story is an understatement.  
Just imagine this: Preacher is this big very scary looking guy, one night a tiny lady with a young son stumbles into the bar looking for shelter from her abusive husband.  In no way at all would I have thought that Paige and Preacher would end up together because they are so different.  Also because of Paige’s abusive past, you would think she would be afraid of a big scary guy like Preacher.  But Robyn Carr does it.  She brings them together and it’s just great.
There are so many ups and downs in this book.  Don’t forget we also have a bit of Mel and Jack in this book as well as some other Virgin River residents.  My favorite part of this book was when Preacher teaches Paige’s son to make cookies.  I just love to picture in my mind this huge marine sitting with a small boy making cookies.  My second favorite part was when Preacher punches out Jack.  Heck yea.  Trust me, this book is well worth the read.
Favorite Quotes:

“It’s no good to lose touch with people who mean a lot,”

“Can’t any of us stand up to those women?”
“Nope,” said at least three men in unison.”

(Review) Virgin River ★★★★★

Author: Robyn Carr
Genre: Contemporary Romance
386 pages

Wanted: Midwife/nurse practitioner in Virgin River, population six hundred. Make a difference against the backdrop of towering California redwoods and crystal-clear rivers. Rent-free cabin included.

When the recently widowed Melinda Monroe sees this ad she quickly decides that the remote mountain town of Virgin River might be the perfect place to escape her heartache, and to reenergize the nursing career she loves. But her high hopes are dashed within an hour of arriving: the cabin is a dump, the roads are treacherous and the local doctor wants nothing to do with her. Realizing she’s made a huge mistake, Mel decides to leave town the following morning.

But a tiny baby, abandoned on a front porch, changes her plans…and a former marine cements them into place.

Melinda Monroe may have come to Virgin River looking for escape, but instead she finds her home.

This is #1 in A Virgin River Novel.


First let me say that I have actually read this entire series already.  I started with the Christmas books and loved them so much I ate up this series in less than two weeks!  I love it.  I wish that I could move to Virgin River and hang out at Jack’s bar.  I just wish I could live there period.  
This story is about Mel, who is hired as a midwife to work with a cranky doctor.  I loved the doctor.  He was hilarious.  Poor Mel, she takes this job to escape the city and gets stuck with this rundown shack to live in and the doctor doesn’t want her.  Then comes Jack, retired marine and bar owner.  They are such an unlikely couple and yet I cheered for them through the whole book.  Just thinking about it makes me want to re-read the book.  Despite the handsome bar owner it takes a lot to keep Mel in Virgin River.
It seems like there is one medical emergency after another that keeps her there long enough for Jack to get her attention.  I don’t want to tell the whole story over again but I swear I loved this book.  Jack and Mel are some of my favorite characters in the Virgin River series.  This is the type of book that has made me start to like contemporary romance.
Favorite Quotes:

“I mean, I don’t want to pass judgment—I just wish my husband didn’t shoot deer.”
“Oh, Mel, don’t worry. I’ve been hunting with your husband—the deer are completely safe.”

“He reached out and lightly touched her hair. There’s no way, he thought. I’m sunk. And my heart hasn’t beat the same since she walked into town.”

Top Ten Tuesday #2

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. Each week they will post a new Top Ten list for everyone to answer.

January 14 2014: Top Ten 2014 Debuts I’m Excited For-



Vampire Most Wanted







Up From the Grave

The Undead Pool

6th Grave on the Edge

Night Broken

Bear Naked

The Book of Life

Shield of Winter


The Winter King









True

(Review) Candlelight Christmas ★★★★☆

Author: Susan Wiggs
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Source: NetGalley– Harlequin
336 pages

A single father who yearns to be a family man, Logan O’Donnell is determined to create the perfect Christmas for his son, Charlie. The entire O’Donnell clan arrives to spend the holidays in Avalon, a postcard-pretty town on the shores of Willow Lake, a place for the family to reconnect and rediscover the special gifts of the season.

One of the guests is a newcomer to Willow Lake— Darcy Fitzgerald. Sharp-witted, independent and intent on guarding her heart, she’s the last person Logan can see himself falling for. And Darcy is convinced that a relationship is the last thing she needs this Christmas.

Yet between the snowy silence of the winter woods, and toasty moments by a crackling fire, their two lonely hearts collide. The magic of the season brings them each a gift neither ever expected—a love to last a lifetime.

Yes, it’s a Christmas book.  I got approved for some Christmas books on NetGalley after Christmas.  But luckily a good part of this book doesn’t take place during Christmas.  The name of the book and the cover don’t really fit the story itself.  It just looks and sounds cheesey when it’s really not at all.  It was a great book.  Each chapter has a new recipe which I thought was a really cute addition.  My favorite were Walking Dead sugar cookies.  
In Candlelight Christmas we have Darcy and Logan.  Darcy has just come out of a divorce with children whom she loved but who sabatoged her marriage.  The sad part about it all and what makes me so made was that Darcy refused to tell her family that her husband cheated with his ex and that was why they divorced.  So the family expects Darcy at all of the holiday functions with him present.  But that changes this year when Logan’s sister invites Darcy to Thanksgiving and Christmas.  Logan is also divorced with a young son who he only gets during certain times of the year.  He longs for a bigger family and when he meets Darcy the sparks fly.
As with all good books there is a internal stuggle of whether they are good for each other.  Especially since Darcy has decided not to date anyone with kids after being hurt so badly by her step-children.  There’s a lot of other things going on in this book like Logan buying a ski lodge and fostering some kids for a friend.  Altogether it’s just a feel good heartwarming book that I’d suggest to anyone.
Btw I love where Darcy’s parent’s got their names.  All from Pride and Prejudice, one of my favorite books.  She’s named after Mr Darcy, lol!

The Sheriff Catches a Bride ★★☆☆☆

Author: Cora Seton
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Source: NetGalley– One Acre Press

When county sheriff Cab Johnson gets a hunch, he’s learned to trust it, and his hunch tells him Rose Bellingham is in a peck of trouble. Bad enough he’s in love with her, bad enough she’s already engaged to Jason Thayer. He’s got to figure out what she’s hiding before he loses her for good.

Rose can’t stand one more person meddling in her business, even if that person is a handsome, eligible sheriff. She’s been controlled for far too long. But since her fiancé’s father is both her boss and landlord, she can’t dump Jason until she’s got somewhere to run. She’s found the perfect place: a patch of forest outside town. But with Cab watching her every move, she’s hard pressed to finish her hideaway so she can make her escape. Meanwhile, she’s not the only one with problems. Can she find a way to help her friends, too?

Just when Cab solves one mystery, more pop up. Where does Rose keep disappearing to? What’s wrong with Mia Start? Why is Hannah Chatham lying to her fiancé? At least he’s let Rose know he’s interested. And if he’s not mistaken, she’s interested, too.

Rose’s hideaway is perfect, until her friends invade it to escape their own troubles. Can she trust them to keep its whereabouts a secret? Does she want to hide from Cab anymore? Now that Jason’s out of the picture, is it safe to follow her heart?

When two unexpected visitors arrive with secrets of their own, Chance Creek must brace for its deadliest night ever. Can Cab figure out the connections between all the mysteries fast enough?

Or will Rose and her friends pay the ultimate price?

Let me just start off by saying how absolutely thrilled I was to get approved for this book through NetGalley.  I had just finished the other 4 books in the Cowboys of Chance Creek Series and was ready to love this book as much as I had the others.  Cab is the last of the group to match up with a girl.  After this it will be Rob’s brothers.  But the problem was that right off from the beginning the book was like 2 completely different stories.  It was the story of Rose and Cab and the story of Fila coming to America to find Claire and Morgan.  The switching stories was distracting and I kept having to put the book down due to frustration.  There was just so much going on in the book I couldn’t keep focused.

Through the previous 4 books Rose is the jewelry store clerk that gives them all thumbs up on their marriages because she just has this “feeling” when someone will make it or not.  She was also in the last few books helping Autumn with the bed and breakfast.  So I was ready to love Rose.  But I didn’t.  Due to family issues she is stubborn and takes her independence too far.  To an annoying level.  Now Cab I liked.  He is the best friend of Ethan, Jamie and Rob and like I said the last to pair up.  He’s the sheriff, hence the title, and a real great guy.  The romance between Rose and Cab in this book is pretty much one scene of strip pool.  Which was my favorite part of the book.  The rest of the book just gets stranger and stranger.  It’s just weird.

When finally the two stories come together Fila’s story made me cry.  There’s a lot of stuff going on and some unexpected action near the end.  As I said if you are looking for a sweet cowboy romance then keep moving.  If you are looking for a book about changing yourself to be with another person and making life decisions than this is it.  I would have liked for there to be more between Rose and Cab but there really wasn’t except them admitting attraction and everyone knowing it.  I don’t regret reading this one because I am sure the next books with Rob’s brothers will make up for it tenfold.  Sometimes authors have to write a book like this to segway into a new series and that’s alright.