Recent Reviews...

Friday, August 12, 2022

Book Review! Married to the Rockstar by Christina Hovland

Married to the Rockstar (Mile High Rocked #3) by Christina Hovland
Genre: Adult Fiction (Contemporary Romance)
Date Published: April 29, 2022
Publisher: Self

Nothing about this arrangement is convenient...

Jeremy Dillion—a.k.a. Knox—has no intention of succumbing to wedded bliss. Gag, no. His parents divorced when he was young and the only stability in his life comes from his bandmates. But now they’re finding their own forever sweethearts, and Knox is feeling the heat of being a lone wolf in a group effort. Still, an actual relationship? No. Ick.

Irina Carmichael is ready for her big break. The problem is no one takes a second look at her, since she doesn’t fit into the general mold created for Hollywood starlets. Her hips are too big, her nose is too sharp, and her lips are too wide. But she’s so ready to step out of the background and into the spotlight.

When Knox gets trashed in the tabloids, his publicist pitches the idea of an image-saving marriage to Irina. Irina figures the publicity can't hurt and accepts—until the offers for major roles start pouring in, and she doesn’t need the arrangement. Unfortunately, Knox has broken the first rule of marrying an actress for publicity: don’t fall in love. But can he handle a real relationship? And is she ready to stop pretending?

Married to the Rockstar is the third book in the Mile High Rocked by Christina Hovland. Knox and Irina are cute and funny together and ooh so in denial. So, they're getting married, but it's strictly a business arrangement... at least that's what they tell themselves. I love the friendship, full of bantering, that's between these too. It's fun and believable. Like this authors other books, this one is entertaining, steamy, and full of lovable characters. This series is a keeper.

Married to the Rockstar  was kindly provided to me by the author's publicist for review. The opinions are my own.

“You brought me a crappy crepe!” Bonus, she didn’t have to eat it with his scary mother.

His eyes glittered with…was that pride? That was totally pride.

She leaned in and brushed her lips at his cheek. Unfortunately, he turned his head as she moved. She didn’t want another nose collision, so she pivoted close and her mouth landed smack against his.

He jolted a little, didn’t move, but he didn’t move away either.

If they were a real couple, she’d reward him for bringing her a crappy crepe by giving him a serious kiss. The kind that wasn’t chaste or a quick peck.

What the hell. This was a show, right?

She parted her lips, moaned a little because it felt right, and deepened the kiss when he went right along with it.

She’d never really enjoyed kissing parts before on set or stage, they were just another thing to do. But this was different.

Another moan and that’s all she got to do before Knox took over. Oh boy, did he take over. There was tongue in all the right spots, hands skimming her jawline to places along her neck she did not know were erogenous. She groaned into his mouth, and it wasn’t the least bit for show. No, he coaxed that out of her with a substantial amount of skill.

And then…she attempted to sort out what that might mean.

Before she formed even the slightest cohesive thought, he pulled away. Hands clasped behind his head, he kicked back.

“Enjoy your crappy crepe, Noodle Cup.”

“You don’t want to give me a score?” she asked, cautiously.

“Say what you need to say. Think what you need to think.” He opened his eyes, stared straight into her soul. “But that second moan wasn’t fake, so I know it was a ten for us both.”

“How would you know what’s real and what isn’t? I’m a professional at convincing people to believe what I want them to believe.” She’d been through a crapload of workshops, classes, and school to learn her craft.

“Tell yourself whatever you need to tell yourself.” He winked. Then closed his eyes. “I know the truth.”

She didn’t really like that.

But what was it she didn’t like?

Did she not like that he was correct? Or was it that he called her out on it? That she wanted more of him and wished the kiss had been real?

Her mouth tasted like sawdust, and not the good Knox scent, either.

Knox sat there with his eyes closed.

She leaned over and brushed her mouth against his cheek. “Knox?”

“Hey.” He opened his eyes, meeting her gaze.

“I thought you might want a bite of my crappy crepe.” The cellophane wrapper crackled when she removed the red plastic spork with a great deal of flair.

“I’ll try anything once.” Knox moved back into her personal space and…actually…she should’ve let him snooze.

Because now she was all upside down again.

Using the edge of the spork, she tried to cut at the crepe. It wasn’t budging and the head of the utensil broke clean off. This was ridiculous.

“They really do make them crappy, don’t they?” Knox grinned a wicked grin.

Uh-huh. She picked up strawberry with her fingertips, tore off a piece of crepe, wrapped it together and held it to Knox’s mouth.

The look of surprise in his eyes was 100 percent worth the broken plasticware.

He parted his lips.

In for a penny, in for a pound. She slipped the bite inside and lingered for a moment in clear invitation for him to close around her fingers.

He didn’t disappoint, but he didn’t only close around her fingers. Oh no, that would’ve been too normal. If she’d learned anything, Knox never went with the expected.

He clasped her wrist as he licked residual Nutella from her skin. If he kept that up too much longer, she probably would end up arrested for indecent exposure and illicit sounds.

“Oh, look at that.” She pulled her wrist from his grip. “Can you believe it’s time to board?”

Close to time.

Same thing.

Have you read the first book in this series?

Check out my reviews of other books by this author!

Christina Hovland lives her own version of a fairy tale—an artisan chocolatier by day and romance writer by night. Born in Colorado, Christina received a degree in journalism from Colorado State University. Before opening her chocolate company, Christina’s career spanned from the television newsroom to managing an award-winning public relations firm. She’s a recovering overachiever and perfectionist with a love of cupcakes and dinner she doesn’t have to cook herself. A 2017 Golden Heart® finalist, she lives in Colorado with her first-boyfriend-turned-husband, four children, and the sweetest dog around.

To learn more about Christina Hovland and her books, visit her website.You can also find her on GoodreadsFacebookInstagram, and Twitter.

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Thursday, August 11, 2022

Book Review! The Darkest Vampire Juliana Haygert

The Darkest Vampire (Rite World: Vampire Wars #1) Juliana Haygert
Genre: New Adult Fiction (Paranormal Romance)
Date Published: October 8, 2021
Publisher: Self

Supernaturals around Portland are turning up dead. I’m next … if the vampire I just made a powerful bond with doesn’t kill me first.

Magic is in a short supply for a half-witch like me, which makes things very difficult when I’m bound by a blood promise to avenge my parents.

With no leads left to follow, I make a bargain with a demon for help. Bad decision. The quest the demon sends me on binds me to a vampire named Killian, a half-mad, half-naked monster who hates my guts almost as much as he longs to drink my blood.

Killian swore to kill all witches on sight, but we agree to work together to solve the murders ravaging the city. He despises me, and I can’t stand him… but there’s an unexpected connection between us, something I can’t help but be curious about.

No, I can’t let anything distract me. Not even a hot and enraging vampire who presses all of my freaking buttons. I’m determined to find my parents’ killers, and stop the chaos taking over the supernatural world.

If only love didn’t get in the way.

A delicious slow-burn enemies to lovers novel, The Darkest Vampire is a new adult urban fantasy that’s full of dark romance, adventure, and twists you won’t see coming. Fans of Linsey Hall, Leia Stone, and Jaymin Eve are going to become obsessed with this brand-new paranormal series by Juliana Haygert!

The Darkest Vampire is the first book in the Rite World: Vampire Wars series by Juliana Haygert. Lavinia is a half witch who's never had access to her powers, and there are supernaturals being killed left and right. Not a good time to be powerless. Killian is broody, but I like him. The romance is a slow burn. The attraction is there, but there is baggage that needs to be worked through. I'm on board for all of it.
One thing I found funny, was the references to how big cell phones were 20 years ago, and how most people didn't have them. Umm.. I don't know about that. I remember the ginormous cell phones of the 90's, but 20 years back from when this book was published would have been 2001. I'd had a cell phone for at least three years at that point, and it was significantly smaller than the giant ones referenced in this book. My friends and family all had phones too, and I live in po-dunk Tennessee. So, I think the timing on that was a little off, but it didn't bother the story in anyway. It just made me think back and giggle a little whenever I saw the references. It was the time of "Free nights and weekends!" When 8pm rolled around, it was on! Remember those days? haha! 
This was a fantastic start to a new series, and it takes place in the same world as The Rite of the Vampire Trilogy, so it's going to link up with some of the characters we got to know there, and I'm pretty darn excited about it.

The Darkest Vampire Juliana Haygert was kindly provided to me by the author for review. The opinions are my own.

Check out my reviews of other books by this author!

While USA Today Bestselling Author Juliana Haygert dreams of being Wonder Woman, Buffy, or a blood elf shadow priest, she settles for the less exciting—but equally gratifying—life of a wife, mother, and author. Thousands of miles away from her former home in Brazil, she now resides in North Carolina and spends her days writing about kick-ass heroines and the heroes who drive them crazy.

To learn more about Juliana Haygert and her books, visit her website.You can also find her on GoodreadsFacebookInstagramPinterest, TikTok, and Twitter.

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Monday, July 18, 2022

Book Review!! Beyond Gray Skies by Danielle Sibarium

Beyond Gray Skies by Danielle Sibarium
Genre: Adult Fiction (Contemporary Romance)
Date Published: June 27, 2022
Publisher: Self

Single mom Amber Collins plasters on a phony smile and goes through the motions. Heartbroken and destroyed after the tragic death of her husband, her time is spent catering to her thirteen year old son Logan, while doing her best to fake it through each and every day.

Flirtatious smiles and heated looks coming from Logan’s twenty-something year old volleyball coach melt the ice coating Amber’s frozen heart. Before she knows what’s happening, Mason Archer is her friend, confidant and lover. She doesn’t want to fall for Mason, but her heart didn’t get the memo.

Finding happiness she never thought possible, Amber insists on keeping their relationship secret. She’s afraid of the whispers and disapproving looks that are sure to come her way once the world sees her with a younger man. Most of all, she’s afraid of how her son will react to her new relationship.

How many shots at love does one person get? Having lost so much already, will Amber be able to live without the man who brought her back to life, or will she embrace this new taboo relationship?

Beyond Gray Skies is a sexy older woman and a younger man second chance romance full of love, heartache and hope.

Beyond Gray Skies by Danielle Sibarium is an age gap romance that brings out a lot of feels in its readers. Amber lost her husband a couple years ago, and the road has been tough for her and her son. Neither of them has coped or moved on. How can you really?! Then Mason, her son's coach, comes into the picture. He's sweet, she's cute, he's the perfect man... he's also quite a bit younger than she is. All these feelings he stirs up bring on a multitude of emotions in Amber: fear, excitement, guilt. .. Not to mention if word got out, the town would talk, and she worries how that will effect her son. I thought this was all pretty believable. I couldn't imagine being in her shoes. I would never want to be. But, these emotions and her reactions felt natural and realistic. This author is an expert at bringing out the gritty bits in life. She's done it in her other books, and she does it again in Beyond Gray Skies.

The ARC of Beyond Gray Skies by Danielle Sibarium was kindly provided to me by the author for review. The opinions are my own.

Check out my reviews some of Danielle Sibarium's other novels... 

Danielle Sibarium YA and NA author grew up in Brooklyn, New York. Throughout her childhood, she transported herself into a fantasy world full of magic and wonder. Books were the gateway between her play world and reality. On any given summer afternoon she became Snow White sweeping and cooking for the dwarfs, or Cinderella waiting for her prince.

In 2004 Danielle won Honorable Mention in the Southern Heat contest. In 2007 she collaborated with Charlotte Doreen Small to write songs for her CD More. Danielle wrote the lyrics for Take My Hand, and Goodbye, while Charlotte contributed the melody.

Danielle graduated from Fairleigh Dickinson University with honors, and currently resides in New Jersey with her husband and three children.

In October 2011 Danielle released her debut novel For Always. She has since released And Forever, the sequel to For Always, The Heart Waves Trilogy, To My Hero: A Blog of Our Journey Together, Into You, Regret Me Not, Man Up Party Boy, and Man Up PlayboyCheck out my interview with Danielle!

To learn more about Danielle Sibarium, visit her website. You can also find her on GoodreadsInstagramTwitterBookBub, & Facebook.

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Wednesday, June 15, 2022

Book Review! Between Ink and Shadows by Melissa Wright

Between Ink and Shadows (Between Ink and Shadows #1) by Melissa Wright
Genre: Young Adult Fiction (Fantasy Romance)
Narrator: Mary Jane Wells
Date Published: April 25, 2022
Publisher: Self

She’ll win back her freedom, even if she has to steal it.

Nimona Weston has a debt to pay. Her father’s dealings with the dark society known as the Trust cost Nim her freedom. There’s one way out of the contract on her life and that’s to bide her time and pay the tithes. But when the Trust assigns Nim to a task in the king’s own castle, her freedom is not the only thing she’ll risk.

Warrick Spenser has a secret. As king’s seneschal, he should be the last soul in Inara to risk association with dark magic, but long-hidden ties to the Trust are harder to shed than simply cutting the threads. When the Trust sends a thief to his rooms, Warrick thinks he’s finally found a way to be rid of them for good. But Nimona Weston is hiding secrets of her own.

Magical contracts, blood-debt accountants, and a deadly game. A dark and twisty fantasy that pits magic against kings.

Between Ink and Shadows is the first book in the Between Ink and Shadows series by Melissa Wright. This story was definitely interesting and unique. The first half was hard to get invested in, but I felt like things really got going in the second half. I loved the subtle attraction between Nim and Warrick. It was relationship that grew slowly, then bloomed quickly. You’ll see what I mean when you read it. The magic aspect was intriguing, and I don’t fully understand it yet. I would rate this a 3.5, but I’ll bump it to 4 since most scales don’t do halfsies. I feel like this series has a lot of promise. There are many directions it could go.

Between Ink and Shadows was kindly provided to me by Audiobookworm Tours for review. The opinions are my own.

Melissa is the author of more than a dozen YA and fantasy novels including The Frey Saga and BETWEEN INK AND SHADOWS. When not writing she can generally be found talking about a book, painting something from a book, or tucked between headphones listening to a book. It’s kind of a theme. She loves reasonable heroines in unreasonable situations, noble--if brooding--heroes, slow burn and sweet kisses, a lot of havoc, and a little magic.

To learn more about Melissa Wright and her books, visit her website. You can also find her on GoodreadsInstagramBookBubPinterest, and Twitter.

Mary Jane Wells is a British actress, writer, voice-over artist, and Earphones Award and Audie Award–winning narrator. A graduate of the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, she held a recurring role on the BBC’s Half Moon Investigates and narrated the BBC Three television show My Children, which won a Scottish BAFTA.

To learn more about Mary Jane Well, visit her website.

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