Take It To The Grave (Part I)

 

 

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I received this ARC from Harlequin and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Sarah has the perfect life.  Perfect husband.  Adorable baby.  House in the Hamptons.  A life she doesn’t think she deserves, a real upgrade.

Her sister Maisy is a nurse abroad, moving from developing country to developing country and never putting down roots.

The two haven’t spoken in years, but they both continue to think back to a singular event.

The unifying feature in this first part of a serial is that neither of them trust anyone and they both appear to have a great deal to hide.

I know your secret Sarah.

I’m going to tell.

This was a quick 20 minute read but as far as I can tell, the other chapters will be interesting.  Consider my interest piqued.

4 stars.

Publication Date: June 1, 2017

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One Taste of Angel-Release Date!

Once again, I’m honored to participate in a Book Blitz for a St. Martin’s Press release.  Expect a review in the next day or two, but until then check this out!

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Their love was the stuff of Shakespeare – two star-crossed lovers from rival MC’s

divided by their families’ bloody history, but fate has given Eagle and Serafina a

second chance. Can the biker and the stripper find their redemption in Violetta

Rand’s sexy standalone romance, One Taste of Angel?

Eagle 

I’ve bled for my club. Taken four bullets. Buried eight brothers in six years. Screwed

a hundred women. And only loved one. The one I lost. But there’s something about

Serafina that reminds me of just exactly what was taken from me. Not just because I

can’t resist a damsel in distress.

Serafina

To Eagle, I’m dead. Murdered and cremated, my ashes interred at the local cemetery.

Part of a past I left long ago to save his life. Seeing him now, touching him again

makes me weak, even if he doesn’t recognize the woman I’ve become. Since my

escape from Holly Beach five years ago, I’ve lived by my own rules. And no matter

how much I love Eagle, he’s not going to break those rules.

“Riveting, gritty cast of characters! I was captivated by this intimate glimpse into the

volatile MC world. Violetta Rand’s ability to portray the essence of true love is

enjoyable. Great read!”

-USA Today Bestselling Author D.L. Roan

 

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Buy It Here!

The Watcher

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I received this ARC from St Martin’s Press in exchange for an honest review.

Yet another breezy Bella Jewel read for a lazy weekend.  I feel so fortunate to be getting such a steady supply of her books lately, they are fast-paced thrillers!

Marlie has had more than her share of tragedy and horror.  Seven years ago she was kidnapped and tortured at the hands of “The Watcher”.  Now she lives in a cabin in the woods and works a dead-end waitress job rather than deal with the fame being the only survivor of a serial killer brought her.  Things are perfect but she has a life and it’s her own, until her sister, Kaity, goes missing too.

All because I was being a good person.  Life is a bitch like that.

This can’t be happening.  Twice to one family?  When the police show little concern or interest in the case, Marlie hires crack private eye, Kenai and sets off on a road trip to bring her sister home.

This wouldn’t be a Bella Jewel story without some sweet, dramatic romance to round the story out nicely.  Ms. Jewel has delivered once again!

4 stars.

Expected Publication: May 30, 2017

Buy It Here

White Fur

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I received this ARC courtesy of Crown Publishing and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

1980s.  Mixed-Race girl from the wrong side of the tracks meets wealthy boy born into a family as close to royalty as one can be in America.  Elise is loud, uneducated and floating along.  Jamey is privileged, observant and has had his entire future planned since before he was born.

When these two young lovers come together, the world around them won’t stand for it.  This is a Romeo and Juliet tale with a twist.

It’s gigantic, swollen, pounding on a molecular level like a billion hearts, the way a space does when the people in it realize their power.

This is not the type of story I typically wouldn’t be able to resist on the shelves of a book shop, or browsing Amazon.  I admit that I’m not the target demographic this book was intended for.  I found the writing to be quite good, Libaire has a way with words that would occasionally thrust me directly into the story.

Love, he thinks, is accidental, fleeting–he can’t possibly deserve it.

I found the polarity of Elise, seeking a home she hasn’t ever found and Jamey, who doesn’t know what love means to be interesting.  Something visceral is bringing them together but in stories like these, the center never holds.

He’s never had to be moral.  He falls into one of those crevices: a certain kid in a certain society in a certain generation where no decisions remain because his ancestors have finished every single thing within reach.

The build up was slow, glacially slow.  The end was an explosion that never came.  I knew from about halfway in that the ending wouldn’t be satisfying, but I kept reading.  There was something promising in the plot but the execution left much to be desired.

2 stars.

Expected Publication: May 30, 2017

The Chiron Confession

 

IMG_8679I received this ARC from Netgalley and Atlantis Ink in exchange for an honest review.

In the aftermath of Jesus’ execution a sect called Dominium Dei (Rule of God) has arisen to fill in the void left behind in the first church.  Lead by the mysterious Chiron, the order is dedicated to establishing Christianity as the state religion of the Roman Empire.  The problem is, Rome already has a religion, Cesar.  He has declared himself Lord and God of the empire and there is no room for any other gods.

Athanasius is a playwright, known to be an atheist, who pushes the envelope of what is acceptable in society.  He somehow finds himself accused of being Chiron and is launched smack dab into the middle of one of the greatest conspiracies of his age.

I’m innocent.  I’m not that villain Chiron.  I’ve never killed a man, or torched a public building, or committed any crime of any kind!

I found our unwitting protagonist to be well-written and his internal dialogue one of the best parts of the novel.  Who is trying to kill him? Cesar? Dei? Is there a difference?

No wonder old John’s Book of Revelation had Jesus standing outside the Church, knocking on its door.  The Church was probably the last place on earth anybody would find Him.

This was a fast-paced, page turner that I finished in about a day.  I enjoyed it and look forward to reading the other two books in the trilogy.

Four Stars.

Buy It Here

Expected Publication: May 16, 2017

The Magnificent Flying Baron Estate

The-Magnificent-Flying-Baron-Estate-Cover.jpgI received this ARC from Netgalley and Amberjack Publishing in exchange for an honest review.

This is a middle-grade book intended for kids 9-12, but when I saw the cute cover and description I couldn’t resist.  This is an old western meets a bedtime story.  1891,  Waldo ‘W.B.’ Baron is living with his cooky mad-scientists parents in the Arizona territory.  He’s more interested in reading western gunslinger novels than science but when his parents turn their house into a flying ship for a contest, his life changes a bit!

But on that very morning, when I looked out my bedroom window, I did not see the quiet desert or the hills that lead to Pitchfork.  In fact, I saw nothing but blue.  Blue and more blue, surrounding a lot of bluish blue with bluey blueness…the Baron Estate was floating in the sky like a hot air balloon.

With his weird Aunt Dorca, a friend named Shorty and a strange woman on a bicycle the plot goes from strange to stranger!  This is a story about adventure, family and acceptance.  Although I don’t think the writing was much to write home about, the plot was quirky and I could see the appeal to the demographic.

And, well… I wanted you to know that just because your family doesn’t understand and appreciate you, that doesn’t mean that nobody will ever understand and appreciate you. You might not have found where you belong yet, but that doesn’t mean that you don’t belong somewhere.

I would definitely buy this for my seven year old niece, it would be a whimsical read-along story, for sure.  The corny jokes and the strange plot holes wouldn’t bother her a bit.

Sometimes life is even better than a strange dream.

Three stars.

Expected Publication Date: May 16, 2017

The Ship

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I received this ARC from Orbit Books and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

There was life, and there was death, and the fragile divide between them, held in the hands of a stranger.

Lalla Paul is a sixteen year old girl who has only ever known known a society slowly circling the drain, ready for its swan song.  London’s ever-changing government requires constant re-registrations to maintain citizenship and without that, you are not even counted as human.  Lalla has been sheltered from all of that, kept safe behind security codes, under the watchful eye of her mom.  Her father has a solution, a ship.  On this ship her family and 500 strangers will set sail and leave the broken world behind.  Here-finally safe- for the first time, Lalla can’t seem to stop her mental tally of things that don’t make sense.  It’s all attributed to her being spoiled.

I had never felt loss, or hunger, or genuine fear either.  My parents protected me so well from what the world had become that I had no means to navigate it.

The ship is heaven to those around her but Lalla can’t turn her mind off.  There were times when I found Lalla’s narration to be plain annoying.  However, when I kept in mind that she was a sixteen year old girl spared the horrors of her world it became easier to understand her.  In any society there are those who fall in line and there are those who question everything.  We need both if we are to truly be free.  Honeywell did something interesting here and as I read the final page I knew I’d be chewing on this one for a few days.  If you could leave your fears behind and set sail, would you?

…there is no such thing as certainty, and in creating it, we lose the very thing that keeps us alive.

5 Stars.

Expected Publication: April 25, 2017