Stealing Justice by Misty Evans and Adrienne Giordano

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Justice “Grey’ Greystone is a former FBI agent who is now a security consultant who is on the trail of a serial killer he named “the Lion”. The Lion is in the upper echelons of a foreign government who kills high class escort girls and is good at covering up his trail. Grey lost his job due to his obsession with this killer and will not stop until he catches him and puts him away for good.

Sydney runs a woman’s shelter providing new identities for abused women and their children to get away and start new lives. She is young but fights for the women under her protection. She doesn’t trust men and has a secret that she is hiding.

Grey spies on Sydney with the hopes of recruiting her to help him catch The Lion, using her loyalty of helping women in trouble and her near hatred of men. Grey discovers a mole in her shelter who is providing vulnerable women as high end escorts who eventually get killed by the Lion. Together they combine their skills to finally put this killer down for good.

I gave this book three stars for a few reasons. One is that Grey had a partner who he protected and went into hiding, nobody knowing where he was… this partner eventually surfaces but in such a way that is confusing. The other is that within 40 pages into the book, Grey falls for Sydney…. after their first meeting. A bit to fast and no leading into it, and she falls for him not long after. The love scenes were pretty steamy though. The story itself is a good one and kept me reading. The things that bothered me didn’t prevent me from finishing the book.

This is the first in a series and wraps up at the end so I think it can be read as a stand alone book.

ARC provided by the author in exchange for a fair and honest review

3/5 stars

Crash

 

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I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou

10155216_10101700702994575_5550919188911807228_nA free bird leaps
on the back of the wind
and floats downstream
till the current ends
and dips his wing
in the orange sun rays
and dares to claim the sky.
But a bird that stalks
down his narrow cage
can seldom see through
his bars of rage
his wings are clipped and
his feet are tied
so he opens his throat to sing.
The caged bird sings
with a fearful trill
of things unknown
but longed for still
and his tune is heard
on the distant hill
for the caged bird
sings of freedom.
The free bird thinks of another breeze
and the trade winds soft through the sighing trees
and the fat worms waiting on a dawn bright lawn
and he names the sky his own
But a caged bird stands on the grave of dreams
his shadow shouts on a nightmare scream
his wings are clipped and his feet are tied
so he opens his throat to sing.
The caged bird sings
with a fearful trill
of things unknown
but longed for still
and his tune is heard
on the distant hill
for the caged bird
sings of freedom.

Book Review: Love Show by Audrey Bell

20644478 I buy books on various recommendations – friends, blogs, people I follow on twitter, some authors I really like and of course reviews that I read. I buy them, file them into various folders on my kindle (but let’s be serious here at least 85-90% of my purchases go into my romance folder, where they rightfully belong!) and then I get them out to read as I have time or think of them. The downfall of my oh so scientific method is that I’m usually not sure who recommended a certain book to me or even why I bought a certain book. Normally that is not an issue unless I have a strong reaction to a book and then I either want to say a huge thank you or slap the recommender, either one.

That was the situation with this book. When I was finished with it I needed to say a huge thank you to whoever recommended this book to me! I loved it so much!

Hadley Arrington is the career-driven Editor-in-Chief of her university’s prestigious newspaper. Hadley is in her Senior year and trying to get her dream job as a combat reporter with the New York Times but when her roommate David convinces her to do something out of ordinary it changes her life for good. Jack Diamond is a laid back student whose good looks have made things even easier than they need to be. Hadley kisses Jack in the rain on a dare from David and from there the sparks are heavy enough that they decide to embark on a friends with benefits relationship which is totally new for Hadley.

I liked so much about this book, it dealt with so much of what college students deal with all the time – Hadley and Jack are dealing with two sides of the “What do I want to do with my life” question. I loved seeing the two opposites and seeing them in a relationship together. Hadley was so sure of herself and of what she wanted for her career and that never wavered. While on the flip side Jack embraced his unknown future.

I also really loved Hadley’s character in general. She is an intelligent woman, in control of her life. There wasn’t any hysterics or huge misunderstandings which led to big plot twists. She was a really great friend and roommate to David and spoke her mind but without coming off as overly dramatic. Basically she felt very real to me, as if I know a Hadley in real life.

The secondary character and storyline of David is fantastic. He’s gay and his evolution throughout the book really moved me. I thought that his character added a lot to this book

Overall this is a very intelligently done book and one I would recommend to anyone. I recently read Special Interests by Emma Barry and this was another very intelligent romance as well. Julie James’s books with her lawyer characters and sometimes courtroom settings is another one that comes to mind of other smart love stories.

5 Stars

~Melinda

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Book Review: Only Love by Garrett Leigh

10155216_10101700702994575_5550919188911807228_nOkay, so I think I was just in a bad mood or dealing with long weeks, but I wasn’t 100% in love with this book like so many other. I kept comparing it to a Nicholas Sparks story and was expecting one of the main characters to drop dead at any minute. Plus, the main characters had so many issues, like seriously, issues…both mentally and physically.

First there is Jed. So Jed has a chronic stomach condition, he can’t really keep food down. Because of his illness, his time is the army is cut short. During his time in Iraq however, he lost several comrades, including his best friend who died in his arms, and suffered a leg injury. Oh, and he has PTSD. Of course he does. He probably also suffers from dandruff and restless leg syndrome.

Jed returns home, a place he hasn’t been back to for fourteen years. He stays with his estranged brother, Nick, and his family, which consists of his wife, Kim, and two girls. But guess what, Nick has issues too…alcoholism. Awesome. Well, Jed ends up moving out to a cabin to stay with Kim’s brother, Max.

Awe, Max. Max is great, sweet, caring, and an all-around great guy. But you guessed it, Max has epilepsy. Of course he does. But the real reason we love Max, is because of his service dog, Flo. Flo was by far my favorite character in the book. The dog was intuitive, smart, caring, sweet…I could have done with a whole book about Flo. Or if the book was told by Flo’s point of view.

Now that Max and Jed are independent, together?, their relationship slowly…slowly…grows. And it grows in a very predictable way. I’m Jed, I’m a tough guy who protects people and don’t want anyone taking care of me. I’m Max, I like to take care of people but don’t need protecting. Let’s fall in love with each other! Okay! Pretty soon, they realize their need for each other and the little things they do for each other builds, then we have our happy little gay love story.

Like I said earlier, I think I was just in a bad mood. So many people liked this book, but I just didn’t buy into it. I just kept wondering how all these dysfunctional people ended up in the same place. Poor Flo, was like the only normal…person? Maybe I shouldn’t have read so many good romance novels right away, now I have super high standards. Anyways, it’s a good book if you like Sparks but don’t want all the death. I am giving it 3 stars, because my foul mood prevented me from being bias, especially towards damaged war heroes looking for love amoungst the seizures. I’m not a nice person.

He said exactly what he thought or nothing at all.

3/5 stars

~Eddie

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The Saint by Tiffany Reisz

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This is the first book of the White years. It goes back to the beginning when Nora was just Elle, 15 years old and a rebel. Her mother is extremely religious and Elle wants nothing to do with the Catholic Church until she is dragged there one Sunday by her mother and her life changes Forever.

It begins with her meeting Soren for the first time. It goes over some of the bits of their history that we know from previous books; there is now meat on the bones of the past. There are things here, which we know and quite a bit we don’t. We see how she first meets Kingsly, how sassy and bold Nora is in the face of what King throws at her. We see her vulnerable and hurt at what her father does to her, we see her get stronger and grow into the woman we know later on in the first set of books. We finally get the full steamy night she and Soren spend together.

I have to say that I was on the fence about this book until the last 5%. While it was good to get more of her life story when she was young and how she came into the Underground, I did find it a bit tedious as we already knew quite a bit of her back-story. I wanted the book to move on and get to the steamy sexy bits between Nora and Soren that we have all come to love. I realise that this book isn’t about that. This book is about the build, the anticipation. The instant gratification isn’t there but when the climax comes it is well worth the wait! This book is much tamer than her previous books but that seems intentional for the story being told. At the very start we know that Nora is grieving from a deep loss, we don’t know for whom or what happened and that bothered me…. Well scared me a bit as well. As the book drew to a close I was bursting to find out what was going on and when I did I was in tears.  That last 5% changed my review from 3 star to a 4

 

ARC provided by Netgally

4/5 stars

Crash

 

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Book Review: We Were Liars

16143347 I’m not sure if you’ve heard of this book yet, but I heard of the title quite a few months ago. But pretty much all I heard about it was that there was a ton of secrecy around the book. I requested it and got approved and the first thing in the book is a letter to the reader about how the secret in the book should stay secret and not be ruined for other readers. Of course I was intrigued and needed to know more.

But I don’t want to reveal anything to you because of the whole secrecy thing. It is kind of important to not know anything going into the reading of this book. So I’ll just try to vague-ish. First of all the narrator is unreliable, which is pretty apparent from the title..We Were Liars- and that includes the narrator. She reveals very early on that she has some sort of amnesia and spends most of the book trying to get people to tell her what happened to her before she lost her memory. I’m not a fan of unreliable narrators because I feel like most of my time reading is spent second guessing what I just read and thinking wait, what? This was definitely the case here.

The big reveal that came at the end of the book was not that surprising to me as I picked up on it about halfway to three quarters of the way through the book. But there was a twist within that reveal that did surprise me so there is that. I’ve heard rumblings of sobbing at the ending from other readers or reviewers but I don’t know if I’m devoid of emotion or what, it just didn’t do it for me.

What really didn’t do it for me was the writing style. It was choppy and stilted in many places. I think I just couldn’t get past that enough to get into the story and immerse myself into the mystery. For example:

His nose was dramatic, his mouth sweet. Skin deep brown, hair black and waving. Body wired with energy. Gat seemed spring-loaded. Like he was searching for something. He was contemplation and enthusiasm. Ambition and strong coffee. I could have looked at him forever.

Those short, choppy sentences populate the book and that distracted me from the actual plot.

Overall, this book was okay. The secret was interesting enough but I wish the writing itself had worked better for me!

ARC provided by publisher via Netgalley in return for an honest review.

3 Stars

~Melinda

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Blog Tour: If I Stay by Tamara Morgan plus a giveaway

MorganTour Tamara Morgan’s fun, contemporary romance If I Stay is out this week and we’re hosting the blog tour leg today. At the bottom of the post will be a link to a rafflecopter giveaway so make sure to enter that!

Summary

Ryan Lucas would rather be anywhere but Ransom Creek, Connecticut. After losing his high-adrenaline career as a Hollywood stunt driver, he’s had to tuck his tail between his legs and take up employment as a chauffeur for the Montgomerys, a wealthy hotelier family.

Amy Sanders has returned home to Ransom Creek to take over her mother’s former position as nanny to the Montgomerys—bringing her close to dashing Jake Montgomery once again. She grew up with a major crush on Jake, and it’s not easy to leave those feelings behind, even though her friendship with the hard-edged family chauffeur, Ryan, has a sizzling undercurrent of undeniable attraction.

Amy’s determined to prove to Ryan that life at Montgomery Manor isn’t all bad, but each time they draw closer Jake swoops in. Amy is torn between two men—and two worlds. And Ryan is rapidly coming to learn that if he wants to make Amy his, he’ll have to prove to her that life downstairs can be everything they both want.

This is a pretty light-hearted romance which I always appreciate. There is a very obvious love triangle set up here that is very quickly dismantled which both surprised me and made me very happy as I’m not a big fan of them because they’re used so much. I really liked the use of this triangle here because it was for a very good reason – it brought Amy and Ryan closer together and brought about the mystery of the book.

I also really love that there is more than just a romance in this book – there’s the romance, comedy, and a bit of a mystery too. All of that together creates a fun atmosphere to the entire thing. There is both minor and major conflicts with the characters and I really enjoyed the secondary characters too. I can’t wait to read their books as well.

Tamara Morgan’s Getting Physical series is great and really hilarious – below is a giveaway for a chance to win those books!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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