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Saturday, December 24, 2016

ARC Review: Dashing through the Snow by M. Leighton

Dashing through the Snow is a standalone novella from M. Leighton. This one is short and has some cute moments as well as some steamy ones. While I did enjoy parts of it though, it suffered from what I typically have a problem with in novellas, and that is that there just aren't enough pages to really do the story justice. This one felt rushed at times, and while the beginning was promising, the second half of this story fell apart for me. 

Dilyn Hart hates Christmas, so she is relieved when she gets an assignment for Christmas Eve. She needs to interview known player and champion snowboarder Dash Grainger. When they are caught in a snowstorm, they find themselves falling for one another despite all the reasons that they shouldn't. 

These two were cute together and they definitely had chemistry. Dash and Dilyn definitely were a case of insta-love here, and while that can work for me sometimes I will admit that it didn't entirely work for me with these two. It was really rushed and didn't feel as though it was entirely believable. Things got a bit crazy in the second half of the story like I mentioned before, and I felt like it was just kind of over the top and really lost me. While I liked the characters and M. Leighton's writing style, this one was just okay. If you are looking for a quick holiday story without a ton of substance, this one might be one worth checking out.

**ARC Provided by Author**

Purchase: | Amazon

A Historical Christmas Event with Sylvia McDaniel

Sylvia McDaniel is a best-selling, award-winning author of over thirty western historical romance and contemporary romance novels. Known for her sweet, funny, family-oriented romances, Sylvia is the author of The Burnett Brides a historical western series, The Cuvier Widows, a Louisiana historical series, Lipstick and Lead, a western historical series and several short contemporary romances.

Former President of the Dallas Area Romance Authors, a member of the Romance Writers of America®, and a member of Novelists Inc, her novel, A Hero’s Heart was a 1996 Golden Heart Finalist. Several other books have placed or won in the San Antonio Romance Authors Contest, LERA Contest, and she was a Golden Network Finalist.

Married for over twenty years to her best friend, they have two dachshunds and a good-looking, grown son who thinks there’s no place like home. She loves gardening, hiking, shopping, knitting and football (Cowboys and Bronco’s fan), but not necessarily in that order.

Friday, December 23, 2016

ARC Review: Hit Man by Michele Mannon

This book is the third installment in the Deadliest Lies series.  I haven't read any of the other books but each book is a standalone so you can start reading this series wherever you want. I read one other book in this series and I had some of the same issues with that book that I had with this one.  In general I feel like these books have a lot of potential that they don't completely live up to.  If you read the blurbs you get the impression that you're in for a real thrill ride but then there are pieces that don't fit and some of the characters could definitely be stronger.

In this installment Diego is attempting to locate someone on behalf of the mysterious organization featured in this series, TORC. Diego sort of loses sight of the mission when he meets Aubrey.  Aubrey is "pleasantly" naive and manages to somehow stumble into the very answers that Diego is looking for.  Aubrey is in Mexico City pursuing an opportunity that actually fell through but that she is trying to salvage for the sake of her career in architecture.  As a part of her effort to salvage her Mexico City excursion Aubrey becomes the teacher to some super bratty horrible child who almost gets bombed to pieces and then almost gets Aubrey hit by a car. Somehow, because the crazy bratty kid swipes her passport after almost get her killed, Aubrey winds up hooking up with some rich guy who might be able to help her and meets Diego.

Diego, despite being instantly smitten by Aubrey still has enough sense to realize that it isn't a coincidence that Aubrey appears to be connected to the mystery he is trying to solve even though she is blissfully unaware. Diego can't resist Aubrey. Not sure why that is.  Aubrey is a disaster who turns every part of Diego's mission into a cluster fu-k the minute she gets involved.  Beyond physical attraction, it made no sense to me that Diego wanted Audrey. I honestly lost count of how many times she almost got both of them killed. I think Aubrey is supposed to be quirky and cute but you know what? It's come across as really annoying and totally idiotic.  I wasn't entertained by Aubrey, I wanted to punch her.  And Diego, I mean he was ok but in a very cliche hero sort of way.  Plus, if you get a really unlikable heroine and the hero loves her, it makes the hero seem less loveable.  Like, what is he thinking?

I didn't love this one but I still feel like this series has potential and some people might be ok with Aubrey's quirks.

**ARC provided by Publisher**

Purchase: | Amazon | B&N | iTunes | Kobo |

A Historical Christmas Event with Amy Sandas

Amy writes historical romance about dashing, and sometimes dangerous, men who know just how to get what they want and women who at times may be reckless, bold, and unconventional, but who always have the courage to embrace all that life and love have to offer.

Amy grew up in a small dairy town in northern Wisconsin and after earning a Liberal Arts degree from the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities, she eventually made her way back to Wisconsin (though to a slightly larger town) and lives there with her husband, three children and a black lab. She spends her early mornings writing then heads to her "other" job, dreaming of the day she can write full-time. The rest of her time is spent trying to keep up with the kids and squeeze in some stolen moments with her husband.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

ARC Review: Did I Mention I Miss You? by Estelle Maskame

I felt like I had waited forever for Did I Mention I Miss You? by Estelle Maskame, so I was so excited to get my hands on it. This is the third installment in the trilogy, and it cannot be read as a standalone. If you haven't read the previous books, you will need to start there since this is the continuation of Tyler and Eden's story. Though I have really enjoyed this series from start to finish, this book left me with mixed feelings. 

A year after Tyler left Eden behind, she has done her best to move forward. Just as Eden thinks that she is finally over him, she heads home from college for the summer. But Tyler is also back home, and determined to get Eden back. But can Eden forgive him and take a chance, risking her heart once again?

Let me just say that despite any mixed feelings I have had over the course of this series, Tyler is by far worth the read. His development and character have been amazing to watch from start to finish, with him making so much progress. I have loved seeing him grow and mature, even when I wasn't happy with things that happened. It was so good to see these two take their relationship from a childish love and turn it into the kind of love that endures every obstacle thrown their way. They had chemistry and an undeniable connection that never dimmed, regardless of whether they were together or apart.

As much as I loved Tyler and this series though, this book wasn't my favorite. While I liked seeing them really come into their own and for once be on solid footing as they embraced each other and their relationship, this book was a bit lackluster. Not a lot happened, and I kept waiting for something that just never did. It just felt like sort of anti-climactic ending to this series that had the potential to be so much more. Though I was happy with the end result, it was a bit disappointing to think that I had waiting so long for not much to happen. I still enjoyed this series a lot, and Tyler is absolutely amazing. If you like YA romance stories with a lot of depth and development, this series is one you will definitely want to check out.

**ARC Provided by Publisher**

Purchase: | Amazon | Kindle | B&N | iTunes |

A Historical Christmas Event with Amanda Forester

Amanda Forester holds a PhD in psychology and for worked many years in academia before discovering that writing historical romance was decidedly more fun. A Publishers Weekly Top Ten author, her books have been given starred reviews from Booklist, Publishers Weekly, and Top Picks from RT Book Reviews. Whether in the rugged Highlands of medieval Scotland or the decadent ballrooms of Regency England, her novels offer fast-paced adventures filled with wit, intrigue, and romance. You can visit her at

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Wednesday, December 21, 2016

ARC Review: Absolute Trust by Piper J. Drake

Absolute Trust is the third book in the True Heroes series by Piper J. Drake. This is my first book by this author, so I really didn't know what to expect going in. While it is technically a standalone novel and I enjoyed it, I think that it would have been better had I read these in order as there were some things that were referenced from previous books. I had some issues with the story itself as well, and those kept me from being able to fully enjoy this story. 

After several tours of duty, Forte returns home with one goal on his open up a facility for service dogs. Unfortunately for him though, being home means being around Sophie, the one girl he wants that is off limits to him. Sophie has tried to pick up the pieces and move on since Forte left town without a goodbye, but now that he is back she can't help but remember her feelings for him and all that they could have had together. But when Forte's enemies begin to target Sophie, they both find that they have no choice but to deal with one another and the sparks between them. 

I liked both Forte and Sophie, but honestly I struggled a bit with their relationship. Things seemed to be pretty slow moving and I found my interest waning. I felt their chemistry and the fact that they still had feelings for one another despite everything, but I didn't really ever see that connection. By the time anything really felt like it was happening to me, the story was almost over and so was my interest. 

My other problem here besides the slow moving story was that the ending was the opposite, and it felt like everything happened so quickly and was thrown together. It didn't feel as though the story should have been over and things resolved the way they were, it was unsatisfying and left me on a bit of a sour note. While I think I could have really liked this one, unfortunately it was just okay. While I think that there are readers that will enjoy Absolute Trust and should give this one a shot, sadly it wasn't one that worked for me.

**ARC Provided by Publisher**

Purchase: | Amazon | Kindle | B&N | iTunes |

ARC Review: For Maggie's Sake by Lora Leigh

Look, I'm going to be honest with you, I give almost any Lora Leigh book 5 stars for erotic content.  The stories are usually more on the 2-3 star side but when I roll it all together, I come out with 4 stars.  This book I thought was particularly deserving of the higher rating because I really enjoyed the mystery/suspense aspect that was interwoven into the plot.

Joe is a DEA Agent, Maggie is his ex-lover who married his best friend and partner.  When the book opens, Joe is watching Maggie be interrogated.  Maggie has been implicated is some drug cartel thing. Here's the kicker, she was implicated by her husband, Joe's former partner/best friend and dead scum bag.  Joe wants to believe that the woman he used to be close to and still can't get out of his system would never do the things she is accused of doing but the bottom line is that Joe doesn't really trust anyone. And that also kind of explains why Joe and Maggies relationship didn't work out on the first go round.  

Maggie is in danger because whether or not she was involved in the drug business, everybody thinks she was and everybody thinks she knows where her dead husband hid something (drugs or money or something, I can't recall at the moment).  Joe, being the upstanding DEA agent he is, volunteers to take Maggie into kind of a bootleg witness protection program where he is going to protect her.  Now at first, I was like ok, Maggs is kinda a slut bag for marrying her exes best friend.  We find out pretty quickly that is totally not what it seems.  Joe's former friend basically tricked Maggie into marrying him.  From that point on, the marriage was not real and Maggie had been miserable.

As for Joe, he's kind of a jerk to Maggie. He vacillates as to whether to believe she is innocent and when he is not doing that he is making inappropriate comments and trying to get her in bed.  Apparently Joe's investigative strategy was to use his intimate knowledge of Maggie to get her to "open up to him" literally and figuratively.  Joe believes that Maggie knows something about her ex husband even if she is not consciously aware of knowing it. Right from the beginning, the chemistry between these two is sizziling hot.  Maggie tries to deny her feelings because the way things ended between her and Joe was not cool but it's difficult to really deny what is obvious.  I wanted these two together and I enjoyed the super fast pace of this pretty short book.  I just felt like Maggie was a little weak and Joe was a little pushy.  I still think this book is highly entertaining, sexy and a fun read. This is something that should add a little spice to your holiday season.

**ARC provided by Publisher**

Purchase: | Amazon | B&N | iTunes |

A Historical Christmas Event with Anne Gracie

Anne Gracie started her first novel writing by hand in notebooks while backpacking solo around the world. Hooked on Georgette Heyer from the age of eleven, Regency-era historical romances were a natural choice. Now a best-selling, multi award-winning author, Anne has written more than twenty books, which have been translated into more than eighteen languages.

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Tuesday, December 20, 2016

ARC Review: Dark Surrender by Rachel Van Dyken

Dark surrender is the third book in The Dark Ones Saga by Rachel Van Dyken. Even though each book features a different couple, I wouldn't recommend reading these as standalones. This world is complex and the overall story builds with each new book, making it hard to follow some things if you haven't read the previous books. That being said, I really love this world that Rachel Van Dyken has created and I think each of these books is definitely worth the read. 

Alex is a male siren and although he is irresistible, he has never been loved. In order to save his friend from a forced mate, Alex instead takes his place. He doesn't like the idea of his chosen mate being a weak human though, that is until he meets his intended Hope. He soon finds that she tests him at every turn, and she just might be what he has been waiting for all along. 

I have to admit that while I liked Alex in previous books, I struggled a bit with him here. There were times that I did not like him or the things that he said or did and that was hard for me to reconcile with the character we had previously seen. I did like Hope though, and she sort of stole the show here. These two had a ton of chemistry and were hot, but if I am honest I missed a bit of their connection. Things felt surface deep and I wanted more. 

I think part of the reason that I felt like the connection wasn't fully there between these two was because this story felt extremely rushed and as though things were missing at times. There was a ton going on, so I felt like the relationship between Alex and Hope got a little lost in everything else. Though we saw their chemistry, things seemed to change from them not wanting each other to wanting each other with the flip of a switch. I wanted to see more of them and their progress and it was a bit more tell than show. We were told about their feelings, but we didn't really see them develop how I would have liked and were told that it was happening. I still really love this world and the characters despite the criticisms I had with this book, but I just felt like this one didn't quite get there for me. The pacing was off and it was a bit all over the place. Even though Dark Surrender wasn't my favorite of the series, I still recommend checking this series out, especially if you like paranormal romance or are a fan of Rachel's Eagle Elite series since this series has a very similar feel to it.

**ARC Provided by TRSOR Promotions**

Purchase: | Amazon | B&N | iTunes |

ARC Review: Completely Yours by Erin Nicholas

I rounded up with this rating, I think honestly I would give it a 3.5. I alternated between liking this and not liking it. The hero really is a hero he is an EMT who puts everyone else’s needs above his own and always pushes his loved ones to do the right thing make the right choice which puts an enormous amount of pressure on his family. They recently lost their oldest daughter to a car accident and it start wearing on the family. Zach, our hero EMT, feels that it’s his responsibility to fix the family. Kiera, our geeky cosplay gamer, was happy in her safe little bubble keeping everyone on the outside even her best friends she kept at arms distance. That is until a basketball playing EMT plays the knight in shining armor and shows her she can be happy outside her bubble. It was a nice and easy read I read it in no time it was funny it had some great humor, and Zach could be sweet. I loved the buildup of sexual tension between them and when it finally happened it was pretty hot. 

My issues with the book are one Zach was a little closeminded and highhanded but by the end he totally makes up for it; and two Kiera is a video gamer who only plays one game and it’s one she helped create but my main issue, and my problem really has nothing to do with the plot or the characters, it’s just that I’m tired of video gamers in books always playing MMOs (as a gamer I hate MMOs). I’m tired of all gamers playing one type of game and geeks watching all the stereotypical shows and fandoms; and I liked Keira a lot less when she scoffed at Star Trek. One thing confused me her MMORPG is an online video game much like WOW (World of Warcraft), but at one part she called a Live-Action Role Play game???? LARP is something completely different. The romance felt wrong at first, for the longest time it felt like Zach was only attracted to Kiera because she was beautiful and vice versa. The dynamic did change and a deeper connection did become apparent the more time they spent together.

Disaster struck the roof of the convention center collapsed during the annual comic con. Zach being an EMT is running around helping where he can. Kiera is in full costume of her Leokin character her best friends are being rushed to the hospital and she’s stuck at the convention center with no ride. Zach being insanely attracted to Kiera and completely clueless asks her to follow him around and interpret geek. Going above and beyond all because his attraction he brings her home with him so he can keep an eye on her to make sure there are no complications due to her concussion. Zach’s little sister is staying with him and, he thinks it to help her, she is deep into the Leokin world and since Kiera is into it also they bond. Zach hates Leokin he thinks it has ruined his sister, Zach asks Kiera to fake a relationship with him because he believes that Kiera can bring her out of her shell and back into the “real world”.  It was supposed to be a no strings attached fling with an expiration date. But soon they realize that they are what they need for each other. I liked the pancake metaphor.

Overall, it was a fun read mainly fluff with some angst. I wholeheartedly agree with Kiera I prefer my bubble. I did like the book but I have read better geek girl/opposites attract books.  

**ARC provided by Publisher**

Purchase: | Amazon | Kindle | B&N | iTunes |

A Historical Christmas Event with Lily Maxton

Lily Maxton grew up in the Midwest, reading, writing, and daydreaming amidst cornfields. After graduating with a degree in English, she decided to put her natural inclinations to good use and embark on a career as a writer.

Lily is currently mixing her love of history and all things romantic by writing historical romance for Entangled Publishing. Her newest series will kick off in March 2017 with Enchanting the Earl.