Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Skin Deep (Station Seventeen #1) by Kimberly Kincaid

Goodreads Review
Where there’s smoke…

For firefighter Kellan Walker, checking his emotions at the door doesn’t just keep him on the level. It keeps him alive. A gut-wrenching find at the scene of a blaze threatens to blow his ironclad composure, but when the detective assigned to the case is the same woman who put his sister’s life at risk three months ago, all bets for Kellan being calm, cool, or collected are definitely off.

There’s bound to be fire…

Keeping people safe is Isabella Moreno’s number one priority, no matter how tough the case. Working without solid leads and with the gorgeous, broody firefighter who believes she’s responsible for endangering his sister on a previous case isn’t ideal. But someone is hurting women in the here-and-now. Isabella will do whatever it takes to find justice.

As Kellan and Isabella reluctantly team up to catch a criminal, they realize they have more in common than they’d ever imagined. With every move, the stakes grow higher and the passion sizzles hotter, but can they race against the clock and the odds to catch a killer? Or will they lose their hearts—and their lives?

This is first book in the series by Ms. Kincaid and it starts with a bang. It’s been a long time since I read a book with a fire fighter and it was about time that I got round to reading one again. It’s just I’m picky. 

Kellan Walker a firefighter in Remington with Station Seventeen with the RFD. A former army ranger more specifically a sniper He's been compartmentalizing things since his tours overseas. His emotions start to go a haywire when a certain RPD cop is around. Kellan can hold a mean grudge against said cop. 

Isabella Moreno is a tough as nails cop. She is totally bad arse and a strong female MC. For months Isabella has had to put up with Kellan’s grudge which isn’t justifiable. What happened to Kylie Kellan’s sister isn’t her fault. For the last couple of months they have managed to avoid one another until a disturbing case brings them together.  

After putting a fire out, Kellan stumbles across some photos that point to a prostitution ring and they handed over to the thirty third precinct where Moreno works. Their first meeting is chilly, very chilly that is until Moreno comes around and asks for another walk through, through the burnt down house. 

Kellan doesn’t want to help her at first but then caves.

Although they have a rocky start that doesn’t dampen the chemistry that they have together and what I love is that they didn’t act on it straight away. After the elephant in the room that was between them was taken care of did they start a relationship. A physical one to begin with but emotions soon got involved. I love them together they have some similarities between them but also enough differences to make what they have. The sex was sizzling, strong attraction and well I want meself a firefighter.  

The story plot progresses naturally and all the loose ends are tied up. Although overall fast paced it did drag in some places that is why I could only give it 4 stars.  

But there is also superb character development. Isabella goes from being closed off to trusting specific people in her life. After she lost her cousin to a tragic event she has been living on the outskirts so that no one can get close to her.  

Kellan has to deal with the emotions he isn’t sticking to anymore and well we see how he has a tough time but he openly accepts his feelings for Isabella.  

I loved the gender reversal where Isabella saves the day. 

The writing style is completely different to the book I read before that the transition was pretty easy though. Engaging, captivating and worth a read.

We all have auto buy authors. Over the last year or so, two of my auto buys have been dropped due to cookie cutter romances and well repetitive stories/plots and characters.

Getting to the actual point here is that Ms. Kincaid seems to suit me for an auto buy. I will most certainly be checking out her other books in the future. Just still have a lot of books to read beforehand.



Sunday, August 28, 2016

Deja Who (Insighter #1) by MaryJanice Davidson

Goodreads Review

From the author of the New York Times bestselling Undead novels comes a delightfully addictive new series about past lives and bad habits—and one woman paranormally predisposed to getting at the bottom of both. It’s her job.
You couldn’t arrest someone for killing in a past life. You couldn’t bring a civil suit against them, either. They could only be legally penalized for what they did this time around—and what a dark circus the legal system had been before that legislation passed! (It was still a dark circus, but perhaps not as dark.)  But you could spot them, and watch them. You could set traps for them.
Leah Nazir is an Insighter. Reincarnation is her business. But while her clients’ pasts are a mess, Leah’s is nothing short of tragedy. She’s been murdered. A lot. If left to that bitch, destiny, it’ll happen again. Leah wants to know who’s been following her through time, and who’s been stalking her in the present...

P.I. Archer Drake has been hired by Leah’s mother to keep an eye on her. But the more time he spends watching, the more he finds himself infatuated. Before long, he even finds himself agreeing to help find the person who wants her dead. Over and over again.

Now going full-on “rewind,” Leah hopes it can stave off the inevitable. After all, she’s grown fond of this life—and even fonder of nerdy Archer. But changing her pattern means finding out who her killer is today. And as Leah fears, that could be anyone she has come to know and trust. Anyone.

Deja Who. Got. Me. Out. Of. My. Downward. Book. Funk. Spiral.
After the author’s foreword about the book you just want to continue reading well that was the case with me. This is what I understand when it comes to artistic license.

Leah Namir is an Insighter, and she is a really good one.  Recognising people’s past lives who they are and what they did and how it impacts their current lives or sometimes it can be used as an excuse.
Sounds like a bad joke but it isn’t…..
So! A pirate, a serial killer, and the worst bigot the Supreme Court had ever seen. And Leah was trapped in a room with all of them. All right, “trapped” was inaccurate, since she had obtained patient consent, drugged #6116, and called all her shadows forward. Wednesdays!
Just another day in paradise for Leah.  Being an Insighter would actually get them burnt at the stake but now they help society deal with their problems. They have always been around but now they don’t have to hide. The Salem Witch Trials was a particularly difficult time for all Insighters.
Leah Namir has more severe problems then just her job turning her into a cynic. She has some serious problems which are a real killer. I mean literally killer. Her mother is trying to slither back into her life oh and in nearly every life she has been murdered and she is waiting to be murdered in this life as well. One of her past lives was Mary Jane Kelly, a victim of Jack the Ripper.
Archer Drake is a clean slate, she can’t see him as in his past lives. He has been employed by Leah’s Mum to stalk ah watch her. He finds he can’t deal with that and is also slightly ah strongly attracted to her. He decides to approach her and tell her that someone is after her and that doesn’t go as planned.
“It’s easier, then. If you know what’s going on.” “You would think.” She shifted: he was so busy watching her face he forgot to watch her hands. “But in fact, sometimes that makes it more difficult.” Then she stabbed.
What did I say? Huh. Not good but they do get over the whole stabbing incident. But they as a couple have their difficulties.
I feel a kinship with Leah.
It wasn’t even the first time that week she’d been called a fucking bitch. “I’m not a good person anymore. Wait. Maybe not ever, maybe I’m like you that way. Just a moment.” She hit the speak/sec button that connected her to the office admin. “Deb, I used to be nice, right?” “Oh, God no,” came the prompt reply. “You’ve never been nice. Not once.” “Thanks, Deb.” “Remember I told you my Grandma died, and you said leaving early wouldn’t bring her back, and payroll wouldn’t calculate itself?” “Thanks, Deb.”

Archer Drake is a nut job but in a positive way there is no other way to put up with the craziness around him. In a way he is quite nondescript but still sticks out in his actions.
Some of the human made it a good and funny read.
 “Hey!” Archer bounded to his feet like a six-foot puppy. “You didn’t get murdered las night! Great!”

Have you ever experienced a book to be too funny? Me neither until this book. Somewhere along the book it went from being funny to move on with the banter and let’s continue with the plot line. You know for the fact that she’s going to be murdered and all that jazz? It overshadowed the book plot in many ways. Just sayin’!

This is a promising book and I’m fascinated by the concept of the book. That do your past lives really influence the lives with the life that you are living at the moment. I don’t know what I’d rather be tabula rasa or know about past lives but what if I was an avid tax evasion. Or I suffered from insomnia that could be why I constantly feel like I need to sleep in this life. But I think it’s better just not knowing.
I will continue in the series as it is promising.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

A Stone's Throw by Debbie De Louise

Goodreads Review
Widowed librarian Alicia Fairmont needs answers…

After her husband is killed in a hit and run accident, Alicia travels upstate to his hometown of Cobble Cove, New York, hoping to locate his estranged family and shed light on his mysterious past. Anticipating staying only a weekend, her visit is extended when she accepts a job at the town’s library.

Secrets stretch decades into the past…

Assisted by handsome newspaper publisher and aspiring novelist, John McKinney, Alicia discovers a connection between her absent in-laws and a secret John’s father has kept for over sixty years. But her investigation is interrupted when she receives word her house has burned and arson is suspected, sending her rushing back to Long Island, accompanied by John.

Back in Cobble Cove, cryptic clues are uncovered…

When Alicia returns, she finds a strange diary, confiscated letters, and a digital audio device containing a recording made the day her husband was killed. Anonymous notes warn Alicia to leave town, but she can’t turn her back on the mystery—or her attraction to John.

As the pieces begin to fall into place, evidence points to John’s involvement in her husband’s accident. The past and present threaten to collide, and Alicia confronts her fears…

Has she fallen in love with her husband’s killer?

Alicia Fairmont's husband died in a hit and run 6 months ago. She is alone has taken leave from her job and feels at a loose end. Her husband Pete did have family but they are estranged. Alicia wanted to get to the botttom of the family mystery to solve. I liked Alicia and how she was dealing with her grief.

She goes to the one place that she knows where her husband had lived as a child. Cobble Cove to start her journey into Pete's past to find the little family he has left. A mother and a sister. Cobble Cove is an odd town with a gothic vibe to it. Filled with mystery. It reminded me a little bit of the town Haven from the TV series. Where they aren't exactly friendly to strangers to begin with but they overnight warm up to Alicia. Although she did let herself get backed into corners constantly by the folks of Cobble Cove.

To help with her search she meets a local journalist to help her. John McKinney is also dealing with grief and has moved back to look after his father. John seemed nice enough but I couldn't connect with him. I didn't find him to be sincere in his feelings towards Alicia and I felt that he had a hidden agenda. I found him to be stiff and to formal when speaking.

The town is full of secrets, lies and painful memories. This is different to what I've read in a while. It has promising elements and the writing style keeps a good pace. Although it isn't a writing style I seemed to connect with. I really wanted to like this book because the blurb sounded amazing and the theme of the book intrigued me.

My problem? The deceased spouse theme. There were flashbacks to memories with her deceased husband. Didn't help me at all. This is totally on me as I knew it when I agreed to read it.


Sunday, August 21, 2016

Widower's Aura by A.J. Renee

Goodreads Review

Living in a world full of colors, Sofia Brazier escapes a career gone south as a juvenile probationary officer in New Orleans. After moving to the small town of St. Fleur, Sofia opens a photography business in hopes of ridding her life of all the dark auras surrounding the damaged souls she once tried helping. Her comfortable new life is upended when widower, and ex-security-forces-turned-handyman hunk, Noah Tyler enters the local pub.

Noah attempts to avoid the voluptuous beauty who has captivated his every thought. That is, until his daughter vandalizes Sofia’s building and effectively seals their fate. After cutting his daughter a break, Sofia begins tearing down the walls he built after his wife’s death.

Just when life finally seems worth living for Noah, Sofia finds herself the victim of a string of crimes. Can he protect Sofia when he failed to protect his own wife?

What a hidden gem of a book. Okay so it’s not that hidden as it has just been released.

Welcome to St. Fleur!

Sofia Brazier has been living in St. Fleur for two years now. Orchid Photography and has become quite popular. She left her old life behind to start anew and has settled in with new friends and finally feels like home. Sofia sees auras of people. Green, blue, orange and red all have a meaning it tells her a lot about people. That is until one night at Whiskey’s….a hot buns hunk catches her eye.

Not seeing an aura around the man had been unsettling. It wasn’t a bad omen necessarily, but it was the first time that it had ever happened.

Which will make things very interesting. Very interesting.

Noah Tyler His wife Vanessa was murdered he blames himself. Hard trope the dead spouse but it was done well. Air Forces was a cop. The last two years have been tough for him and his daughter Lexi. They have been a drift at sea. That is until he sees a woman at Whiskey’s that takes his breath away that makes him feel again. Thinking that their paths will not really cross again he pushes her to back of his mind. But there is Lexi………

Noah had to let her hand go. He would either strangle Lexi for her latest act of rebellion or take this woman right here, right now with the sheriff and his daughter to witness it all.

Instead of pressing charges, Sofia gets Lexi to do community service and starts to mentor her. The interaction and love between the two was real. It is a rocky start for all three of them. Sofia gets some good advice though.

“No, you keep it. Whatever you do, don’t let him turn from you. He thinks that he needs to be punished for what happened, but it’s not what the woman wants. The girl will come around as well she just needs love.”

But then he was a goner.

After the first bit, he knew he was a goner. Not only was this woman gorgeous, but she was giving his kid a break, she kissed like a goddess, and God save him – she could cook.

This worked really well for me. It was engaging, captivating and I had a great time reading it. I couldn’t put it down. I was reading when I told the hubby that I only needed one more minute before bed. He reminded me ten minutes later that I was meant to sleep. Ops!

I love that the author built in a somewhat paranormal aspect into the book.

Both characters have depth and they mesh well together although they both have some things that they need to come to terms with. I felt that although Noah spoke about his deceased wife and it was mentioned that what he had with Vanessa was a slow burning love from friends to lovers. Whereas what he has with Sofia burning, consuming and passionate. There was no comparison and Sofia didn’t live in her shadow but just took on a different dynamic in the family that they have.

Even Lexi tried to match make.

Lexi said, “You should ask my dad out. It’s obvious you guys have the hots for each other, and he’s not manning up. You guys would be great together.”

I did not see that ending coming and there was suspense with what was going on but it wasn’t OTT and was done well that I had no idea who it could be and at the end I picked the wrong person and that hardly ever happens.

What bothered me was that he should have asked her if she could see his aura when she mentioned her ability. It felt kind of important to me that they would talk about it. And a term of endearment that drives me batty is “honey” there were quite a few of them. I love how they danced around one another and the build-up was great but that anticipation didn’t continue after they got together and I don’t really know what could be done to keep it going but it did pick up again.

Highly recommended

For Better or Worse (The Wedding Belles #2) by Lauren Layne

Goodreads Review

Will a budding wedding planner and her bad boy neighbor stop banging heads and start hearing wedding bells in the sexy second novel in USA TODAY bestselling author Lauren Layne’s irresistible new series that marries Sex and the City with The Wedding Planner?

When small-town girl Heather Fowler finally gets promoted from assistant to
actual wedding planner, she’s determined to make it as one of Manhattan’s elite Wedding Belles. Unfortunately, her first client demands an opulent black-tie affair at the Plaza…in five months’ time. Heather’s days quickly become a flurry of cake tastings, dress-fittings, RSVP cards, and bridal tantrums. But what she’s really losing sleep over is the live music blaring from her playboy neighbor’s apartment all night.

Five years ago, Josh Tanner was an up-and-comer on Wall Street, complete with the penthouse and the migraines. But a grim cancer diagnosis made him realize there is more to life than the corner office. If only he could convince his pretty, workaholic neighbor to let loose, too. As Heather lets down her guard, Josh is surprised when he starts falling for the sweet, vulnerable woman hiding beneath those power suits. Soon, it’s Heather’s turn to convince Josh to take the biggest risk of all: love.

This is the second book in the Wedding Belle Series. Now I thought the first book was good but this is bloody brilliant. It exceeded my expectations. I love every moment of this book and the time passed too quickly while reading.

Personally I think that Ms. Layne could write a technical manual and I’d still give it 6 Stars. Damn shame that GR doesn’t offer more stars. I love her books. I have a total girl crush on her. I think I’d even squeal if I met her. But moving on…….. Maybe at RARE #17

I wasn’t sure about this one as I couldn’t connect with Heather in the first book but reading her and what she was like as a child and what her dreams are. She always dreamed of going to New York. She gets to New York and has the chance for a promotion from assistant wedding planner to wedding planner. Heather is ambitious, funny, and sassy but she has forgotten the important things in life. But she has never been in love and doesn’t believe in waiting for the one but that is due to her mother and her relationships.

What can I say about Josh Tanner? Okay I’ll lay it all out on the table. He has some slight man whoring tendencies and well I was happy about it? No. Do I love him anyway? Yes. Because I get him. I get why he decided to live the life he wanted to live for the moment at least. He is the lost soul that we want to help. The hunk that you want to lick from top to bottom and back down again, maybe stop in the middle. He is funny, sweet, and intelligent. But he’s not leading his life to the full. And he is very fixated on banana bread.

But things start to change for him as he meets a wedding planner.

They don’t get off to the best start because they are neighbours.

Was the music actually getting louder? Was that even possible? [……]
“So that’s a yes on the new band, then? Instead of answering her question, he extended his hand. “Josh Tanner”

“Pretty manners for someone with no neighbourly consideration,” she muttered as she reluctantly put her hand in his. “Heather Fowler” “Heather Fowler,” he repeated slowly, as though trying to decide whether or not her name fit and coming up undecided.

I have to add something to her name though I used to watch Eastenders a very long time ago and there was a character there called Pauline Fowler and she was bloody awful. But as Heather’s surname wasn’t mentioned that much in the book it wasn’t that bad. Besides it’s not like Ms. Layne knew that name bothered me.

Heather is very close to her promotion and she has the wedding of the year to plan, Danica Robinson. But Danica is very hands off. And she wants Heather. She ropes Josh into helping her with the wedding as he used to date Danica but that was before. Before he realised that life is too short and that validation isn’t everything. Besides he wants Heather in his bed and well let’s say he likes to poke the bear with a stick.

They are so good together and they have chemistry and in regards to Heather Josh has absolutely no boundaries.

Josh Tanner was in her bedroom […] What. The. Actual. Fuck. “Seriously?” she managed, her voice still croaky with sleep. He glanced over his shoulder with a cocky grin. “Morning 4C. Aren’t you pretty in the morning. And by pretty I mean your hair is enormous.”

Life isn’t perfect and at every turn that Heather tries to get to know Josh. He blocks her. Until the gap is too big to bridge and as all men they can be fools sometimes and Josh is no different. Although women are fools as well you know. Her professional life goes slightly down the drain and she feels as if everything is crumbling.

I love that all the past characters were involved and that we got to see more of Alexis & Logan.

My parting words to this book
“Josh! What is that?” she said, barely managing to choke it down. Her […..] – merely grinned as she forced herself to swallow the god-awful piece of wedding cake. Josh Tanner had finally gotten his banana bread.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

The Vacuum Chronicles by by Rick Johnson & Natalie Adler

Goodreads Review

Mild-mannered Myles Mitchell wasn’t looking for love that day in Daly’s Diner when he met Yvette Luponski. The thirty-two-year-old accountant was happy with his vacuums and daily lunches at Daly’s. But from the first time he insulted her he was head over heels for the waitress. Join Myles on his rollercoaster love life with
Yvette and the many different characters that frequent the same greasy spoon,
including guest appearances by TT from Rick Johnson’s Trailer Trash

Myles is a middle aged virgin and it fits he has a special relationship with his hoover. Although scared that he’ll die alone he has come to terms with it. That is until he meets a waitress at Daly’s diner.

Yvette works at the diner and is intrigued by Myles. Through Murphy’s Law they become friends and then Yvette becomes his girl. I peed my pants when it came to Myles meeting the parents. But at some point it swayed too much into ridiculous territory.

All in all a pleasant read and I wish I could have given it more than 3 stars. Please note that this is my personal opinion on the book and that each person will feel differently about it when they read it. In this case it is me that didn't sync with the book.

On a scale from 1 to 10 in how bizarre this book is I give it 10. I’m not entirely sure how I feel about this book to be honest. I didn’t know if I should pity Myles or hug him. I think I felt more empathy for him for the poor sod that he is. This is a book about normal looking people and normal people. It is a down to earth read. There were also a lot of funny moments in the book but there were some things that I think that some people could be offended by.


Wild Embrace: A Psy-Changeling Collection by Nalini Singh

Goodreads review

"The "alpha author of paranormal romance"* presents a stunningly sensual collection of four all-new Psy-Changeling novellas, in which taboos are broken, boundaries are crossed, and instincts prove irresistible... Echo of Silence In a deep-sea station, Tazia Nerif has found her life's work as an engineer, keeping things running smoothly. But she wants nothing more than to break down the barrier of silence between her and her telekinetic Psy station commander... Dorian A changeling who can never shift lives a life of quiet frustration--until he learns how to let his leopard come out and play... Partners in Persuasion Still raw from being burned by a dominant female, wolf changeling Felix will never again risk being a plaything. But for dominant leopard Dezi, he's the most fascinating man she's ever met. She just has to convince this gun-shy wolf that he can trust the dangerous cat who wants to take a slow, sexy bite out of him... Flirtation of Fate Seven years ago, Kenji broke Garnet's heart. Now the wolf packmates have to investigate the shocking murder of one of their own. And the more Kenji sees of the woman Garnet has become, the deeper he begins to fall once more. But even his primal instincts are no match for the dark secret he carries.."--
Nalini Singh is one of my favorite authors even though I started her books way after they had all been released. What can I say? I’m fashionably late.

There have always been a lot of side characters or characters that were mentioned that have always intrigued me. With Wild Embrace some of been crossed off my list.

Echoes of Silence ★★★★★

Stefan Berg runs the underwater station Alaris with BlackSea. He is Psy and a former Arrow although there is no such thing as a former Arrow. He’s conditioning has always been weak at the best of times but then an engineer comes on board who makes it go all haywire. Stefan is adorable.
Tazia grew up in a small village in the desert. But wanted to fulfill her dreams and as the smart spark that she is she achieved them but she lost her family along the way. She feels lonely.
Stefan tries to get to know her and after they take their leave to the surface. Stefan invites Tazia along to help with a search and rescue. They move from friends to being in love to eventually getting their happily ever after.

Dorian ★★★★★

I love Dorian, the latent cat. He is one of my favorite characters in this series. The overachiever a sentinel. We see him as a small kid and the pack dynamics he has with Lucas, Clay, Vaughn, Mercy when they are younger. What Dorian has to have been through because he is latent. We see him change and what it means for him. I had such a goofy smile on my face to see what they were like when they were younger. What is struggles were like, and we get a brief glimpse of Kylie. And that he became the best but now that he could shift he had to learn to let his cat take over.

In Partners Persuasion ★★★★★

I didn’t think a book with a dominant female and a submissive male would have worked but it did. Desiree a senior soldier in the DarkRiver pack is enamored with Felix the horticulturist from the SnowDancer pack. Felix has been burnt before when he let himself get involved with a dominant. All he wants to do is look after his seedlings, find a mate, settle down and have pups. Desi is always the strong one and without realizing it she needs some soft, caring person in her life. She gets that with Felix. Felix courted Desi in a sneaky way.I loved how Desi took time to try to get to know him. And even though they had a rocky start they got their happily ever after. And although they were all epic of the novellas this is by far my favorite.

Flirtation of Fate ★★★★★

I wasn’t feeling this at the beginning but I was coming off my Deslix high. On top of that although there was chemistry between them. There was also a big rift and I didn’t see how that could be bridged. My curiosity got the better of me though because I really wanted to know what the deal was with Garnet and Kenji. Kenji & Garnet work in different dens for SnowDancer and they have history but they have always meant to be together. Garnet starts to see the caring boy that she once knew and realizes that there is something that Kenji hasn’t been telling her. Kenji can’t keep it a secret anymore how matter how hard he tries. There is also a mystery/murder that needs to be solved. Loved it!

I can’t wait to see what Nalini Singh comes up with next.