Monday, February 29, 2016

Books We Didn't Finish - February Edition

Dragonfish - This was a random audio  pick from my library.  It should have been one that I passed over.  It was boring and confusing.  The characters were unlikable and I really didn't care to listen beyond the first disc..

Welcome to Night Vale - This was another random audio pick.  I knew nothing going into the book before I started it.  I lasted about half of a disc.  Apparently, it is based on a podcast series that they tried to expand into a book.  I have never listened to the series.  Maybe if I did, this book would make more sense? Probably not.  Often things like that don't translate well into book form.  It was just too weird.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Astray by Amy Christine Parker

Author: Amy Christine Parker
Publisher:  Random House Books for Young Readers
Date of publication: August 2014

Lyla is caught between two worlds. The isolated Community that she grew up in and the outside world that she’s navigating for the very first time. The outsiders call the Community a cult, but Pioneer miraculously survived a shooting that should have killed him. Are the faithful members right to stay true to his message? Is this just a test of faith? One thing is for sure: the Community will do anything to bring Lyla back to the fold. Trapped in a spider’s web of deception, will Lyla detect the sticky threads tightening around her before it’s too late? She’ll have to unravel the mystery of what Pioneer and the Community are truly up to if she wants to survive.

I've had this sequel in my TBR pile for a while.  I'm sorry that it took me so long to finish out this duology because Astray was really good. I was a little concerned that I might not be able to enjoy the book because it had been too long since reading Gated.  But, the author did a great job of reminding the reader what happened in Gated, so it didn't take long to reacquaint myself with everything.

I did enjoy Astray.  I felt like this one was a lot creepier than the first one.  Lyla is out of the cult, but she is definitely struggling,  The other members aren't making it easy for her to stay out.   The thing I really liked about this story is that it didn't portray things as all hearts and roses for Lyla.  Sure, she is out, but she still has a lot of inner turmoil about what she believes and if she made the right decision. Her struggle to fit in came across as realistic and believable.  

 I don't think this one would stand up well as a stand alone. If you haven't read this series, I highly recommend starting with Gated. 

Saturday, February 27, 2016

February Mini Musings

The Harder You Fall - I have enjoyed this series immensely, but this one wasn't my favorite.  While I did like the romance between West and Jessie Kay, I felt like the angst went on a little too long.  Also, the psycho girlfriend thing was a little over the top.  Jessie Kay was a great character, though.  I love her transformation from party girl to "mature" woman.  I felt like it came across as sincere.  This was a decent addition to the series and I look forward to the next one!

Second Chance Summer - I thought this was one of the funniest romances that I have read in a long time.  I just loved the characters.  The siblings camaraderie was so amusing and spot on! I just loved the underwear bet.   Aiden and Lily were perfect together!  It's definitely worth a read.

My Kind of Wonderful - While not as funny as Second Chance Summer, I still thought this one was amusing.  The thing I loved most about this one was that Hud fell in love with Bailey even though she didn't have a full head of hair.  When they meet, she is still recovering from chemo and her had is covered with a cap most of the time.  It was just refreshing to have a guy fall for a girl not totally because of her looks, but for her spirit and personality.  I can't wait to read the next book!

Christmas in Mustang Creek: This was cute holiday story to round out the Brides of Bliss County series.  While I did like the couple, Charlotte and Jackson, the story was a little underwhelming. Jaxon was very sweet in his pursuit of Charlie, but I think the story was longer than it needed to be and at times repetitive.  The "Klozz" effect was a cute idea, but got a little corny after a while.  I guess it was supposed to have you believe in the magic of the season.  Anyway, I do recommend this series as a whole.  I really enjoyed it.

Friday, February 26, 2016

Blog Tour: Kissed by a Cowboy by Debra Clopton

Author: Debra Clopton
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Date of publication: February 2016

Having lived through her parents’ endless string of “matrimonial bliss gone wrong,” Cassidy Starr knows when the odds are not in her favor. Divorced and humiliated, her faith on rocky ground, Cassidy is through with love. She’s been bucked off that horse far too many times. Instead, she returns to Wishing Springs, Texas, and the rundown farm she’s inherited from her great aunt Roxie. She’ll reopen the strawberry farm and a bed & breakfast and follow in her aunt’s footsteps, remaining forever-independent, happy . . . and single.
Rancher Jarrod Monahan’s hands are full running the ranch, looking after his ailing grandfather, and chasing down a group of rustlers on the loose. He’s pushed his longing for a family to the bottom of his list of priorities. Besides, he was in love once but ran scared and lost his shot at happiness. But suddenly, the biggest regret of his life has moved in next door with a wounded heart, determined to become a spinster . . . and that’s a challenge that Jarrod can’t pass up.
Jarrod sets his mind to breaking down the walls around Cassidy’s stubborn heart. How can he show her that a cowboy’s kiss lasts forever? For the good folks of Wishing Springs, falling in love has never been so much fun to witness.
Kissed By a Cowboy is the third book featuring the Monahan brothers.  I have really enjoyed this series and in a way, I'm sad that the last brother has gotten his HEA.  Jarrod is the eldest of the three brothers.  He is also the serious one.  When he realizes he has a second chance at love with Cassidy, he decides to go for it.  Unfortunately, Cassidy has other plans.  Coming of a horrible divorce, she doesn't want to ever get married again.

While not my favorite of the three books, I did enjoy Jarrod and Cassidy together.  I loved how Jarrod never gave up in trying to win back Cassidy's heart.  I was really rooting for them the whole way. For me, it just took Cassidy a little too long to get with the program.  In addition to their story, we are treated to the conclusion to a story arc over the series between Pebble and Rand.  Their love story was so super sweet and I was so happy with that couple's ending.  Along with appearances from previous characters, there is a bit of adventure added into the story.  

I'm not sure what is next for this author, but I hope she will visit with Wishing Springs Texas again in the future!

About the author:

Debra Clopton is a multi-award winning novelist and has written more than 22 novels. Along with writing, Debra helps her husband teach the youth at their local Cowboy Church. Debra's goal is to shine a light toward God while she entertains readers with her words.
Find out more about Debra at

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Blog Tour: What the Waves Know by Tamara Valentine

Author: Tamara Valentine
Publisher: William Morrow
Date of publication: February 2016

On the sharp crags of tiny Tillings Island lies the secret of Izabella Rae Haywood’s sixth birthday. That night, her father vanished, taking her voice—and the truth of what really happened—along with him. In the autumn of 1974, after eight long years of unsuccessful psychiatrist visits and silence, Iz’s mother packs up the tattered remains of their life, determined to return to Tillings in one last attempt to reclaim Iz’s voice—and piece together the splintered memories of the day her words ran dry. But when the residents of Tillings greet them with a standoffish welcome, it becomes clear that they know something about Iz, and the father she adored, that she does not.

Now, as the island’s annual Yemay√° festival prepares to celebrate the ties that bind mothers to children, lovers to each other, and humankind to the sea, Iz must unravel the tangled threads of her own history . . . or risk losing herself—and any chance she may have for a future—to the past.

What the Waves Know is a beautifully written coming of age story that deals with how our memories shape our lives. I ended up devouring this book! I read it in one sitting because I couldn't put it down.  Izabella is fourteen when her mother brings her back to Tillings Island to try to help her find her voice.  When she was six, her father disappeared from her life and took her voice with him.  She has no memory of what happened the night she told him to go away.  But, as she spends time on the island, the memories begin to break free.

This story really makes you think about memories and how they often differ from reality. Also how the loss of bad memories can also make us forget the good ones as well.  That is what Iz finds on the island.  Not only what happened to her father, but she also begins to realize that she had lost good memories of her mother as well. 

I don't want to give away too much of the story.  I know this book will be making my top 10 at the end of the year.  I hope you will be rooting for not only fourteen year old Iz but her six year old self just like I was while reading it. I just think you should go read it... like now. It's a great debut and I look forward to more from this author!

About Tamara Valentine

Tamara Valentine obtained an M.A. with distinction from Middlebury College and has spent the past fourteen years as a professor in the English Department at Johnson & Wales University. Presently, she lives in Kingston, Rhode Island, with her husband and three children.

Find out more about Tamara at her website, and connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.

Purchase Links

Tamara’s Tour Stops
Tuesday, February 9th: Bibliotica
Wednesday, February 10th: Kahakai Kitchen
Thursday, February 11th: Ms. Nose in a Book
Friday, February 12th: A Soccer Mom’s Book Blog
Monday, February 22nd: Novel Escapes
Tuesday, February 23rd: Lesa’s Book Critiques
Wednesday, February 24th: Luxury Reading
Thursday, February 25th: From the TBR Pile
Friday, February 26th: Kritters Ramblings

Throwback Thursday:The Family Way by Jayne Ann Krentz

Author: Jayne Ann Krentz
First published in 1987 by Harlequin

Expecting a baby was supposed to be the most incredible thing in her life, but for Pru Kenyon, it was bittersweet. Her relationship with live-in love Case McCord was both exciting and deeply satisfying. But Pru knew Case wasn't willing to take it to the next level of commitment.Pru wasn't about to force Case's hand by revealing her secret. She didn't want him to propose to her out of duty -- she wanted him to want her for herself. So she did the only thing she could.... She walked away from the love of her life.

She knew she could have this baby on her own, that she could love her child enough for two. But she hadn't bargained on what Case was willing to do for love.

I should have known I wouldn't like this book from the synopsis.  But I am willing to give any book a shot.  In the end, I couldn't finish the book.   Pru and Case are living together when she finds herself pregnant.  Instead of telling him, she decides to leave because she knows he has no interest in marriage.  He goes after her, but he doesn't let on that he found out about the baby.  She takes him back and marries him.  Once he revealed that he knew about the baby all along, she is not convinced he married her for her and not the baby.

I had to stop after that point.  I tried to keep reminding myself that this book was written in 1987, but I felt like it was so preachy and just plain dumb.  Neither one of them seemed thrilled to be married. Not once did they ever talk about love.  If I had to read one more time about the evils of living together and sex before marriage, I was going to throw my MP3 player across the room.  This book also confirmed that I hate the word "manhood".  I say skip this one.  She has written much better!

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Blog Tour: Guest post and Excerpt of How to Handle a Scandal by Emily Greenwood

We are really excited to have a guest post from Author Emily Greenwood today.  She shares with us her favorite scene in her latest book, How to Handle a Scandal.  Enjoy it after my thoughts on the book.

Author: Emily Greenwood
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
ISBN: 9781492613688
Release Date: February 2016

Miss Elizabeth Tarryton was the toast of the London Season the year she was seventeen and spurned young Tommy Halifax. A careless flirt who didn't know what she wanted, she was startled into laughter by his public proposal of marriage. Furious and heartbroken, Tommy promptly left home for a life of adventure in India.

Seven years later, Elizabeth has much to make up for, but the methods she chooses for doing good are as shocking as her earlier wanton behavior--should the ton ever find out. Tommy returns to England a hero, with no intention of allowing himself to be hurt by a woman ever again, but he's fascinated nonetheless by Elizabeth, now widowed and more alluring than ever.

My thoughts:

How to Handle a Scandal is the second book in the Scandalous Sisters series.  I thought it did well as a stand alone as it takes place several years after the events of the first book.  I never felt like I was missing anything. I will be honest, I have kind of mixed feeling about the book.  On one hand, I really liked Eliza.  I thought her heart was in the right place most of the time.  She just needed to learn how to balance the serious and the fun times.  The secondary characters added a lot of color to the story. What I didn't like was Tommy.  He really rubbed me the wrong way through most of the book and I had a hard time wondering why Eliza would fall for him.  He did redeem himself in the end, so at least it ended on a good note for me.    I hope that the author writes Meg's story,  I look forward to reading it.

My Favorite Scene from How to Handle a Scandal

By Emily Greenwood

What I like about this excerpt is that there are things happening on a number of levels. Eliza Tarryton Truehart, a respectable widow, is masquerading as a high-class prostitute in order to gain some information at a brothel. But with the threat of discovery imminent, she has hidden herself in one of the unused rooms. It isn’t empty for long, because Sir Tommy Halifax, with whom she has a difficult history, enters. Because Eliza is wearing a mask, he doesn’t recognize her. She tells him her name is Victoria, and that this is her first night working as a prostitute.
Tommy, who doesn’t like Eliza at this point in the story, has no idea that he’s flirting with her. Though she was a scandalous young woman when he knew her six years before, she’s changed, and now she strives to be virtuous. This night at the brothel is sort of a one-time return to the kinds of outrageous things she used to do, but she has an unselfish reason for being there. Though the scene is playful, it’s poignant too, because they used to be good friends, and Eliza yearns to know Tommy as the man he has become.

“Would you like to practice your boldness a little before you become a professional? I propose a kiss. As one who has something of a history of kissing, I believe I might offer you an estimation as to how well you will fare.”
She ought to resist. She knew there were costs to indulging herself, and she made better choices now. But tonight she’d begun to see that maybe there were experiences she’d missed.
Temptation, thy name is Tommy Halifax.
She stared down at the wicked tilt teasing the edge of his mouth and knew that whatever he was proposing was a terrible idea. He’d said a kiss, but who knew if he meant to stop there? And even if he did mean just a kiss, was she insane, to be tempted to kiss him when she was probably the last woman in the world whose lips he’d want to touch with his own? She’d read hatred in his eyes that night years ago, and though he’d said he accepted her apology, she wouldn’t be surprised if some of that feeling still lingered, hidden by a polite veneer.
Yet, she yearned to touch him. She wanted him to enjoy her company as much as he once had—as much as he was clearly now enjoying Victoria’s.

And how could Victoria decline his request anyway? She was supposed to be a woman seeking to be a strumpet—wouldn’t he be suspicious if she turned prudish?
Mischief sparkled in his eyes and her heart thumped in thrilling reply. Mischief was something she’d never been able to resist.
“Of all the nerve,” she said lightly, smiling. His invitation had given her permission to be bold, and she placed her palm along the hard jaw that had so fascinated her.
One black eyebrow rose in a pirate’s misbehaving slant, and the white of his teeth flashed as he grinned. “If there’s one thing that I’ve never been said to be lacking, it’s nerve.” With a tug on her arm, he pulled her sideways onto his lap.
Her heart stuttered and she thought for a moment she might swoon. He smelled extremely good, a little like sandalwood, a lot like something that, if she’d had to name it, she would have called, with a giddy sigh, swashbuckling.
“I can see that,” she said. She didn’t even need to summon Victoria’s breathy voice because her own had turned soft and hushed.
He looked at her intently, the color of his eyes indistinct in the semidarkness that would fortunately leave the color of her own eyes indiscernible to him, but the warm glow in his gaze made her light-headed.
“Do you feel shy, Victoria?”
She nodded slowly. It was true—she did feel shy and a little overwhelmed by him, but the feeling was exciting. And also surprising; she was hardly virginal—she’d kissed more than a few men, though none since Gerard had died, and she’d experienced the ultimate joining many times with her husband. But in each of those encounters, she’d been certain of her own power, of the upper hand she’d always held as the one pursued, the one allowing the attentions of an admirer.
For the first time ever, that wasn’t how she felt. She knew Tommy no longer admired her. He might find Victoria attractive, but Eliza Truehart’s beauty was nothing to him, and he certainly didn’t admire her as a person. She felt shy and off-kilter, a new sensation for her.
He smiled, managing to look both kind and wicked, and her heart did a somersault.

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About the Author

Emily Greenwood worked for a number of years as a writer, crafting newsletters and fundraising brochures, but she far prefers writing playful love stories set in Regency England, and she thinks romance novels are the chocolate of literature. A Golden Heart finalist, she lives in Maryland with her husband and two daughters.

Connect with Emily Greenwood

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Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Book Spotlight: Private Citizens by Tulathimutte

Author: Tony Tulathimutte
Publisher: William Morrow
Date of publication: February 2016

“Acrobatic language, dead-on observations, and hilarious, heartbreaking storytelling.”—Angela Flournoy, National Book Award finalist and author of The Turner House

Capturing the anxious, self-aware mood of young college grads in the aughts, Private Citizensembraces the contradictions of our new century—call it a loving satire, a gleefully rude comedy of manners, Middlemarch for millennials. The novel’s four whip-smart narrators—idealistic Cory, Internet-lurking Will, awkward Henrik, and vicious Linda—are torn between fixing the world and cannibalizing it. In boisterous prose that ricochets between humor and pain, Private Citizens follows the four estranged friends as they stagger through the Bay Area’s maze of tech startups, protestors, gentrifiers, karaoke bars, house parties, and cultish self-help seminars, washing up in each other’s lives once again.

A wise and searching depiction of a generation grappling with privilege and finding grace in failure, Private Citizens is as expansively intelligent as it is full of heart.

About Tony Tulathimutte

Tony Tulathimutte has written for VICEAGNIThe Threepenny ReviewSalonThe New Yorker online, and other publications. A graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and Stanford University, he has received an O. Henry Award and a MacDowell Colony Fellowship. He lives in New York.

Find out more about Tony at his website, and connect with him on InstagramTwitter, and Facebook.

Tony’s Tour Stops

Tuesday, February 16th: Raven Haired Girl
Thursday, February 18th: Dwell in Possibility
Monday, February 22nd: A Lovely Bookshelf on the Wall
Tuesday, February 23rd: From the TBR Pile
Wednesday, February 24th: You Can Read Me Anything
Thursday, February 25th: Patricia’s Wisdom
Thursday, February 25th: A Bookish Way of Life
Friday, February 26th: Worth Getting in Bed For

Monday, February 22, 2016

Blog Tour: Not Always Happenstance by Rachael Anderson

Not Always (1)

Not Always Happenstance

Author: Rachael Anderson

Publisher: HEA Publishing
Date of publication: February 2016

Lani has lived in Hana, Hawaii for five years. She’s learned to surf, fish, dive, and manage her grandmother’s bed and breakfast. She’s also learned to take one day at a time the way it should be taken—relaxed and unrushed, savoring every moment. But, like a large wave on the brink of breaking, her life is about to crash out of control. A proposal of marriage, a conniving grandmother, a cryptic Asian woman, and a handsome guest, and suddenly everything calm begins to churn, everything clear becomes confused, and all that was normal segues into peculiar. As Lani struggles against the current to hold her ground, she realizes that she can either continue to fight and eventually lose, or take a take a leap of faith, hold her breath, and ride the wave wherever it takes her. 

 ***This book is part of the Power of the Matchmaker series that features one recurring character—the match maker—but it is a STAND-ALONE novel.***
  amazon get it add to goodreads

Not Always Happenstance is the second book in the Power of the Matchmaker series.  It's a 12 month/book collaboration from 12 authors all revolving around Pearl. She is an elderly Asian woman who seems to have a knack for matchmaking.  After having read this second book, I can honestly say that they can be read as stand alone books, so picking up any in the series would be fine without feeling lost.

If you are in the mood for a super cute and clean romance, this book definitely fits the bill.  While the first book, Broken Things to Mend, was heart wrenching, this one was a lot lighter.  It's about two people who are perfect for each other.  The problem is that one of them needs to learn how to settle a little and the other needs to learn how to fly.  I really enjoyed Lani and Easton's fall into love. I loved that they developed a friendship while learning to love each other.  The best part is that they do it while exploring Maui.  I've never been, but after reading this I am dying to visit and see the beautiful sights.  

definitely recommend this book and series.  Stay tuned as I'll be reviewing the third book, If We Were a Movie next month!

About Rachael Anderson

 A USA Today bestselling author, Rachael Anderson is the mother of four and is pretty good at breaking up fights, or at least sending guilty parties to their rooms. She can't sing, doesn't dance, and despises tragedies. But she recently figured out how yeast works and can now make homemade bread, which she is really good at eating.

Blog Tour $50 Giveaway $50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 2/29/16 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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Sunday, February 21, 2016

The Dog Master by W. Bruce Cameron

22238176by:  W. Bruce Cameron
published by:  Forge Books
publish date:  August 5, 2015

Thirty thousand years ago, ice was storming the planet. Among the species forced out of the trees and onto the steppes by the advancing cold was modern man, who was both predator and prey.

No stranger to the experiences that make us human--a mother's love and a father's betrayal, tribal war and increasing famine, political intrigue and forbidden love, joy and hope and devastating loss--our ancestors competed for scant resources in a brutal landscape.

Mankind stood on the cold brink of extinction...but they had a unique advantage over other species, a new technology--domesticated wolves.

It will take a really amazing book to knock this one out of my Favorite of the Year spot.  This book was AWESOME!  It was a very well written book about "cave people" and their attempts at daily life and how the first wolf was domesticated.

There are multiple story lines going on in this book and they eventually come together. One is about The Man and The Wolf.  He comes across a bad injured mother wolf who has just given birth to her litter.  He has just been banished by his tribe.  Together they form an alliance to survive, he shares her cave and he takes care of her and her pups.  The other two story lines are about the lives of two different tribes and how life is different for each one.  

I definitely recommend this book.  I'm a cat person and I seriously loved this story.  Fans of historical fiction will love this I'm sure.  Although, I'm sure this book will have wide appeal, there was so much to love about this book.  

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Blog Tour: Rescuing Rayne by Susan Stoker

Author: Susan Stoker
Publisher: Self
Date of publication: February 2016

** Rescuing Rayne is the 1st book in the Delta Force Heroes Series. Each book is a stand-alone, with no cliffhanger endings **

As a flight attendant, Rayne Jackson is used to cancellations, but she never dreamed her latest would lead to a whirlwind tour of London with a handsome stranger…or a life-altering night in his bed. One evening is all the enigmatic man can give her, and Rayne greedily takes it, despite suspecting it will never be enough.

Heading home after another extreme mission, Keane "Ghost" Bryson hadn't planned to seduce someone during his layover, but Rayne is too sweet to resist. Being a Delta Force member means lying to protect his identity, which is unfortunate, considering Rayne seems made for Ghost, right down to the tattoo on her back. For the first time in his life, regret fills him as he slips away the following morning.

Both are shocked when, months later, they meet again—under the worst possible circumstances. Seems fate has given them a second chance…if they can survive the terrorist situation they're in. If Rayne can forgive Ghost his lies. And if Ghost can trust Rayne to be strong enough to endure the secrets and uncertainty that come with loving a Delta Force soldier.

Rescuing Rayne is the first book in a new series and the first one I have read by this author. Keane, aka Ghost, is on his way home from a secret mission when he meets Rayne in an airport.  After their flight is canceled, they decide to see the sights of London togetherTheir one night stand leaves a lasting impression on both of them and six months later, both of them still can't forget the other one.

I have mixed feelings about this story.  I loved the first part of the book. The first half is pretty much their day in London and them getting to know each other.  I liked their chemistry a lot .I was looking forward to the later meeting between them.  I was really rooting for them to get their HEA.

What I was unprepared for was the middle part when Rayne is taken hostage.  I'm not usually one for saying a book needs a trigger warning, but I really feel like this one does.  The captors go into great detail about what is going to be done to Rayne and I was kind of surprised at that part.  I really felt like the amount of detail was unnecessary and kind of turned me off on the story at that point. 

This new series seems to be an offshoot of the author;s "Seal of Protection" series.  I'm going to have to go back and check that one out.  The next book in this series comes out later this summer.  I look forward to checking it out.


“Is this seat taken?”
Ghost turned toward the low, husky voice that immediately made him think of sex. He’d been aware that she’d been walking toward him, as he was of everyone who moved around him. He was always on alert, ready to take whatever action might be needed. It was engrained in the very marrow of his bones.
A brunette stood next to him. Her hair was pulled back into a bun at the nape of her neck. There were wisps of hair hanging around her face, which had obviously fallen out of their confinement. She was fairly tall, especially in the heels she was wearing. Ghost guessed her to be around five-eight or so. She was pleasantly rounded in all the right places. Her Marilyn Monroe physique was a turn on, as was the bright smile she was aiming his way.
Her accent gave away the fact she was American. She was wearing a navy blue skirt and shirt, and was pulling a blue suitcase and a small matching bag behind her. Obviously an employee of the airline, a flight attendant, she greeted him warmly.
Ghost shook his head and gestured toward the seat, inviting the woman to sit next to him.
The woman sat down, opened the small blue bag, and fished out her cell phone. She turned to him and asked, “Going somewhere fun?”
Ghost wasn’t sure he really wanted to get into a chat, but he was bored, and he might as well pass the time. He’d never been one to reject an opportunity to talk and flirt with a pretty woman. “Home.”
His one-word answer didn’t seem to daunt the flight attendant. “Ah, American. Where’s home?”
“Really? Me too! How funny that we’re going to the same place. Out of all the people I could’ve sat next to, I picked someone who was going to be on my flight.” She laughed. “You are on flight eight twenty-three, right?”
Ghost nodded.
“Cool. But my place in Texas is really more of a place to store my stuff than a home, since I’m usually working. I currently have the European shift. I’m gone more than I’m home.”
Ghost smiled inside. The woman was very pretty and her bubbly personality was pleasant. “Yeah, I travel a lot too, so I know what you mean.”
She beamed. “Ah, I didn’t really peg you as a businessman, but I guess looks can be deceiving, huh?”
“What did you peg me as?”
The woman tilted her head, contemplating his question. Her lips pursed and then she bit her bottom one. Amazingly, Ghost felt himself getting excited.
Jesus, was he that hard up for a woman? He tried to think about when he’d last had the pleasure of a woman’s company in his bed, and was amazed to realize he wasn’t sure. The team had been busy lately with ISIS ramping up their efforts to cause panic around the world, they hadn’t had a lot of time to themselves back home. But it was more that he was tired of all the tag chasers in Texas…women who only wanted to sleep with military men to say they’d done it. Military men were accused of being sex-crazed, but the reality was, around military bases, there were plenty of women who saw marrying a military man as a way out of their destitute existences. Not only that, but some were obsessed with sleeping with as many soldiers as possible.
“Bounty hunter,” she said resolutely.
Torn out of his internal thoughts of when he’d last had sex, Ghost chuckled out loud in surprise at her deduction. “Bounty hunter? Really?”
When she didn’t elaborate, Ghost crossed his arms over his chest and smiled at her. “Why?”
“Let’s see…”

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About the Author:

New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal Bestselling Author, Susan Stoker has a heart as big as the state of Texas where she lives, but this all American girl has also spent the last fourteen years living in Missouri, California, Colorado, and Indiana. She's married to a retired Army man who now gets to follow her around the country.
She debuted her first series in 2014 and quickly followed that up with the SEAL of Protection Series, which solidified her love of writing and creating stories readers can get lost in.


Friday, February 19, 2016

Break My Fall by Jessica Scott

Author: Jessica Scott
Series: Falling #2
Release Date: February 15, 2016

For Josh Douglas, broken by the impotent rage of combat and loss, pain is the only thing that feels real until he meets Abby Hillard.  In Josh, Abby sees a puzzle for someone else to solve even though she deeply feels the pull to free the darkness that cloaks him.  BREAK MY FALL by USA Today Bestselling author, Jessica Scott, is the second book in an emotional new adult series about a group of young veterans adjusting to life away from the military. They've got a lot to learn about life away from war - and college may or may not be the place for them to learn it.

Violence. I’m addicted to it. It’s how I feel alive. It’s the only thing that’s real any more.
And now I have to sit around and discuss it like it’s physics or calculus.
I can’t do it. I can’t pretend that it’s some sterile academic topic.
Violence isn’t sterile. It isn’t calm. It’s pulsing. It’s alive.
It’s my drug.
Until I met Abby, I never wanted anything beyond the next fight.
Never considered that I might finally find a way back to the land of the living.
Now? Now I find myself dreaming of a woman with golden eyes.
But I can never be with her. Because I am not whole. And I never will be again.

But I cannot stay away. And loving her might finally be what breaks me.

I was so happy when I got my hands on a copy of Break My Fall.  I loved the first book in this series, Before I Fall.  I can say the same thing about this second New Adult book. One of the hardest things that I find when an author keeps writing great books is that I run out of creative ways to say I loved it.  I guess there could be worse problems, right?  It definitely can be read as a stand alone, so if you missed the first book, you will be not be lost. 

Break my Fall is Josh and Abby's story.  Josh is in his second semester of college and trying to deal with the violence and rage that war left him with.  Abby has her own scars from a violent past.  I loved them together because they brought an inner peace to each other.  I also liked that they kept fighting for each other because they knew something special was brewing.

One of the things that I love about Ms. Scott is that she isn't afraid to confront the hard issues about the after effects of war.  She tackles addiction, depression and a broken VA system  with a refreshing honesty.  In this book, she tackles another issue that I haven't seen brought up before, especially in the New Adult genre..impotence.  I thought she handled the subject with great respect and care.

I highly recommend this book and any of her other books.  I'm looking forward to the third book, hopefully it is Eli's story!


The moment I see Josh, though, everything else falls away. Their noise, their needs. Everything I am is focused on Josh.
He is darkness and shadows near the edge of the dim light. He doesn't even pretend he's not watching me. It does something to my insides as I meet his eyes and refuse to look away.
In the shadows, his eyes look almost black. His face is sharper, more angled, the stubble on his jaw darker.
He stands out. I think he always will, no matter where he is. He’s wearing jeans and a long-sleeved shirt with the sleeves pushed up, exposing his thick forearms. There is writing on his forearms. Big, black letters that blend into the shadows so I cannot read them.
The men who frequent this place do not get tattoos. At least not visible ones. No, these men have polished hands and pressed shirts and impeccable manners.
They don’t stand in the doorway, staring.
No, Josh is none of those things. He's not polished and he's not pressed.
Graham slides up beside me and of course, he has noticed exactly who I’m watching. "Oh, look who’s back," Graham murmurs. “Do you have any condoms?”
I lift one brow and try to pretend that I don't actually know who we're talking about. "Are you serious?"
"Don't even try it," Graham says, patting my cheek. "What did you call him the other morning? Mr. Tall, Dark & Depressed?"

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About the author:

Jessica Scott is an Iraq war veteran, an active duty army officer and the USA Today bestselling author of novels set in the heart of America’s Army. She is the mother of two daughters, three cats and three dogs, and wife to a retired NCO. She and her family are currently wherever the army has sent her.

She's also written for the New York Times At War Blog, PBS Point of View Regarding War, and IAVA. She deployed to Iraq in 2009 as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF)/New Dawn and has had the honor of serving as a company commander at Fort Hood, Texas twice.

She's pursuing a graduate degree in Sociology in her spare time and she's been featured as one of Esquire Magazine's Americans of the Year for 2012.

Jessica is also an active member of the Military Writers Guild.

Connect with Jessica at: Website | Facebook | Twitter| GoodReads | Amazon | Instagram