Thursday, May 31, 2018

Blog Tour: The Widow's Watcher by Eliza Maxwell

Author: Eliza Maxwell
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing
Date of publication: May 2018

Living in the shadow of a decades-old crime that stole his children from him, reclusive Lars Jorgensen is an unlikely savior. But when a stranger walks onto the ice of a frozen Minnesota lake, her intentions are brutally clear, and the old man isn’t about to let her follow through.

Jenna Shaw didn’t ask for Lars’s help, nor does she want it. After he pulls her from the brink, however, Jenna finds her desire to give up challenged by their unlikely friendship. In Jenna, Lars recognizes his last chance for redemption. And in her quest to solve the mysteries of Lars’s past and bring him closure, Jenna may find the way out of her own darkness.

But the truth that waits threatens to shatter it all. When secrets are surrendered and lies are laid bare, Jenna and Lars may find that accepting the past isn’t their greatest challenge. Can they afford the heartbreaking price of forgiveness?

I'm sure I have said it before, but I rarely cry when I read books.  Once in a while a book comes along that hits me right in the heart.  The Widow's Watcher is one of those books.  Jenna Shaw has been dealt an incredibly crippling blow.  With one phone call, her entire world has ended.  But fate puts her in the path of the one person who may be able to help her find her way to the other side of grief.  

This book was gut wrenching, sad and emotionally draining.  I think I spent the first 40% of the book with tears in my eyes.  But, I couldn't put the book down.  My heart hurt for Jenna.  I can't imagine anyone surviving the amount of loss that she did.  I was rooting for her the whole time.  Her savior, Lars, had his own loss he had been dealing with for years.  Once the truth of his story was finally revealed, I spent the last 30% with tears in my eyes.  This story is like one of those tear-jerker movies that leave you exhausted from a good cry.  But it's a good exhausted.  I loved this book.  I loved the feeling of hope that I was left with and I loved the ending. 

 I won't spoil the story.  Just go read it.  It's worth the emotional ride. I know this will be in my top 10 books of 2018. 

Purchase Links

About Eliza Maxwell

Eliza Maxwell is the author of The Unremembered GirlThe Grave Tender, and The Kinfolk. She writes fiction from her home in Texas, which she shares with her ever-patient husband, two impatient kids, a ridiculous English setter, and a bird named Sarah. An artist and writer, a dedicated introvert, and a British cop-drama addict, she enjoys nothing more than sitting on the front porch with a good cup of coffee.
Connect with Eliza

Instagram tour stops:
Monday, May 28th: @suspensethrill
Tuesday, May 29th: @ladyofthelibrary
Wednesday, May 30th: @booknerdnative
Wednesday, May 30th: @bookishconnoisseur
Thursday, May 31st: @girlandherbooks
Thursday, May 31st: @jessislibrary
Friday, June 1st: @createexploreread
Saturday, June 2nd: @brookesbooksandbrews
Sunday, June 3rd: @girlsinbooks

Review tour stops:
Monday, May 28th: Midwest Ladies Who Lit
Tuesday, May 29th: Books a la Mode – author guest post
Wednesday, May 30th: Jessicamap Reviews
Thursday, May 31st: From the TBR Pile
Monday, June 4th: Openly Bookish
Tuesday, June 5th: Mama Reads
Thursday, June 7th: Books & Bindings
Friday, June 8th: Not in Jersey
Monday, June 11th: Patricia’s Wisdom
Tuesday, June 12th: The Bookish Forever
Wednesday, June 13th: Cheryl’s Book Nook
Thursday, June 14th: Peppermint Ph.D.
Friday, June 15th: Sweet Southern Home
Monday, June 18th: Katy’s Library
Tuesday, June 19th: Running Through the Storms
Thursday, June 21st: Kritter’s Ramblings
Friday, June 22nd: What is That Book About

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Spotlight: A Sin Such as This by Ellen Hopkins

Author: Ellen Hopkins
Publisher: Atria 
Date of publication: May 2018

In this gripping follow-up to Love Lies Beneath, #1 New York Times bestselling author Ellen Hopkins’s “fabulous, sex-filled masterpiece of mystery and romance” (Library Journal, starred review), beautiful, wealthy Tara Lattimore’s story continues when her sinful past threatens to derail her current marriage—and her sanity.

Tara thought she was finally settling down when she married the handsome Dr. Cavin Lattimore. Just as she was willing to overlook his gambling habits, she discovers his secret meetings with Sophia, his gorgeous ex-girlfriend and his son Eli’s occasional girlfriend. Life gets even more complicated when Tara’s niece, Kayla, starts hooking up with Eli. In a matter of weeks, Tara has reluctantly gone from rich, single San Francisco professional to Lake Tahoe housewife managing her niece’s whiplash moods, while resisting her stepson’s tantalizing sexual advances.

Adding to the family drama is her younger sister, Melody, who’s having a serious marital breakdown, which means she might know something about her husband Graham and Tara’s brief dalliance years ago. As Tara’s fragile trust in her family teeters, timed with the arrival of certain people from her past, she also can’t shake the feeling that someone’s watching her. Baiting her.

Tara has always considered herself a tough, self-made woman after surviving a childhood defined by poverty, abuse, and neglect. For years, she suffered from the sins of others. She committed a few of her own. Now she wonders if the misdeeds of her past are about to catch up with her—and if she can ever outrun them.

Purchase Links

About Ellen Hopkins

Ellen Hopkins is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of thirteen young adult novels, as well as the adult novels TrianglesCollateral, and Love Lies Beneath. She lives with her family in Carson City, Nevada, where she founded Ventana Sierra, a nonprofit youth housing and resource initiative.

Connect with Ellen

Ellen Hopkin’s TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS:

Monday, May 28th: @novelgrounds and Novel Grounds
Tuesday, May 29th: Palmer’s Page Turners
Tuesday, May 29th: The Lit Bitch
Wednesday, May 30th: From the TBR Pile
Monday, June 4th: Openly Bookish
Wednesday, June 6th: Jessicamap Reviews and @jessicamap
Thursday, June 7th: Thoughts on This ‘n That
Monday, June 11th: Romancing the Book
Tuesday, June 12th: Kritter’s Ramblings
Wednesday, June 13th: Sweet Southern Home
Thursday, June 14th: Mystery Suspense Reviews – excerpt
Thursday, June 14th: Patricia’s Wisdom
Monday, June 18th: Books & Bindings

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Monday's Not Coming by Tiffany D. Jackson

Author: Tiffany D. Jackson
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Date of publication: May 2018

Monday Charles is missing, and only Claudia seems to notice. Claudia and Monday have always been inseparable—more sisters than friends. So when Monday doesn’t turn up for the first day of school, Claudia’s worried. When she doesn’t show for the second day, or second week, Claudia knows that something is wrong. Monday wouldn’t just leave her to endure tests and bullies alone. Not after last year’s rumors and not with her grades on the line. Now Claudia needs her best—and only—friend more than ever. But Monday’s mother refuses to give Claudia a straight answer, and Monday’s sister April is even less help.

As Claudia digs deeper into her friend’s disappearance, she discovers that no one seems to remember the last time they saw Monday. How can a teenage girl just vanish without anyone noticing that she’s gone?

Monday's Not Coming is a dark story about a girl whose best friend goes missing.  Nobody seems concerned, except ClaudiaClaudia sets out to figure out what happened to Monday and will do whatever it takes to get answers.

I have mixed feeling about this book.  I won't say it's an "enjoyable" read because the story is kind of grim.  I did like Claudia.  I had to admire her strive to keep trying to figure out what happened to her friend and to make the adults listen to her.   I will admit though, she acted very young for a 14 YO.  The reveal was a surprise and made things make a lot of sense and I was glad ti stick with it.

What I had issues with were the timelines and the slang.  The timelines were kind of confusing.  Going between "the before" and "the after" was confusing enough.  Add in "1 or two years before the before" and the story was a little hard to follow at times.  It all makes sense in the end, but I can see why some would give up on the book early on.  As for the slang, it was all over this book. I get that it's an urban setting, but it was a bit over the top. I don't think one person used the words "of" or "are" in a sentence.  The teachers don't even seem to use proper grammar and I found that a little odd.  It just didn't make for as smooth a reading experience as I would have liked.

I do recommend this one.  I would say it's good for the over 16 crowd as they do talk about some adult stuff in the story.  This is the first book I have read by this author.  I am interested in seing what else she comes out with in the future.

Monday, May 28, 2018

S.T.A.G.S by M.A. Bennett

Author:M.A. Bennett
Publisher: Hot Key Books
Date of publication: August 2017

Nine students. Three bloodsports. One deadly weekend.

It is the autumn term and Greer MacDonald is struggling to settle into the sixth form at the exclusive St. Aidan the Great boarding school, known to its privileged pupils as S.T.A.G.S. Just when she despairs of making friends Greer receives a mysterious invitation with three words embossed upon on it: huntin' shootin' fishin'. When Greer learns that the invitation is to spend the half term weekend at the country manor of Henry de Warlencourt, the most popular and wealthy boy at S.T.A.G.S., she is as surprised as she is flattered.

But when Greer joins the other chosen few at the ancient and sprawling Longcross Hall, she realises that Henry's parents are not at home; the only adults present are a cohort of eerily compliant servants. The students are at the mercy of their capricious host, and, over the next three days, as the three bloodsports - hunting, shooting and fishing - become increasingly dark and twisted, Greer comes to the horrifying realization that those being hunted are not wild game, but the very misfits Henry has brought with him from school...

I read this book on a recommendation.  Unfortunately I didn't love it.  I was hoping S.T.A.G.S would be a good YA mystery, but it really wasn't  The story revolves around an exclusive group of students in an exclusive boarding school.  At this school they don't use technology like phones and computers.  Everything is done the good old fashioned way with pen and paper.  Greer (named after the famous actress, Greer Garson) is a scholarship student who gets invited to a weekend get away with the elites of the school.  

I found the story very predictable. I never really felt a sense of danger. Most of the characters were cliche and unlikable.  Even the main character wasn't very likable.  She had this annoying habit of comparing everything to a scene in a movie.  That got old really quick.  The reference to real movies kept pulling me out of the story.  I finished because I kept hoping for a good twist or surprise.  Nope!  I even called the surprise at the end.  I'm not sure I would really recommend the book.  There are much better YA mysteries out there.

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Books We Didn't Finish - May Edition

Unbury Carol:  I loved  Birdbox. It was really spooky.   I hated Unbury Carol. It wasn't spooky. When I love a book, I end up having high expectations for the other books that an author puts out.  This is the second book I picked up by him and the first I have DNF'd.  This one was just bad.  It was so boring.  I didn't care about the characters, not even Carol.  I gave it about 40% and gave up.

The Girl in the Moon:  I gave this one about 10%. I am all for vigilante stories.  I can justify and get behind a character who takes matters into her own hands.  However, I couldn't get behind this character.  The way she "took out" her first killer in the beginning was too intense and bordered on sadistic.  Talk about overkill.  It was almost like she enjoyed it.  It was way too violent for me.

The Girl in Time Square: This was another unbelievably boring book. I found the beginning confusing and dull.  At this point, I couldn't even tell you what the book was about.  Given its length, I wasn't up to investing the time to finish it.

Dreadful Young Ladies and Other Stories: I tried the first two stories and didn't care for them.  They were weird and uninteresting.  I had no desire to read any of the other ones in the book.

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Mini Musings - May Edition

Not That I Could Tell: I'm not really sure what made me finish this book. I think I wanted to see if I was right. Spoiler..I was! The story was long and kind of dull. I definitely zoned out a few times while listening to the audiobook. The ending was predictable and anti-climactic. None of the characters were very compelling. Not a book I would really recommend.

Cemetery Boys: I wanted to love this story, but I just didn't.  I'm not sure I really understood what was going on in the town. There wasn't enough explanation.  The characters were kind of forgettable.  I was hoping for a spooky like story, but it wasn't very spooky or gloomy.  The characters were kind of forgettable.  The ending was very unsatisfying.  The only thing that I liked was the short length.

Real Man: This is another of the quick "Dirty Bits" novellas from Carina Press.  It's a cute story with two characters that have lots of chemistry and a HFN ending.  I did enjoy it, but I wanted more.  I would have loved to see this one in a longer story that explored both characters more in depth.

Monday's Lie: This ended up being just an OK read for me. It was slightly better than Three Grave Full which I hated. I have had it sitting in my TBR pile forever.  Most of the book felt like a stream of consciousness about the main character and her mother.  It seemed to take forever to get to the point of the book.  The ending left it open for a sequel.  I'm not sure if I'll read it.

Friday, May 25, 2018

Jane, Unlimited by Kristin Cashore

Author: Kristin Cashore
Publisher: Kathy Dawson Books
Date of publication: September 2017

If you could change your story, would you?

Jane has lived a mostly ordinary life, raised by her recently deceased aunt Magnolia, whom she counted on to turn life into an adventure. Without Aunt Magnolia, Jane is directionless. Then an old acquaintance, the glamorous and capricious Kiran Thrash, blows back into Jane’s life and invites her to a gala at the Thrashes’ extravagant island mansion called Tu Reviens. Jane remembers her aunt telling her: “If anyone ever invites you to Tu Reviens, promise me that you’ll go.”

What Jane doesn’t know is that at Tu Reviens her story will change; the house will offer her five choices that could ultimately determine the course of her untethered life. But every choice comes with a price. She might fall in love, she might lose her life, she might come face-to-face with herself. At Tu Reviens, anything is possible

I had heard a lot of mixed things about Jane, Unlimited.  It has been likened to a "choose your own adventure" type story.  So, I was intrigued enough to give it a shot.  In the book, Jane is alone after the death of her aunt MagnoliaShe had made a promise to go to Tru Tevians if she was ever invited by the family.  After running into Kiran, she receives and invitation to the house and their grand gala.  Once there strange things begin happening.

I wanted to love this book, but it really fell flat for me.  I think the author had a great concept, but it got lost in the poor execution.   About 20% into the story, Jane is given five separate choices/directions to take.  Each one will give her a different outcome to the day.  I was on board until the third choice.  I think five choices was just way too many.  I found myself getting really bored and hoping the book would end.  The first two were interesting and normal but the last three were strange and didn't fit.  I would have liked it more had all of the choices were devoid of magical elements.    Each storyline  does have some elements from the other storylines that you can see how they pay out in the alternates.  One thing I should point out is the characters don't know they are in an alternate story-line. 

The ending leaves it up to the reader to decide which ending was the best for Jane.  However, since Jane doesn't know she has lived through four other endings, you are left wondering if she would have been happy with the ending the book leaves you with.  I don't think I would really recommend this one.  It's not a bad concept, it's just poorly executed and boring.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Spotlight: Because I'm Worth It by Linda Nielsen

Author:Linda Nielson
Publisher: TouchPoint Press
Date of publication: March 2018

An impressive contract combined with lavish perks influence Skye Topple to marry the boss’ daughter, Delaney Mae Anne Covington, a self-centered and spoiled southern belle. The “perfect” wedding is threatened when an alarming secret refuses to stay hidden. With no regard for anyone other than herself and her daughter, Delaney’s alcoholic mother takes control, inserting irrational solutions that leave mother and daughter looking foolish while a baby’s life, a grandmother’s love, and a man’s career hang in the balance. This is certainly not a North meets South story—more like South moves North and meets West, where what works for one family may not work for another. Choices must be made. Lives will be changed. One thing is for sure… Skye is smack dab in the middle when Big Sur life meets country club values.

Purchase Link
About Linda Nielsen
Linda’s first book, Lasso the Stars, was published in 2011 under L.L. Nielsen. Her newest novel, Because I’m Worth It, is scheduled for release by TouchPoint Press in early 2018.

Find out more about Linda at her website, and find all her books at Author Central page.

Tour Stops
Monday, May 21st: Wining Wife
Tuesday, May 22nd: Bibliotica
Wednesday, May 23rd: Instagram: @writersdream
Thursday, May 24th: From the TBR Pile
Monday, May 28th: Instagram: @jessicamap
Wednesday, May 30th: A Chick Who Reads
Monday, June 4th: Instagram: @Novelmombooks
Tuesday, June 5th: Jathan & Heather
Wednesday, May 23rd: Kahakai Kitchen
Thursday, June 7th: Ms. Nose in a Book

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Blog Tour: The Weaver's Daughter by Sarah E. Ladd

Author: Sarah E. Ladd
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Date of publication: April 10, 2018

Kate’s loyalties bind her to the past. Henry’s loyalties compel him to strive for a better future. In a landscape torn between tradition and vision, can two souls find the strength to overcome their preconceptions?

Loyalty has been at the heart of the Dearborne family for as long as Kate can remember, but a war is brewing in their small village, one that has the power to rip families asunder — including her own. As misguided actions are brought to light, she learns how deep her father’s pride and bitterness run, and she begins to wonder if her loyalty is well-placed.

Henry Stockton, heir to the Stockton fortune, returns home from three years at war hoping to find a refuge from his haunting memories. Determined to bury the past, he embraces his grandfather’s goals to modernize his family’s wool mill, regardless of the grumblings from the local weavers. When tragedy strikes shortly after his arrival, Henry must sort out the truth from suspicion if he is to protect his family’s livelihood and legacy.

Henry has been warned about the Dearborne family. Kate, too, has been advised to stay far away from the Stocktons, but chance meetings continue to bring her to Henry’s side, blurring the jagged lines between loyalty, justice, and truth. Kate ultimately finds herself with the powerful decision that will forever affect her village’s future. As unlikely adversaries, Henry and Kate must come together to find a way to create peace for their families, and their village, and their souls – even if it means risking their hearts in the process.

I was pleasantly surprised with The Weaver's Daughter.  It's a perfect mix of slow burning romance, mystery and history.  It involves Kate and Henry who grew up in dueling families.  Henry is back from the war having been presumed dead.  He is set to take over his grandfather's mill business.  Kate's father is a clothier and against the progression of industry to streamline cloth making.  

I did end up enjoying the story. The characters were interesting and well fleshed out.  Henry has been changed by the war and I was glad the author didn't gloss over that.  I think we tend to forget PTSD from war isn't a new thing and goes back centuries.  I loved Kate's struggle with loyalty to her family and wanting to venture into the changing industry. I really loved how Henry and Kate's affections grew over time. I was rooting for Kate and Henry and loved going on their journey to each other.  The book isn't bogged down in the romance though as there is some mystery.  As an aside,  I really don't like when people compare romances like this to Romeo and Juliet.  There was nothing romantic or healthy about that story.  I know I'm in the minority when I say that, but it's how I have always felt. 

I didn't know much about the real life history of the conflict between the mills and the weavers.  I did a little research after starting the book and I'm happy I did.  It gave me more context for the story,  I was a little confused in the beginning, but the brief history lesson cleared things up for me.  This is a nice clean historical romance and I highly recommend giving it a try.  

Purchase Links

About Sarah E. Ladd

Sarah E. Ladd received the 2011 Genesis Award in historical romance for The Heiress of Winterwood. She is a graduate of Ball State University and has more than ten years of marketing experience. Sarah lives in Indiana with her amazing family and spunky Golden Retriever.

Connect with Sarah
Sarah E. Ladd’s TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS:

Monday, May 14th: Running Through the Storms
Tuesday,  May 15th: A Bookish Way of Life
Thursday, May 17th: Read. Eat. Repeat.
Tuesday, May 22nd: Blooming with Books
Tuesday, May 22nd: Laura’s Reviews
Wednesday, May 23rd: From the TBR Pile
Thursday, May 24th: View from the Birdhouse
Friday, May 25th: All of a Kind Mom
Monday, May 28th: A Chick Who Reads
Tuesday, May 29th: Diary of a Stay at Home Mom
Thursday, May 31st: Reviews from the Heart
Friday, June 1st: The Sketchy Reader
Wednesday, June 6th: Girls in Books
Thursday, June 7th: Broken Teepee
Monday, June 11th: What is That Book About
Tuesday, June 12th: By the Book
Wednesday, June 13th: A Holland Reads

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Blog Tour: I Am Justice by Diana Munoz Stewart

Author: Diana Munoz Stewart
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Date of publication: May 2018

She’s ready to start a war
Justice Parish takes down bad guys. Rescued from the streets by the world renowned Parish family, she joined their covert sisterhood of vigilante assassins. Her next target: a sex-trafficking ring in the war-torn Middle East. She just needs to get close enough to take them down…

He just wants peace
Sandesh Ross left Special Forces to found a humanitarian group to aid war-torn countries. But saving the world isn’t cheap. Enter Parish Industriesand limitless funding, with one catch–their hot, prickly ‘PR specialist’, Justice Parish.

Their chemistry is instant and off-the-charts. But when Justice is injured and her cover blown, Sandesh has to figure out if he can reconcile their missions. With danger dogging their every move, their white-hot passion can change the world–if it doesn’t destroy them first.

I Am Justice is the first book in the Band of Sisters series.  It is also the debut book for this author.  The series involves a secret society of assassins who seek justice for young girls who are targets by drug and sex traffickers.  They are all adopted into the wealthy Parish family and teach and train in a school for girls.  This book focuses on Justice's story.  She is seeking revenge and redemption for the death of her sister Hope.  She is sent to Jordan (the country) undercover as a PR specialist for Sandesh's humanitarian group.  There she hopes to take out the men who killed her sister.

I was hoping for a good romantic suspense.  While there was a lot of action and some twists, the book fell a bit short for me. I liked it , I just didn't love it.  I felt like the pacing was off. The book would drag then speed up and then slow way down. There were probably parts that could have been taken out, such as the three sex scenes (one after another) in the hotel in Israel.  One would have been sufficient to get the attraction point across. While I liked Justice and Sandesh, I'm not sure I totally bought them together.  I was kind of hoping for a slow burn, but their relationship went way too fast for me.  

The story is told through the point of view of Justice and Sandesh as well as one of the bad guys.  I actually liked that last perspective as it added depth to the story.  The reality of what was happening to the girls gave the book a very dark feel.  I Am Justice isn't a bad start to the series.  I am curious to read the next book, I Am Grace.  I want to know more about the Band of Sisters.  

Purchase Links

About Diana Munoz Stewart

Diana Munoz Stewart is the award-winning, romantic suspense author of the Band of Sisters series, which includes I Am Justice, I Am Grace, and I Am Honor. Visit her at

Connect with Diana

Diana Munoz Stewart’s TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS:

Monday, May 21st: The Book Diva’s Reads – spotlight
Tuesday, May 22nd: From the TBR Pile
Wednesday, May 23rd: A Chick Who Reads
Friday, May 25th: Bewitched Bookworms
Monday, May 28th: Books & Spoons
Tuesday, May 29th: Reading Reality
Wednesday, May 30th: The Book Disciple
Thursday, May 31st: What is That Book About – spotlight
Friday, June 1st: Moonlight Rendezvous
Friday, June 1st: @novelgrounds
Friday, June 1st: @booknerdingout
Monday, June 4th: Books a la Mode – spotlight
Wednesday, June 6th: Evermore Books
Thursday, June 7th: Read Love Blog – spotlight
Tuesday, June 5th: Stranded in Chaos
Saturday, June 9th: @jesssiereads 
Monday, June 11th: @girlandherbooks
Tuesday, June 12th: Mystery Suspense Reviews
Wednesday, June 13th: @_literary_dreamer_ 
Friday, June 14th: Why Girls Are Weird

Monday, May 21, 2018

Blog Tour: A Risk Worth Taking by Brynn Kelly

Author: Brynn Kelly
Publisher: Harlequin
Date of publication: May 29, 2018

He can’t outrun himself…
Legionnaire Jamie Armstrong lives in the shadows. A medic haunted by his mistakes, he knows better than to hope for redemption. But his latest mission brings a threat he doesn’t see coming—an attraction as irresistible as it is dangerous. Hacker Samira Desta is a woman he swore to forget, but as a key witness to a deadly conspiracy, Samira is his to protect.
But the woman he rescues might be the one who saves him
After a year in hiding, Samira’s worst fears come true when her cover is blown and the unlikeliest of allies comes to her aid—the secretive Scot with whom she shared one unforgettable night. Hunted by lethal forces and losing the battle against their desire, Jamie and Samira make a desperate play to take the fight to their enemy—but those at greatest risk of ruin may be themselves…

A Risk Worth Taking is definitely a book worth reading.  It's a fast paced adventure that will suck you right in and hours will pass before you come up for air.  The story involves Samira, a techie who is on the run because she is a witness in a conspiracy.  When she gets a mysterious note telling her there is tangible evidence to help her come out of hiding, she finds it's not safe enough.  Jamie comes to the rescue and will do anything to help her.

I did ultimately enjoy the story.  I liked the fast pace of the story.  It really took off running and didn't let up until the end.  The characters are constantly on the move.  I felt like I was watching a Jason Bourne movie.  I enjoyed the characters.  Jamie was my favorite.  I loved his humor.  Samira was a fascinating character.  She speaks many languages, is an amazingly smart hacker yet she also battles panic attacks.  Unfortunately, they often crop up at the most inconvenient times.  I would have liked to see a bit more romance between Jamie and Samira.  I felt like she was still really pining for her dead fiance and it kept both of them from being all in. Their relationship lacked the heat I like to see in a romantic suspense.

This book is the third book in the series. Unfortunately, I don't think it held up very well as a stand alone.  I did read the first book, Deception Island, but missed the second book, Edge of Truth I definitely think I would have benefited from reading the preceding book.  Honestly, I really had no clear understanding why Samira was in hiding throughout most of the story.  I just knew who she was running from.  I felt like the author was assuming I had prior knowledge of the story arc  from the previous book.  I would have liked more recap in the beginning.    Despite that, I do recommend the book.  It was an exciting read.

Purchase Links

About Brynn Kelly

As a journalist Brynn Kelly once spent her days chasing stranger-than-fiction news reports. Now she spends them writing larger-than-life novels, in a happy bubble of fiendish plots and delicious words. A New Zealander, Brynn is an RT Reviewers’ Choice Awards nominee and a former Golden Heart® nominee, and has won the Valerie Parv Award, the Koru and the Pacific Hearts Award.

Connect with Brynn

Brynn Kelly’s TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS:

Monday, May 21st: From the TBR Pile
Wednesday, May 23rd: Stranded in Chaos
Friday, May 25th: Moonlight Rendezvous
Monday, May 28th: Books & Bindings
Tuesday, May 29th: Mystery Suspense Reviews
Wednesday, May 30th: OMG Reads – excerpt
Friday, June 1st: Stuck in Books
Friday, June 1st: @brokenteepee
Monday, June 4th: Tales of a Book Addict
Tuesday, June 5th: @book_hangover88 
Wednesday, June 6th: @novelgrounds
Thursday, June 7th: @sarahandherbookshelves
Friday, June 8th: Romancing the Book
Monday, June 11th: The Romance Dish
Tuesday, June 12th: @jesssiereads
Wednesday, June 13th: Bewitched Bookworms
Thursday, June 14th: @bookishaurora
Thursday, June 14th: @_literary_dreamer_ 
Friday, June 15th: @booknerdingout
Friday, June 15th: @remarkablylisa

Sunday, May 20, 2018

2 in 1: Unraveled & Jagged by Lauren Dane

Unraveled: Whiskey Sharp #1
Publisher: Harlequin 
Date of publication: January 2018

Maybe Dolan has lived independent, free-spirited and unattached since leaving home at sixteen. Whiskey Sharp, Seattle's sexy vintage-styled barbershop and whiskey bar, gave her a job and a reason to put down roots. Cutting hair by day, losing herself drumming in a punk rock band by night, she's got it good.

But a longtime crush that turns into a hot, edgy night with brooding and bearded Alexsei Petrov makes it a hell of a lot better.

Maybe's blunt attitude and carnal smile hooked Alexsei from the start. Protecting people is part of his nature and Maybe is meant to be his even if she doesn't know it. Yet. He can't help himself from wanting to protect and care for her.

Unraveled is the first in the Whiskey Sharp series.  This is Maybe and Alexsei's story.  Maybe (it's a nickname from her sister when they were younger) has had a huge crush on Alexsei for the three years she has worked for him.  Being her boss, Alexsei has been trying to keep his distance for years. When they finally get together, it's explosive.

I enjoyed Maybe and Alexsei's romance.  They were really good together and I was rooting for them.  I loved Alexsei's family and how they embraced Maybe and her sister and made them their own.  They seemed like a fun family to be a part of.  Maybe's relationship with her own parents was so sad, yet over the top.  Her father really needed a reality check.  However, I loved Maybe's relationship with her sister Rachel.  In all, this was an enjoyable first book in a series.

Jagged: Whiskey Sharp #2
Publisher: Harlequin 
Date of publication: March 2018

Vicktor Orlov took one look at the wary gaze and slow-to-trust personality of the deliciously sexy and fascinating Rachel Dolan and knew he wanted more than just a casual friendship. But as a natural protector, he also knew bossiness and overprotective maneuvering would push her away rather than draw her close. He’ll use every tool in his easygoing arsenal to convince her to take a chance on them.

Rachel’s flourishing new career as a tattoo artist has brought color back into a life previously damaged by a series of bad choices and violence. She knows she can trust Vic—it’s herself she’s not sure of. She doesn’t want to be caged or controlled. Doesn’t want to be protected so much she has no ability to make her own choices.

And damn if the man doesn’t know it.

Jagged is the second book and takes place right after the events of the first book. Unraveled.  This is Rachel and Vicktor's story.  Rachel has come a long way from her FBI years and her harrowing captivity by a serial killer.  She is finally starting to explore the possibility of commitment and Vicktor is just the man to be the one she explores it with.

While I enjoyed this one, I didn't like it was much as the first book. It felt like it took me forever to get through.  I found it really repetitive.  I get that Victor and his cousins are hot Russian men.  I just don't need to be reminded every other page. Nor do I need to be reminded that Irene likes to feed people she loves...I could go on.  I think this book could have been shortened because a lot of that felt like filler.  The issue with Rachel and Maybe's father really got old after a while.  Honestly, it was a bit over the top and I'm still not sure why he went off the deep end.  I did enjoy the ending and I look forward to reading Cora's story next.