Thursday, February 22, 2018

Envy by Sandra Brown

Title: Envy 
Author: Sandra Brown 
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing 
Release Date: August 27, 2013

Maris Matherly-Reed is a renowned New York book editor, the daughter of a publisher and the wife of bestselling author Noah Reed. It isn't often that an unsolicited submission so captivates her that she feels she must immediately meet its author. But Maris has just received a tantalizing partial manuscript submitted by a writer identified only as P.M.E., with the return address of an obscure island off the Georgia coast. P.M.E.'s blockbuster potential-and perhaps something else-compels Maris to search for him.

On an eerie, ruined cotton plantation, she finds Parker Evans, a man determined to conceal his identity as well as his past. Working with him chapter by chapter, Maris is riveted by his tale of two friends who charter a boat with a young woman for a night of excursion from which only one person returns.

As the story unfolds, Maris becomes convinced it is more than just fiction. Disturbed about her growing attraction to Parker and gripped by a chilling suspicion about his novel's characters, she searches for the undisclosed truth about a crime committed decades ago. Then someone close to her dies, while even closer looms the presence of evil-a man who will use her, or anyone, to get what he wants...

Exploring the way love and hatred shape lives, ENVY uses both Maris's quest and Parker's novel to create a breathtaking story of suspense. Not until the shattering, surprise finale will readers guess the solution to its puzzle of deceit and murder, retribution and redemption.

I'm on a Sandra Brown kick. I finished one and started another one book by her. They are addicting!

Envy is as entertaining as all of the other books I have read by her. The suspense, intrigue, and twists are classic Sandra Brown. 

This novel begins when Maris Matherly-Reed receives a new manuscript for her review. She's a well-known editor and part owner of a very famous publishing house in NYC. She has a great relationship with her dad who opened the publishing house decades ago. She's married to Noah Reed, a famous writer who's now working for the publishing company as well. 

Maris can't stop thinking about the manuscript. She contacts the writer P.M.E. but he's rude and seems unapproachable. She knows she can't pass up this opportunity and she decides to travel south and convince P.M.E to sign up with them.  P.M.E aka Parker Evans's novel could become the next hit. It's the tale of two friends who had a rivalry. They both aspired to become more. Jealousy and envy will prevent one of them from succeeding.

When Maris meets Parker, she is taken by him. Behind the rude facade is a man who's in pain. He's also angry and she can tell he's keeping things from her. His manuscript is also captivating as the man who's writing it. Then, a terrible chain of events forces Maris to open her eyes and to realize what has been in front of her eyes all this time. But, is it too late???

I loved Envy. Both main characters felt real to me. Their emotions jumped out of the pages and swirled all around me. Prepare yourself to be sucked into this novel without a chance to stop. I was compelled to continue in a rapid spiral to the end. Unputabledown to say the least. A great book with a great plotline! Yes, some of the twists I saw coming but they were done right. Sandra Brown's writing is addicting like I mentioned at the beginning of my review. 

Next for me is Lethal.

Cliffhanger: No

4.5/5 Fangs

Mean Streak by Sandra Brown

Title: Mean Streak 
Author: Sandra Brown
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Release Date: August 19, 2014

From #1 New York Times best-selling author Sandra Brown comes a heart-pounding story of survival, that takes the age-old question, "Does the end justify the means?" and turns it on its head.

Dr. Emory Charbonneau, a pediatrician and marathon runner, disappears on a mountain road in North Carolina. By the time her husband Jeff, miffed over a recent argument, reports her missing, the trail has grown cold. Literally. Fog and ice encapsulate the mountainous wilderness and paralyze the search for her.

While police suspect Jeff of "instant divorce," Emory, suffering from an unexplained head injury, regains consciousness and finds herself the captive of a man whose violent past is so dark that he won't even tell her his name. She's determined to escape him, and willing to take any risks necessary to survive. 

Unexpectedly, however, the two have a dangerous encounter with people who adhere to a code of justice all their own. At the center of the dispute is a desperate young woman whom Emory can't turn her back on, even if it means breaking the law. Wrong becomes right at the hands of the man who strikes fear, but also sparks passion.

As her husband's deception is revealed, and the FBI closes in on her captor, Emory begins to wonder if the man with no name is, in fact, her rescuer from those who wish her dead - and from heartbreak.

Combining the nail-biting suspense and potent storytelling that has made Sandra Brown one of the world's best loved authors, MEAN STREAK is a wildly compelling novel about love, deceit, and the choices we must make in order to survive.

Continuing with my addiction to Sandra Brown's writing, I had to pick up this book after finishing reading Friction. Mean Streak has a great plot with plenty of twists to make a suspense lover giddy with happiness.

Dr. Emory Charbonneau is training on a mountain trail for her upcoming marathon run. She's well-known in the area. Her partners at her office respect her and her patients love her. On the other hand, her home life is not so great. She's having marital problems just before she goes missing. Detectives Grange and Knight are suspicious of her husband Jeff and they are set on trying to prove it.

In the meantime, Emory wakes up in a cabin with a concussion in the presence of a stranger. At first, she's terrified of him but when he doesn't attack her or do anything worse, she starts relaxing in his presence. He's a man of a few words. He makes her reveal parts of herself while he hides everything from her, including his name. She can't avoid noticing how handsome he is and to her dismay, she's attracted to him. The more time she's forced to spend with him, the more she wants to get to know him. It doesn't help that she's unable to leave due to heavy fog and snow. From here on, the narrative only gets better. This reader was entertained and engrossed in the story. I won't say more to avoid spoiling it for you.

As with other books by Sandra Brown, I had fun reading Mean Streak. The main characters, as well as the side characters, were all well- developed. It was easy to like some of them and easy to hate a few. The twists and the side plotlines were the icing on the cake. 

Next for me is Envy.

Cliffhanger: No

4.5/5 Fangs

Mage Slave by R.K. Thorne

Title: Mage Slave 
Series: The Enslaved Chronicles #1
Author: R.K. Thorne
Publisher: Iron Antler Books
Release Date: July 26, 2016

A warrior prince, an enslaved spy, a plot to draw the world to war. 

Crown Prince Aven Lanuken wants something more than a trophy for a future wife. He wants a woman who will be more friend than follower. A queen who will be more warrior than diplomat. He wants a partner he can trust… with a dangerous secret that’s kept him trapped in a dark mountain fortress his entire life. 

Mage slave Miara wants something more, too—to find an enemy prince. And not to marry him. She’s just received orders for her very first kidnapping. She loathes the idea of it, and it’s probably a suicide mission. But she has never failed a mission before and doesn't intend to start now. 

Of all the women in the world, why does he have to fall for the one trying to kill him? 

Magic, politics, love, and fate collide in the destinies of two people in this fantasy adventure from R. K. Thorne. For lovers of swords and sorcery with a side of romance, Mage Slave is the first novel in the Enslaved Chronicles trilogy.

I had a taste for fantasy and grabbed this novel because it had a beautiful cover and an intriguing synopsis. 

The story begins with two very different characters. 

Miara is a Mage Slave. She has creature magic, meaning that she can turn herself or someone else into a creature. Miara can also communicate with animals and humans too. She has been a slave for a while. The Masters of Kavanar have used a type of air magic to enslave mages. They brand them on the shoulder and a spell keeps them in line. Miara despises them but she's not able to challenge them. She's given her next mission and to her surprise, it involves something much more dangerous. They want her to kidnap the prince Aven Lanuken. She knows this could be very dangerous but she has no way of refusing them. 

Prince Aven Lanuken lives in a fortress within a mountain. He loves his parents but he feels like he's missing something. He's also trying to hide a secret but he doesn't know how long he can continue doing so. He's at the right age to marry and he's in search of a queen but so far no one has grabbed his attention. When Miara kidnaps him and he can witness her magic, he's in awe of everything she can do with it. He tries to learn as much as he can of the outside world before she delivers him to his enemies. 

I had some issues with the story. First, the dreaded insta-love showed its face. Miara and Aven fall in love pretty much from the moment they meet. Then, there was the problem with the slow-paced action. It was like dragging teeth. I was ready for more fighting and more magic. Only the last third moved much faster. Last, Aven is supposed to be a brutal fighter but on more than one occasion, his skills were lacking. 

The things I liked: The magic. We had earth, air, and creature magic. It was cool the way Miara could transform someone else besides herself. She could be anything she wanted to be. Aven had a great disposition. Despite being kidnapped, he tried to look for the good in any situation. He was enjoying the forest and you can tell how happy he was to be outside the fortress. He had good values and he truly wanted to help his people and keep them safe. The Masters were so mean. It was easy to hate them and I wanted nothing more than to see them defeated. I was pleased with the ending and I'm looking forward to reading the next two books. I hope there is more action. 

Cliffhanger: No

3/5 Fangs

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Reckless by Lex Martin

Title: Reckless
Author: Lex Martin
Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance
 Release Date: February 20, 2018


For the record, I’m not going to hook up with my boss.

I'm a lot of things—a screwup, a basket case, a flunky. But when I take a nanny job to be near my pregnant sister, I swear to myself I’ll walk the straight and narrow, which means I cannot fall for my insanely hot boss.

I don't want to be tempted by that rugged rancher. By his chiseled muscles or southern charm or the way he snuggles his kids at bedtime. Ethan Carter won't get the key to my heart, no matter how much I want him. 


Between us, she's the last thing I need as I finalize my hellish divorce. 

What sane man trying to rebuild his life wants a hot nanny with long, sexy hair, curves for miles, and a smart mouth? A perfectly kissable, pouty mouth that I shouldn't notice.

My focus is on my kids and my ranch, not the insufferable siren who sleeps in the room next to mine. It doesn't matter that she wins over my kids in a heartbeat or runs my life better than I do. Tori Duran is the one woman I can't have and shouldn't want, no matter how much I crave her. 

$2.99 for release week only!


USA Today Bestseller

On SALE for the first time - 99c limited time only!

Shameless is a standalone featuring a different couple


Lex writes contemporary romance, the sexy kind with lotsa angst, a whole lotta kissing, and the hot happily ever afters. When she's not writing, she lives a parallel life as an English teacher. She loves printing black and white photos, listening to music on vinyl, and getting lost in a great book. Bitten by wanderlust, she's lived all over the country but currently resides in Los Angeles with her husband and twin daughters.

Monday, February 19, 2018

Sisters Like Us by Susan Mallery

Title: Sisters Like Us 
Series: Mischief Bay 
Author: Susan Mallery
Publisher: Mira Books
Release Date: January 23, 2018

The grass is always greener on your sister’s side of the fence…

Divorce left Harper Szymanski with a name no one can spell, a house she can’t afford and a teenage daughter who’s pulling away. With her fledgeling virtual-assistant business, she’s scrambling to maintain her overbearing mother’s ridiculous Susie Homemaker standards and still pay the bills, thanks to clients like Lucas, the annoying playboy cop who claims he hangs around for Harper’s fresh-baked cookies.

Spending half her life in school hasn’t prepared Dr. Stacey Bloom for her most daunting challenge—motherhood. She didn’t inherit the nurturing gene like Harper and is in deep denial that a baby is coming. Worse, her mother will be horrified to learn that Stacey’s husband plans to be a stay-at-home dad…assuming Stacey can first find the courage to tell Mom she’s already six months pregnant.

Separately they may be a mess, but together Harper and Stacey can survive anything—their indomitable mother, overwhelming maternity stores and ex’s weddings. Sisters Like Us is a delightful look at sisters, mothers and daughters in today’s fast-paced world, told with Susan Mallery’s trademark warmth and humor.

Sisters Like Us is another great story by Susan Mallery. I had no idea this was the fourth novel in this series when I requested it but I don't think you need to read the rest first to truly enjoy it. I certainly did.

The story relates the tribulations of two sisters and their families during a time when they are both going through big changes in their lives.

Harper Szymanski was brought up to become the perfect housewife. Sadly, she's now divorced and her ex-husband is dating someone younger. She's having problems with her teenage daughter who's rebellious and selfish at times. She's also struggling with her monthly bills and her job as a virtual assistant. Over the years, she has developed a clientele including Lucas, a cop who got hurt in the line of duty and who needed someone to organize his life afterward. Harper loves to do things from scratch. She's a great cook and great at her job as an assistant but her relationship with her daughter is suffering and she's not dedicating enough time to her job either. She feels overwhelmed. 

Stacey Bloom is a research scientist. She's very smart and she's also very pregnant. She hasn't told her mother she's six months pregnant and the longer she waits to tell her, the harder it is. You see, Stacey has never wanted to be a mother but she loves her husband and they are at the right time in their lives to start a family. Her husband adores her and supports her. He's also going to be taking care of their baby once he's born while she goes back to work. Yet, she dreads telling her mother she's pregnant since her mother believes her to be a failure. She's nothing like Harper. Being a housewife was never her goal. But her mother, Bunny is old school and under her hypercritical eyes, neither daughter became what she wanted them to be. 

Sisters Like Us had more of a women's fiction vibe than a romance. I still very much appreciate the romance in it. Lucas was great until I wanted to punch him but regardless, he was there for Harper in so many different ways. He was also there for Harper's daughter. Stacey's husband was adorable and just perfect for her. I love the humor in this novel. So many great quotes. Some of them had me laughing out loud. I love seeing the growth of the female characters too. Harper's daughter learned to think about more than herself and started helping Harper more. I never warmed up to Bunny. She was mean to her daughters and her archaic thoughts rubbed me the wrong way. 

I want to go back and read the rest of the books in this series. I know I'll enjoy them.

"OMG, you want to have sex with me."
Yes, there were complications, yes, this could be a huge mistake, but honestly, who cared? She grabbed his hand and started for her bedroom, only to come to a stop and spin toward him.
"I don't have condoms."
"I do."
"I haven't washed the sheets in three days."
"Shocking but I'll recover."
She bit her lower lip. "I'm not sure I remember how."
One corner of his mouth turned up. "I'm happy to reacquaint you with everything you need to know."

Cliffhanger: No

4/5 Fangs

A complimentary copy was provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Rider’s Revenge by Jamie Begley

Title: Rider’s Revenge 
Series: The Last Riders #10
Author: Jamie Begley 
Release Date: January 26, 2018

Revenge is a seven-letter word that isn’t for the faint of heart. It’s a word for those who have been wronged. 

Jo Turner has been waiting five, long years to finally turn revenge into vengeance. Using Rider, the pretty-faced manwhore, is simply the price she is willing to pay to satiate her desire for revenge. Little does she know, she makes herself a target from the one thing Rider has sworn to give his life to protect—The Last Riders.

When you wake the soldier, be prepared for the consequences. 
Rider is going to teach her a hard lesson: revenge is a double-edged sword … and it always cuts both ways.

"I'd have to be a little nutty to love you."

I can't believe it but I'm so disappointed. I was expecting Rider's book to be as good as Cash's book. Such a letdown! 

There are so many things I was unhappy with. But the most important as a romance lover was that the romance felt completely flat to me. There is no great gesture, groveling, or even a clear declaration of love from Rider to Jo which I could believe. 

If you are a fan of this series like I am, you know these guys aren't into monogamy until they meet their one true love (for the most part). I was so excited about Rider finally meeting his match. Someone who can bring him down a peg and make him fight for her love. What I got, was a doormat of a heroine who let him do whatever he wanted. The synopsis says this book is about her revenge but halfway through the book, she gives up. 

Saying that I still like some parts of the book. The banter between Jo and Rider, the "shadiness" from Shade who enjoys manipulating his buddies,  Jo discussing who she wants her other Last Rider to be, Lily discussing her love of cowboys, Killyama in every scene.  The epilogues were also all great. The last one, of course, bittersweet, just like Shade's book was for me. I won't lie. I teared up while reading it. Regardless of the good parts, they were not enough to save this book as a whole for this reader.

Anyway, I'm still invested in this series and I'll read the next book. I hope it is Gavin's turn. The guy deserves a great woman. 

Cliffhanger: No

2/5 Fangs

Liars by Frances Vick

Title: Liars 
Author: Frances Vick
Publisher: Bookouture
Release Date: January 26, 2018

He loves you. He’d do anything for you. But you don’t even know him.

Jenny hasn’t had an easy life – no job and no money, with a sick mother and an abusive ex-stepfather. Not that anybody cares, she’s from the wrong side of town.

David has taken care of Jenny ever since they were at school together. He knows how special she is, how much she needs his support. David has a lot of love to give.

Jenny and David aren’t in a relationship. They aren’t even friends.

Jenny thinks she’s free to do what she wants, see who she likes. What does David think? Well, you’ll have to find out.

A gripping psychological thriller about the lies we tell ourselves, perfect for fans of Friend Request, The Couple Next Door and Teresa Driscoll.

Liars is full of twists and turns and like its name, it seems like everyone is lying. Instead of trying to find the lies, it's easier for the reader to try to piece the truth together.  

Jenny had a hard upbringing. She is now taking care of her mother. She has moved back home after her mother suffers a stroke. But, when her mother is found dead while Jenny was out, she feels devastated. She also seems to need an alibi. So this is how David enters the picture.

David seems to be the right guy to fall in love with. He's sweet, handsome, and rich. Yet, we know David is hiding secrets of his own. 

Only one person is questioning David's intentions and that would be Freddy. Freddy is Jenny's best friend who has been there for Jenny whenever she needed a shoulder to cry on. He wants the best for her. He supports her blog and her decision to resume her studies. However, the more time Freddy spends with David, the more questions he has about him. 

Well, I wanted to like Liars but I can only say that it was too predictable. Furthermore, it felt too long for me and it was in need of major editing. Unfortunately, I didn't like the main characters. Both felt flat for me. I never formed an attachment to them. 

I do want to thank Netgalley and Bookouture for the advance digital copy.

Cliffhanger: No

2/5 Fangs