The French Executioner by C. C. Humphreys-Review and Giveaway

The French Executioner by C.C. Humphreys-Review and Giveaway

The French Executioner

The French Executioner
by C.C. Humphreys
Re-release Date: October 7, 2014
Genre: historical, fiction

The French executioner

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It is 1536 and the expert swordsman Jean Rombaud has been brought over from France by Henry VIII to behead his wife, Anne Boleyn. But on the eve of her execution Rombaud swears a vow to the ill-fated queen – to bury her six-fingered hand, symbol of her rumoured witchery, at a sacred crossroads. Yet in a Europe ravaged by religious war, the hand of this infamous Protestant icon is so powerful a relic that many will kill for it… From a battle between slave galleys to a Black Mass in a dungeon, through the hallucinations of St Anthony’s Fire to the fortress of an apocalyptic Messiah, Jean seeks to honour his vow.

REVIEW

4 out of 5 for this reader folks!

WELL …. that was quite different from what I expected and what I have ever read before. When I read the synopsis I figured out that this was not going to be a traditional “Tudor” historical fiction, but I still wasn’t expecting such a far fetched, rich, magical adventure that I discovered. This isn’t a negative remark in any sense as many love the art of fantasy fiction and it is brilliant to take such a well known chunk of history (Queen Anne and her beheading) and then not just focus on that, but focus on another one of her body parts and the man that removed it (as well as her head).

“The French Executioner” by C.C. Humphreys is about Jean Rombaud who was the french man with the expert sword that ending the famous Queen’s life. Before the task was completed, Anne made Jean promise to take her six fingered hand and bury it at a certain place at a certain time as it’s now a relic. Once the beheading is complete, Jean begins his journey by having the relic stolen from underneath him. Now facing the task of recovery and full filling a promise, Jean takes us on quite the adventure. We are taken to place after place, experience fight after fight and understand why Jean is so motivated to make this vow a reality. He comes from such sad circumstances and you get the sense that if he can keep this promise he has redeemed himself some what.

Will not share any more than that about the story. While I may have thought I was going to get another historical fiction of the Tudor dynasty, I was pleasantly surprised that instead, I indulged in a medieval fantasy plot. I mean who has ever read anything about the man that beheaded the infamous Queen of England? Who has ever heard or thought to write about her six fingered hand and then make it a relic? SO UNIQUE!

I will say it did take me a little bit to get into this book. I did think to myself a few times “Pick it up all ready!”, but once the picking up happened, I was committed to the read. I do prefer my Tudor historical fiction on the more traditional side, but reading this book was like a breath of fresh air that left me wondering/anticipating where/what I was about to experience.

If you enjoy anything Tudor, you should give this book a try.

HAPPY READING! :)

Copy supplied by the publisher.

Reviewed by Rachel T.

About The Author beige

C.C. HumphreysFOLLOW: Goodreads /Website/ Facebook

C.C. Humphreys (aka Chris Humphreys) was born in Toronto, Canada, and grew up in Los Angeles and London. A third generation actor and writer on both sides of his family, he returned to Canada in the nineties and there his writing career began. He won the inaugural playwriting competition of the New Play Centre, Vancouver with his first play, ‘A Cage Without Bars’ which was produced in Vancouver and London. He was a schoolboy fencing champion, became a fight choreographer and thus turned his love of swashbuckling towards historical fiction. He is married and lives in Finchley, North London.

 

Giveaway beige

C.C.’s publisher is graciously offering a paper copy to ONE (1) commenter at The Reading Cafe.

1.If you have not previously registered at The Reading Cafe, please register by using the log-in at the top of the page (side bar) or by using one of the social log-ins.

2. If you are using a social log-in, please post your email address with your comment.

3. Please LIKE us on FACEBOOK and click GET NOTIFICATIONS

4. Please LIKE us on Twitter for an additional entry.

5. Please LIKE us on GOODREADS  for an additional entry.

6. Please LIKE C.C. Humphreys on FACEBOOK.

7. Giveaway is U.S. only

8. Giveaway runs from October 20-October 24, 2014, 2014

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2014 Read Pink® in Honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month

2014 Read Pink® in Honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month

 

read pink

Once again we are pleased to participate in the 2014 Read Pink® in Honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month and Support the Next Chapter in Innovative Research sponsored by Penguin Random House.

 

Read Pink® in Honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month and Support the Next Chapter in Innovative Research

Penguin Random House Marks Five-Year Partnership Milestone and $125,000in Donations to The Breast Cancer Research Foundation®

 

What’s black and white and pink all over? The initiative by Penguin Random House called Read Pink® in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month (October)!

Today the scientific community has left behind the “one-size-fits-all” breast cancer treatment to emerge with targeted, more effective therapies. As a result, after remaining stagnant for more than 50 years, the death rate from breast cancer has decreased by 30 percent. The Read Pink® initiative by Penguin Random House is proud to be part of this exciting new chapter in the fight against breast cancer, supporting the bold research of The Breast Cancer Foundation® (BCRF), while leveraging its passionate readers to help increase awareness and education about the disease. This literary embrace of a life-saving cause has resulted in nearly 1.5 million best-selling novels shipped with Read Pink seals and information about BCRF across all five years of the promotion.

Penguin Random House is thrilled to partner once again this year with BCRF, as 91 cents of every dollar spent by BCRF is directed towards breast cancer research and awareness programs.

The $25,000 donation that Penguin Random House contributes, regardless of sales, provides vital funds to support the mission of BCRF.

In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month and Penguin Random House’s Read Pink® editions, we are featuring a few participating authors and what Read Pink® means to them…


a hundred summersBeatriz Williams (2014 Read Pink® Spokesperson), A Hundred Summers

“Every life lost to breast cancer leaves behind a hole that can never be filled again: a wife, a mother, a sister, a friend, an aunt, a grandmother. I’m so grateful for organizations like The Breast Cancer Research Foundation for their efforts to find a cure for this devastating disease, and honored to support breast cancer awareness, detection, and research through Penguin’s READ PINK program in 2014. With your help, we can move closer to the day when breast cancer leaves behind only survivors.”

 


the time betweenKaren White
, The Time Between
“Since 1989, death rates from breast cancer have been decreasing due to earlier detection and improved treatment because of the efforts of organizations like The Breast Cancer Research Foundation. Books have always been an important part of my life, and I am honored that my book will be part of Penguin’s Read Pink program that supports breast cancer awareness and research through reading. It is my greatest hope that through efforts like this we might find a cure within my lifetime.”

 

 

Nora Roberts, Sea Swept and The Witness
“To all the moms and daughters, wives and sisters, lovers and friends, Read Pink is here for you and yours. Help support breast cancer awareness and the strong, brave women who fight or will fight this disease and Read Pink in October.”

Sea Swept

The Witness

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Perfect TimeingCatherine Anderson, Perfect Timing
“I am so delighted to be included in the Read Pink campaign again this year with Perfect Timing being featured, along with so many other great books, to raise funds for breast cancer research. I can remember when a diagnosis of breast cancer was often equivalent to a death sentence. Nowadays, the survival rates have increased greatly, and I personally know women who have prevailed over this terrible disease. Sadly, I’ve also known a few women who lost the battle. So I call upon all of you to join ranks with me and countless other women in a war to defeat breast cancer. ‘Read Pink! Buy books bearing the Read Pink logo as gifts for the women you love.’ By standing together as sisters, we have it within our power to make

a huge difference!”

Dream eyesJayne Ann Krentz, Dream Eyes
“This is the time of year when we celebrate the progress that has been made in the battle against breast cancer and acknowledge the work that lies ahead. No, we aren’t there yet. There’s a long way to go. The greatest weapon we have to fight this disease is research and research costs money. That is why this breast cancer awareness campaign is so important and why I am proud to participate.”

 

 

 

I Want To Hold Your Hand 2Marie Force, I Want to Hold Your Hand
“I’m so thrilled to be part of the Read Pink effort to help raise awareness and funding for breast cancer research. I hear frequently from romance readers who tell me my books and those of other romance authors have helped them get through breast cancer treatment. I want to hear from fewer of them in the future. I want to hear they took our books on fabulous vacations rather than treatments. Please Read Pink in October to support all the courageous women fighting this disease and to fund critical research. Thank you for Reading Pink!”

 

 

Full List of 2014 Participating Authors:
Jojo Moyes, The Last Letter from your Lover
Karen White, The Time Between
Nora Roberts, Sea Swept and The Witness
Jennifer Chiaverini, Mrs. Lincoln’s Dressmaker
Beatriz Williams, A Hundred Summers
Wendy Wax, While We Were Watching Downton Abbey
Catherine Anderson, Perfect Timing
Marie Force, I Want to Hold Your Hand
Janet Chapman, The Heart of a Hero
Lisa Gardner, MacNamara’s Woman
Jayne Ann Krentz, Dream Eyes

 

Mark your calendars and remember to join in the conversation with @BerkleyRomance and @PenguinGroupUSA on Twitter in October. Make sure to use the hashtag #ReadPink!

 For more information about the Read Pink initiative and to view a complete list of the participating retail outlets, please visit penguin.com/readpink.

 

Read Pink®
Blog Tour Schedule

Please support the blogs taking part in this special, Read Pink® Spotlight Tour!

 October 1 – Exclusive guest post with spokesperson Beatriz Williams on LizandLisa.com
***

September 22       Cheryl’s Book Nook; The Readers Den; Gone with the Words;                                                                 Pretty Sassy Cool
September 23       Reading Reality; You Gotta Read; Adria’s Romance Reviews
September 24       Kimberly Faye Reads; Nicely Phrased; I Smell Sheep
September 25       Romance Junkies; To Read or Not To Read; A Southern Girl’s Bookshelf
September 26       Cindy’s Love of Books; Chick Lit Plus; The Book Reading Gals
September 29       LitChat; Melissa’s Eclectic Bookshelf; Chris Book Blog Emporium
September 30       Reality Bites! Let’s Get Lost!; Grave Tells; Britt’s Book and Life Blog;      Sincerely Stacie
October 1             Cocktails and Books; The Reading Nook Reviews; 2Bookaholics;                                                                 Wit & Sin; Raw Books
October 2            SOS Aloha; Bookish Things & More; Shayna Renee’s Spicy Reads
October 3            Dew on the Kudzu; Peace Love Books; Grown Up Book Reviews
October 6            My Book Addiction and More; Book-alicious Mama; Chick Lit Central
October 7            A Dream Within A Dream; Thoughts in Progress; Mundie Moms
October 8           Flirty and Dirty Book Blog; Readers Live A Thousand Lives;                                                                 That’s What I’m Talking About
October 9          Book Lovin’ Mamas; Lori’s Reading Corner; The Book Reading Gals

October 10        Supernatural Snark; Once Upon a Twilight; Expressions of a Hopeful Romantic
October 13        Fallen Angel Reviews; Parajunkee’s View; As I Turn the Pages
October 14        Reading in Black & White; Keepin It Real Book Blog
October 15        ABCD Diaries; Fictional Candy; Paranormal Book Club
October 16        Sexy Bibliophiles; Book Sniffers Anonymous; Sexy Book Reviews By Shelly & April
October 17       Wicked Lil Pixie; The Book Swarm; Addicted 2 Novels;                                                                 Stephanie’s Book Reports
October 20       News & Sentinel, “Book Nook”; The Reading Café
October 21       The Book Bellas; The Book Cellar
October 22       The Novel Life; My Book Muse; Confessions of a Y.A. & N.A. Book Addict
October 23       Rock Stars of Romance; Silver’s Reviews; Journey of a Bookseller
October 24       Sunshine & Mountains
October 27       Bewitched Bookworms; Ramblings From This Chick
October 28       Reading in Pajamas; Turn the Page
October 29       Michelle & Leslie’s Book Picks; Stuck In YA Books; Reviews by Tammy & Kim
October 30      Fang-tastic Books; No BS Book Reviews; Marie’s Cozy Corner Smut Book Junkie Book Reviews
October 31      In Shadows; Love Romances & More

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Immortal (Fallen Angels #6) by J.R.Ward-Review and Giveway

Immortal (Fallen Angels #6) by JR. Ward-Review and Giveaway

Immortal Banner

Immortal
Fallen Angels #6
by J.R.Ward
Release Date: October 7, 2014
Genre: adult, contemporary, paranormal, romance

Immortal

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About the book:

This is a world where sin and salvation collide. This is a world where a cynical fallen angel struggles with the seven deadly sins and seven chosen souls. With the spellbinding Immortal, the riveting series that “changed the face of paranormal romance” (Suit101.com) comes to an epic close as mankind’s reluctant savior struggles with his greatest challenge yet…

Review:

Immortal begins where the previous book left off.  Jim, the savior, has given up one of his wins to Devina, which gave her the lead by one.  Which means there are two souls left in play and Jim has to win the next two, or the evil Devina will literally rain hell down on earth.  Jim and Adrian, along with Sissy’s help, embark on their final journey together to try and right the wrongs wrought by Devina.  There is so much going on in this book that it makes it hard to even give a synopsis without giving away too much.  They are dealing with Nigel’s death which makes it even more difficult, as he was the “head” angel in heaven and the leader of Jim’s team.  They are still dealing with Eddie’s death, as well as trying to figure out who the next souls in play will be.  But, once they start figuring out whose souls have been placed in play by the Creator, things get to rolling. Fast.  And, yep, I didn’t see it coming.  Let’s just say they didn’t have to look far……..

J.R. Ward wrote a very good conclusion to her Fallen Angels series.  (I can’t believe it’s over!!)  There is angst, lots of despair and ultimate redemption that will keep you twisting in your seat.  Jim is the ultimate hero, not only fighting evil in the world, but fighting the demons within himself.  And, I don’t even know where to start with Devina.  She is one of the best anti-heroes I’ve ever read.  She is the ultimate evil, who has temper tantrums like a moody teenager which makes her so much fun to read.  Jim’s sidekicks, Adrian and Eddie, are AWESOME.  Sissy, who ends up being the heroine of the series, grew into her own throughout the book, and even though I didn’t think she was quite right for Jim, the fact that they end up together and in a wonderful place, brought a tear to my eye…..or 100…….or more……

The only thing that has curbed my sadness at this series being over is the fact that Ward has said that Devina, Adrian and Eddie will crossover at some point into the Black Dagger Brotherhood series.  And, I could not be happier about that.  They will be a fabulous addition to an already freaking awesome series.  Well done, J.R. Ward, very very well done.

Reviewed by Vickie M

giveaway

JR Ward’s publisher is graciously offering a HARD COVER copy of IMMORTAL to ONE (1) lucky commenter at The Reading Cafe

1. If you have not previously registered at The Reading Cafe, please register by using the log-in at the top of the page (side bar) or by using one of the social log-ins.

2. If you are using a social log-in, please post your email address with your comment.

3. Please LIKE us on FACEBOOK and click GET NOTIFICATIONS

4. Please LIKE us on Twitter for an additional entry.

5. Please LIKE us on GOODREADS  for an additional entry.

6. Please LIKE JR WARD on FACEBOOK.

7. Giveaway is U.S. only

8. Giveaway runs from October 19-October 24, 2014, 2014

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A Highland Wolf Christmas by Terry Spear-a review

A HIGHLAND WOLF CHRISTMAS (Heart of the Wolf #15) by Terry Spear-a review

A Highland Wolf christmas fall 14

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ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date October 7, 2014

Financial advisor Guthrie MacNeill isn’t a complete Scrooge—he just hates the enormous cost associated with the Christmas holiday season. Needless to say, when his pack hires a party planner to decorate the castle, he’s at his wit’s end. Until Calla Stewart arrives on the scene with her mistletoe in hand.

Calla has never had a client as difficult as Guthrie, but she’s determined to give the pack a Christmas season they will never forget—no matter how much it costs. But when her ex-fiancé begins stalking her and threatening her safety, Guthrie decides to loosen his grip on the purse strings and let out his inner Highland warrior wolf to protect her.

••••••••••••••••

REVIEW: A HIGHLAND WOLF CHRISTMAS is the fifteenth installment in Terry Spear’s contemporary, adult Heart of the Wolf paranormal romance series focusing on the shifter wolves of the Scottish Highlands. This is event planner Calla Stewart and financial advisor Guthrie MacNeill’s storyline, one that began in book fourteen –Hero of a Highland Wolf- where Calla ‘stole’ Guthrie’s boxer shorts and ran them up the flagpole. A HIGHLAND WOLF CHRISTMAS can be read as a stand alone storyline. Many of the previous storyline characters play secondary roles but any important information is revealed when and where necessary.

Told from third person point of view, the storyline focuses on the upcoming Christmas celebration. As the MacNeill Clan make preparations for the holidays, they bring in their friend and events coordinator Calla Stewart whose personal life is spiraling out of control. Having called off her wedding and mating to Baird McKinley, Calla finds herself being stalked by the very man from whom she left standing at the altar. Enter Guthrie MacNeill-the wolf who would steal her heart and become her mate-if only they survive the coming attacks.

The premise follows the building relationship between Calla and Guthrie but both are coming off of recent disastrous courtships with other wolves. Their attraction to one another is immediate but neither one wants to jump into another relationship fearing heartbreak and rebound emotions. While the preparations for the holidays get under way, Calla’s ex fiancé has plans of his own that involve getting Calla back-at any cost.

The world building continues using the backdrop of the Scottish Highlands and Argent Castle, as well as the continuing story of the MacNeill Wolf Pack and their growing family. The secondary characters include many of the previous storyline couples as well as Calla’s family and a number of rival wolf pack members whose goal is to see Calla returned to their Clan.

A HIGHLAND WOLF CHRISTMAS is a story of betrayal, revenge, heartbreak and hope. Terry Spear pulls the reader into a seductive tale of action, romance and suspense during the holiday season and Christmas festivities; where two people who have lost find love with one another. Terry’s wolves will tweak your imagination and set your mind onto a path of hopeful futures.

Copy supplied by the publisher through Netgalley.

Reviewed by Sandy

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Broken Soul by Faith Hunter – a Review

Broken Soul by Faith Hunter – a Review

 

Broken Soul
Jane Yellowrock series – Book #8
by Faith Hunter
Release Date: October 7, 2014

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Description:
When the Master of the city of New Orleans asks Jane to improve security for a future visit from a delegation of European vampires, she names an exorbitant price—and Leo is willing to pay. That’s because the European vamps want Leo’s territory, and he knows that he needs Jane to prevent a total bloodbath. Leo, however, doesn’t mention how this new job will change Jane’s life or the danger it will bring her and her team.

Jane has more to worry about than some greedy vampires. There’s a vicious creature stalking the streets of New Orleans, and its agenda seems to be ripping Leo and her to pieces. Now Jane just has to figure out how to kill something she can’t even see….

 

 

Review:

Broken Soul by Faith Hunter is the 8th book in her wonderful Jane Yellowrock series. This is one of my favorite series that I always wait impatiently for the next book. Jane is a skinwalker, with the soul of a mountain lion as part of her. When this series started out, Beast (Jane’s other part) was a big part of Jane, but we didn’t get to see much of her. Over time, Beast has become a bit more equal with Jane, and their power together is lethal. I love Jane… I love Beast, and love listening to them talk to each other. In Broken Soul, Jane learns more from Beast the things they can do together, which makes them an awesome combo that can’t be beat.

Faith Hunter has taken us on this journey slowly through the years of watching Jane become what she is today, opening herself to family, friends, love and Beast. Best of all in this book, we finally get what we have all been waiting for. Bruiser.   I have said over the last few books, that Jane needed to dump Rick (who I do not like) and allow Bruiser into her life. Sigh…. Thank you, Faith. Read this book to find out more about Jane and Bruiser, not to mention Beast. Lol However, Leo’s reaction to Jane and Bruiser will blow your mind.

As the story starts, Jane as Leo’s (Master of the City) Enforcer, is in the midst of beefing up security in Leo’s mansion, as well as the new one being built. The European Vamps are coming soon for a visit, and they must be prepared for the possible threats on Leo’s territory. It was fun to watch Jane and other security staff practice with the top vamps how to handle swords, since the European Vamps use that weapon of choice. Unfortunately, they were unprepared for an attack from another dark source from Europe that is now in New Orleans, and puts them all in danger. We learn about the secrets Leo has kept from Jane and others, that also drew this dark group (known as Satan’s 3) to come before the arrival in a couple of months of the European Vamps. They are determined to bring down Leo, take all the secret magical items; including finding a mythical creature, L’arcenciels, a creature of light, who have dangerous abilities, which this group wants. From here on in, the adventure is non-stop action, fighting, danger, with lives lost. A very exciting, tense, pulse-pounding story that finds Jane thick in the middle, as this dark group wants her too. I will not be giving out spoilers, so you need to read this book to find out more.

Faith continually gives us wonderful new characters in this series. Eli and the Kid are now part of Jane’s team, and I love their relationship, giving us a feel of family togetherness. Derek is now training as Leo’s Enforcer, to take over from Jane, eventually. All the vamps that are part of Leo, are part of this story, which made this a lot of fun early on. One of the best parts of this story was Bruiser coming face to face with Beast. Oh I fell more in love with Bruiser. Please please Faith, keep Jane with Bruiser. Though there is a small part of me that wonders what it would be like with her and Leo. Lol

I continue to have the utmost respect for Faith Hunter. She gives us so much detail and at times complex, of Vampire history, current Vampire Politics, Mythical creatures that we remained glued to our seat in fear of missing any important information. With that said, this was also one of the most exciting books. Faith has done a marvelous job with the growth of Jane, and Beast. I cannot wait for the next book. If you have not read this series, you need to do so, as each book gets better and better.

Reviewed by Barb



theauthorFaithHunter1Small

New York Times bestselling author Faith Hunter writes dark urban fantasy and paranormal urban thrillers.

Her long-running, bestselling, Skinwalker series features Jane Yellowrock, a hunter of rogue-vampires. Her Rogue Mage novels, a dark, urban fantasy series features Thorn St. Croix, a stone mage in a post-apocalyptic, alternate reality. She has a new paranormal crime solving series featuring Nell Nicholson Ingram, who can siphon away the magic of others, to be released in late 2015.

 

Under the pen name Gwen Hunter, she has written action adventure, mysteries, thrillers, women’s fiction, a medical thriller series, and even historical religious fiction. As Gwen, she is a winner of the WH Smith Literary Award for Fresh Talent in 1995 in the UK, and won a Romantic Times Reviewers Choice Award in 2008. Under all her pen names, she has over 30 books in print in 29 countries.

Faith Hunter writes full-time, and is a workaholic. Faith researches in great detail, and tries everything her characters do. Research led to her life’s passion – jewelry making, white-water kayaking, travel, all which appear in and are used in her novels. Jewelry making was the occupation of two of her characters: Thorn St. Croix, the Rogue Mage, and the main character of Blood Stone, written by her pen name, Gwen Hunter. She fell in love with it. The jewelry she makes and wears is often given as promo items to fans who come to her signings, and is used as prizes in contests. Check her Facebook Fan Page for pics of her jewelry.

She and her husband love to RV, traveling with their rescued Pomeranians to Whitewater Rivers all over the Southeast. (The poms don’t whitewater. The pampered dogs stay in the RV in lazy, air-conditioned comfort!)

 Faith is a founding member of MagicalWords, a writing forum at www.magicalwords.net geared to helping writers of fantasy and other genres. And she is a voracious reader.  

You can learn more about Faith at the following links:
Website / Facebook / Twitter / Goodreads

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Alex (Cold Fury Hockey #1) by Sawyer Bennett-a review

ALEX (Cold Fury Hockey #1) by Sawyer Bennett-a review

ALEX by Sawyer Bennett

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ABOUT THE BOOK: October 14, 2014

Hockey star Alexander Crossman has a reputation as a cold-hearted player on and off the rink. Pushed into the sport by an alcoholic father, Alex isn’t afraid to give fans the proverbial middle finger, relishing his role as the MVP they love to hate. Management, however, isn’t so amused. Now Alex has a choice: fix his public image through community service or ride the bench. But Alex refuses to be molded into the Carolina Cold Fury poster boy . . . not even by a tempting redhead with killer curves.

As a social worker, Sutton Price is accustomed to difficult people—like Alex, who’s been assigned to help her create a drug-abuse awareness program for at-risk youth as part of the team’s effort to clean up his image. What she doesn’t expect is the arrogant smirk from his perfect lips to stir her most heated fantasies. But Sutton isn’t one to cross professional boundaries—and besides, Alex doesn’t do relationships . . . or does he? The more she sees behind Alex’s bad-boy façade, the more Sutton craves the man she uncovers.

•••••••••••••••••••

REVIEW: ALEX is the first installment in Sawyer Bennett’s adult, contemporary Cold Fury Hockey romance series focusing on the members of the Carolina Cold Fury professional hockey team. This is star player Alexander Crossman and social worker/counsellor Sutton Prices’s storyline.

Alex Crossman is one of the most hated players in professional hockey. His cold demeanor and attitude leaves waves of frosty ice in his wake-even the fans have nothing good to say about one of the most valuable players of the game. But Alex hides a secret-a painful past –that continues to plague Alex every time his puts on his skates and picks up his stick. He knows he is difficult and appears to thrive on the animosity towards the game; he doesn’t care about anyone or the game, and his attitude has not gone unnoticed by management. Alex is given an ultimatum-clean up his image or say good bye to his career. Enter Sutton Price, a social worker who is tasked with ‘babysitting’ the bad boy of professional hockey.

The relationship between Sutton and Alex is one of immediate attraction but one that begins under the guise of a professional assignment. Alex must participate and help Sutton with her program for at-risk youth but his demeanor and attitude leave much to be desired. He is a man whose own childhood held nothing but bad memories and in this everything about Sutton hits too close to home. As their relationship builds, so too does Alex’s need for Sutton but then someone from his past comes barreling back and reminds Alex that it is all about the game and nothing else.

The secondary characters include Sutton’s very supportive family, as well as Alex’s teammates. Both Alex and Sutton come from dysfunctional family roots where abuse and addiction have formed the people they are today-but not always in a positive manner. Alex will begin to reevaluate the choices he has made in his life and with it will come the desire to move forward and let go of the past-if only the past will let go of him. Alex believes himself unworthy of love and will sabotage any chance at happiness with Sutton when his father comes back into the picture.

The world building pulls the reader into the arenas, the stands and behind the scenes of one of the world’s most prolific sports. From ‘puck-bunnies’ to ardent fans of the game, we get an up close and personal look at the social commentary both on and off the ice.

ALEX is a heartbreaking storyline about the emotional and psychological affects of addiction and abuse. It is an intimate story about two people, coming from similar backgrounds, but how those backgrounds have led Alex and Sutton down differing paths. Sawyer Bennett pulls the reader into a passionate and intense story of love and hate; betrayal and trust; moving forward and letting go.

Copy supplied by the author through Netgalley.

Reviewed by Sandy

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Redeemed (House of Night #12) by PC & Kristin Cast-a review

Redeemed (House of Night #12) by PC & Kristin Cast-a review

Redeemed Oct 14

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About the book: Release Date October 14, 2014

In the final electrifying novel in the HoN series, Neferet has finally made herself known to mortals. A Dark Goddess is loose on Tulsa and the world. No single vampyre is strong enough to vanquish her – unless that creature has the power to summon the elements as well as the ability to wield Old Magick. Only Zoey Redbird is heir to such power…but because of the consequences of using Old Magick, she is unable to help. Find out who will win and who will lose in this epic battle of Light versus Darkness.

••••••••••••••••••••••

REVIEW: REDEEMED is the final instalment in PC & Kristin Cast’s HOUSE OF NIGHT young adult, paranormal series focusing on sixteen year old fledgling vampyre/high priestess Zoey Redbird and her House of Night gang of misfit vampyres with affinities to the elements.

The final instalment focuses on the take down of the House of Night’s self-proclaimed goddess Neferet and the absolution of the Dark Winged Warrior Kalona. As Neferet terrorizes and destroys much of the city of Tulsa, Zoey and her fellow fledgling vampyres must devise a plan to stop Neferet’s reign of terror-once and for all.

As in the previous instalments, the language and text of the storyline is adolescent in nature but the series is directed at middle grade and young adult readers so perhaps it is to be expected but I felt is was a little condescending. My biggest disappointment was with Neferet’s speech, language and actions. The immature nature of the character did not equate with the age and power of the supernatural being. She reminded me of ‘the mean girl’ when she didn’t get her way would have a temper tantrum of epic proportion.

The level of violence has escalated in REDEEMED such that the graphic nature of the violence and the numerous killings was disconcerting; as the numbers climbed so did my disappointment with the story. I found the numerous violent incidents over the top and redundant, and not necessary to storyline.

I will add that the House of Night series had much potential in the early books but somewhere along the way, the authors may have erred in their storyline content and characterizations such that many readers lost interest and no longer cared. Perhaps it was the introduction of too many characters; too many villains; too many deaths; too many dead characters brought back to life; or the immature nature of the characters. Or perhaps it was the very slow build up of the series such that twelve books (and four prequel novellas) spanned less than a year in the series timeline but seven years to write and publish. Seven years is a long time and many readers-especially young adults and tweens- will walk away from a series where very little happens between storylines. Teens become adults and will eventually gravitate to more mature storylines and adult books. Or perhaps, YA novels are just that-young adult storylines and the more mature reader may have difficulty with some of the storyline content.

The final battle will see justice served but it will also see the loss of friends but a loss that is comforted by a happily ever after-for now -because although Neferet will get what she deserves, she is immortal and obviously very hard to kill. Is any character truly dead in a paranormal series?

Copy supplied by the publisher through Netgalley.

Reviewed by Sandy

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Final Lap (Fast Track #8) by Erin McCarthy-a review

FINAL LAP (Fast Track #8) by Erin McCarthy-a review

Final Lap

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ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date October 7, 2014

Switching into high gear……

At a friend’s lavish wedding, Harley McLain and her twin sister, Charity, meet sexy stock-car driver Cooper Brickman. The more reserved Harley is immediately smitten—until he hits on her twin. But Harley has had enough of being the “nice” girl, and after trading dresses with Charity, she seduces Cooper for a night of wild sex.

……ready for a hot lap.

What was supposed to be a one-night fling gets complicated when Cooper needs a nanny to look after his kid sister—and is convinced sweet, dependable Harley would be perfect for the job. She can’t resist the money—or Cooper’s hot bod. But when her deception is revealed, will it destroy her dependable image—or will he finally realize how sexy sweet can be?

•••••••••••••••••••••••

REVIEW: FINAL LAP is the eight and final installment in Erin McCarthy’s contemporary, adult Fast Track romance series focusing on the men and women of NASCAR. This is race car driver Cooper Brickman and Harley McLain-a woman Cooper hires to ‘nanny’ his younger sister-thirteen year old MaryJane. Although this is the eighth book in the series, it can be read as a stand alone without any difficulty; some of the previous storyline characters play secondary roles but any important information from the prior stories is imparted where necessary.

The premise follows Cooper and Harley’s building relationship-one that has been predicated on a bit of a lie. Having met both Harley and her flamboyantly identical twin sister Charity at a mutual friend’s wedding, Cooper found himself attracted to both sisters but with different intentions in mind. Charity is the sexy, in your face sister who goes for what she wants; Harley considers herself the more quiet and demure of the twins. After a one night stand with the woman he believed was Charity McLain, Cooper sets out to hire Harley as his sister’s live in nanny. What he never expected was to develop feelings for Harley- a woman who is all too familiar-but for reasons he is unable to understand. The twins had pulled a switch-a-roo and it was Harley to whom Cooper made love the night of the wedding.

Harley has had a crush on Cooper for a number of years but when his eye finds Charity, Harley is brokenhearted. Switching places with her twin finds Harley in bed Cooper knowing the man believes he is in bed with someone else. Harley and Cooper’s relationship begins on a professional level but our couple soon begin to develop feelings for one another. Cooper and Harley dance around one another for a good portion of the storyline knowing that eventually they will end up together-one way or another. Harley is the perfect nanny for Cooper’s younger sister but when Mary Jane’s mother comes back into the picture, words are said in anger when an offer is made that Harley cannot refuse.

The secondary characters include many of the previous storyline couples. There is a small side romance developing between Charity McLain and her boss Jeff Sterling. Cooper’s sister Mary Jane is a thirteen year old whose online blog reveals to the world everything and anything about the gossip side of racing. The world building continues with the race car circuit trials and events, as well as the comararderie between Cooper’s on track competition and fellow drivers.

With Final Lap Erin McCarthy brings the Fast Track series to an end. The wedding celebration and fund raisers see most if not all of the previous characters reunited for their final goodbye. With the next generation of family growing fast, who knows if Erin has made any decision about a spin off or if we have finally seen the end of the Fast Track drivers and the women they love.

Copy supplied by the publisher through Netgalley.

Reviewed by Sandy

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