Gods of the Flame Sea by Jean Johnson – a Review

Gods of the Flame Sea by Jean Johnson – a Review

 

Gods of the Flame SeaAmazon / B&N / BAM

Description:
The Fae Rii and their descendants encounter another universe-hopping race, the Efrijt. But where the Fair Traders are after just that, fair trade with other worlds, the Efrijt are after whatever they can get, and the two sides must fight to establish a peace between their clashing interests, or the native humans may end up crushed between them.

 

 

Review:

Gods of the Flame Sea is the 3rd book in Jean Johnson’s Flame Sea fantasy series. Here is a brief refresher of this series: a group of Fae’s known as Fae Rii, arrived  many many years ago and helped create the lands for them and humans who joined them to be habitual.   Over the years the land now called Flame Sea has advanced into a wonderful community for all, including many Fae/Human inter species children.  In the last book we learned more about another species, Efrijt, who live in another land, mining for Mercury, which they need to survive.  Both Flame Sea and the Efrijts keep their distance, but have formed laws to keep a hostile peace.

 Ban, one of the original Fae Rii, spends time with the young mixed race (Fae/Human) children to train them to fight.  Udrin is one of the students, and even Ban has noticed some changes in him, especially his arrogance.  We spent a few chapters in the beginning watching Udrin, who is mixed race between Fae and Efrijt, eat Mercury and steal anima (magic) from others, as well as create little strange creatures.  In a short time, Udrin’s powers grow, as does his insanity. 

What follows is an interesting and exciting storyline, where the Fae and humans begin to see Udrin’s instability, and how dangerous he has become.  Once he hurts one of the female Fae’s, almost to the death, they know they have to do something to stop him. Jintaya , who is the leader,  and many of the Fae team, do everything they can to try to stop Udrin, who continues to become more powerful than even they are.  Rather than tell too much more, it would be spoilers, but the race is on to find a way to stop Udrin, including getting help from the Efrit’s. 

Jean Johnson has written a very nice story that continues the flow of this world building.  I will say that the first few chapters were very slow, when we watched the making of Udrin.  But a third of the way in everything became very exciting, and interesting to see what they will do to try and stop him.   I was under the impression this was a trilogy, but I felt this was sort of left open for a return to the Flame Sea. If you enjoy Sci-Fi fantasy, I am sure you will enjoy this series.

Reviewed by Barb

Copy provided by Publisher

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Bound Together by Christine Feehan – Review & Giveaway

Bound Together by Christine Feehan – Review & Giveaway

 

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Bound Together
Sea Haven/Sisters of the Heart series – Book #6
by Christine Feehan
Release Date: March 21, 2017

Bound TogetherAmazon / B&N / Kobo / BAM / Book Depository

Description:
The Sea Haven series comes to a climactic end as the mysterious man from Blythe Daniels’ past re-enters her life

For five years, Viktor Prakenskii has put his life on hold in order to take down the world’s most feared motorcycle club from the inside. But carrying out the insane violence and seeing the club’s exploitation of the innocent has brought his traumatic past roaring back. And there’s only one cure: to see the wife he left behind…

Blythe Daniels thought she’d never see Viktor again after he murdered her stepfather and left without a word. She rebuilt her life without him, becoming a personal trainer and physical therapist…becoming strong enough for others to lean on. But when Viktor comes back to Sea Haven, he’ll make Blythe question everything she thought she knew about good and evil—and the dark desires of the heart…

 

Review:

Bound Together by Christine Feehan is the 6th and final book in her Sea Haven/Sisters of the Heart series.  Viktor Prakenskii is the final brother that is destined to meet his mate in Sea Haven.  Ilya was the one who started it all in the Drake Sisters series, and all his brothers have since followed meeting their mates in Sisters of the Heart.  Blythe Daniels is the last woman to find her happiness, but 5 years ago, she married a man who disappeared after killing her evil step father, and never heard from again.

Viktor has had the same violent and harsh upbringing his brothers had, and is the most lethal, as well as their leader.  Viktor has been working undercover for the evil and powerful Evan Gratsos (we remember him from the Drake Sisters).  Viktor has his own motorcycle gang (Torpedo Ink) , who grew up together at the school, where they were abused sexually and emotionally, then trained to be assassins.   But Viktor is a good guy, even if he is hard and dangerous; he and his team fight to save the children against the pedophiles.    They do all they can to save them and get them out of the clutches of Even and his Swords Gang.  Then Viktor finds out that Evan is planning to go to Sea Haven and kill Jackson and Elle.  Viktor, under the guise of checking out the place for Evan, then goes back to Sea Haven, where Blythe lives to help alert Jackson and his brothers of the upcoming attack.  

When Blythe sees Viktor, she is shocked, and even more so when Viktor proves to her that she is his wife. She never believed she was married; thinking since he left without a word, the marriage was a ruse.  Viktor was a loose cannon, as he was determined to win back Blythe and convince her that she belongs to him.  There was also an issue where he tells Blythe that he left her messages both to her and his brothers to watch over her.  No one ever received these messages. Viktor brought half of his team, also undercover working for Evan’s gang.  I really did like adopted family, which when all come together would be 18, which include two girls; all having survived horrific childhoods and all totally devoted and loyal to Viktor.  Blythe, who is an empath, knows in a short time, despite her anger and distrust, that she still loves Viktor.  It was an emotional and difficult meeting when Viktor comes face to face with his birth brothers whom he has not seen for many many years or have never seen. 

At the start, when Viktor was very demanding to Blythe, even though he had not talked to her in 5 years, I was kind of not liking him too much.  But that changed quickly, as their romance heated up and he was so loving to her.  Viktor always told his team that Blythe would be the one who would help them see the good of life and teach them how to enjoy and trust.  With all that pressure, by the time we get to the end, you can tell she was going to be there for them. 

This was a wonderful story throughout the book, with many different elements within; we worried, we laughed, we became emotional or tense and even sad.  We got to see Blythe and Viktor rekindle their second chance romance; we learned about the atrocious life Viktor and the young men and girls, who have become lethal, but  take care of each other, as well as those who are being mistreated; the tense suspense as they prepare for the attack; the teaming of all our favorites from both Drake Sisters and Sisters of the Heart (Sea Haven) to fight the enemy, and healing that needs to be done for some of the children they bring home to Sea Haven.  This was such an exciting, emotional and sexual read, and at the same time, some humor from Viktor’s men when they always managed to enter Blythe’s room at the inappropriate time.  I loved Bound Together and hope that Christine will continue to show us what happens to all of the men and women of Torpedo Ink.  Thank you Christine Feehan for this wonderful fantastic finale of this series.

Reviewed by Barb

Copy provided by Publisher

 

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The Last Resort by R.S. Kovach – a Review

The Last Resort by R.S. Kovach – a Review

 

The Last ResortAmazon / B&N / Kobo / BAM

Description:
Alejandra Barros doesn’t know the meaning of failure until fate pulls the rug right out from under her Louboutin stilettos.

Board of Directors’ meetings, corporate takeovers, and jet setting around the globe don’t allow for much of a personal life—and even Ali’s limited free time is dedicated to her beloved horses, show jumping at a championship level. When a freak riding accident shatters her wrist and messes with her confidence at work, her boss mandates a month-long hiatus. If she wants to save her career, she has no choice but to go.

Pebble Creek Lodge is not far from Denver, but the high-end retreat might as well be a world away from the frenzied pace of Manhattan. From the moment she arrives, Ali feels so out of place she’s practically ready to skip the whole “required recovery” nonsense and hop on the next plane back to New York. The only thing stopping her is the ranch hand Hank Mathis and his perfectly chiseled abs, which are intriguing and delicious enough to make her linger.

By the time Ali admits she’s in a bit of a funk, not even the moral and physical support of a gorgeous cowboy is enough to bring her back to her old self—especially when the object of her desires is secretly battling his own demons. To get her life back on track, Ali will have to decide what it is she’s really fighting to regain and what it will take to find it—or she’ll risk losing the one thing that could truly make her happy.

 

Review:

The Last Resort by R.S. Kovach is a nice sweet romance.  We meet Ali Barros, a high powered executive, who is a workaholic and very successful at her job.  She is also a horsewoman that wins jumping events.  She feels forced to travel home to her parent’s house for a party while there, Ali decides to go horseback riding and has a mishap, breaking her wrist.  Since Ali has always been sure of herself in anything she does, the fall from the horse has an effect on her confidence, as well as her work.  Her boss sends her on a month long retreat to an exclusive ranch resort in Colorado, which is also a place for various treatments for visitors.  Ali isn’t happy to go, especially when a physiological therapist tries to talk to her; and all she wants is to go back home to New York.

She does meet various people, who are at Pebble Creek Lodge for different reasons.  Ali slowly relaxes, knowing she has no choice but to finish the month, and befriends some the people.  The ranch hand, Hank Mathis, our hero, gets her attention immediately; but then again he has all the women lusting after him.

What follows is a slow built romance between two unlikely people that will grow as they begin to spend more time together.  I did like both Hank and Ali, and there was some fun with the bantering between them, as well as with the other residents.  Though I wanted them together, I did not really feel the hot chemistry between them.  I did like Ali, but thought she was a bit too sarcastic to Hank many times, and acted indifferent at times. 

The Last Resort was a good story, and a nice romance.  However, I was sadly disappointed at the end, which did lead to a happy ever after.  I felt it needed an epilogue to answer some open questions, and not leaving us to decide what happens.

Reviewed by Barb

Copy provided by Publisher

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Ice Wolf/Shadow Wolf by Jane Godman – Reviews

Ice Wolf/Shadow Wolf by Jane Godman – Reviews

 

Ice WolfAmazon / B&N / Kobo / BAM

 

Description:
They are the Arctic Brotherhood.

They are deadly fighters, fierce protectors and loyal mates.

Elliott Wilder is a mild mannered Alaskan college professor. Wilder craves the things most people find boring. Seclusion. Monotony. Anonymity. But what Wilder craves most of all is the thing he can’t have… memory loss. Four hundred years ago, Wilder and the other members of the Arctic Brotherhood were captured and tortured by the leader of the Siberian werewolves. Wilder is still haunted by memories of that night, when he wasn’t able to protect his leader.

Now the Siberian wolf is on the loose and seeking revenge. Not only must Wilder lead the brotherhood, he must fight the attraction he feels toward its newest recruit, Jenny Piper. Jenny offers Wilder a glimpse of the life he can’t have. As the brotherhood races against time to save humanity from the horror their enemies unleashed on the world, Wilder must reach inside himself to find the leader the brotherhood needs and the mate Jenny craves.

 

Review:

Ice Wolf by Jane Godman is the 1st book in her Arctic Brotherhood series.  This is a shifter series, with a new ancient species of Arctic werewolves, who are part of the 7 members of the Brotherhood of the Midnight Sun. The story begins 400 hundred years earlier, when the Siberian wolves were about to destroy the Arctic wolves; but at the last minute, the newest member of the Arctic Brotherhood managed to save his leader.  Switch to the present time, and we meet Elliot Wilder, a professor who is a loner, and content to live in solitude.  He is approached by someone he has not seen in 400 years, the leader of the Arctic wolves, and is asked to help gather the brotherhood together to fight someone so very evil that will destroy the world.   But Wilder has no intention to go back to that life, until he meets our heroine, Jenny Piper.   Jenny has always been alone, and now that she recognizes Wilder as one of her kind, she is determined to become part of a family.

Jenny is a strong heroine, a female alpha, who is accepted to the Arctic Brotherhood.  Wilder immediately is attracted to Jenny, but fights off those feelings, as he hasn’t told anyone about his nightmares of the time 400 years ago.  It will be Jenny who will help Wilder though those nightmares, and convince him to help his brothers, as his assistance is necessary to defeat the enemy, as humans across the world are threatened for destruction.

Wilder steps up, as he sees his Arctic brothers, and together they travel to the Land of the Midnight, where it all began to try to kill the Siberian wolf leader who is behind the threat.  But as they meet the wolf goddess, they are met with some major twists that changes the game, and escalates the danger.   Fenrir, the most evil and powerful wolf, has escaped his captivity, and in the guise of a cult leader, he is quickly brainwashing all humans to follow him; and then destroy them all.  Can the Arctic wolves stop Fenrir in time?

What follows is an exciting adventure steeped in Norse mythology, with edge of your seat non-stop action.  Wilder will step into the role of leader, especially after Jenny’s life is in danger.  Jenny made a wonderful partner to Wilder, and tense exciting race to catch Fenrir brought the entire team together to try and save the world.  This was an excellent start to a different shifter series, which will continue in future books, with each member of the Arctic Brotherhood taking a leading role in more upcoming dangerous missions.   I loved all the characters that made this Brotherhood. I look forward to reading the next book, Shadow Wolf.

 

 

Shadow WolfAmazon / B&N / Kobo / BAM

Description:
They are the Arctic Brotherhood.

They are deadly fighters, fierce protectors and loyal mates.

Samson Lee last saw Valetta Rickard five years ago when a shared a kiss almost led him to break the promise he had made to himself. Now Valetta has disappeared, and Samson has promised her father he will find her. When Samson finds Valetta leading a rogue gang of bloodthirsty Arctic werewolves, he soon discovers that all is not what it seems. As soon as they see each other again the feelings they denied all those years ago resurface.
Valetta is Shadow Born, a rare and mystical werewolf with legendary powers. If she chooses, she can destroy a whole species. A power that an evil hunter wants so that he can destroy the Arctic wolves. Samson, together with the other members of the brotherhood, must find the hunter before he can put his plans for Valetta into action. At the same time, Samson must put the past behind him and convince Valetta that she is worthy of love.

 

 

Review:

Shadow Wolf by Jane Godman is the 2nd book in her Arctic Brotherhood series. Having enjoyed the first book in this series, I was pleasantly surprised to find that Shadow Wolf was equally or a bit better then Ice Wolf. 

In Shadow Wolf, Samson Lee takes the lead, as he is summoned by his friend, a former retired member of the Arctic Brotherhood.  Seems that his daughter, is missing, and he wants Samson to find her.  Valetta Rickard, our heroine, has gone undercover, joining a group of Arctic Wolves (not the Brotherhood).  Valetta is determined to find out who is trying to kill her father, as well as discover the truths about the legend of Shadow Born.  When Samson finds her, she is considered the leader of this group of Arctic misfits, and he joins the group to help her.  Samson senses not all is right, and once he convinces Valetta that something is very wrong, they begin to work together to discover what is really happening. 

Valetta has always had a crush on Samson, but he has always treated her like his friends daughter, keeping his distance.  Samson lost his wife hundreds of years before, being murdered in an attack; he blames himself and for all those years he has not looked at another woman.  Valetta in a short time, with them being together during the adventure, slowly uses her charms and feelings to weaken Samson’s resolve.   They made such a great couple, and both were also very powerful.   The story line of the Shadow born was very interesting, which added to the element of finding the truth of her past, and who is behind the evil.

The action became especially exciting when the entire Arctic Brotherhood joins Samson and Valetta to stop the evil behind the mask.  Not only was it very exciting, but also surprising as another evil being from hundreds of years ago is the villain.  Valetta will learn the truth about who she is, and there are some very emotional moments, as well as dangerous death defying moments.  Shadow Wolf was an excellent story, which I read in one day.  I look forward to the next installment of the Arctic Brotherhood series, and to see what Jane Godman has in store for us.


Reviews by Barb

Copies provided by Publlisher

 

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Flash of Fury by Lea Griffith – Review, Excerpt, Spotlight Tour & Giveaway

Flash of Fury by Lea Griffith – Review, Excerpt, Spotlight Tour & Giveaway

 

FoF Starred Review

 

 Flash of Fury
Endgame Ops series – Book #1
by Lea Griffith
Release Date: March 7, 2017

9781492646303-PRAmazon / | Books-A-Million | Barnes & Noble | Chapters | iBooks | Indiebound

Description:
Their spark is immediate

Kingston McNally lost men when someone betrayed his team, and now he’s out for retribution. His quest for the enemy’s courier leads him to Cameroon and Allie Redding, a petite Peace Corps volunteer as stubborn as she is brave. Their attraction is immediate, but Allie has secrets of her own…and she’s not giving them up easily.

But their secrets could burn them both

Allie’s life has been spent hiding in plain sight, but she’s had enough of her cloak-and-dagger existence. On her way home, her plane is hijacked-and King saves her life. But that doesn’t mean she owes him anything…even if he is the most damnably sexy man she’s ever laid eyes on. He’s got black ops and secrets written all over him, and trust is a two-way street.

 

Review:

Flash of Fury by Lea Griffith is the 1st book in her new Endgame Ops series.  This is the first book I have read by Griffith and after reading Flash of Fury, it will not be my last.  We meet our hero King McNally early on when he and his Endgame Ops team was ambushed on a mission that was an obvious leak.  Three members of his team were lost.   This leaves him determined to find out who was the betrayer, and to find and kill the terrorists, who were part of the original assignment.  King trusts no one, especially the CIA, whom he feels is part of the betrayal.  When he receives word that a courier for the terrorist will be on a plane, he makes sure he is on it.

Allie Redding, our heroine, is a Peace Corps volunteer, and also the daughter of the CIA Director.  Allie, who tries to stay out of the limelight that her father is in, aboards the plane to take her home. The plane is hijacked by those who want to kidnap Allie, but King manages to save her life and both are now running for their lives.  Even though he saves her, King does not trust Allie, thinking she is a courier for the terrorists. 

What follows is an ultra exciting, tense, action filled story that will have both Allie and King constantly being in danger by the various attacks.  King realizes that Allie has been innocently set up to be used against her father.  His goal besides killing the evil villain, is to get Allie home safely.  Along the way, they both will learn to trust each other, and at the same time fall in love.  Each of them have their own issues; King with a father who abused him; and Allie losing her mother at an early age, and trying to stay clear of her father’s CIA responsibilities.  Though in time, Allie knows she wants to stay with King after this is over;  but he stubbornly  tells her there is no future, as it is too dangerous for her to be with him. 

I loved Allie and King together; they made a great couple, and their sexual chemistry was off the wall scorching hot.  King’s Endgame ops team were great, and I cannot wait to see their story in future books. The edge of your seat action was very tense, keeping us emotionally invested as we worried if our heroes would survive.  Once you start this book, you will not be able to put it down.

Flash of Fury was a sensational start to this new series.  This story was fast paced, action filled, suspenseful, and filled with intrigue, betrayal, and romance with a fabulous sexy couple.  There are so many plots and twists along the way, and the ending was not only exciting, but also exhilarating.  There is so much more to come in the Endgame Ops series that I cannot wait to see what Lea Griffith has in store for us.  This is a must read for those of you who love romance suspense.

Reviewed by Barb

Copy provided by Publisher

 

LETTER TO THE READERS

Hello, Readers! My name is Lea Griffith and I’m here to tell you a little bit about myself and my upcoming release, Flash of Fury, the first full-length story in my Endgame Ops series. Where should I start? How we start with some personal stuff? Everybody likes personal stuff, yeah?

Okay, here we go—you get five personal facts though to be honest I’m long-winded so I’ll say five but it will probably end up being lots more. Sharing is caring, lol.

  1. I’m married with three teenage daughters ages 16, 17, and just turned 19. I think I’m still sane. (Would I know if I wasn’t? J)
  2. I spend my days mimicking a Practice Administrator for two very busy internal medicine offices in Athens, Georgia. I’ve been in the medical field for a long, long time and again, I’m still sane. Same disclaimer from #1 applies.
  3. I graduated from Brenau University a long, long time ago in a land far, far away. I have a Bachelors of Science degree. I majored in Biology and minored in Chemistry. See disclaimer from #2.
  4. I LOVE reading. The only thing I love doing more is writing. I like to hunt, hate to fish, and I really, really enjoy spending time with my mom and kids. Hubs too when I can pull him away from Real Housewives episodes. The man has a serious heart-on for reality TV. *sigh* Again, I’m going to reference the disclaimer from #3.
  5. Favorite authors you ask? Julie Garwood, Kathleen Woodiwiss, Linda Howard. Favorite books of all time? The Wolf and the Dove by Kathleen Woodiwiss, Kiss Me While I Sleep by Linda Howard, The Prize by Julie Garwood, and one more—Wildcard by Lora Leigh. That’s my authors and books. You now know more about me than some of my family members, lol!

And now that I’ve given you deets on me, let me bend your ear (or would that be your eyes?) about my Endgame Ops series. If you like your heroes incredibly alpha and you like your heroines strong enough to take them on and give it right back, I think I’ve got a few stories cooking for you.

Suspense, heat, and overwhelming connections abound as you enter a world of shadows and intrigue. Each story of my Endgame Ops series brings you closer to a truth you may not be able handle. So watch your step because danger is around every corner and Endgame’s story is just beginning with my upcoming release, Flash of Fury. Let me introduce you to King and Allie. Prepare yourself.

Kingston McNally lost men when someone betrayed his team, and now he’s out for retribution. His quest for the enemy’s courier leads him to Cameroon and Allie Redding, a petite Peace Corps volunteer as stubborn as she is brave. Their attraction is immediate, but Allie has secrets of her own…and she’s not giving them up easily.

Allie’s life has been spent hiding in plain sight, but she’s had enough of her cloak-and-dagger existence. On her way home, her plane is hijacked-and King saves her life. But that doesn’t mean she owes him anything…even if he is the most damnably sexy man she’s ever laid eyes on. He’s got black ops and secrets written all over him, and trust is a two-way street.

Flash of Fury is a fast-paced, action-packed story of survival and how in the midst of the most harrowing circumstances, love can find a way to sneak in and knock you on your behind. With both of them hiding secrets, they’ll have to find a way to survive terrorists and each other.

I hope, with everything in me, that you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.

Now what are you waiting for? Go read ALL THE WORDS!

<3 you hard,

Lea

PS It’s your turn to tell me a little about you—fave authors? Fave reads? Are you still sane? Remember, sharing is caring.

 

Excerpt

 

It all went down so quickly that it took the remaining terrorists a moment to figure out what had happened. By that time, King was there, grabbing Abdul’s gun and firing in rapid succession, quickly eliminating all targets. He located the phone the terrorist had discarded, scooped it up, and turned to her.
“Get to the galley. There could be more,” he said in a low voice.
“Who the hell are you?” she asked softly as she stood rooted to the spot for an endless moment.
“Get to the galley at the back and open the door. Do it quickly. Do it now.”
Children screamed, while grown people shouted as they all clamored to get out of the front of the plane. Panic was in the air, but no more gunshots rang out. If the terrorists had help, they didn’t yet know what was going on.
King reached over, pushed Abdul from her grip, and his gaze narrowed again on her cheek. He brushed over the growing mark with his thumb. “He hurt you.”
Confusion clouded Allie’s face and she cocked her head, staring at him as if she’d never seen anyone quite like him before.
He shook his head, the sight of her big, blue eyes almost undoing him. He motioned her to the back and said simply, “Go.”
He reached for the small guy he’d almost clocked as the man tried to pass and said, “Tell them what happened but stay vague about us. Do you understand? Tell them all”—King motioned over the plane’s fleeing occupants—“to remain vague about us.”
It was unlikely that the two-hundred-odd passengers would keep silent about the blond who’d head-butted the lead terrorist. Or the giant American who dragged her away. Chances were that his and this woman’s faces would be all over the local news. But if even a few of the passengers negated the story, that mixed intel might buy them a bit of time.
The guy nodded and King took off. He rounded the corner of the attendants’ galley and noticed Allie had the door open. Rain sluiced in, wetting everything in its path. She stuck her head out and peered down, then pulled her head back in, spearing him with her gaze.
“It’s a long way down,” she said mournfully.
“Drop and roll, darlin’,” King responded. “Drop and roll.” Then he was out the door, dropping like a stone and rolling once he hit the ground. He pushed to his feet and glanced around. Security was pouring out onto the tarmac, and sirens could be heard in the distance. A luggage transport machine was rounding a corner, and they didn’t have much time.
He looked up at her, held out his arms, and yelled, “Jump!”
She didn’t hesitate. Good thing she was tiny because she fell right into his arms.
“Thanks,” she murmured.
He didn’t respond, just put her on her feet, grabbed her hand, and hailed down the luggage cart. He told the man they needed a ride to the terminal. The airport employee didn’t even blink—like random Americans came up to him every day asking for a ride in the middle of the pouring rain. He dropped them as far as another plane and told them they had to walk.
Instead of walking, they ran. King moved to an abandoned airport security truck, and they hopped in. He hot-wired the vehicle and had them on the move in under a minute.
“Get down,” he ordered.
She did as he directed. There was hope for her yet.
A gunshot punched out the back glass, and King ducked. He could see no one behind them, but obviously someone was back there shooting. He hung a right and took off around the terminal, passing planes and looking for the airport parking lot.
He’d have to ditch this truck and get them out into the city of Douala quickly.
“Who are you?” she asked and then grunted as she was thrown against the door.
King had just broken through a fence barrier to the airport parking lot and managed to shed the fence that tenaciously clung to the bumper. He picked a row of cars and barreled down it.
“King,” he replied succinctly.
She snorted. “Okay, now really, who…oomph…holy… Could you stop… Son of a…”
He slammed on the brakes. He winced when her head bumped against the glove box. “Sure.”
King hurried out of the truck and picked the first car he came to. He didn’t need flashy; he needed operational. Flashy had alarms. Operational could go undetected.
Fortunately, the first one he came to fit both bills. A Yugo. It just kept getting better and better. The car was unlocked and he slid in.
“A Yugo?” she asked, standing beside him now. “Seriously?”
“In the car and don’t talk,” he demanded.
Her brows lowered and her mouth tightened, but she decided to throw in her lot with him. She rounded the car and got in. King lowered the sun visor, and the keys fell into his lap. The Yugo’s only saving grace was that he wouldn’t have to expend the energy to hot-wire it.
The piece-of-shit car cranked, and King squealed out of the spot, though he slowed down as he approached the exit gate. “Act normal,” he said. “And don’t look anyone in the face.”
Allie didn’t say anything, but she didn’t have to—the anger pinching her features spoke volumes. He almost, almost, laughed. They were both soaking wet, but for some reason she looked even more beautiful.
“You laugh at me, and I’ll get you back,” she said from the corner of her mouth.
Spunk. He hated spunk. Oh, and bravery. He hated that too. “You already have,” he responded and enjoyed the way her eyes widened.
Blue, soul-sucking eyes. Her presence was enough of a payback.
“I didn’t. But first chance I get—”
King held up a hand. “Yeah, yeah, yeah…whatever. Now be quiet and lower your face.”
The woman actually growled at him. And it was sexy as hell. The smile that tugged his lips caught him by surprise.

 

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Her True Match by Paige Tyler – Review & Spotlight Tour

Her True Match by Paige Tyler – Review, Spotlight Tour & Giveaway

 

Her True Match
X-Ops series – Book #6
by Paige Tyler
Release Date: March 7, 2017

Her True MatchAmazon / B&N / Kobo / BAM / Book Depository / iBooks

Description:
After a long game of cat-and-mouse

Feline shifter Dreya Clark picks the wrong penthouse to rob and ends up arrested by sexy detective Braden Hayes. But Braden isn’t the only one who’s been watching the cat burglar. Agents from the Department of Covert Operations swoop in to offer her a deal. If she wants to stay out of jail, she’ll have to work with them—and pair up with the hot cop. Great.

Danger throws this unlikely pair together

Braden isn’t thrilled about the DCO meddling in his investigation. He’s been chasing Dreya for years. Thrown together on a dangerous covert mission, fur flies and temperatures flare. But when danger closes in on them, their game of cat and mouse turns deadly-serious, and they’ll have to rely on each other to make it out alive.

 

Review:

Her True Match by Paige Tyler is the 6th book in her wonderful X-Ops series.   I love this series by Tyler, as she gives us exciting, action packed stories, with wonderful couples. Her True Match was the best one yet, and the wild unexpected ending has us clamoring for the next book…NOW.

We met our heroes Dreya and Braden in Her Rogue Alpha. She was a thief that was suspected by the DCO to possibly be a shifter, since her abilities seem too good to be human.  Braden, a detective,  knows nothing of the DCO, but has become obsessed with following Dreya and catching her during one of her thefts.  When he successfully catches and arrests her, he is surprised and upset that a government agency has taken her away from the station.  His gut tells him to follow, and in doing so, he too eventually becomes part of the DCO team.  Dreya is offered to work for DCO, giving her the chance to learn how to use her abilities and help the team, especially in trying to bring down Thorne, the man who killed her friend.  Braden is also offered a job, as DCO feels his detective skills, and his ability to know how to find Dreya, makes them a perfect pair.  When he becomes Dreya’s partner the sparks ignite between them.

In the short time they are being trained to work together, they are sent on emergency missions that are pulse pounding, but their confidence in each other and the slow build romance creates a bond that will make them awesome together.  It was so much fun to see this sexy couple fall in love with each other, making themselves that much more of a cohesive team.

Ivy, Landon and Tanner are on assignment to find another lab creating hybrids, and when things begin to fall apart, creating danger, it is Dreya and Branden who will be sent to help them.   The mission is exciting and tense, but successful.  Just when things seem to be going their way, Braden makes a serious mistake that will throw all of our X-Ops heroes to run for their lives.   The ending was a thriller that will leave us holding our breaths at what just happened and praying that Tyler will write the next book fast.

I loved both Dreya and Braden together.  Loved Ivy, Landon and Tanner, who had big roles in this story line.  Her True Match was an edge of your seat suspenseful story that was non stop action throughout.  Paige Tyler once again gives us a terrific story that keeps us wondering where she will take us in what could be a game changing next book. 

Reviewed by Barb

Copy provided by Publisher

A Little Known Fact from Her True Match

Braden catches Dreya in the act. It would have normally been impossible for anyone to get the drop on her during one of her high-wire jobs, especially a cop. But her feline senses that usually let her know when there’s danger about, seem to be strangely muted when it comes to Braden Hayes. Would her inner kitty actually betray her if Braden was something it wanted? He does come with his own handcuffs after all.

 

excerpt

“How do you know I wasn’t testing the security system?” Dreya asked, her lips curving into a coy smile.

Braden sat across from the beautiful thief in one of the burglary section’s interrogation rooms, working hard to keep from smiling back at her. Even though he knew her record backward and forward, he was still having a hell of a time maintaining a professional detachment. He was good in the interrogation room, but Dreya was better. She charmed, she flirted, and she controlled where she wanted the conversation to go. Braden had already been forced to toss Mick out of the room. His partner had come damn close to asking their suspect out on a date, even though she was sitting at the table wearing a pair of handcuffs.Though Braden had to admit she made the cuffs look good. Even now, she was sitting at the table with her long, blond hair cascading around her shoulders, talking animatedly with her hands as if the heavy stainless steel cuffs were a fashion accessory. He wasn’t even sure when she’d gotten her hair out of the braid it had been in before, but he had the crazy urge to run his fingers through it. He resisted—barely. Dreya had been saying since they’d brought her in that this was all a big misunderstanding and that she could straighten this out if she could talk privately with the owner of the art piece they seemed to think she’d stolen. Like that was going to happen. Something told Braden that putting her in the same room with some rich playboy would be an incredibly bad idea. All she had to do was bat those hazel-green eyes at him a few times and tousle her hair with her fingers, and the guy would agree with anything she said. Hell, the guy would probably give her the silly blue balloon dog thing sitting on the table between them as a gift.

“If we’re going to talk about security systems, Dreya, let’s start with how you managed to climb the wall of that apartment on the south side of M Street. Because I gotta tell you, that was damn impressive.”

He expected her to deny it had been her—or beam with pride at the compliment—but her eyes widened in shock. For the first time that night, there was fear on her face.
“You saw that?” She darted a nervous glance at the one-way glass mirror to her left, the one Mick was standing behind.

He nodded. “Sure did. In fact, we have it all on video. The climb, the walk across the cable, the jump you made to the balcony.”

On the other side of the table, her face went pale. Shit, was she starting to hyperventilate?

“How many people have seen the video?” she demanded.

Braden frowned. Why the hell was a second-story thief worried about how many cops had seen her display her talents? That made no sense.

“Just my partner and me,” he assured her. “But while the video is amazing, it doesn’t explain how you were able to scale that wall. Were you using something on your hands to get a grip? I searched your bag but didn’t find anything.”

Dreya swallowed hard. In all of the previous occasions he’d questioned her, she’d been confident and posed, but suddenly it was like she’d been hit by lightning. She seemed off balance…lost.

“You can’t let anyone else see the video,” she said.

He shrugged. “That’s not really up to me.”

She stared at her cuffed wrists, her shoulders slumping in a defeat he hadn’t seen coming. “What if I confess?”

She said it so softly he wasn’t sure he’d heard her correctly. “What?”

Dreya lifted her head to look at him, that usual glimmer missing from her eyes now. “If I confess right now, will you destroy the video?”

Braden hoped to hell his mouth wasn’t hanging open. Being interrogated by the cops could make people say strange stuff, but Dreya had to know that even with the evidence they had on her, a woman with her background and clean record could likely get a case like this whittled down from the standard five to seven to less than two years. Why would she agree to a written confession? What the hell was on that video she was so terrified of letting anyone see?
He knew he needed to be careful, but right then it was hard to think of Dreya as the hardened criminal he’d always believed. He was smart enough to know she wasn’t a saint, but there was something going on here. She was so terrified she was on the verge of tears.

The sudden aura of vulnerability had his heart beating hard and fast. The urge to protect her from whatever was freaking her out was impossible to ignore. Part of the reason he’d become a cop was to help people in trouble, and Dreya definitely seemed to be in trouble.

 

 

 

About the author
Paige Tyler

Paige is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of sexy romantic
suspense and paranormal romance. She graduated from The University of
West Florida with a degree in education in 2000, but decided to pursue a full-
time career as a writer in 2004. Since then, she’s written over fifty books in
several genres, including paranormal, contemporary, western, sci-fi and
erotica. She loves writing about strong, sexy, alpha males and the feisty,
independent women who fall for them. From verbal foreplay to sexual heat, her
stories of romance, adventure, suspense, passion and true love will leave you
breathlessly panting for more.

She and her very own military hero (also known as her husband) live on the
beautiful Florida coast with their adorable fur baby (also known as their dog).
Paige graduated with a degree in education, but decided to pursue her
passion and write books about hunky alpha males and the kick-butt heroines
who fall in love with them.

When not working on her latest book, Paige enjoys reading, jogging, P90X,
Yoga, Pilates, going to the beach, watching NFL football, watching movies and
hanging out with her husband (not necessarily in that order!)

 

To learn more about Paige Tyler, check out the following links:
Website: / Facebook / Twitter / Goodreads

 

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I See You by Clare Mackintosh – a Review

I See You by Clare Mackintosh – a Review

 

I See YouAmazon / B&N / Kobo / BAM / Book Depository

Description
You do the same thing every day.

You know exactly where you’re going.

You’re not alone.

When Zoe Walker sees her photo in the classifieds section of a London newspaper, she is determined to find out why it’s there. There’s no explanation: just a website, a grainy image and a phone number. She takes it home to her family, who are convinced it’s just someone who looks like Zoe. But the next day the advert shows a photo of a different woman, and another the day after that.

Is it a mistake? A coincidence? Or is someone keeping track of every move they make

Review:

I See You by Clare Mackintosh is another wonderful exciting psychological thriller.  I loved Mackintosh’s debut novel, I Let You Go, and could not wait to see what she had for us next.   I See You is a different type of read, but equally fascinating.  The story does fluctuate between the two female leads.  There are also the occasional thoughts of a third party, presumed to be the person behind everything.

Zoe Walker hates her commute to work, but she has a good job and needs the money.  One day, looking at the newspaper adverts, she sees a picture that looks like her, with a dating site. When Zoe shows it to her family (daughter, son and boyfriend), they tell her it’s just probably a look alike, as the picture was grainy. A few days later, she sees a picture for the same site, with a different woman; but a short time later she will find out that the woman in the ad was murdered.   Zoe begins to worry that she has become someone’s target, and she begins to look over her shoulder often.  No one believes her when she tries to tell the cops about the advert

Kelly Swift is a cop, who has been regulated to the BTP Dip squad.  Kelly was a good detective in the Sexual Offense Unit, until 4 years ago, when she attacked a rape suspect.  Kelly’s sister had been raped, and the offender was never found, and to this day, Kelly can’t stop thinking about it.   When she gets a call from Zoe Walker about her fears, Kelly starts to investigate.  She tries to talk to the Detective in charge about some of her findings, and that Zoe Walker might be right, those adverts might be behind the murder and another robbery.  When she gets no satisfaction from the Detective, she goes to her commanding officer to request a transfer, and is given 3 months to work on the Investigation Unit. 

Zoe’s fears are real, and it begins to affect her life and work.  Everyone thinks she is worrying for no reason, and when she is “rescued” by a man who seems to pop up often, she goes to Kelly for help.  This will lead to an exciting police procedural trying to find that man, and the site that doesn’t exist; except it really does for those who will pay exorbitant prices to find all information about the lady in the advert, including their daily route to and from work.  What makes this a bit creepy and chilling is that in real life, with cameras everywhere, internet which watches your moves, and those who can easily hack your computer and follow you.  It is a scary thought.

Kelly and her new boss, Nick begin to tie things together, including a rape, which will lead to more clues. There were a number of unforeseen twists and turns that had me holding my breath in fear, as we realized how close things were to Zoe.  What follows is a scary pulse pounding exciting race to find the culprit, before Zoe’s life is in danger.  The ending was so tense, as we watched Kelly and the detectives discover the truth; but will they be able to save Zoe and her daughter, Katie?  I See You had a wild action filled ending that was a gripping thriller chiller. 

Reviewed by Barb

Copy provided by Publisher

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At First Light by Mari Madison – Review, Guest Post & Giveaway

At First Light by Mari Madison – Review, Guest Post & Giveaway

 

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AT First LIghtAmazon / B&N / Kobo / BAM / Book Depository

Description:
At News 9 San Diego, relationships don t get canceled. They just go on hiatus…

After five years of reporting in war-torn Syria, Troy Young is back in his hometown of San Diego. Readjusting to life back home is proving difficult. He keeps having panic attacks during live shots. But he s given one more chance as an entertainment reporter doing a He Said, She Said review segment. It s not what Troy had in mind especially when he discovers who his new partner is.

Movie-obsessed Sarah Martin loves her new gig at News 9…until the man who broke her heart enters the studio. Still, the desire between Sarah and Troy has not subsided even if he did pick his career over her. She doesn t want to trust him again but they ll need to overcome their off screen tension if they hope to handle the drama that s about to unfold…

Review:

At First Light by Mari Madison is the 3rd book in her Exclusive Romance series. This series continues the backdrop of News 9 San Diego.  Sarah Martin, our heroine, is the entertainment reporter for News 9; she is a movie buff and loves her job. 

Troy Young, our hero, spent the last 5 years of his life reporting live in the  Syria war zone. Troy was kidnapped while on the air, and he became a house hold name.  He was finally freed after negotiations were met to allow him to come home, but he gets panic attacks on his time in captivity.  Troy accepts a job with News 9, but after one of the panic attacks, he is taken off live on site reporting, and given a spot as an entertainment reporter for the new, He Said, She Said show.  Troy is shocked when he meets his co-host Sarah; the woman he left behind 5 years before.  Sarah has never forgotten, nor forgiven Troy for walking out on her. Now they have to work together.

Though both of them feel the chemistry between them is still sparkling, they do their best to keep their relationship as co-workers only.  Soon Sarah begins to see Troy fighting his panic attacks, and tries to help him.  This will lead them to become friends again, and eventually lead to a romantic relationship.  Sarah is supportive of Troy, but he feels he is not worth her caring for him, since he still feels guilty leaving her.

What follows is an excellent story line, with a number of inner stories within.  Troy refuses to get help with his panic attacks; Sarah besides trying to push Troy to get help, must also deal with her own issues from the past, which rears its ugly head.  The romance between them was sexy and very well done, as their chemistry continues to scorch the pages.

Overall, I really enjoyed watching both Troy and Sarah rekindle their romance.  Watching Troy suffer through those nightmares was written very well by Madison.   Sarah’s perseverance to help Troy, both with his problem, and to help him with his career, made her such a great heroine.  At First Light was a very good story, which I suggest you read.  However,  even if this reads very well as a standalone, I suggest you start with the first book in this series, in order to enjoy the News 9 TV background.

Reviewed by Barb

Copy provided by Publisher

 

 

Guest Post beige

I always thought it was kind of ironic that this particular book ended up with the title “At First Light” seeing as it’s definitely the darkest book in the Exclusive Romance series. Not that there aren’t moments of levity, mind you. But when you have a hero suffering from PTSD after being kidnapped in Syria while working as a war correspondent, a book can’t be all sunshine and roses.

PTSD or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is a condition I suffered from for years, though mine was not related to trauma experienced overseas. Looking back now it’s hard to believe what my life used to be like. Filled with senseless anxiety, out of control mood swings, debilitating depression. I remember rushing to the Emergency Room, thinking I was having a heart attack, only to find out it was a panic attack. The next day my boss made fun of me for overreacting. I had literally thought I was going to die.

That’s the worst part about suffering from something like PTSD, anxiety or depression. Unlike a disease like diabetes, there’s a stigma attached by society. People would never judge you for taking insulin. Anti-depressants? Well, that’s a whole other story. People told me I should just exercise instead. Or they complained that my personality had changed on the medication. I felt guilty taking it. I felt as if it made me weak.

But the truth was, it saved my life.

For this book I dove into another type of PTSD—the kind so many soldiers get after returning from overseas and trying to transition back to regular life. The instincts that kept them alive over there now riddle them with unnecessary anxiety and make it almost impossible to cope with everyday life. It can be a painful adjustment for both them and their families. And left untreated it can lead to divorce, alcoholism, drug addiction, homelessness, and suicide.

One book I found particularly insightful was “Once a Warrior Always a Warrior” by Colonel Charles Hoge, MD, a leading advocate for eliminating the stigma associated with mental health care. It talked in depth about making the transition for both the solider and his or her family.

When I first set out to write this book I worried about writing a PTSD character who was both accurate and yet sympathetic to the reader. After all, readers want a hero they can root for—but someone suffering from PTSD may not be always be able to act heroically. Sometimes he may be frightened—torn apart by anxiety. Would this make him look weak on the page? Other times he would be angry and would lash out in frustration. Would readers decide he was too mean for our heroine? He might let her down—would she look like a sucker for giving him a second, third, or even forth chance?

But in the end I decided to let go of these concerns. To write the story as it needed to be told, as accurately as possible, pulling from both my personal experience and my research. Living with PTSD is a reality for so many in this country and while there is no quick fix, no simple happily ever after, there is still hope. And with love and patience and understanding—and a whole lot of time and effort—(not to mention willingness to try medication and other therapies)—there can be a light at the end of the tunnel.

Which leads me back to my title. Maybe AT FIRST LIGHT works pretty well, in this case, after all.

 

 

giveaway

Mari’s publisher is offering a paper copy of AT FIRST LIGHT 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 Mari Madison on FACEBOOK.

7. Giveaway is open to USA only

8. Giveaway runs from March 9 to 14, 2017

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