Thursday, May 17, 2018

Harlequin May Recommendations


Title: Cowboy’s Redemption
Author: B.J. Daniels
Genre: Western Romance/Suspense 
Harlequin Imprint: Harlequin Intrigue
Hosted by: Lady Amber’s PR


Blurb: He gave her his heart. She gave him a daughter.
Eighteen months ago, Colt McCloud experienced an unforgettable night of passion. Now his onetime lover is at his door, pleading for help to save the daughter they conceived. Lola Dayton knows Colt is her only hope to infiltrate the kidnapper’s compound and save their baby. His military—and father—instincts kick in. And Colt secretly vows…if they survive, he’ll make this threesome a forever family.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36543743-cowboy-s-redemption



New York Times and USA Today bestselling author B.J. Daniels lives in Montana with her husband, Parker, and three springer spaniels. When not writing, she quilts, boats and plays tennis. Contact her at www.bjdaniels.com or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/pages/BJ-Daniels/127936587217837 or on twitter at bjdanielsauthor.

Buy Links:




Title: The Wedding Quilt Bride
Author: Marta Perry
Genre: Inspirational Romance
Harlequin Imprint: Life Inspired Suspense


Blurb: 
The single mom’s second chance… To become one of the Brides of Lost Creek!
Widow Rebecca Mast returns to her Amish community with her son and a dream—to own a quilt shop. Carpenter Daniel King is determined to help Rebecca and revive their childhood friendship. But as he bonds with her son, Rebecca’s afraid the secret she’s been keeping will be revealed. Can Daniel convince Rebecca he’s a man she can trust—and love?

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36950513-the-wedding-quilt-bride


I realized I wanted to be a writer at age eight, when I read my first Nancy Drew novel, The Secret of the Old Clock. Most little girl reach the end of that book wanting to be Nancy. I wanted to be the person who created the story!
The dream lay hidden for years while I became a teacher, married, had children...all the usual things. But eventually it re-surfaced, and I began to write, beginning with short children's stories for Sunday school take-home papers. It seemed a long time until that first acceptance, but eventually I began to sell. After some three hundred published short stories, I finally found the courage to work on the novel I'd always wanted to write.
Sixty-some published novels later, I still feel the same excitement every time I begin a new book--a mix of not believing I can do it combined with an overwhelming urge to see the story on the page.
A lifetime spent in rural Pennsylvania and my own Pennsylvania Dutch roots eventually led me to the books I'm writing now about the Amish. The Pleasant Valley Amish series from Berkley Books are longer, more complex emotional stories with Amish main characters, while my forthcoming HQN suspense novels are more adventure-filled books set in Pennsylvania Dutch country. I'm also writing a Love Inspired series about the Amish, The Brides of Lost Creek.
When I'm not writing, I'm busy with church activities, traveling, and spending time with my three children and six beautiful grandchildren.

Buy Links:



Title: An Honorable Seduction
Author: Brenda Jackson
Genre: Military Romance
Harlequin Imprint: Desire

Blurb:
This navy SEAL is on a top-secret mission of seduction…
David Holloway is used to hard assignments. Now he faces his most difficult yet: cozying up to the soft curves of Swan Jamison. He wants to know the island beauty…in every way. But romancing Swan as part of his SEAL team’s mission tests his honor, even as his feelings become increasingly real. Soon he must make a choice: duty…or desire?

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36388424-an-honorable-seduction


Brenda Jackson, New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author of over 100 novels and novellas, was born in Jacksonville, Florida. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Jacksonville University. She married her high school sweetheart, Gerald, and they have two sons, Gerald Jr. and Brandon, ages thirty-six and thirty-four, respectively. She is an active member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. Her professional writing career began in 1995 with the release of her first book, Tonight and Forever. Since then she has written over 100 titles, which includes a made-for-television movie by BET, One Special Moment as well as the movie, Truly Everlasting. She was a 2012 NAACP Image Award Nominee for Outstanding Literary Fiction for her book, A Silken Thread; and was named Romance Writers of America’s Nora Robert’s Lifetime Achievement Award recipient for 2012.

Buy Links: 





Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Review: The Shadow Queen by CJ Redwine


The Shadow Queen by C. J. Redwine
Book 1 in The Ravenspire Series

Synopsis

Lorelai Diederich, crown princess and fugitive at large, has one mission: kill the wicked queen who took both the Ravenspire throne and the life of her father. To do that, Lorelai needs to use the one weapon she and Queen Irina have in common—magic. She’ll have to be stronger, faster, and more powerful than Irina, the most dangerous sorceress Ravenspire has ever seen.

In the neighboring kingdom of Eldr, when Prince Kol’s father and older brother are killed by an invading army of magic-wielding ogres, the second-born prince is suddenly given the responsibility of saving his kingdom. To do that, Kol needs magic—and the only way to get it is to make a deal with the queen of Ravenspire, promise to become her personal huntsman…and bring her Lorelai’s heart.

But Lorelai is nothing like Kol expected—beautiful, fierce, and unstoppable—and despite dark magic, Lorelai is drawn in by the passionate and troubled king. Fighting to stay one step ahead of the dragon huntsman—who she likes far more than she should—Lorelai does everything in her power to ruin the wicked queen. But Irina isn’t going down without a fight, and her final move may cost the princess the one thing she still has left to lose.



**4 Stars**


This is my first month of following a more structured reading and review schedule, so I made sure to include a few highly anticipated books in my TBR. The Shadow Queen was at the top of the list. I received a paperback of this book from my children's school librarian for a birthday present. She's the best. ♥ 

The Shadow Queen started off with a prologue that completely sucked me in. I knew going into this that it was a Snow White retelling so I wasn't expecting a ton of originality, and that was totally okay with me. I was just looking for a good fantasy read to break up my heavier books. I did get a lot of Snow White and the Huntsman vibes, so brace yourself for some gifs. Here's the nitty gritty: Lorelai is our MC and she fills the Snow White role. She's got skills; she wields magic like a pro. She's a princess on the run with her younger brother and the captain of her father's guard from, you guessed it: her wicked stepmother queen.

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Irina is her wicked stepmother. She also has magical powers but hers are conditional...on her heart, oh and her heart is dying. She sucks the lives out of her "prisoners" to replenish her magic.

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With all the magic she is using, her heart, even when running on borrowed mojo, can't keep up. So of course now she needs Lorelai's heart.

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There are no dwarves... I know, I was bummed too. BUT there are dragons. Dragons, people. Shape shifting dragons. Hell yes. This is where Kol, who fills the Huntsman role, comes in. I really liked him. He was sweet and got dealt a raw deal for the most part.

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Cons: 
1) I wanted more dragons. MORE dragons, please! 
2) I was hoping this first in a series, but it's not. It's a standalone. I'm kind of bummed about that. 
3) The ending seemed a little too easy. I know I said I wanted an easy read, but still. Although, this complaint may be stemmed from the fact that I was hoping this was first in a series. 

Pros: 
1) I really enjoyed Lorelai's character. She was brave and selfless. 
2) I enjoyed the interaction between Lorelai and Kol. Their romance seemed a little quick, but that was fine with me. Easy read, remember? 
3) DRAGONS. 

And now I'm off to go satisfy my dragon craving with some Game of Thrones.



Sunday, May 13, 2018

Review: The Girl in 6E by A. R. Torre


The Girl in 6E by A. R. Torre
Book 1 in the Deanna Madden Series



I haven't touched a human in three years. That seems like it would be a difficult task, but it's not. Not anymore, thanks to the internet.

I am, quite possibly, the most popular recluse ever. Not many shut-ins have a 200-member fan club, a bank account in the seven-figure range, and hundreds of men lining up to pay for undivided attention.

They get satisfaction, I get a distraction. Their secret desires are nothing compared to why I hide... my lust for blood, my love of death.

Taking their money is easy. Keeping all these secrets... one is bound to escape.

What if you hid yourself away because all you could think of was killing? And what if one girl's life depending on you venturing into society?

Enter a world of lies, thrills, fears, and all desires, in this original thriller from A. R. Torre.




*4 Stars*

The Girl in 6E is unlike any other book I have ever read. I expected there to be lots of sex scenes, and while there are lots of sexual depictions of different fetishes and sex toys, and lots of sexual conversations between the Deanna and her clients, there weren't any actual sex scenes. Sure there were a couple of sexually charged scenes between two characters but there was no "doing the deed" so to speak. With that being said, I really enjoyed this book. It kept me interested and was a quick read for me. 

I found Deanna's character very interesting. She has been diagnosed (by a 'shrink' via Skype, mind you) with Anthropophobia mixed with an unhealthy does of dacnomania. Basically she is obsessed with murder and fears human interaction because of said obsession. The back cover of the book has a little teaser that says: 

My life is simple, as long as I follow the rules: 
1. Don't leave the apartment. 
2. Never let anyone in. 
3. Don't kill anyone.
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She hasn't left her apartment in 3 years and thanks to the internet, she has everything she needs or wants at her fingertips. She earns her money by running a live cam chat, and she makes a very good living. She puts everything she has into her job because 1) she's bored 2) she needs something to distract her from her murderous obsession. She turns herself into anything her clients want, anything to fulfill their fantasies, but they have no idea who she truly is. 

They believe what they see, because they want to believe. They want to believe I am normal. 

Coming into this book, I wasn't sure how the story was going to go. I wasn't sure where the story could go. It's not very spoilery to say that Deanna witnesses certain things/characteristics in one of her clients that doesn't sit well with her...and then she sees a story on the news about something horrible that has happened, and she realizes that the incident and her client are most likely connected. She tries to notify the police but since she wants to remain anonymous, they don't take her very seriously. So she decides to take it upon herself to bring the hammer of justice down.... 

And she leaves her apartment.

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Once this happened, I could not put my book down. I had to know what happened. I had to know if she was going to go on a killing spree or not. The whole book so far she has been going on about how she keeps herself contained for the safety of others.

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After I finished reading, I was left wanting so much more. I was under the impression that this book was a standalone but when I came on here to post my review, I learned that it's the first in a trilogy.

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I can't wait to find out what happens next in Deanna's story!



Thursday, May 10, 2018

Review: Freak of Nature by Julia Crane


Freak of Nature by Julia Crane
Book #1 in the IFICS Series



Synopsis

Donate Body to Science. Check.
When seventeen-year-old Kaitlyn checked the box, she never suspected she’d have her life–and her body–stolen from her. She awakens one day in a secret laboratory to discover that her body is now half-robot and is forced to hide her own secret: that she still has human emotions and a human mind. If the scientists who made her find out, they’ll erase what remains of who she was.

Kaitlyn finds an unlikely ally in Lucas, a handsome, brilliant scientist who can’t get over the guilt he feels knowing she was once a vibrant, beautiful young woman. He never expected a science project to affect him the way she does. As he tries to help her rediscover her past, he finds himself falling for the brave girl struggling to find her place and acceptance between the human and computer worlds.



*3 Stars*


Freak of Nature was a solid read for me. It was an easy and quick read. I chose this book for my Alphabetathon TBR because of the title. This month's focus was on the letter F so of course Freak of Nature fit the bill. 

 I found the cyborg still retains her feelings concept to be quite interesting. Poor Kaitlyn has to keep a straight face 24/7 because she's afraid that if the doctors find out she has her memories, they will take them away from her. They routinely perform upgrades on her (in the form of a microchip implanted at the top of her spine) and with each one she feels her humanity slipping away more and more.


My heart really went out to her. It was really cute how she didn't understand slang or catch phrases. Every time she got confused it made me think of Castiel from Supernatural. 


There were a couple of things that were predictable. There was a love interest, of course. And it was quite obvious from the very beginning who it was. And of course that stirs up all kinds of drama. 


I will say that the ending was kind of abrupt and just seemed too easy. You're going along the climax of the story believe one thing is going to happen and then it doesn't. I kind of felt let down. 


Once I finished the book, I checked to see how many more books were in the series, and I see what path the story is going to take and it peaked my interest. I will definitely be picking up book 2.




Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Review: Omega by Lizzy Ford


Omega by Lizzy Ford
Book 1 in the Omega Series




Synopsis

In a modern world ruled by territorial Greek gods, the human race has been oppressed, exploited and now, nearly destroyed by the constant infighting of gods. 

However, a human girl with the power of a goddess is coming of age. Alessandra is the Oracle of Delphi – the last prophesized – and bears the mark of the double omega. Soon after she turns eighteen, Alessandra is told her destiny: to step between the warring gods and the human race and save her world from certain ruin. 

For the gods, her appearance marks the beginning of the end – their end. They and the Triumvirate – leaders of the human elite – who serve them will stop at nothing to preserve their power. 

Alessandra emerges from the forest where she spent her life hidden from gods and men and immediately plummets into a race against time, gods, and herself to discover who and what she is in a world where everyone she meets has a hidden agenda, and those pulling the strings remain in the shadows.

Before she can determine exactly what kind of savior her world needs, she must first master her power by completing three trials devised by the Triumvirate to enslave her. 

One lone girl stands between warring gods and the people she’s destined to protect, but it’s the battle to understand who she is that she must win first. 



4.5 Stars

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions and thoughts are my own. 


Wow what a ride!

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Omega did not stop. There were no dull parts or times I had to force myself to keep reading. I found myself getting irritated when I would have to put my book down to be an adult.

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I really enjoyed Lyssa's character. She was a little in denial in the beginning about being an oracle, but I couldn't blame her. She'd been raised to believe she was completely ordinary and now all of a sudden she has powers?

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I don't have godly powers! I don't even get an allowance. 

And the sass! 

You know why you're here right now? Because you murdered everyone else who could help me. 

You don't want me dead, or you would've shot me. You want me scared enough to obey. Which I'm not. 

Whatever I can do to help you pay your child support.

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I also really enjoyed the interaction between Lyssa and Adonis. A few of my favorites.... 

You ever heard of a fork? 

 Ever kissed a boy? 

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I'll launch you onto his back. You ram a sword through the back of his skull. 

That's your plan. 

You got a better one? 

Whatever. Just toss me.

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My heart went out to Lyssa too. She didn't know who to trust. Every time she thought she knew someone, another secret would pop up and throw her world off-kilter. 

I was kind of afraid of learning to trust someone to find their secrets unbearable... 

It can't be that simple. Everyone I know has another side to who they are. 

 All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed Omega & will definitely be picking up the sequel, Theta, in the near future.




Sunday, March 11, 2018

March 2018 TBR


It's Spring Break this week and that means lots of reading time. Staying up late, just one more chapter, blanket forts, snuggling under your favorite blanket with a good book. I know I'm a week and a half late posting my TBR but better late than never. First things first, what does TBR mean? 


Without further ado, let's get right to the good stuff. Here is a pile of my physical TBR. I have a few ebooks (and most likely audiobooks because I've been on a huge audiobook kick lately) that are on my list as well. 



Starting from the top:

Everneath by Brodi Ashton


Isn't this cover just gorgeous? This is a re-read for me and it's just as good as I remembered.



Synopsis

Last spring, Nikki Beckett vanished, sucked into an underworld known as the Everneath. Now she’s returned—to her old life, her family, her boyfriend—before she’s banished back to the underworld . . . this time forever. She has six months before the Everneath comes to claim her, six months for good-byes she can’t find the words for, six months to find redemption, if it exists.

Nikki longs to spend these precious months forgetting the Everneath and trying to reconnect with her boyfriend, Jack, the person most devastated by her disappearance—and the one person she loves more than anything. But there’s just one problem: Cole, the smoldering immortal who enticed her to the Everneath in the first place, has followed Nikki home. Cole wants to take over the throne in the underworld and is convinced Nikki is the key to making it happen. And he’ll do whatever it takes to bring her back, this time as his queen.

As Nikki’s time on the Surface draws to a close and her relationships begin slipping from her grasp, she is forced to make the hardest decision of her life: find a way to cheat fate and remain on the Surface with Jack or return to the Everneath and become Cole’s queen.



Mistwood by Leah Cypess





Synopsis

The Shifter is an immortal creature bound by an ancient spell to protect the kings of Samorna. When the realm is peaceful, she retreats to the Mistwood.

But when she is needed she always comes.

Isabel remembers nothing. Nothing before the prince rode into her forest to take her back to the castle. Nothing about who she is supposed to be, or the powers she is supposed to have.

Prince Rokan needs Isabel to be his Shifter. He needs her ability to shift to animal form, to wind, to mist. He needs her lethal speed and superhuman strength. And he needs her loyalty—because without it, she may be his greatest threat.

Isabel knows that her prince is lying to her, but she can't help wanting to protect him from the dangers and intrigues of the court . . . until a deadly truth shatters the bond between them.

Now Isabel faces a choice that threatens her loyalty, her heart . . . and everything she thought she knew. 


Relic by Renee Collins





Synopsis

After a raging fire consumes her town and kills her parents, Maggie Davis is on her own to protect her younger sister and survive best she can in the Colorado town of Burning Mesa. In Maggie’s world, the bones of long-extinct magical creatures such as dragons and sirens are mined and traded for their residual magical elements, and harnessing these relics’ powers allows the user to wield fire, turn invisible, or heal even the worst of injuries.

Working in a local saloon, Maggie befriends the spirited showgirl Adelaide and falls for the roguish cowboy Landon. But when she proves to have a particular skill at harnessing the relics’ powers, Maggie is whisked away to the glamorous hacienda of Álvar Castilla, the wealthy young relic baron who runs Burning Mesa. Though his intentions aren’t always clear, Álvar trains Maggie in the world of relic magic. But when the mysterious fires reappear in their neighboring towns, Maggie must discover who is channeling relic magic for evil before it’s too late.

Relic is a thrilling adventure set in a wholly unique world, and a spell-binding story of love, trust, and the power of good.


The Iron Daughter by Julie Kagawa
Book 2 in The Iron Fey Series




I'm not going to post the synopsis for book 2 to avoid spoilers, so here's the details for book 1. I love this series and this is a re-read for me as well, but it's been a few years since I last read it so it feels new.


Book 1: The Iron King by Julie Kagawa





Synopsis

Meghan Chase has a secret destiny; one she could never have imagined.

Something has always felt slightly off in Meghan's life, ever since her father disappeared before her eyes when she was six. She has never quite fit in at school or at home.

When a dark stranger begins watching her from afar, and her prankster best friend becomes strangely protective of her, Meghan senses that everything she's known is about to change.

But she could never have guessed the truth - that she is the daughter of a mythical faery king and is a pawn in a deadly war. Now Meghan will learn just how far she'll go to save someone she cares about, to stop a mysterious evil, no faery creature dare face; and to find love with a young prince who might rather see her dead than let her touch his icy heart.



Ghost Hold by Ripley Patton
Book 2 in The PSS Chronicles




Since this is book 2 in the series, I'm going to post the details for book 1 to avoid spoilers.

Ghost Hand by Ripley Patton


*FREE on Amazon!*



Synopsis

Seventeen-year-old Olivia Black has a rare birth defect known as Psyche Sans Soma, or PSS. Instead of a right hand made of flesh and blood, she was born with a hand made of ethereal energy.

How does Olivia handle being the girl with the ghost hand? Well, she's a little bit morbid and a whole lot snarky. 

Her mother thinks her obsession with death, black clothing, and the local cemetery is a bid for attention. But when Marcus, the new guy in Olivia's calculus class, stares at her like she's a freak, Olivia doesn't like it. And when her hand goes rogue, doing things she never imagined possible, Olivia finds herself running for her life with Marcus from a group of men bent on taking the power of her hand for their own nefarious purposes.


I'm also listening to two audiobooks at the moment; Defy by Sara B. Larson and Riders by Veronica Rossi. Defy is a repeat for me but I just love the story and I really love Damian. The narrator for the audiobook isn't the best, but I'm making do. The narrator for Riders is great but the story isn't grabbing me as much as I'd expected it to. Here is the info for both of these books.


Defy by Sara B. Larson





Synopsis

Alexa Hollen is a fighter. Forced to disguise herself as a boy and serve in the king's army, Alex uses her quick wit and fierce sword-fighting skills to earn a spot on the elite prince's guard. But when a powerful sorcerer sneaks into the palace in the dead of night, even Alex, who is virtually unbeatable, can't prevent him from abducting her, her fellow guard and friend Rylan, and Prince Damian, taking them through the treacherous wilds of the jungle and deep into enemy territory.

The longer Alex is held captive with both Rylan and the prince, the more she realizes that she is not the only one who has been keeping dangerous secrets. And suddenly, after her own secret is revealed, Alex finds herself confronted with two men vying for her heart: the safe and steady Rylan, who has always cared for her, and the dark, intriguing Damian. With hidden foes lurking around every corner, is Alex strong enough to save herself and the kingdom she's sworn to protect? 


Riders by Veronica Rossi








Synopsis

Nothing but death can keep eighteen-year-old Gideon Blake from achieving his goal of becoming a U.S. Army Ranger. As it turns out, it does.

While recovering from the accident that most definitely killed him, Gideon finds himself with strange new powers and a bizarre cuff he can’t remove. His death has brought to life his real destiny. He has become War, one of the legendary four horsemen of the apocalypse.

Over the coming weeks, he and the other horsemen—Conquest, Famine, and Death—are brought together by a beautiful but frustratingly secretive girl to help save humanity from an ancient evil on the emergence.

They fail.

Now—bound, bloodied, and drugged—Gideon is interrogated by the authorities about his role in a battle that has become an international incident. If he stands any chance of saving his friends and the girl he’s fallen for—not to mention all of humankind—he needs to convince the skeptical government officials the world is in imminent danger.

But will anyone believe him?



Make sure to check back at the end of the month for a wrap-up of all of the books I read/listened to this month. I've got several I've already read that I didn't list here since I've already finished them. I've been on a reading roll this month and I.freaking.love.it. In the meantime, you can find me on Instagram (@declarationsofafangirl), Twitter (@declarefangirl, although I don't post there as much), and Facebook (https://facebook.com/declarationsofafangirl). Leave me a comment and tell me what you're reading right now or plan to read this month. I love to learn about new books!