Christmas Awards 2011

Sunday, 28 December 2014

Since You've Been Gone

Since You've Been Gone by Mary Jennifer Payne

Publisher: Dundurn

February 2015

ISBN: 978-1459728189

Pages: 224



Contemporary, Suspense, Young Adult, Romantic Elements



Toronto, Canada and London, England

Edie Fraser is fifteen years old.  She and her mother, Sydney, have been trying to outrun their pasts for the past five years.  Things were bad before but now they are even worse.  Edie is in a new school and if that wasn’t bad enough she is now in a different country. 

Sydney has promised Edie that they are finally going to get a fresh start.  So Edie is doing her best to adjust to their new life in London, England.  In spite of the fact she is being targeted by the school bully.  Then Sydney goes out to work one night and doesn’t come home.  Now Edie is terrified that the past has finally caught up to them.

Edie is now alone in a strange country and is too afraid to call the police for fear she will be sent back to her father who is abusive.  Edie is determined to find her mother.  She is now faced with the most difficult decision of her life especially since she has no idea where to start. 


This is a story that will pull at readers heart strings.  It handles an emotional subject very well while not letting it drag the storyline down.  Edie proves to be very resourceful as she goes about trying to find her mother in a place she has no idea of what is where.  The story has some action and moves along at a pretty fast pace and it keeps moving forward.  Reading what Edie is going through as she tries to find the answers she needs pulls the reader in until the very end.  While there are some heavy subjects in the story the story itself doesn’t get too dark or depressing and it makes for a very interesting book. This is one story that is worth taking the time to read.



I give this one 4-1/2 red roses


LRH


Third Grave Dead Ahead

Third Grave Dead Ahead by Darynda Jones

Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin

July 2012

ISBN: 978-1-250-00828-2

Pages: 310


Contemporary, Suspense, Romantic Elements


Albuquerque, New Mexico


Charley Davidson is both a private investigator and the grim reaper.  Now she drinking copious amounts of caffeine to stay awake.  She knows that if she doesn’t the moment she closes her eyes she is going to see Reyes Farrow again.  He is also the part-human son of Satan.  Charley may have imprisoned him for all eternity but is that any reason for him to haunt her with his plan of seduction and revenge?  She has to solve a missing person case.  She is also having to deal with a motorcycle gang bent on murder, try and calm her curmudgeonly dad and also handle an ego-driven doctor. Reyes is getting in the way of all that and making life difficult.



This is another Charley Davidson book that is sure to please fans of the series.  The humor is there in spades and makes for a book that readers won’t want to put down.  They will want to see how Charley gets out of her latest difficulties and see just what is going to happen next.  The story also takes some very fun twists that makes for a book that will have readers laughing out loud and wanting to read the next book in the series right away.  This is proving to be a series that is addictive and a lot of fun to read.  It will also have readers hoping for many more books in this series.  This is a must read.


I give this one 5 red roses



LRH

Watch Me

Watch Me (Dark Obsession Book 1) by Cynthia Eden

Publisher: Hocus Pocus Publishing, Inc.

December 2014

Pages: 156



Contemporary, Romantic Suspense


Washington, D.C.


Chance Valentine has spent years trying to keep his distance from Gwen Hawthorne.  Now he has been hired to protect her.  While the job isn’t hard itself it is most definitely tempting.  Her father has hired him to keep a twenty-four, seven day watch on her as her bodyguard.  Chance knows that this time his control is going to be pushed to the very limits.

Chance has never wanted a woman the way he wants Gwen.  His desire for her is hot, intense and consuming.  Being this close to her he knows that he has no chance of resisting her. So Chance has given into the needs of them both and took them to the edge of a dark and consuming desire.

It doesn’t take long for Chance to realize he isn’t the only one that is watching Gwen.  There is a stalker out there that will not rest until Gwen is destroyed.  Every moment of every day Gwen is in danger.  Chance knows that if he can’t figure out and unmask her stalker there is every chance he will end up losing the only woman he has ever loved.


This takes suspense and ratchets it up to unbelievable levels.  The suspense lasts until the very end and makes for a book that readers won’t want to put down for any reason.  The action is fast and furious and keeps coming throughout the book.  It will also keep readers guessing as to who the stalker is and just what they are after.  With all the twists and turns in this story it will keep reader on the edge of their seats and guessing what will happen next until the very last page.  It will also have readers wanting to read the other two books in the trilogy and have them mourning the fact that they aren’t out just yet. This is another amazing book from an author that proves over and over that she can deliver some fantastic romantic suspense that will keep readers coming back for more.


I give this one 5 red roses



LRH

Sunday, 21 December 2014

Chronicles of Steele: Raven

Chronicles of Steele: Raven: The Complete Story by Pauline Creeden

Publisher: AltWit Press

October 2014

ISBN: 1502357593

Pages: 304


Steampunk, Romantic Elements


Reaper Tenants:
All human lives are valuable.
The poor are just as valuable as someone rich and living in a manor.
The scoundrel and the saint are equal in value.
For these reasons for every life a reaper takes they must redeem one.

Raven has lived by the first tenant of a reaper since she was first trained by her father.  Though since she lost her father she has spent the time redeeming the different lives she has taken.  Now by her count she is even and she can now put the assassin life behind her.  She thinks she can feel human again if she settles down and becomes a wife. On the way to the life she thinks she wants she is given a new task to complete by the baron of New Haven.  It is a task she just can’t ignore.  Just when she thought she was done with the life of an assassin she ends up pulled back in.


This is a fun book with all the elements that makes for a great steampunk novel.  The action keeps coming right up until the very last page.  The characters are interesting and keep the story moving at a fast pace that makes for a book that is hard to stop reading. With all the twists and turns that the story takes it will have readers wondering just what will happen next.  Readers will not be disappointed with the twists and turns.  The heroine is strong and determined and makes for a very likable character.  It will also leave readers wanting more from this world and from the characters.


I give this one 4 red roses



LRH

Saturday, 6 December 2014

Moorigad Dragon (Age of the Hybrid Book 1)

Moorigad Dragon (Age of the Hybrid Book 1) by Debra Kristi

Publisher: Ghost Girl Publishing

October 2014

ISBN: 1942191014

Pages: 140


Contemporary, Paranormal, Romance

Kyra figures that saving Marcus’s life should count as a good deed though that isn’t what motivated her to do it.  Something supernatural pulled her to do it.  When Marcus sees Kyra’s hybrid dragon she finds herself bound to protect him.  What makes things worse is that a bond between Kyra and her best friend, Sebastian is causing tension between them. Kyra is determined to defy Death even if that cost is her own life. 


Sebastian’s life is built around his tarot cards even more so when he takes refuge at Mystic’s Magical Carnival.  Everything goes wrong when he tries to include Kyra in that part of his life. Kyra’s interest in Marcus is now standing between her and Sebastian. It also puts Kyra in emanate danger.  Sebastian needs to save her from the consequences of her decisions by making her see and steering her away from Marcus before it is too late.  Sebastian is determined to do that even if the only way to save her is by baring his most guarded secrets.


This proves to be a story that keeps readers wondering just what will happen next.  It is fast paced and keeps the reader glued to the pages as they read to see what is going on and just what will happen next.  The characters are interesting and colorful and makes for a story that is intriguing.  It has a bit of a cliffhanger at the end but overall it is very well written and readers will want to know what happens next in the next story.  It has a mystery threaded through the story that will keep the readers wondering just where this one is headed and what will happen in the end.  The paranormal characters make for a story that will have readers wondering just what will show up next in it.


I give this one 4 red roses




LRH

Swept Away Part 4

Swept Away Part 4 by Jennifer Haymore

Publisher: Jennifer Haymore

December 2014

Pages: 117


Contemporary, Romance

California


Tara is now having to deal with Ethan’s final bomb. All she can see is that this one has finished her.  She can’t keep dealing with all she has had to face.  Tara never expected the danger she is facing or getting into blindly.  Someone is one step ahead of Tara at every turn that Tara faces.  She is about to be in a desperate fight for her life.


This takes a series that has been amazing so far and ends it in a way that readers will not see coming.  Each part of the series never disappoints and keeps the suspense and action coming throughout each and every part.  It will keep readers on the edge of their seats with each and every bombshell that is dropped is faced by Tara and the reader get see how Tara changes with everything she is forced to face and deal with.  This is also a series that once the reader reads each part they will want to sit down and re-read it right away as a whole without having to wait for the next part.  It is also a story that readers will not soon forget.


I give this one 5 red roses



LRH





Swept Away Part 3

Swept Away Part 3 by Jennifer Haymore

Publisher: Jennifer Haymore

November 2014

Pages: 110


Contemporary, Romance

Hawaii, California

Tara’s life is suddenly full of emotional bombs that go off when she least expects them.  The latest one is shattering her.  The one that Ethan has managed to ram into her chest.  Tara should be concentrating on survival instead all she can think of is Ethan’s lies.  Tara gave Ethan her trust and has now been devastated by a betrayal that is cutting so very deep.  So deep in fact that Tara expects to see a physical wound. 


This story keeps the twists and turns coming at the reader at a fast and furious pace that is sure to suck the reader in and not let go.  This story picks up right where the second part left off.  As the reader reads each part they are never lost when they pick up the next part of the story.  This one also has a cliffhanger ending that keeps the reader interested and desperately wanting the next and last part of the story.  The suspense that builds throughout this part and the first two keeps the story moving at a very fast pace and makes for a book that is extremely hard to put down.  Just as the reader thinks they know what is going on another twist is thrown in to keep them on their toes.  This is a romantic suspense that is proving to be a very harrowing read.  It is also interesting to see Tara grow as she deals with all that is thrown at her.  This is proving to be a series that is not to be missed.


I give this one 5 red roses



LRH





Swept Away Part 2

Swept Away Part 2 by Jennifer Haymore

Publisher: Jennifer Haymore

November 2014

Pages: 105


Contemporary, Romance

Pacific Ocean, Hawaii

Tara has to wonder what is wrong with her.  She is falling for the one man that has pretty much guaranteed he was going to end up hurting her.  The man that is refusing to give them a chance at a long-term happiness.  The man that plans to walk away from her after three weeks. 

Ethan Williams isn’t promising her the future just the present.  Tara thinks that she can just enjoy the time they have on the open ocean and the time they will have in Hawaii and she can just let him go.  Without any regrets. 

What she wasn’t counting on was a man with deep dark secrets that are deeper and darker than she first thought.  She put her trust in a man that isn’t sharing himself with her.  If Tara isn’t careful those secrets could very well kill her.


This part of the story picks up right after the first part of the story leaves off. And while this part also ends in a cliffhanger it is definitely a story worth reading.  The mystery expertly woven into the romance pulls the reader into the story until the very end.  It will also have readers wanting the next part so they can see just what will happen next.  This is proving to be series of stories that is very hard to put down and will have readers wanting to re-read it once they have all the parts.  Even readers that don’t like cliffhangers will find that with the cliffhangers so far works very well with the overall story line.  It also has some great twists into the story that readers won’t see coming. 

I give this one 5 red roses


LRH





This Man

This Man by Jodi Ellen Malpas

Publisher: Forever

October 2013

ISBN: 978-1-4555-7831-3

Pages: 451

Contemporary, Romance


London, England


Ava O’Shea is a young interior designer.  She never expected what she found at the Manor.  Ava thought she was just doing a run-of-the mill consultation with a stodgy country gentleman.  What she finds instead is Jesse Ward, a pleasure-seeking playboy who is devastatingly handsome and utterly confident and who has absolutely no boundaries.  Ava doesn’t want to be attracted to Jesse, but she has an overwhelming desire for him that she has no control over.  Her instincts are telling her to run and she knows that her heart isn’t going to survive Jesse.  What she doesn’t count on is Jesse refusing to let her go.  Jesse is determined to have her. 


This is the first book in a trilogy that starts out very hot.  If the other books live up to this one this is going to be one trilogy that will be a very hot read.  The characters are well written and complex.  The reader learns more about Jesse as Ava learns about him.  The story takes a few twists and turns that keeps the story moving very well.  The story ends with a bit of a cliffhanger that will have readers wanting to read the other books to find out just what happens with Ava and Jesse. The story pulls the reader in and keeps them reading until the very end.  It also has some humor that keeps the story from being too heavy throughout the story.  It gives the reader breaks from the more emotional parts of the story.  It will definitely have readers wanting to check out more from this author.


I give this one 4 red roses



LRH

Thursday, 20 November 2014

Sound of Sirens

Sound of Sirens Tales of Skylge, Book 1 by Jen Minkman

Publisher: Dutch Venture Publishing

November 2014

Pages: 114


Fantasy, Romance

For the island of Skylge only the Currents, the rich ruling class, get electricity.  The Currents came from across the sea, and when they did they brought the holy fire of St. Brandan with them.  Since then the light that is in the Brandaris Tower is what protects all the islanders.  Because if they heed the Siren’s call they will drown and the Sirens will have their souls.  The sacred light in the tower keeps the merfolk away. 

Enna is a Skylger girl that welcomes her brother back from his long sea voyage.  He brings her a very special present from the mainland.  An electronic record that can only be played on a Current devise.  Royce Bolton is a Current heartthrob and a gifted pianist and he wants the record too which causes a problem.  Enna refuses to sell the LP that features his favorite artist so he suggests that they share the record by meeting secretly at his private summer home.  Not expecting it Enna is thrilled and agrees.  She also discovers there is a lot more to both Current society and the history of Skylge.  She ends up questioning why the Sirens tempt the islanders to give themselves to the sea and also where the Currents’ monopoly on electricity really comes from.

As she struggles to find the answers to the questions, Enna finds herself falling for Royce.  She also risks everything to be with a guy that couldn’t be more wrong for her.  Enna ends up learning that the sounds of the Sirens isn’t the most treacherous thing around that haunts her dreams.


This is a very different type of story that makes for a fascinating read.  It makes for a story that stands out from other fantasy romances that are out there.  The characters are interesting and complex and makes for a story that proves to be a fast read as the reader gets pulled in and isn’t released until the very end.  It is also the start of a series that will have reader wondering just how the series will turn out.  It has romance and a mystery that makes for an enjoyable read.  This is one series that is worth checking out.


I give this one 4-1/2 red roses



LRH

Dark Perceptions

Dark Perceptions by Debra Kristi

Publisher: Ghost Girl Publishing

November 2014

Pages: 63


Contemporary, Paranormal Romance


Sara remembers a night out with her boyfriend, Matt laying out under the dark night’s sky.  The next thing she knows is somehow she is seated with a crowd under the Big Top with no idea how she got there.  She also has no idea of when she got there either.  She doesn’t stick around to find out.  Sara and Matt run either because of basic fear or because of the hideous, scary clowns.  They run beyond the tent walls deep into the carnival.  What they find is the dark alleys of the carnivals that changes their whole idea of thrill rides, fun zones and date nights.  The fear is enough to eat them alive but they refuse to let it define them and they confront those fears.  They end up finding that perceptions can be very misleading and that some monsters have claws you never see coming until too late.



This is a story that takes the reader on as much of a ride as the characters find at the carnival.  Just as the reader thinks they know what is going on a new twist is thrown at them that will have them second guessing just what is going on.  This story is part of a series that will have readers wanting to get the others just to see exactly where this one will take them.  It ends with a cliffhanger that works well with the overall story.  The reader finds out more of what is going on at the same time that the characters do so it makes the reader feel like they are a part of the story.  It is an interesting premise and will be interesting to see just where this series will end.


I give this one 4 red roses



LRH

The Hunk Next Door

The Hunk Next Door by Debra Webb and Regan Black

Publisher: Harlequin

November 2014

ISBN: 978-0-373-69795-3

Pages: 218


Contemporary, Romantic Suspense


Belclare, Maryland


While the town is celebrating the season of hope it seems someone isn’t enjoying the season and is out for blood.  Abigail Jensen is the police chief and she is determined to keep her town safe from harm.  She is also trying to avoid falling too hard for the new guy next door, Riley.  Abigail has to decide who she can trust because trusting the wrong person, especially someone with deep secrets, can be deadly.

Riley O’Brien is an agent with the CIA’s covert Specialist task force and he is on a mission.  He needs to protect a small-town cop from a terrorist.  No matter what.  He has traded his identity for an undercover guise.  Riley is a handyman which is all part of the plan.  What isn’t part of the plan is getting too close to Abigail on both a personal and passionate level. 


This is a great romantic suspense story that starts out fast and doesn’t stop until the very end.  The characters are complex and interesting and make for a story that is hard to put down.  As the clues and story unfold it makes for a story that pulls readers in and they try to figure out just what everyone’s angle is and who can be trusted.  The reader never knows what will happen next and how everything will turn out.  This is the start of a spin off series that will have readers that haven’t read the original series wanting to read that and also want to read the other books in this series.  This is a different romantic suspense series that makes for a read that is hard to forget even when the reader is done with the book.


I give this one 4-1/2 red roses




LRH

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

A Beautiful Dark

A Beautiful Dark by Jocelyn Davies

Publisher: Harper Teen

August 2012

ISBN: 978-0-06-199066-3

Pages: 390


Contemporary, Paranormal, Romance, Young Adult


Colorado

The night that Skye turns seventeen she meets two very different and enigmatic strangers.  Their appearance in her life also manages to send it into a tail spin.  Asher is dark and wild and Devin is his complete opposite being fair and aloof.  The only thing Skye knows about them is that their presence seems to coincide with several strange events that are happening.  She doesn’t know what they want from her or why they seem to follow her everywhere.

Skye ends up discovering a secret in the dead of a bitingly cold Colorado winter night.  A secret that threatens to shatter the world she has always known.  She is falling for Asher and yet can’t seem to stay away from Devin which is tearing her apart.  What she soon finds out is that her choice will end up reaching farther than the three of them could begin to imagine. 


This is the start of a series that starts out fast and pulls the reader into the story without letting go even after the last page is reached.  The characters are well written and intriguing.  The story slowly unfolds in such a way that it makes it very hard to put the book down until the reader finds out what is exactly going on.  While it ends on a cliffhanger it proves to work with the story line and will have readers eagerly wanting to read the next book in the series.  The story also takes some great twists and turns to keep the reader on the edge of their seats.  This is one book worth checking out.  It is also a book that while it seems to be lengthy once the readers starts they will find that they quickly reach the end long before they are ready too. 


I give this one 4-1/2 red roses



LRH

An Heiress for All Seasons

An Heiress for All Seasons by Sophie Jordan

Publisher: Avon Impulse

November 2014

ISBN: 978-0-06-236364-0

Pages: 144



Historical, Holiday, Romance


England


Violet Howard is feisty and independent and she is also an American heiress who is determined to never wed a crusty British Aristocrat.  Will is the Earl of Merlton who is determined to save his family and salvages the family fortune without having to have a marriage of convenience. 

Suddenly a snow storm leaves Violet and Will alone and stranded.  It also brings out the chemistry they feel for each other and that will challenge all their good intentions. When their desires end up burning too hot they end up tossing their reservations aside in favor of the heat they find in each other’s arms. 

Now a holiday blizzard has brought them together and it also threatens their reputations.  It also just might cost them their hearts in the process.  Now they have to decide if their passion will survive past the storm.  They also have to decide if the love they have found together is enough to last them through all seasons.


This is a great novella that is sure to put readers into the spirit of the holidays.  It is at a length that is sure to give readers a much needed break during their holiday preparations.  For such a short story it packs a lot of heart and warmth in just a few pages.  This is one book that will prove to be a favorite to read especially at the holiday seasons.  The characters are well written and carry the story very well. This is part of a series but can be read as a standalone though it will have readers wanting to read the first book in the series. 


I give this one 4-1/2 red roses



LRH

Storm

Storm by Brigid Kemmerer

Publisher: Kensington Teen

May 2012

ISBN: 978-0-7582-7281-2

Pages: 353


Contemporary, Paranormal, Young Adult


Annapolis, Maryland

Becca Chandler is finding herself getting all the guys especially the ones she doesn’t want.  It started when her ex-boyfriend spread lies about her.

Then Becca finds Chris Merrick getting a beating and manages to save him.  Chris is different.  More different than she could possibly imagine.  He can control water just like his brothers that can control wind, fire, and earth.  The brothers are powerful and dangerous.  They are also marked for death. 

Now that Becca knows the truth she is also marked for death.

When your life is at stake keeping secrets becomes a lot more difficult.  Then a mysterious new kid turns up around the school and seems to have a talent for being in the wrong place at the right time.  Becca thinks she can trust Hunter because of that.  When Hunter and Chris go head-to-head Becca has to wonder who is hiding the most dangerous truth. 


This is a fast place story that keeps up until the very end.  It gives a twist to the paranormal genre that proves to be all its own.  The reader will find themselves sucked into a story that is different from other paranormal stories and proves to be very engrossing.  The characters are fascinating and watching how they are dealing with their lives and the tragedies that have happening in each of their lives proves to be a story that the reader gets lost in as they read to see just what will happen to each and every character.  This is the first book in a series that if the others are like this one will be one series that will have readers wanting to re-read it over and over. 


I give this one 5 red roses



LRH

Thursday, 6 November 2014

Christmas at Twilight

Christmas at Twilight by Lori Wilde

Publisher: Avon

October 2014

ISBN: 978-0-06-231024-8

Pages: 384


Contemporary, Romance


Twilight, Texas

Christmas in Twilight means the Cookie Club is baking and the town is decorated. 

“Hutch” Hutchinson is a Delta Force Operator that has come home albeit very reluctantly. Finally returning home only to get pepper sprayed by a stranger who’s taken over his house, a stranger who is very delicious looking.  Jane immediately sets down some ground rules the top one being no touching.  Hutch might have been wounded in action but at least one part is working very well and that makes for a situation that is not easy to handle.

Then Hutch learns the truth about Jane.  She is harboring some frightening secrets.  Namely that she is really Meredith Sommers and is on the run from a dangerous ex-husband.  She also desperately needs the safety that Hutch can provide. That is the moment that he vows he will do everything in his power to keep her safe.  With Christmas approaching they are learning that the love they share has the power to overcome any obstacle in their path and it can also conquer their pasts. It also just leaves one question and that what is the price they will be forced to pay for that love.


This is another great book set in the town of Twilight.  It gives readers another glimpse is a town that has some great characters and proves that while small towns everyone can know everybody else’s business when it really counts they are very warm and welcoming and will always help their own.  It will also leave readers wishing they could visit Twilight during the Christmas season to enjoy all the fun that is possible.  It also gives readers another chance to check up with some other characters and see what is happening with them.  This proves to be a heartwarming story that is sure to put readers in the mood for the holidays.  It will also be one book that readers will enjoy re-reading over and over and not just for the holidays. 



I give this one 5 red roses


LRH

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Charming the Beast

Charming the Beast (Purgatory Book 3) by Cynthia Eden

Publisher: Cynthia Eden

October 2014

Pages: 206



Contemporary, Paranormal Romance


Washington


Connor Marrok works for the Seattle Para Unit.  Though he never intended to do so.  He’s a real monster and his beast doesn’t play nice so he isn’t one of the good guys.  Now he finds himself being blackmailed into doing one new assignment.  It is supposed to be his last one.  His latest mission is to protect beautiful Chloe Quick.  He needs to keep her alive and destroy her enemies.  Connor figured it would be easy to do until he started falling for her.

Chloe is tired of being a prisoner. She wants to run fast into the night and get away from the Para Unit.  Chloe knows trouble when she sees it. Connor is a very big dangerous package of trouble even if he is the sexiest guy she has ever met.  When an obsessed werewolf starts stalking her, Chloe soon realizes that Connor is the one man she needs the most. 

The more time Chloe and Connor spends together increases the attraction they have for each other.  Chloe has never felt desire so dark or so strong before.  The beast inside Chloe has always been silent though it seems Connor is suddenly stirring her animal instincts.  Soon Chloe is wondering how far she is willing to go to spend one more night in Connor’s arms even as the danger and desire twist together.


This is another book in a series that is proving to be very addictive.  The characters are complex and intriguing and make for a story that is very hard to put down.  While each book can be read as a stand alone there is enough common thread through each one to tie them together that the reader gets a better understanding about the books and characters if they read the whole series in order.  This story also leaves the reader wanting more from this world and series.  It also shows why this author is on many readers’ auto buy lists.  This is another amazing book from an author that delivers to her fans over and over again.


I give this one 5 red roses



LRH

Discern, Katon University

Discern, Katon University Book One by Andrea Pearson

Publisher: Andrea Pearson

August 2014

ISBN: 1500913499

Pages: 294


Contemporary, New Adult, Paranormal


Seattle, Washington & Moab, Utah


Nicole Williams is a fourth child with magical abilities also known as an Arete.  No matter how hard she tries she just can’t Channel her power.  It seems she is the only student at Katon University that is unable to do so and to fail at magic.

While she might not be able to control or Channel her power it doesn’t stop power from finding her.  She is dealing with possessed books and cursed spiders.  And that is only the beginning as things move quickly to magical currents and freaky shadows.  Soon Nicole turns to both her best friend and a fellow student that is considered a magical rarity, Austin Young, for help.  Austin also happens to be the hottest guy on campus.  He also just might be interested in her.

Now Nicole is competing to be included on a university-led expedition to Arches National Park.  Nicole is determined to show that she does belong even if it is mostly to herself.  Though to qualify for the trip she needs to produce at least some Wind magic and so far that seems impossible.

Nicole begins to wonder if she made the right choice as the competition progresses.   Especially when she learns that the fossils they are studying might not be as dead as everyone thinks they are.


This is a very different story about magic and starts the series off very well.  The reader learns more about this world at the same time that Nicole does and it makes for an engaging read.  The characters are well written and with some mystery woven into the story it makes for a story that is hard to put down.  It will also have readers wanting to know what will happen in the rest of the series.  The book ties up some loose ends while still leaving enough to lead into the next book but it is not really a cliffhanger and makes for a satisfying read. 


I give this one 4-1/2 red roses



LRH

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

The Killer Next Door

The Killer Next Door by Alex Marwood

Publisher: Penguin Books

October 2014

ISBN: 978-0143126690

Pages: 400



Contemporary, Mystery, Some Romantic Elements


London, England


There are six residents currently living at 23 Beulah Grove.  They also all have secrets.  It is the only reason they would live in rooms for rent that are in a dodgy old building.  They can pay in cash with no credit checks and definitely no leases.  One night during an unbearably hot summer a terrible accident brings the six together in a very uneasy alliance.  What they don’t realize is that one of them is actually a killer.  A killer that has already picked out his next victim.  He will also do anything to protect his secret.


This is a story that pulls the reader in.  With every word read the reader learns a little more about the occupants of 23 Beulah Grove.  It also has some great twists and turns that keep the reader guessing just who the killer is and what will happen next. With a series of mishaps that happen throughout the story it makes for a book that is hard to put down until the mystery is finally revealed.  It is enough to make you wonder about your neighbors and just what they might be hiding.  The story keeps the reader on the hook until the very end.  The reader is never sure until the end just how this one will turn out and if the residents will make it out of this whole or even at all.


I give this one 4 red roses



LRH

Swept Away

Swept Away by Jennifer Haymore

Publisher: Jennifer Haymore

October 2014

Pages: 130



Contemporary Romance


California

Tara is looking for something after a car accident that killed her sister.  She wants to start a new chapter in her life.  The sailing trip she is about to embark on is meant to do that.  Especially after the rut she has fallen into.  At least that was the plan until Ethan Williams stepped on board. 

Ethan seems to be everywhere surrounding Tara and getting under her skin.  She is caught in his strength, presence, and his intensity. 


Ethan radiates confidence.  With his ocean-blue eyes and dark, handsome looks Tara is mesmerized by him.  What really gets to her though is the way he looks at her that draws her in.  He doesn’t see either her past or her scars just her.  The person behind the baggage that she is struggling to leave in the past. 

Ethan has secrets though.  The dark dangerous kind.  She is trapped in the middle of the ocean and tangled up in a web of lies, sex and violence.  For Tara the problem becomes that she would happily be trapped there if only she can have him.


This is the first part of a four part series that starts fast and keeps things coming at the reader.  It ends with a cliffhanger that actually works very well with the story and will have readers eagerly awaiting the second part of the series.  The characters are intense and intriguing and keep the story moving along at a very fast pace.  The story reads as a much shorter story as once the reader starts it they will find it very hard to put down.  The story has suspense woven in extremely well that keeps the reader on the edge of their seats.  If the other parts prove as engrossing as the first part this is going to be one very unforgettable serial.  This is a different turn for this author and she delivers amazingly well.  It would be nice to see even more along this line from this author.


I give this one 4-1/2 red roses



LRH

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Silence

Silence by Becca Fitzpatrick

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

January 2013

ISBN: 978-1-4424-2665-8

Pages: 438



Contemporary, Paranormal, Romance, Young Adult


Coldwater, Maine


Nora Grey wakes up in a cemetery only to realize that she can’t remember the last several months and that she has been missing for weeks.  Nora tries to resume her daily life by hanging out with her best friend, Vee, dealing with school and avoiding her mother’s new boyfriend who is very creepy.  As she struggles to put the pieces together she can’t help feeling that everyone knows more about her disappearance than she does.

Now Nora has met a stranger that is very mysterious and that she finds she is both drawn to and afraid of.  At least he is able to shed some light on her memory loss.  Unfortunately this leads Nora to find out that she is about to embark on the fight of her life and that she is in the middle of ancient enemies that is almost more than she can comprehend.  If that wasn’t enough she is also falling in love.  With all the strange occurrences happenings it bring the feeling that she has already done this before.


This is another great story in a series that is proving hard to forget.  Watching Nora go through all the trials she is going through and how she deals with all the obstacles thrown in her path makes for a story that keeps readers turning the pages just to see how it will all turn out.  It is a different take on fallen angels that makes for an intriguing read.  The story comes to life with all the details provided in the story and yet it doesn’t overwhelm the reader with too much to take in.  This one will also have readers wanting to read the last book in the series just to see how everything will eventually turn out for Nora and those she loves and cares about.  It is also a story that will have readers wanting to read more from this author. 


I give this one 4-1/2 red roses



LRH

Saturday, 11 October 2014

Gone Girl

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Publisher: BDWY

Reprint April 2014

ISBN: 978-0-307-58837-1

Pages: 415


Contemporary, Suspense, Romance


New York City & North Carthage, Missouri


Nick and Amy Dunne are getting ready to celebrate their fifth wedding anniversary.  It is a warm summer morning in North Carthage.  As the presents are wrapped and the reservations made Nick’s beautiful and clever wife disappears.  Now the police are investigating. Nick might be the town golden boy but he isn’t helping with his deceit, his lies nor his inappropriate behavior.  He is definitely bitter and evasive, oddly so, but that doesn’t make him a killer or does it?



This is story that is full of suspense and so many twists and turns that soon the reader is doubting even themselves.  This a book that sucks the reader in with all that is happening and wondering just what will happen next and just what the truth is.  Just when the reader thinks they have figured out the mystery something else is thrown into the mix that makes them wonder if they are on the right track or not.  The story will also keep the reader guessing until the very end on just how this one will end.  This is one book that is worth reading and will have readers re-reading over and over even when they know the ending because with all the nuances in it readers are sure to discover something new with every read.  It does have a somewhat abrupt ending but overall it still an excellent book.


I give this one 4-1/2 red roses



LRH

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Hunters

Hunters Demon Series by Aoife Marie Sheridan

Publisher: Aoife Marie Sheridan

September 2014

ISBN: 978-1495430725

Pages: 118



Contemporary, Paranormal Romance, New Adult



Abigail is a nineteen year old whose job it is to hunt demons.

Her life has been tough and she has was taken in by a priest.  Father Peter also believes her when she says she can see ghosts.  He also trains her to hunt demons with three other members.  One being Daniel that is more than what he seems.

Ghosts start attacking Abigail after a possession goes wrong. It also starts to loosen the tight hold she has had on her emotions.  Now Abigail has drawn the unwanted attention of the Reote.  She also learns that more than she was willing to. 

Knowledge might be power except for Abigail because it becomes her undoing.  The only thing that is keeping her together is Daniel.



This is start to a series that starts off interesting.  The world building it fast and a lot of the background information comes throughout the story as the reader gets more into the book.  It has it’s dark side with each character trying to deal with difficult pasts but it also shows how each one got to the point that they are at.  There are still some unanswered questions about the characters that hopefully will be answered as the reader gets more into the stories.  The first one also ends in a cliffhanger but it is actually a good stopping point.  This story also deals with some dark subjects but it is done is such a way to not pull the reader down. It is handled well.


I give this one 4 red roses



LRH

The Charmer

The Charmer Assassin Guild Book 1 by C.J. Archer

Publisher: C.J. Archer

March 2013

ISBN: 978-0987337290

Pages: 286



Historical Romance


1598 Hampshire & London, England


He is handsome, charming and devastating.  He is also the last man she needed but was the one she wanted.

Orlando Holt is an assassin that has never had to assassinate a woman before.  Lady Lynden is both lovely and feisty and will be his first.  Orlando has been told that she is a vicious murderess but he begins to have doubts.  Now he is determined to find out who hired him.  His world is turned upside down with what he learns and sends him headlong into love with the one woman that proves to be immune to his charms.

Lady Susanna Lynden has been widowed twice by the time she turned twenty-four.  She has also had her fill of charming men.  Her life was made miserable by her last husband who wasn’t the same once he got her to the marriage bed after wooing her with all the correct things necessary to win her.  Now money is scarce and her house is falling down but she knows that the exotic fruit from her orange trees will turn things around and keep poverty away.  Except that every where she turns she is being thwarted and someone seems to want her dead.


This is a start to a series that proves to have some very interesting characters and makes for a story that the reader will fall into and won’t want to leave until the very last page and will also have them eagerly looking for the second book in the series.  The world of the 16th century comes to life for readers as they immerse themselves in the world that is built in the story.  It also gives a reader a glimpse of what life was like back then.  If the other books prove to be as full of action and suspense as this one this is going to be one series that will be a lot of fun to read and worth checking out.


I give this one 4-1/2 red roses



LRH

Insurgent

Insurgent by Veronica Roth

Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books

May 2012

ISBN: 978-0-06-202404-6

Pages: 525


Dystopian, Young Adult

Tris Prior is finding that every choice can both transform you and has consequences.  Tris is trying to save those she loves and also herself as unrest surges in the factions.  She is also grappling with haunting questions dealing with grief, forgiveness, identity and loyalty not to mention politics and love.

Tris’s initiation day should have been a day of celebration and victory with her new faction.  Instead she had a day that ended in unspeakable horrors.  Now war is looming as the conflict between the factions and their ideologies grow.  With war coming sides need to be chosen and secrets are emerging and those choices will become even more irrevocable and more powerful.  Tris has been transformed by her decisions and also the haunting grief and guilt she is dealing with.  Not to mention the radical new discoveries and shifting relationships she is dealing with.  Tris now must fully embrace her Divergence even when she doesn’t know what it will cost her by doing so.


This is proving to be an excellent trilogy that doesn’t let up on the action and suspense.  With some romance it makes for a book that is very hard to put down.  Readers get to see how the characters have changed from the first story to this one and how they are still the same in many ways. It will also have readers wanting to see just how this is going to turn out in the final book.  The story gives a fascinating look of what ifs and a look at a different world while still being in places that readers can identify with.  It is easy to see why this one was turned into a movie.  This is one trilogy worth trying by readers of all ages.


I give this one 4-1/2 red roses



LRH

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

The Last Orphans

The Last Orphans by N.W. Harris

Publisher: Clean Teen Publishing

October 2014

ISBN: 978-1940534893

Pages: 222


Contemporary, Young Adult



Leeville & Atlanta, Georgia

 Shane Tucker is a normal sixteen-year-old until one horrifying day changes all that for him and every other kid in the world.

In just hours the entire adult population is gone leaving just their children behind to take care of themselves in the aftermath of a freak, horrific occurrence.  Now Shane is a newly made elder of his small town.  Shane finds himself in the role of caretaker for a large group of juvenile survivors.  One of which is Kelly Douglas who before now was an out-of-his league classmate.  Who before everything happened wouldn’t give Shane a second glance. 

All together the survivors begin a quest to find out just why the adult population was slaughtered.  What they didn’t expect was to find more horrifying then the deaths is that the annihilation of the adults was just the start of what is happening.  Shane and his friends think they are just the unlucky survivors left to deal with the new messed up planet.  Now they find out they are in actuality the next victims.  There is an unknown power that won’t stop until the entire human population is dead. 


This is a start of a series that if the rest is as good as this one will prove to be a phenomenal series.  The way the kids are forced to deal with what has happened and how they overcome every obstacle that is placed in their path makes for a powerful story that is one that readers won’t soon forget.  The action is non-stop and seeing how Shane and his group of friends stick together and work together to deal with the new reality of their life is engrossing and makes for a read that is very hard to put down.  It will also have readers eagerly awaiting the next book to come out to see just where this is headed.  It ends with a cliffhanger that works very well with the story overall.  This is series that is sure to prove a favorite among readers of all ages.


I give this one 5 red roses



LRH

Monday, 22 September 2014

The Prince Who Loved Me

The Prince Who Loved Me by Karen Hawkins

Publisher: Pocket Books

September 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4516-8524-4

Pages: 355


Historical, Romance


A handsome prince who is also a rake and doesn’t believe in true love meets a lass that is stubborn and who won’t settle for less.

Prince Alexsey Romanovin enjoys a carefree life with flirting and more with any lady that crosses his path.  Then the interfering Grand Duchess Natasha decides it is time for Alexsey, her grandson, to wed.  Alexsey soon finds himself in Scotland determined to put an end to those plans.  Bronwyn Murdoch seems the perfect answer as she isn’t to the duchess’s taste at all as she is brainy, bookish and bespectacled.  

Bronwyn has little time for a handsome flirt when she is at the beck and call of her ambitious stepmother and her social butterfly stepsisters.  She is sure no spoiled arrogant prince would be seriously interested in a firm-minded female like herself.  Now she is determined to have some fun and turn the prince’s game around on him and show him that an ordinary woman can bring a prince to his knees.


This is a fun story that takes the fairy tale of Cinderella and turns it into a Scottish tale that has a lot of humor in it.  The characters are fun and interesting and keep the reader glued to the pages as they see just what will happen next and if Bronwyn will get a happily-ever-after.   This a great start to a new series that if the rest of the stories prove to be as original as this one it is going to be one series that will be a lot of fun and will pull at readers’ heartstrings.  Readers will also never look at Cinderella the same again after reading this one.  It will also have readers wondering just what fairy tale will be next that will get it own twist. 


I give this one 4-1/2 red roses



LRH

Saturday, 20 September 2014

Mine to Have

Mine to Have by Cynthia Eden

Publisher: Cynthia Eden

September 2014

Pages: 346



Contemporary, Romantic Suspense


Miami, Florida


Elizabeth Ward is being held hostage in the backroom of a low end bar in Miami called The Blade when she first sees Saxon Black.  She isn’t sure if he is there to raise some hell or to save the day.  Though he seems to be her best chance at survival.  Suddenly she is away from the men with the guns and riding fast and hard on the back of Saxon’s motorcycle. 

For far too long Saxon has been working undercover.  When he first sees Elizabeth she has a gun to her head and he knows he will do anything to keep her safe.  He gets her away from her abductors but the threat is far from over.  There is a price on Elizabeth’s head and if he can’t keep her safe she will end up dead. 

Elizabeth and Saxon on suddenly on the run as their enemies close in on them.  The longer they are together the hotter the passion between them gets.  Saxon vows to let no harm to come to Elizabeth no matter what he has to do to keep her safe because he is falling for her fast.  He is determined to stop the killers on her trail and then he is determined to have her forever.


This is another chapter in a series that is proving to be addictive.  The series has a lot of action and suspense that keeps coming with every page that is turned.  Just when the reader thinks they have it figured out another twist it thrown at them to make them wonder just what is happening and where this one is going.  It is not a disappointment and makes for a book that is extremely hard to put down.  Readers will find that despite the size it proves to be a very fast read because they won’t want to put it down until they finish the whole story.  While each book can be read as a standalone it proves to be much better if the reader reads the whole series in order.  After this one readers will be hoping for another book in this series.  The characters are rich and complicated and make for a mesmerizing story that they won’t soon forget. This is one author that never disappoints her fans and readers. 


I give this one 5 red roses



LRH  

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Sway

Sway by Kat Spears

Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin

September 2014

ISBN: 978-1-250-05143-1

Pages: 320


Contemporary, Young Adult


Each one bought their popularity and he now owned their secrets.  Now the question is will it cost him the one person he loves the most. 

Jesse Alderman is also known as Sway.  He is the one person that can get things people want for them.  He is also a high school senior that is emotionally detached.  He knows what he wants until he meets Bridget Smalley, the girl of his dreams.  Now he is out of his element and in uncharted territory. 





This is a modern day Cyrano de Bergerac that is told with unapologetic truth and biting humor.  It also proves to be a book that once the reader starts it they will have a hard time putting it down.  The high school world comes to life with every word that is read.  The characters and what they are dealing with in each of their lives and how those lives intersects in powerful ways that will prove to be a very hard book to forget long after the reader has finished reading it.  It is also interesting to see how Jesse starts out one way and how over the course of dealing with others his true self comes out.  The story is rich in detail and will pull at the reader’s emotions as they go through each part of Jesse’s life.  This is a book that will have readers wanting to read more by this author as she paints a picture that feels real with each word that is read.  This is one book that is worth reading and should be put on the keeper shelves of readers.  This is a story that will pull at reader’s emotions and will have them looking at the world around them a little bit differently.


I give this one 5 red roses


LRH