Christmas Awards 2011

Sunday, 23 August 2015

Luckiest Girl Alive

Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

May 2015

ISBN: 978-1-4767-8963-7

Pages: 338

Contemporary, Thriller

Ani FaNelli endured a shocking, public humiliation when she was a teenager at the prestigious Bradley School. It also left her desperate to reinvent herself. Now she is living close to the perfect life she has worked so hard to achieve with a handsome blue blood fiancé, an expensive wardrobe and a glamorous job.

Ani has a secret.

She is still haunted by something else that is buried in her past.  It is something that is both painful and private and it is threatening to bubble to the surface and ruin everything for her.

Ani has a cutthroat ambition and some sharp edges that she uses to protect a scandalous truth and a heart that is actually bigger than it seems.

Now Ani has to decide if by breaking her silence she will destroy everything she has worked for or if she will finally be set free.

This is a book that takes so many twists and turns that you never know just where it is going or where it will end up. Ani seems cold and difficult but as the reader gets more into the story they find that there is a lot more to Ani than they first thought there was.  The story is very engrossing as the reader will want to find out just what is going on and what Ani is hiding from her past.  It has a very satisfying ending and the story will stay with the reader long after they have finished the book.

I give this one 5 red roses


Remember Mia

Remember Mia by Alexandra Burt

Publisher: Berkley

July 2015

ISBN: 978-0-425-27840-6

Pages: 352

Contemporary Suspense

New York

Estelle Paradise is found near death at the bottom of a ravine with a vague sense of loss and a fragmented memory when she wakes up in a hospital. The reality that sets in is terrifying when she realizes her daughter is missing.

In their Brooklyn apartment Estelle discovered her baby’s crib empty days earlier.  All traces of seven-month-old Mia has disappeared and there are no signs of a break-in.  Mia’s clothes, bottles and diapers are all gone.

Estelle begins a desperate search when she is frustrated and unable to explain her daughter’s disappearance. Estelle is soon the number one suspect in the eyes of both the police and media when her story is cast in doubt due to the lack of evidence.

Estelle will do anything to find answers as hope is all she has left of reuniting with Mia.  What has someone done to Mia or what has she done to her baby?

This is a story that takes some amazing twists and turns and will keep readers guessing as to just what has happened to Mia.  Just as the reader thinks they know what is going on another clue is revealed that will have them wondering if they are close to figuring out what is the truth.  It is also a book that is very hard to put down as readers will want to know just how this one turns out.  The story grabs readers by the throat and doesn’t let go until the very last page.  This is one suspense story not to miss.

I give this one 5 red roses


The Good Fight

The Good Fight by Andrew Grey

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

September 2012

ISBN: 978-1-61372-736-2

Pages: 200

Contemporary Romance m/m

South Dakota

Jerry Lincoln has an IT consulting business in Sioux Falls and he has a problem as he has more work than one man can handle alone. That means he needs to hire some help.  John Black Raven is Jerry’s new employee. He is also proving to be distracting.  Jerry hopes he will be more helpful than anything because he is finding that John’s deep eyes and long hair are very distracting.

John left the reservation for an education and a chance at a life that wasn’t possible on the reservation. What is most important as far as he is concerned is getting a job and keeping it.  His sister died six months ago and now her children are in foster care.  John can’t get custody even with the law on his side.  In fact he is unable to even see his nephew and niece.

John soon discovers he doesn’t have to struggle alone as he and Jerry grow closer.  With Jerry’s help he gets visitation rights and some much needed support.  Even with the victories there are still some setbacks. Native American children are the bread and butter of Child Services so everything is tangled up in red tape, politics and money. John and Jerry are determined to fight the good fight and win. 

This is a story that pulls at readers heartstrings and will have readers hoping everything works out for the best for John and Jerry.  The characters are well written and the story line proves to be so engrossing that readers will find it hard to put the book down for any reason.  For readers that enjoy this genre this is definitely a book to check out and they will find that they will want to read more from this author.  The story keeps building until the climatic end.

I give this one 4-1/2 red roses


That Night

That Night by Chevy Stevens

Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin

May 2015

ISBN: 978-1-250-06683-1

Pages: 370

Contemporary Suspense with Romantic elements

Vancouver Island

Toni Murphy is a typical teenager with the usual complications. Parents with whom she has a strained relationship, a younger sister she can’t relate to, classmates that seem to want to make her life miserable and a boyfriend that she adores. Life wasn’t always easy but she never thought it would turn horrific like it did when her younger sister was brutally murdered one summer night.

Toni and her boyfriend Ryan were sent to prison when they were convicted of the crime.

Toni is now thirty-four back in her hometown on parole and struggling to adjust to life on the outside.  She doesn’t want to go back so she is doing everything possible to avoid violating her parole. No one seems to be making that easy either.  Especially her mother that doesn’t believe in her innocence, the group of women that made her life hell in high school or Ryan who is determined to find out the truth.  There are those that just might have darker secrets than anyone imagined in particular the women that Toni had problems with in high school. Toni is finding that no matter how hard she wants to ignore her old life to start a new one that is impossible. If Toni truly wants to move on she is going to have to find out what really happened that night even if she must risk everything to do so.

The most terrifying thing of all though just might be the truth.

This is a story that pulls the reader in and keeps them guessing as to just what happened and who is behind everything.  Just as the reader thinks they have the solution another tidbit is thrown out that will have them doubting they have it figured out at all.  The twists and turns that this story takes will keep readers on the edge of their seats as they try and figure out the truth behind what really happened.  It will also have readers hoping things will work out for Toni and Ryan.  This is also a book that will stay with the reader long after they are done with the story.

I give this one 4-1/2 red roses


Sunday, 9 August 2015

Beware of Me

Beware of Me by Cynthia Eden

Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform

July 2015

ISBN:  978-1515077992

Pages: 278

Contemporary Romantic Suspense

New York City

Ethan Barclay has been called many things in his life including killer, criminal and monster. He usually doesn’t care what people say though. He is hard, brutal and tough when he needs to be. Though even the most dangerous of men can have a weakness. Carly Shay is and will always be Ethan’s weakness.

Their pasts are intertwined together and have been melded and twisted by blood and death.  The hardest thing Ethan ever did was walk away from Carly. It was also his one good deed. Ethan felt Carly deserved far better than him.  He wanted her to have a life that didn’t involve paying for his sins, a life that was perfect.

Now Carly’s life is on the line when secrets from their past are revealed. Carly and Ethan’s enemies are closing in on them. Ethan is not going to let Carly be threatened. He will move heaven and hell to protect her. He isn’t going to lose Carly again. The ones foolish enough to try and take her from him are about to find out just how deadly Ethan can truly be.

This is another wonderful book in a series that keeps the suspense and action coming with each and every one.  The story line is unique and proves to be addictive as the reader will want to keep turning the pages just to see how this one will turn out.  With all the twists and turns this one takes it will keep the reader on the edge of their seat until the very end.  This is one author that always delivers great books no matter which series the reader is reading. 

I give this one 5 red roses


An Ember in the Ashes

An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

Publisher: Razorbill

April 2015

ISBN: 978-1-59514-803-2

Pages: 446

Historical YA, Romantic elements

Laia is a slave and while Elias is a soldier neither is truly free.

The Martial Empire meets defiance with death. People that live there are expected to vow their blood and bodies to the Emperor.  If they don’t they chance execution of their loved ones and also the destruction of what they hold dear.

It is inspired by ancient Rome and it is brutal.  It is also the world where Laia lives with her older brother and grandparents.  They eke out an existence in the impoverished backstreets of the Empire. They also do not challenge the Empire.  They know what happens when someone does they have seen it happen.

Laia is forced to make a decision when her brother is arrested for treason. She will get help from the rebels who promise to rescue her brother but to get that help she has to risk her life.  She will have to spy for the rebels in the Empire’s greatest military academy.

At the school Laia meets Elias who is the school’s finest soldier.  Though secretly he is the most unwilling. Elias is being trained to enforce the tyranny he wants to be free from. Soon Elias and Laia realize that their destinies are intertwined. They also realize that their choices will change the fate of the Empire itself.

This is an amazing book that pulls the reader in and doesn’t let go. Not even after the reader has finished the story.  The world comes to life with every word read. It has action and suspense that keeps the reader engrossed and reading just so they can see what will happen next.  It will also have readers hoping for more from this author and world.  Readers get to see Laia find the strength to do what she must to both survive and save her brother.  Elias also finds out what is most important to him and just how far he will go to fight for what he believes in.  This is a book that readers will find themselves reading over and over.

I give this one 5 red roses


Sunday, 2 August 2015

The Prince and I

The Prince and I by Karen Hawkins

Publisher: Pocket Books

August 2015

ISBN: 9781476785974

Pages: 384

Historical Romance


Max Romanovin is the warrior prince for Oxenburg. When he is escorting his grandmother to a house party that is deep in the Highlands they find themselves at the sword point of a group of ruffians.  The group is led by a man that the locals call the Scottish Robin Hood.  The prince is battle-savvy enough to instantly realize that something is off about the thief.  It is isn’t the Scottish accent either.  It is the fact that the “he” is actually a “she”.

Lady Murian is out for revenge against the earl that killed her husband and stole his birthright. She is now living in the woods with her family’s retainers that have also been banished.  She and her band of men rob the rich nobles that are visiting the evil earl just so that they can stay alive. She gets much more than she expected when she ambushes the Prince of Oxenburg’s golden coach.  When the prince finds out her true identity she is no longer sure who is the thief and is afraid the prince might just be the real thief of her heart.

This is the second book in a series that is proving to be a lot of fun to read.  It also will have readers wanting the next book right away to see what else will happen in this series.  While each book can be read as a standalone they are greatly more enjoyable when the reader reads the books in order.  The story also proves to be hard to put down once the reader starts as they will want to know what is going to happen next and just how things will end for Max and Murian and if they will be able to overcome the obstacle that are in their way. 

I give this one 5 red roses


Claimed by Pleasure

Claimed by Pleasure Wonderland Book 2 by Jaymie Holland

Publisher: Pink Zebra Publishing

March 2015

ISBN: 978-1-939778-68-0

Pages: 240

Contemporary Paranormal Romance

San Francisco, CA & Tarok

Alexi O’Brien will not let anything stop her from finding her missing twin especially as she is pissed. Then she is abducted into a world that is both beautiful and highly sexual.  She is also determined to escape and resume her search for her sister.  Even if she is excited in unimaginable ways by the dangerous and dark man that has captured her.

King Darronn prefers submissive women especially when they are his.  His future queen is anything but. Darronn plans to convince spirited and fiery Alexi that she belongs to him body, heart and soul no matter what it takes.

This story picks up a little after the first book ended. It is just as hot and sexy as the first book was and will have readers wanting to read the next book to see what is going to happen in this series.  While the books are linked together they can be read somewhat as standalone books though the reader will find it a lot more helpful in understanding the overall story line if they read the books in order.  This is proving to be a fun series that will have readers never looking at fairy tales the same again.  It is also a good idea to have a glass of ice cold water nearby while reading this one.

I give this one 4 red roses


Stolen Ecstasy

Stolen Ecstasy by Hannah Howell

Publisher: Zebra

Reissue: May 2011

ISBN: 978-1-4201-0466-0

Pages: 427

Historical Romance

Colorado, Texas & Mexico 1870

Leanne Summers learned in one night that everything about her life as she believed it is a lie and in that same night lost her home and every possession.  She doesn’t think of the consequences when she witnesses a bank robbery going on.  She barges in after stealing a gun and within minutes finds herself a captive.

Hunter Walsh knows he should leave Leanne behind as soon as he sets eyes on her. He doesn’t need the distraction of the desire he feels for her.  He finds that abandoning an impulsive, brave woman isn’t as easy as it should be. Even a ruthless outlaw can’t ignore temptation especially one that is irresistible.

This is a story that can be re-read over and over.  The laughs and action make for a book that is very hard to put down.  The characters are well written and help bring the book to life. The reader never knows what will happen next and just what each character will do besides having the reader laughing out loud. The story will also pull at the reader’s heartstrings and make for a book that will stay with them long after they are done reading it.  This is a great book to read for readers that love historical books.  It will also have readers wanting to read this author’s other books.

I give this one 5 red roses