Christmas Awards 2011

Sunday, 6 November 2016

Undead or Alive

Undead or Alive a Bad Things Novel by Cynthia Eden

Publisher: Cynthia Eden

October 2016

Pages: 161

Contemporary Paranormal Romance

New Orleans & Key West

Cassius “Cass” Garvan is the baddest of the bad. He is also the last Reaper, he can literally kill with a touch. He is a bounty hunter that always brings his prey in undead or alive. He has a new target this time. Amber Fortune who is much too tempting. The easy part was hunting her down. Giving her up on the other hand, Cass isn’t sure he can do that.

Amber isn’t about to surrender herself to the Reaper, especially since she has been on the run for decades. Maybe she does have a weakness for bad boys and guys who have a dark side. It doesn’t get any darker than a man who is Death. She also doesn’t fear his touch when Cass kisses her. She just wants him. It can be a very dangerous thing to want a Reaper.

Amber knows she is in for the most dangerous time of her very long life when she is trapped with the Reaper for forty-eight hours. Amber has to convince Cass to let her escape if she has any hope of escaping the torment coming her way. Amber is about to find out if Death has a heart. She will use every trick in the playbook to get Cass on her side. Amber has to be very careful and not let Cass break through her control as she works to seduce him. Because everyone knows that once you fall for Death there is absolutely no turning back.

This is another amazing story in a series that just gets better with each and every book. While they can be read as stand alones the books are so much better if they are read in order. This one is action packed and Cass and Amber make for an unforgettable story as they each try to get their ultimate goals. This one will also have reader eagerly awaiting the next book in the series. It will be interesting to see just where this series goes and how it gets there.

I give this one 5 red roses


Irresistible Force

Irresistible Force by D.D. Ayres

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

September 2014

ISBN: 978-1-250-04217-0

Pages: 305

Contemporary Romantic Suspense

North Carolina

When a gorgeous stray dog is brought into the animal shelter where Shay Appleton works it is love at first sight. She needs all the protection she can get from an abusive ex that won’t let her go and she is sure that the dog will make the perfect watch dog for her. What she never expected was to find out that her new pet is actually a trained police K-9 named Bogart. Then the human partner of Bogart shows up on her doorstep.

James Cannon is an alpha male that is also an officer who is convinced that Shay stole his dog. Once he gets closer to his suspect he quickly realizes that while Shay is independent and stubborn she also needs more than just a guard dog. She needs him too. Someone from Shay’s past is stalking her and threatening her life. James will have to decide what he is willing to risk for the woman that has stolen his heart. Is he willing to risk not only his best friend but also his career?

This is start of series that if it continues to be as good as this story will prove to be an excellent series. The characters keep the story moving along and figuring out just what exactly is going on will keep the reader guessing until the very end of the book. The K-9 aspect of the series makes for some books that are uniquely their own and really makes them stand out in this genre. The suspense goes full throttle until the end of the story.

I give this one 5 red roses



Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Publisher: Knopf

October 2016

ISBN: 978-0-553-49915-5

Pages: 659

Futuristic Sci-fi, Young Adult

Hanna always knew that when she moved to a space station at the edge of the galaxy it was going to be the death of her social life. What she never thought was that it might actually get her killed.

Hanna is the daughter of the Heimdall space station captain. A daughter that has always been pampered. Nik on the other hand is a reluctant member of a notorious crime family. They struggle with dealing with the realities of life on board the galaxy’s most boring space station. They have no idea that Kady Grant and the Hypatia are headed right towards Heimdall with news of the Kerenza invation.

An elite BeiTech team invades the station which throws Hanna and Nik together to defend their home. If that wasn’t enough they are also dealing with a malfunctioning wormhole that can rip the space-time continuum in two, and an alien predator that is picking off the crew one by one and all of it before dinner. Now Hanna and Nik aren’t just fighting for their survival but the fate of everyone on the Hypatia and possibly the known universe.

They’ve totally got this though, at least they hope they do.

This story is just as good as the first book in the series. It will also have readers wanting more from this world now. The characters make for a funny and fast paced story that readers won’t want to put down until the very last page and then they will be mourning that it done. The book keeps the humor flowing well through the whole story but the story will also take the reader on an emotional roller coaster that is jam packed with action that keeps going until the very end of the book. Anyone that reads this book even if they like some of the different genres that this book can fall into, will fall in love with both the series and the characters. It is proving to be an unforgettable series that will end up on the keeper shelves. This is a must read for everyone that enjoys sci-fi, futuristic, or young adult books.

I give this 5+ red roses


Sacramento Dirtier

Sacramento Dirtier by Susan Ward

Publisher: Susan Ward

October 2016

ISBN: 978-1535260008

Pages: 196

Contemporary M/M Romance

Sacramento, California

Colin Rand is a Hollywood leading man who is running for governor in the hopes of reviving his dwindling career. He manages to surprise not only himself but the world when he actually wins. No one is sure why he is surprised because in California anything is possible for an actor because in the golden state things definitely work differently.

Colin is the pretty boy from the Southland that is now landlocked in the capital. People are just waiting for him to fail and the press is constantly watching his every move and he is trapped between the warring political factions. Even worse he now has to keep his sexual predilections under wraps if he has any hope of running the state and not having the press run him.

He has been keeping his private affairs private when it comes to his adoring movie fans so he is an expert on private. What he didn’t expect was for Sacramento to be an even bigger hotbed of jealousy, revenge, lies and lust than the film industry.

He also didn’t expect to catch the eye of his political enemy, Miles James, also his toughest fight in bed.

This story lets the readers see just how much it is possible to grow as they watch Colin go from a real playboy to someone that cares more about what is right than what is going on his personal life. Colin really changes from the beginning of the book to the end and the story takes readers on an emotional journey.  It will also have readers wanting to check out the other books in the series.

I give this one 4 red roses


Black Ice

Black Ice by Becca Fitzpatrick

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

October 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4424-7426-0

Pages: 392

Contemporary Young Adult, Romantic Suspense

Teton Mountains, Wyoming

Britt Pfiffer trained so that she can backpack the Teton Range. What she isn’t prepared for is an ex-boyfriend who has decided to join her. An ex-boyfriend that still haunts her every thought. An unexpected blizzard hits before she can begin to explore her feelings for Calvin though. It also forces her to seek shelter in a remote cabin and accept the hospitality of the two very handsome occupants. Unfortunately the two men are fugitives and Britt soon finds herself hostage.

Britt agrees to guide them men off the mountain in exchange for her life. Britt knows she must stay alive long enough for Calvin to find her. Britt soon finds chilling evidence of a series of murder that took place on that very mountain which complicates things even more. It is also a discovery that makes Britt the killer’s next target.

Nothing is as it seems though in the mountains. Everyone it seems is keeping secrets. Including Mason, one of her kidnappers. Britt is confused by his kindness and is wondering if he is an enemy or an ally.

This is a book that has so many twists and turns in it that it will keep readers guessing as to just what is going on and what secrets everyone is keeping and if Britt will even manage to survive the mountains. This is a book that is hard to put down once the reader starts it as they will want to know just how it ends and they are taken on an amazing ride.

I give this one 4-1/2 red roses


Sticks & Stone

Sticks & Stone by Madeleine Urban and Abigail Roux

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

January 2010

ISBN: 978-1-61581-382-7

Pages: 322

Contemporary Romance, m/m

Washington D.C. & West Virginia

FBI Special Agents Ty Grady and Zane Garrett are suffering through desk duty which is almost as frightening as when they almost lost their lives six months ago to a serial killer in New York City. Soon they are ordered to take a vacation for everyone’s sanity. Ty bites the bullet and takes Zane home with him to West Virginia. He is hoping the peace and quiet of the mountains will give them a chance to explore the explosive attraction between them. An attraction that so far they haven’t figured out how to reconcile with their professional partnership.

Ty’s father and brother along with Ty and Zane soon head up into the Appalachian mountains for what they know will be a nice relaxing hike deep into the woods. Deep woods that no one will hear them scream. Soon they find themselves facing danger from all directions. Unrelenting mountains, unpredictable weather, wild animals, fellow hikers with nothing to lose and most terrifying of all each other.

This story picks up six months after the end of the first and proves to be just as action packed and suspenseful as the first book in the series. With the humor and action in the books it proves to be a hard series to put down. It also will stay with the reader for a long time to come. Readers will want to start the next book right away just to see what will happen to Ty and Zane next and how things progress with both their personal and professional relationships.

I give this one 5 red roses


Cut & Run

Cut & Run by Madeleine Urban and Abigail Roux

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

September 2008

ISBN: 978-1-935192-24-4

Pages: 376

Contemporary Romantic Suspense, m/m

New York City

In New York City a series of murders have both the police and FBI alike stymied. They suspect it is a single killer that is sending an indecipherable message. The FBI takes a more personal interest in the case when the two federal agents that are assigned to the investigation are taken out.

When one of his cases blows up in his face Special Agent Ty Grady is pulled out of undercover work. Ty is abrasive and cocky but he is also indisputably the best at what he does. It is hate at first sight when he is paired with Special Agent Zane Garrett. Their partnership is a classic cliché: good cop-bad cop, the odd couple, total opposites especially as Garrett is the perfect image of an agent: serious, focused, and sober. Immediately they both know that their partnership will pose more of an obstacle than the lack of evidence that has been left by the murderer.

The murderer soon strikes again at them practically before their special assignment starts. Grady and Garrett with have to figure out how to work together if they don’t want to become two more notches in the murderer’s knife even as they are on the run trying to track down a man that is focused on killing his pursuers.

This is an amazing start to a series that has two unforgettable characters that make for a story that is as fun to read about Grady and Garrett learning to work together as it is engrossing by the suspense of the plot that keeps the action high and non-stop. It will also have readers wanting to read more about Grady and Garrett and their unusual partnership. With just this book it proves to be a series with characters that really stay with the reader long after they finish the book.

I give this one 5 red roses



Omens by Kelley Armstrong

Publisher: Dutton

August 2013

ISBN: 978-0-525-95304-3

Pages: 486

Contemporary Paranormal Suspense, Romantic Elements

Olivia Taylor-Jones is twenty-four-years old and has the perfect life. She has an Ivy League education and is the only daughter of a wealthy, prominent Chicago family. She pursues philanthropy and volunteerism.  Olivia is also engaged to a young, handsome tech-firm CEO with political ambitions.

Olivia’s world is soon shattered when she learns she is actually adopted. Todd and Pamela Larsen are notorious serial killers that are serving life sentences. They are also Olivia’s real parents. Olivia decides to leave her once comfortable home to find out the truth about the Larsens when the news of them brings a maelstrom of unwanted publicity for her fiancĂ© and adopted family.

Olivia ends up in the small town of Cainsville, Illinois. It is an old and cloistered community and it is taking a particular interest in Olivia. It is also interested in her efforts to uncover her birth parents’ pasts.

Gabriel Walsh is her mother’s former lawyer and together they focus on the Larsens’ last crime. The one that Olivia’s birth mother swears will prove their innocence. Gabriel and Olivia start investigating the case and Olivia soon finds herself using abilities that have been hidden since her childhood. The gifts make her both deeply vulnerable to unknown enemies and a valuable addition to Cainsville. It seems there are darker secrets behind the scenes in the her new home and the powers lurking in the shadows have their own plans for her.

This is a suspense story that starts out fast and doesn’t let up until the very end. It will keep readers turning the pages just to see what exactly is happening and just what is the real truth about the Larsens. The characters are complex and make for a story that is as intriguing as it is engrossing. It will also have readers reaching for the next book in the series to watch Olivia grow and find out just who she really is now and also to see just where Gabriel and Olivia end up.

I give this one 5 red roses


Going the Distance

Going the Distance No Excuses Book 1 by Mila Rossi

Publisher: Mila Rossi

September 2016


Pages: 124

Contemporary Sports Romance

Samantha Wellington finds herself in a dilemma that she isn’t sure how to get out of. Especially as part of it is her fault in that she slapped the hell out of the light heavyweight champion of the world on the night of his first loss and who is also a foul-mouthed athlete that is also the most desirable man she has come across and who she now has to find a way to get an interview with.  Her job depends on that interview and this particular boxer isn’t talking at all.

Trent “The Punisher” Page does what he does best and that is play dirty when he is first humiliated by and then cornered by the spunky reporter. It wasn’t being nice that earned him his nickname. If Samantha wants to know more about him then the price she is going to have to pay is also the one she is unwilling to pay and that is herself.

With her elements of surprise and his determination to succeed they end up evenly matched. Now they are going to have to see if they can break down the enemy without jeopardizing themselves especially with their vastly different motivations.

This is one story that reader will be sorry to finish as they will definitely want more. At least this is the start of a series that if it continues in this vein it will be a remarkable series that should be a lot of fun to read. The characters are well written and complex and make for a story that proves to be a fast read as readers won’t want to put it down until the very end.

I give this one 4-1/2 red roses


An Unlocked Heart

An Unlocked Heart (A Collars & Cuffs story) by K.C. Wells

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

July 2013

ISBN; 978-1-62380-850-1

Pages: 314

Contemporary BDSM M/M Romance


Leo hasn’t been living since the death of his submissive lover two years ago. He has just been existing. He has focused solely on making Collars & Cuffs a successful BDSM club located in Manchester’s gay village. Everything changes when he is at Severinos having his weekly meeting with his business partner. There is a new server that holds all of Leo’s attention. Though the man is shy and seems determined to avoid Leo’s gaze it works more like waving a red rag to a bull. Leo has always loved a challenge.

Alex Daniels works at Severinos and is doing everything possible to scrape together enough money to move out on his own. He is drawn to the gorgeous Leo with his icy-blue eyes that has been eating in his area almost every night even if Alex is having a problem coming out.

Alex might be hesitant but Leo won’t let that get in the way. Leo is also determined not to scare Alex so he keeps him away from the club. Leo is one Dom that is sure that telling Alex that would not be a good idea. One date soon becomes two and two ends in Leo’s bedroom. Alex also discovers things about himself he never realized and most assuredly never wanted anyone to see.

This is a story that pulls the reader in and tugs at the heart strings. Readers will also be happy to find this is the start of a series and if the other books are anything like this one it will be an unforgettable series. The characters are complex and make for a story that is hard to put down until the very last page. This is one book to definitely check out for readers that enjoy this genre.

I give this one 4-1/2 red roses


The Outliers

The Outliers by Kimberly McCreight

Publisher: Harper Teen

May 2016

ISBN: 978-0-06-235909-4

Pages: 336

Contemporary Young Adult

It has been over a week since Wylie last heard from Cassie. Since their last fight. Wylie does what she always does when Cassie is in trouble and that is save Cassie from herself.

It is different this time though. Cassie keeps sending cryptic clues instead of just telling Wylie where she is at. Cassie also doesn’t have Wylie come by herself like she usually does. Cassie sends Jasper to help Wylie. Wylie doesn’t feel right about trusting the guy that sent Cassie off the rails to begin with. Since Wylie doesn’t have any other choice she needs to ignore her gut instinct and go with Jasper.

It goes from difficult to dangerous fast when they try to figure out where Cassie is. Wylie struggles to control her growing sense that something is very wrong as she and Jasper head farther and farther north into the dense woods of Maine. Cassie isn’t telling them something and now they are wondering if finding her will only be the beginning.

This is a fantastic suspense story that will take readers on a roller coaster ride. Once the action starts it doesn’t stop until the very end. It will also have readers wanting to know what happens next. With each clue that is revealed the story takes another turn that will have readers wondering just where this is going to end up going. Wylie makes for an intriguing character that makes for an engrossing read.

I give this one 5 red roses