Book Review: Legacy of Lies

review-cover-legacy of liesTitle: Legacy of Lies [Hell’s Valley 1]

Author: Jillian David

Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Thriller, Paranormal

Rating: 4 Stars

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Description/Synopsis:

Garrison Taggart doesn’t have time to deal with touchy-feely junk like “trust issues” or “feelings.” His dad’s health is waning and the family’s Wyoming ranch is being sabotaged. Too bad his supernatural ability to tell when someone is lying has been exactly zero help in ferreting out the betrayer so far. So, when sweet schoolteacher Sara Lopez raises concerns about his son being bullied, who can blame a guy for getting a little testy?

The last thing Sara needs is any more attention or gossip after her recent breakup with big-shot rancher Hank Brand. So her attraction to surly but sexy Garrison, Hank’s rival, is entirely unwanted. When she uncovers an insane plot to kidnap the Taggart boy and throws herself in harm’s way to protect him, Garrison must risk his deepest secret and his own life to save the people he cares for the most. But will his heroics cost him everything?

WARNING – SPOILERS MAY ENSUE BEYOND THIS POINT – REVIEW BELOW

I really enjoyed Legacy of Lies by Jillian David. It was a strange and fresh new concept of a contemporary rancher-romance juxtaposed with elements of paranormal and thriller, which isn’t something I’ve run across in the past.

Technically speaking, the book was well written. There were no obvious or jarring typos. The narrative was clean, flowed easily, and for the most part, the dialogue was believable and natural.

The main characters were flawed, interesting, and adorable in their strained romance—but I also think they were possibly the weakest point of the story. I liked them—I did, but there was this weird back and forth with the two main characters where they loved each other, but kept self-doubting their way out of the relationship. The way they kept backing out of the romance was irritating, frustrating, and honestly, didn’t make a lot of sense at times. It came across as a bit contrived.

That aside, I still greatly enjoyed the book. The plot was new and interesting, I liked the characters and their development. Had it not been for the constant self-doubt of the main characters, this easily would have gotten 5 stars. I was entertained, and I got sucked into the book. There’s not much more I can ask for. If you enjoy rancher-romances or enjoy contemporary paranormal or romantic thrillers, you’ll probably really enjoy this story. I’d suggest giving it a try.

Book Review: Moonlight

review-cover-moonlightTitle: Moonlight [Moonkind Series 2]

Author: Ines Johnson

Genre: Paranormal, Romance, Werewolves, Contemporary

Rating: 5 Stars

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Description/Synopsis:

You can never go home again…

Viviane Veracruz is on her way home from university with a degree in one hand…and a baby in her belly. Desperate to escape the judgement of her family, she accepts a sexy stranger’s offer to pose as the father for a few days. The plan is for him to run off leaving her family none the wiser. But the longer Pierce Alcede stays, the more she can’t let him go.

Home is where the heart is…

Pierce Alcede has finally come to terms with the fact that he is a lone wolf, prone to roam the wilderness alone and never settle down with a family of his own. When he meets a pregnant woman in need, he thinks nothing of stepping in to take the brunt of her family’s ire. But somewhere between working on the Veracruz Ranch by day and climbing into Viviane’s bed at night, Pierce forgets to run away.
Can a woman searching for a place to belong find a home with a man who lives to roam?

Moonlight is the second in a paranormal romance series full of alpha men and the strong, capable women that bend them to their knees. If you like a touch of magic in your romance novels, then you’ll love the witches, fairies, and wolves in the dystopian world of the moonkind.

WARNING – SPOILERS MAY ENSUE BEYOND THIS POINT – REVIEW BELOW

Moonlight by Ines Johnson was nothing like I expected. I’ve read many werewolf themed books over the years, but this one genuinely surprised me. It was interesting to see a plot where werewolves not only had a new lore behind them but to also have werewolves generally accepted in everyday life by humans. It was something I’ve seen done in many vampire novels, but not in one about werewolves.

The main Couple, Pierce, and Viviane were endearing, steamy, and unsure in their budding relationship, and I thoroughly enjoyed both characters immensely.

Editing wise, I ran into one or two typos, but nothing so obvious as to pull me out of the narrative. Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed the book and I’d recommend it to anyone looking for a sweet werewolf romance with some pretty unique characters and lore.

Book Review: Nothing But Trouble

review-cover-nothing but troubleTitle: Nothing But Trouble [A Saratoga Falls Love Story 2]

Author: Lindsey Pogue

Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Holiday (Christmas)

Rating: 4 Stars

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Description/Synopsis:

Most small towns have stories and their fair share of secrets. Saratoga Falls is no exception—my family is no exception.

Six months ago, my life was simple. I went to work and to my brother’s hockey games; I made sure my dad’s diet consisted of more than crap food and that the house didn’t smell entirely like a jockstrap. But one cool, miserable morning, a stranger walked into my life. It’s surprising what a pair of piercing, judgmental blue eyes will do to a girl who’s all but sworn away from men. But that wasn’t the only curveball. Whatever happened to living in blissful ignorance? Just when you think you’ve got everything figured out, you realize just how clueless you really are.

I was wrong . . . about everything.

The first time Colton Hayes meets Mac, half-naked and swearing at him, he knows she’s nothing but trouble. But despite their efforts to dislike one another, Colton and Mac are more alike than they think—stubborn, scarred, and full of surprises. This is a story about first loves and second chances, about the power of friendship and seeing life outside the shadows of your past. Join Sam, Reilly, Nick and the Carmichael crew in this heartwarming story of life unexpected. Nothing But Trouble is Mac and Colton’s story.

WARNING – SPOILERS MAY ENSUE BEYOND THIS POINT – REVIEW BELOW

Nothing But Trouble by Lindsey Pogue was yet another solid romance, and a sweet Christmas read. Colton and Mac weren’t your normal romance couple—almost having switched the tradition romance roles, with Mac being the dirty-mouthed, outgoing tomboy, and Colton being the quiet, more reserved single-parent. Their relationship was fraught with numerous misunderstandings and deeper past prejudices, and it led to a sometimes awkward and off-kilter relationship as they worked to sort things out.

Technically speaking, the book was well written. There were less than a handful of typos, and nothing I found jarring enough to pull me out of the text. The characters were at times sweet, funny, infuriatingly stubborn, and silly, and I enjoyed their odd dynamic. My only true complaint as that the first half of the book was rather slow—but that may be in part due to the fact that I’m in a bit of a time crunch to finish up some books/reviews before the new year, so I’m not comfortable laying all the blame on the writing.

I think if you’re looking for a sweet holiday read, this may be the perfect book for you to pick up in between the chaos of the holiday season.

Book Review: Beautiful Chaos

review-cover-beautiful chaosTitle: Beautiful Chaos

Author: Alex Tully

Genre: Contemporary, Young Adult, Romance

Rating: 4 Stars

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Description/Synopsis:

While most seventeen year-olds work part-time delivering pizzas or whipping up frappuccinos, Brady O’Connell’s job is a little less conventional. Helping his dad with the family ‘business’ is a responsibility he doesn’t take lightly, especially when thousands of dollars are being exchanged. There are rules to be followed, timetables to be kept. But when his best friend Jay gets backstage concert tickets, and business interferes with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to meet their favorite band, Brady decides to break the rules, just one time.

And one time is all it takes to send his life spinning out of control. When an envelope full of cash ends up in the wrong hands—specifically in the hands of a pretty red-head named Vivienne—things get messy in a hurry. Where Vivienne goes, a whole lot of chaos seems to follow.

But sometimes…chaos is a beautiful thing.

WARNING – SPOILERS MAY ENSUE BEYOND THIS POINT – REVIEW BELOW

Beautiful Chaos by Alex Tully was such a sweet read about the first love between two teens leading completely different lives. The characters were interesting and realistic and lacked the usual melodrama and over-the-top flair of many YA characters. Their choices were logical and realistic—even when it lead to heart-breaking consequences. It felt like a real story with real people.

As for the technical aspects of the story, the book was well written. I ran into one typo in the entirety of the narrative, and it was easily passed over. The writing was simple, easy to follow, and flowed at a pretty steady (if at times slow) pace.My only complaint really, is that I almost wish there had been a little more melodrama, because as much as I liked the story and the characters, I didn’t feel gripped by the book—just pleased.

Overall, I liked the book. Was it thrilling or fraught with drama? No… but it was a nice story about a boy and a girl, their messy attempt at figuring out their first true romance, and their adventures in figuring out life amidst that chaos. Recommended for teens looking for a sweet, heart-warming romance.

Book Review: Resurrecting Ghosts

review-cover-resurrecting ghostsTitle: Resurrecting Ghosts [Kings of Chaos 4]

Author: Shyla Colt

Genre: Contemporary, Romance

Rating: 2 Stars

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Description/Synopsis:

Ruthie Gregg was the independent woman who had everything together. A homeowner with a successful job in advertising, and a busy social life, she never wanted to get serious with a man. Things with Kings of Chaos member, Skull, were meant to be fun and light. Then she made the mistake of catching feelings without discussing their relationship status. Misunderstandings and indiscretions lead her to call things off. But life is a cruel mistress who wasn’t done uprooting her perfectly managed existence. To get the life she’s dreamed of, she must put her past behind her, and fight for her future with a man who just may be the love of her life.

Tritt “Skull” Matthews was a man who wanted nothing to do with love. After watching the four letter word and mental illness destroy his family, he opted to take the path of a permanent bachelor. His brothers in the Kings of Chaos MC were all the family he needed until he took up with Ruthie. The mouthy red head with her vintage style and a strong back bone derailed his plans. When denial, drinking, and self-sabotage doesn’t shake her from his soul, he starts a new mission, to get her back at any cost.

Happiness is within their reach if they’re willing to lay the resurrected ghosts in their lives to rest. The things they fear the most holds them captive in invisible chains. Breaking free is imperative, lest they are doomed to repeat the past.

WARNING – SPOILERS MAY ENSUE BEYOND THIS POINT – REVIEW BELOW

I just could not get into Resurrecting Ghosts by Shyla Colt, and I tried—I really did.

Technically speaking, the book was well edited. There were only a handful of typos, grammatical issues or punctuation problems to speak of. Unfortunately, I went into this series having not read the first three books, and this was one of those books that started mid-relationship, so by the time the story began, I already felt as if I’d missed part of the story that probably would have gone a long way towards endearing the characters to me. Instead, the pacing often felt rushed, and so I found it hard to connect to them. Their relationship seemed, well, terrible to be honest. Skull seemed to pay little consideration to Ruthie, often steamrolling over her decisions and doing things that decent men normally wouldn’t even consider under those circumstances. Other than the chemistry they insisted they had, I didn’t see much that endeared me to either character or their romance.

To be frank, I didn’t like the characters—any of them. They were foul-mouthed and a bit dim-witted, often prone to making rash, even dangerous decisions. They were often crass with their language and actions. Couple that with the raunchy sex scenes, and I was just turned off by the book in general. This isn’t the first biker romance I’ve read, but it was the first I felt the need to back away from. It just wasn’t for me, and not something I’d actively look for as a romance.

Overall, I just didn’t like the book. I think if you enjoy raunchy biker erotica full of foul language and gun waving, you may enjoy this book more than I did, but it isn’t going to be for everyone—it certainly wasn’t for me.

Book Review: Dirty Like Me

review-cover-dirty like meTitle: Dirty Like Me [Dirty 1]

Author: Jaine Diamond

Genre: Contemporary Romance, New Adult

Rating: 5 Stars

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Description/Synopsis:

Struggling barista Katie Bloom doesn’t even know who Jesse Mayes is until she inadvertently wins the coveted role of sex kitten in his hot new music video. But by the time she’s in bed with him, she knows his reputation.

Love maker. Heartbreaker.

Making out with a stranger in front of a camera crew isn’t how Katie imagined herself getting over a broken heart, but when Jesse touches her, sparks fly. The sex is fake but the chemistry is real, and soon the steamy video is blazing up the charts.

Then Jesse makes Katie an irresistible offer: act as his girlfriend for six weeks while he promotes his new album. The only catch? Their sizzling make-out sessions will be for the cameras only.

Which is fine with Katie, since she’s not about to trust her heart to rock’s most legendary lover. Her body? Maybe…

WARNING – SPOILERS MAY ENSUE BEYOND THIS POINT – REVIEW BELOW

I got a kick out of Dirty Like Me by Jaine Diamond. It was everything I look for in a hot contemporary romance.

The book was flawlessly written. I didn’t run into any typos, pacing issues, or grammatical errors. I was sucked into the book from the very beginning, and before I knew it, it was 2 AM and I was squealing in delight as I hit the last page.

The characters were interesting and dynamic, and the chemistry between the two main characters Jesse and Katie was fantastically steamy. I adored them as a couple and as the story wore on, I couldn’t help but root for them.

Rockstar romances aren’t usually something I pick up to read, but I thoroughly enjoyed this one, and will most definitely be looking for further books from this author. If you enjoy sizzling contemporary romances with a bit of a bad boy vibe, I highly recommend you give this book a try.

Book Review: Inarticulate

review-cover-inarticulateTitle: Inarticulate

Author: Eden Summers

Genre: Contemporary, Romance

Rating: 5 Stars

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Description/Synopsis:

At first sight, Savannah is drawn to the harsh appeal of a man who refuses to talk to her. Keenan’s hard stare is arrogant and unapologetic. The quirk of his sensuous lips is cocky and in control.

But there’s more. There’s something deeper he’s trying to hide behind those steely grey eyes—a slight hint of vulnerability which captures her intrigue.

She’d been warned, told that his silence hides a myriad of lies capable of affecting her career and relationships with loved ones. Only she can’t help herself. Testing Keenan’s defenses is an addiction she can’t deny.

WARNING – SPOILERS MAY ENSUE BEYOND THIS POINT – REVIEW BELOW

I thoroughly enjoyed Inarticulate by Eden Summers. In fact, it is probably one of my favorite romances that I’ve read this year, and being that it’s now November, that should give you a pretty good idea of how much I enjoyed it.

As far as the technical aspects of the book go, the narrative was well written. There were a few minor typos, but nothing that stuck out enough to lesson my enjoyment of the book or to distract me from it in any way. The pace was steady, the sentences flowed well, and the dialogue seemed genuine to the characters.

I can only imagine how difficult it was for the author to write a book where one of the main characters is mute, but I think the author pulled it off incredibly well. The characters were well fleshed out, well characterized, and I fully enjoyed the sexual heat between the main couple. This was a fantastic read from beginning to end, and I am so happy that I got to experience this author’s work. I highly recommend this book to romance readers look for a steamy tale with a bit of a different spin. You won’t be disappointed!