Book Review: Shifty Business

BookCoverPreviewTitle: Shifty Business

Author: Olivia Hardin

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Rating: 4 stars

Goodreads | Amazon | B&N

Gerry Hinton thought she had the perfect career as an operative for the Company. Her next assignment should have been another “mission accomplished”, but hell was delivering hand baskets that day.

When a little girl gives a mysterious silver box to Gerry, her world self-destructs. Suddenly under constant mental attacks, the only person who can save her is her partner, Nicky–but nothing comes without a cost. Secrets buried deep in the past begin to rise, threatening everything she holds dear.

I’m not feeling too great right now – I think it’s the flu – so unfortunately I’ll have to keep this review short. I enjoyed reading Shifty Business. It was a nice romance with a few unique twists and a good pace. The book is about Gerry and Nicky, who are each paranormal creatures. Gerry is a shapeshifter, and Nicky is a dhampir or half-vampire. They’re on a mission when Gerry gets a silver box from a little girl and falls comatose shortly after. Nicky must enlist the help of darker forces to help her. The author also dives into the character’s pasts, making them real, fully formed characters.

The storyline was intriguing enough to keep me reading. It was a bit confusing sometimes because I haven’t read the previous books, but I managed. Overall, plot was strong, characters were strong, and I had fun reading. I recommend this book to all paranormal romance fans. I often feel like paranormal romance keeps swooning around the same stereotypes, but this book successfully abandons stereotypes to venture into new territory.

Book Review ‘Not Another Wish’ by S.P. Wilcox

Not_Another_WishTitle: Not Another Wish
Author: S.P. Wilcox
Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance
Rating: 3 Stars
Goodreads | Amazon

“Grant, I have to go,” I told him.
“No, please talk to me, will you talk to me… tell me how you feel.”
I am dying right here on the patio.
“What do you want me to tell you, that all is forgiven and we can be together?”
“Is that an option?” he asked me. I laughed a little.
“It is going to take more than one phone call asking for me to forgive you for it to be an option,” I told him.

As Sydney decides to throw caution to the wind and begin another relationship with the man who has captured her heart. As their relationship strengthens and their fears and jealousy’s are explored, they become closer than they thought they could ever be even with the thousands of miles separating them.

When Sydney and Grant’s futures get in the way of them being together see the rocky road they lead and the changes in their lives that make their paths criss- cross. Sydney finishes her college career and begins life as a young adult. She becomes a strong independent woman and is reluctant to give up her heart to any man especially the one who keeps floating in and out of her life leaving her heart broken. Can Sydney live with all of her feelings for the only man she has every truly loved tucked away in a small box in her soul?
Is Grant her only true love or does someone else come along to show Sydney that she can love again? These questions and so much more can be found in the pages of “Not Another Wish”!

I’m probably one of the few people who liked the first book in this series better than the second. Not Another Wish just didn’t do it for me. Something was missing. The main characters spent more than half of the book toying with each other (particularly Grant with Sydney) and the other half decided whether they should be together even though they have no common ground, and futures as far away from the other as possible. I wanted them to just make a decision for once. Either go for the relationship and then really go for it, or stay away from each other. Alas, didn’t happen for most of the book.

Like last time around, I liked the romance scenes though, and basically, everything about the relationship except the constant doubting. I know people change when they grow up, but sometimes I felt the main characters were still behaving like children. They should’ve acted more mature for their age. Every moment they were apart was the end of time, the apocalypse, and every moment they spend together they were either fighting, thinking about breaking up, thinking about how they shouldn’t be in love, or having some hot and heavy moments. Yes for the latter, nay for the others.

I did like their journey to adulthood, but I wish there would’ve been more love, less drama.

Release Day Party Eighty-Eight Keys

releasebanner

We’re celebrating the release day party of romantic suspense novel Eighty-Eight Keys today. Get your copy of Eighty-Eight Keys now!

Visit the author’s website: http://catherinelavender.com

About Eighty-Eight Keys

eighteightkets_10032012_oneTitle: Eighty-Eight Keys

Author: Catherine Lavender

Genre: Romance/Suspense

Leah is a young woman who is trying to break free from a strict religious background and pursue her dream as a pianist in the world of show business. While trying to find her independence her heart is held captive by Jason Rowe a local basketball star who established an organization to help troubled youth. When Jason is found murdered in his home, Leah is determined to get answers from a closed investigation. During her state of emotional turmoil, Leah finds comfort not only in the melody of her music, but in the arms of a married man named Calvin. With her dreams at her fingertips, Leah is tangled in a web of lies and deceit. Despite the fear of learning the truth, Leah has to realize that only the truth can set her free.

A dead lover, with a trail of broken hearts…
A married man, with a double-life…
A dream chaser, with a killer at her heels…
A piano, with eighty-eight keys…

Author Bio

front-page-picCatherine Lavender is from Baltimore, Maryland but now resides in Tampa, Florida with her miniature schnauzer name Ripken. She is an animal activist, as well as a supporter of the organization First Book which helps supply literature for underprivileged children. In her spare time, Catherine enjoys reading classic literature and playing the acoustic guitar.

Website: www.catherinelavender.com

Book Review: The Exemeus by Folami and Abeni Morris

front__cover_imageTitle: The Exemeus

Authors: Folami and Abeni Morris

Genre: YA Fantasy Romance

Rating: 5 stars

Hyalee Smith is dead, she just doesn’t know it yet.

Her short life was devoted to love and to hate. Love of the man who stole her heart, hate for the man who stole the world. Murdered by the government she swore to destroy, fate has given her another chance to make it right. But to save the planet, she needs the help of the most powerful mystic the world has ever seen—unfortunately he hasn’t been born yet.

In a world where fear is the only currency, Dephon has committed the ultimate crime: inspiring hope.

His only goal is to make it safely through ninth grade, but on a post-apocalyptic Earth run by the Treptonian government, it isn’t that simple. Heir to a legendary power, Dephon Johnson is the only threat to the government’s rule. And on Trepton, all threats must be eliminated. When hundreds of assassins are dispatched to neutralize him, Dephon is forced to fight back. His only chance of survival is to enlist the aid of the greatest warrior the world has ever known. The only problem is, she’s been dead for 13 years.

The first thing I look at when reading a book is the book cover. I don’t want to be so superficial, but I can’t help it. I see the book cover and if it’s unprofessional, boring or bland, I probably won’t buy the book. Now, The Exemeus is neither of the above. The cover is absolutely stunning. The cover artist did a tremendous job.

Second step is reading the blurb. As soon as I read the blurb for this book, I knew I had to read it. A heroine who’s been dead for thirteen years? A teenage boy who has powers that scare the government? Set in the future? Supernatural powers? I’m in.

The book starts off right in the middle of the action. Dephon comes home from school, like on any other normal day, except his Dad and a woman he doesn’t know argue in his kitchen about whether they should tell him something or not. Dephon has no idea what’s going on, but in a matter of days his entire life is turned upside down. He possesses legendary powers capable of overthrowing the government, who of course wants nothing more than to eliminate him. If Dephon wants to survive this threat, he’ll need the help of the equally-legendary Hyalee, the greatest warrior Trepton has ever known. Hyalee however has been dead for thirteen years.

As you can see from the description, this book is an intriguing mix of fantasy, science-fiction, dystopian and adventure. I loved the characters. Dephon was a nice protagonist, not too arrogant as some teenage boys are, and struggling with self-confidence and his place in the world. Hyalee was interesting as well, although her fate made her more of a tragic hero.

I loved reading this book, and I would love to read more books by this author duo.

Book Review ‘Wishful Thinking’ by S.P. Wilcox

Wishful ThinkingTitle: Wishful Thinking
Author: S.P. Wilcox
Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance
Rating: 4 Stars
Goodreads | Amazon

Left heart broken by her high school sweetheart Sydney is in no means interested in having a serious relationship. She has just finished her freshman year of college and is headed home, leaving her best friend at school and no hopes for an exciting summer.

Sydney is presented with the opportunity of a lifetime by her longtime friend Heather. Accepting this opportunity could make or break her summer vacation. When a gorgeous young man crosses her path more than one time, Sydney is almost torn to pieces by her immediate attraction to him. Making her choice simple, she will take the offer from her friend and embark on a summer she will never forget.

Sydney is looking for a summer filled with endless amounts of fun. What she doesn’t know is this is the summer that will change her love life forever. See what happens to Sydney in her quest to have a summer filled with no ties.

Sydney wants to have a good time. The last few years have been filled with heartbreak due to her long-time boyfriend cheating on her. She hoped going to college would help her get over him, but she hasn’t met anyone else yet. And with her best friend Kendall now in a serious relationship, Sydney often feels like the fifth wheel. But then Heather, her friend from home, calls on asks her to spend the summer holiday at the beach, in the beach house of Heather’s parents. Sydney agrees, hoping that the summer will bring her much-needed happiness. Well, she gets more than she bargained for when she meets Grant, the hottest guy she’s ever seen. Despite her best friend warnings, she feels drawn to him and everything he represents: freedom, fun and no ties. But the more time she spends with him, the more attraction turns into emotions, and the less she’s able to keep away from him.

This story was pretty intense. It started out with a short recap of what happened to Sydney before she met Grant, and it actually made me feel sorry for her right from the start. She actually reminded me of a friend of mine. There were some traits about her that I didn’t like though, like how, despite numerous warnings, she can still dismiss it, as if people give warnings for no reason. I also hated why she still remained friends with Kendall, even though the later, after ditching her at several person, would definitely qualify in my book as “not friend material”.

I have to admit I liked Grant more though. He was…amazing. Seriously. Think of everything you imagine a guy to be, and then combine it in one person, and you get him. But then, think of everything you don’t want a guy to be, combine it, and you get him as well. He jumped from one set of emotions to the other, like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, like he’s two different people. Sometimes I wanted to slap him for making everything so complicated, and for not just falling for Sydney, without all the drama. But anyway, I liked this dynamic in his personality. I also loved how he always seemed so in control of things, even when he really wasn’t, he had natural authority.

I would recommend this book to everyone who enjoys a good, solid contemporary romance with some very romantic, delicious scenes. It was an enjoyable read, and would’ve been perfect if there had been a bit more character development. I thought it was all right with Grant, but Sydney did little to no developing over the course of the story.

Book Review ‘Destiny’s Mark’

Title: Destiny’s Mark (Guardians of Eden #3)
Author: K.H. LeMoyne
Genre: Adult Urban Fantasy / Paranormal Romance
Rating: 5 Stars
Purchase: Amazon

The only difference between fate and destiny is choice.
Tsu Halan, Guardian defense master, has honed his skills and waited patiently over the centuries for the covenant’s promise of a mate to share his soul and a family to cherish. Close enough to taste fulfillment, the dark echoes of the past threaten with danger and death.
Jai Dashkov harbors her own painful secrets of harsh betrayal and tender loss. Her desperate search to reclaim her life doesn’t allow room in her heart to deviate for love.
Together they are stronger than apart, but the promise of the covenant is a perpetual test. One that Tsu and Jai must conquer in time or suffer an eternity for their failure.

Urban fantasy? Check. Interesting paranormal species? Check. Intriguing heroine with a smart head on her shoulders? Check. Mysterious and mesmerizing male love interest? Check. Unique setting? Well, it’s set in contemporary Asia, but I count that as unique enough. So check.

And what do we have ladies and gentlemen if we put all these elements together?

An AMAZING book. AMAZING. With caps. Because this book is just so freaking good.

Jai is my favorite heroine in…like, forever. She’s balanced. She’s an actual human being, and when I closed my eyes while reading I could picture her walking into the room and talking to me. I got to know her so well that by the end, I practically considered her my friend. She’s so…real. It’s rare to have book characters that feel as real as she did, and I loved it. Absolutely freaking loved it.

Then there’s Tsu, who I now secretly have a crush on. He was just as amazing. I could predict his moves before he even did them. He was consistent in personality from page one, but never too predictable.

Seriously, check this book out. Read it. Then go back and read the other parts. Not that I’ve read them yet, but I really should. I enjoyed this immensly. I loved how the author described everything in such detail, but didn’t go for any infodumps. The characters felt real, like old friends. And the romance, well, don’t get me started on that. The romance was heartbreaking and heartwarming at the same time. I felt for the characters when they went through hardships, and loved when things looked up for them.

New favorite paranormal romance couple ever.

Giveaway

One winner will get a $25 Amazon Gift Card, and two others will get a Guardian of Eden anthology. So three winners and all blogs in the tour are participating. But fear not, it’s easy to participate! Leave a comment on one of the blog posts (preferably this one) with a valid email address, and you’re in. It’s international, so everyone is welcome to join!

Book Excerpt from ‘The Exemeus’

exemeusbannerI’m covering for a tour stop in The Exemeus Tour with a last-minute excerpt. Enjoy, and my review is coming on the 23rd!

Book Excerpt

The other group at our table must have been the Allergy Club, because apparently all they talked about was their excessive seasonal allergies. I ignored Virginia’s pointed stares and tried to listen intently to one boy’s story of the time his throat became so swollen he couldn’t swallow.

Three minutes into the at-first-riveting, but ultimately boring tale, a hand rested on my shoulder. Virginia snorted her disgust. I turned around and looked up, almost choking on my pizza. David. It seemed like a lifetime ago that I had actually found him appealing. Looking at him now, I couldn’t imagine why.

“Hello, Hyalee. Virginia,” he said, not taking his eyes off me for a second. Virginia grunted, but didn’t respond.

“May I sit here?” he asked.

“We have a strict no-loser policy at our table,” Virginia said vehemently. David glanced at one of the Allergy Club boys, blowing snot bubbles through his nose. Virginia followed his gaze and grunted. “And, as you can see, we have exceeded our quota,” she added defiantly.

“I wouldn’t have a problem with you it,” I said to him, “but this seat is already taken.”

 

David was not to be deterred. “Well, then, I’ll just sit here until she returns,” he said, and did just that. Virginia laughed with contemptuous amusement. My temperature suddenly increased. A hand appeared on David’s shoulder. David and I both stared up into the extremely unfriendly eyes of Singleton Johnson.

 

Singleton smiled, but it didn’t reach his eyes. With a steely voice I could never have imagined had I not been sitting there, he said, “I believe the ladies said this seat was taken. So thank you,” Singleton said, sounding one hundred percent unthankful, “for wanting to keep it warm for me, but I can do that myself.” I’d never realized how short David was until that moment when he got up from his seat. He was the same height as Virginia, in fact, and his five-foot-five-inch stature was certainly no match for Singleton’s six-foot-two.

“Oh,” he mumbled. Singleton moved his bag and stepped into David’s space next to me. All I could focus on was him. Only Virginia noticed David leave; she waved enthusiastically at him as he went. He didn’t bother to return the gesture.

The Exemeus

front__cover_imageTitle: The Exemeus

Authors: Folami and Abeni Morris

Genre: YA Fantasy Romance

Hyalee Smith is dead, she just doesn’t know it yet.

Her short life was devoted to love and to hate. Love of the man who stole her heart, hate for the man who stole the world. Murdered by the government she swore to destroy, fate has given her another chance to make it right. But to save the planet, she needs the help of the most powerful mystic the world has ever seen—unfortunately he hasn’t been born yet.

In a world where fear is the only currency, Dephon has committed the ultimate crime: inspiring hope.

His only goal is to make it safely through ninth grade, but on a post-apocalyptic Earth run by the Treptonian government, it isn’t that simple. Heir to a legendary power, Dephon Johnson is the only threat to the government’s rule. And on Trepton, all threats must be eliminated. When hundreds of assassins are dispatched to neutralize him, Dephon is forced to fight back. His only chance of survival is to enlist the aid of the greatest warrior the world has ever known. The only problem is, she’s been dead for 13 years.

Author Bio

Folami and Abeni Morris are a sister-sister writing team. Together they wrote (and rewrote) The Exemeus series, somehow managing to accomplish it without murdering one another. Despite their tendency to finish each others thoughts and stick up for each other constantly, no, they’re not twins and thus deserve their own individual bio.

Folami Morris

Folami grew up in the tiny city of San Mateo Ca, where nothing ever happens and no one ever leaves. She went to Xavier University for undergraduate, getting her B.A in physics and her B.S in Biology. After graduation she returned to California, to live in an even smaller city, where even less happens, Antioch Ca. During this time she escaped the monotony by hanging out with her imaginary friends Hyalee and Dephon, and by writing the Exemeus.

She finally escaped to Queens NY and now realizes that quiet and tiny aren’t so bad.

Abeni Morris

As luck (and logic) would have it, Abeni grew up in the same tiny little town as her sister, then she too escaped to the tinier town of Antioch. She has yet to leave. She received her bachelor’s degree in early childhood development from Cal State East Bay. She is the mom of two amazing kids, who swear that they deserve a percentage of the book proceeds and a ton of the credit. At least she raised dreamers.

 

Purchase your copy in paperback or Kindle format.

 

Watch the Trailer 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tM_hlmZ6Wo4