Fighting for Love (Boston Love: Book 2) by Kelly Elliott


Fighting for Love (Boston Love, #2)

Title: Fighting for Love

Author: Kelly Elliott

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group – Loveswept

Date of publication: April 4th, 2017

Genre: Romance

Number of pages: 360

POV: Alternating 1st person

Series: Boston Love

Searching for Harmony – Book 1

Fighting for Love – Book 2

Where you can find this book: Amazon

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

A larger-than-life firefighter inspires a career-driven woman to live in the moment—and trust in the power of love—in this flirty, emotional novel from the New York Times bestselling author of Searching for Harmony.
 
Finn Ward has two passions: being a firefighter and being single. Although his parents are constantly nagging him to settle down, Finn just wants to enjoy himself while he’s young. Then, at a union meeting, he meets a gorgeous lawyer with a dazzling smile—and suddenly, settling down doesn’t sound so bad.
 
Rory Adams is fresh out of law school and looking to make a name for herself at her mother’s firm. She doesn’t have time for silly games anymore. But when she catches the eye of a dashing fireman who makes her body tingle from across the room, something instantly ignites between them. The only problem? Her father is Finn’s boss.
 
Their relationship turns both of their lives upside-down. Rory tames Finn’s wild ways, while he shows her that life can’t be all work and no play. But it’ll take some serious determination to keep their love secret—and real courage to admit the truth.

My review:

I ugly cried during this book. Like nose running, tears streaming down my face ugly cry and I really dislike that the author made me do that….joking.  Ugly crying really isn’t my thing but when it happens,  I let nature take its course. I also love that the story was able to affect me on such a level.

Finn was such a player at the beginning of the book. He made me want to tear my hair out with his “love em and leave em” outlook on life in the beginning of the book. I could definitely see why Captain Adams didn’t want Rory anywhere near him. But at the same time, he had a soft side and he was, deep down, looking for “the one”. His immediate reaction to seeing Rory was the beginning of the end for him. I thought I wouldn’t like it when an alpha male fell hard but OMG….I need a Finn in my life (sorry BK). The dates he pulled off and what he did for their first time was fantastic. And he wasn’t afraid of letting his feelings out. Nope, not at all!!

Rory, I actually felt kinda bad for her. She was intimidated by her father to the point where, at 27, she let him dictate where she lived and who she dated. She had no life outside of work (well except meeting up with her besties from college).  To put it bluntly, she was boring and a wallflower. That was until she met Finn…who was the very man her father didn’t want her to date. Then she came alive and I loved her. She said the wrong thing at the wrong time (splooge anyone…haha) and was very clumsy. She also wasn’t very experienced, if you know what I mean, and I think that shocked Finn and titillated him at the same time. Basically, she was perfect for Finn and he was for her.

If there was one person I couldn’t stand in this book, it was her father. He was a controlling, manipulative idiot and what he forced her to do was beyond wrong. I also couldn’t get why he took what a 5-year-old said and started to hate him for it. Seriously, that man had some deep-set, serious issues. Put it this way, I wasn’t unhappy when he was rarely mentioned in the book after Rory flipped out on him.

The sex between Finn and Rory was hot and there was a lot of it. I love that there was humor in some of the sexual situations. Those situations made it so much easier to connect to Finn and Rory.

Now the scenes that made me ugly cry were heartbreaking. But you need to read the book to find out.

I will say that I thought the ending of the book was a bit rushed. I get why the author did what she did (and I totally approve because it was fun to read about Rory’s payback….lol) but I really wish it wasn’t so rushed. I felt like I was reading a marathon by the end of the book….lol.

How many stars will I give Fighting for Love: 4

Why: I loved this book. Not only was it set in Boston (I lived in MA for 38 years) but the love story was unbelievably sweet and sensual. I think I read this book in a day and I can’t wait to read book 3.

Will I reread: Yes

Will I recommend to family and friends: Yes

Age range: Adult

Why: Sex, language, and some mild violence

**I chose to leave this review after reading an advance reader copy**

Perfect (Flawed: Book 2) by Cecelia Ahern


Perfect (Flawed, #2)

Title: Perfect

Author: Cecelia Ahern

Publisher: Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group

Date of publication: April 4th, 2017

Genre: Young Adult, Dystopia

Number of pages: 352

POV: 1st person

Series: Flawed

Flawed – Book 1

Perfect – Book 2

Where you can find this book: Amazon

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

Celestine North lives in a society that demands perfection. After she was branded Flawed by a morality court, Celestine’s life has completely fractured–all her freedoms gone.

Since Judge Crevan has declared her the number one threat to the public, she has been a ghost, on the run with Carrick–the only person she can trust.

But Celestine has a secret–one that could bring the entire Flawed system crumbling to the ground. A secret that has already caused countless people to go missing.

Judge Crevan is gaining the upper hand, and time is running out for Celestine. With tensions building, Celestine must make a choice: save just herself or to risk her life to save all Flawed people.

And, most important of all, can she prove that to be human in itself is to be Flawed?

My review:

This is another one of those books that I loved but I really wished that I read book 1 first because book 2 blew me out of the water. I devoured Perfect. I think I read it in a couple of hours after my kids went to bed for the night and when I was done with it, I closed the book and just stared out into space….trying to digest everything that I just read. Yes, it was truly that good.

Celestine was a reluctant hero of the Flawed. When I say reluctantly because she really didn’t want to be a poster child for anything. All she wanted to do, at first, was to just find a place that she could go off grid and hide from Craven and his Whistleblowers. But that just doesn’t happen. Any place that she finds sanctuary in, they always show up. I kept thinking that maybe she had a tracking device or something on her at one point because of how they would always show up. But it was revealed, in most of the cases, that fellow Flawed were calling the Whistleblowers and altering them to where she was. Which was kind of crappy, in my eyes.

I couldn’t stand Craven. He was gunning for Celestine because he thought that she had incriminating video evidence that shows him illegally branding Celestine on the spine without numbing the area first. Then he tries to cover up his crime (because it was a crime) by kidnapping everyone that was there or saw her brand. Like that was going to help everything. And when he does finally get Celestine, what does he do….arranges for her to have a skin graft to cover her brand. Any scene with him in it made me feel seriously greasy and I wanted to shower.

I wasn’t too sure about Carrick at first. Everything he did for and with Celestine ended up serving himself or the political party that he has become attached to. I even began to question if he was really attracted to her or if it was a ruse to get her to join him and help the political party. But, like everything else in this book, not everything is what it seems.

Again, I do wish that I had read book 1. I had a small issue with the significance to where the people were branded. It wasn’t clearly explained in Perfect and that drove me nuts. But it didn’t take away from the story. Just personally drove me nuts.

The end of the book was pretty intense, action wise and I did like that all the storylines were brought together and ended.

How many stars will I give Perfect: 4

Why: Like I said above, I devoured this book in 2 hours. The plotline was great, characters were memorable and I loved the twist at the end of the book.

Will I reread: Yes

Will I recommend to family and friends: Yes

Age range: Older Teen

Why: Some sexual situations, mild violence, and some language

**I chose to leave this review after reading an advance reader copy**

Dream Magic (Shadow Magic: Book 2) by Joshua Khan


Dream Magic (Shadow Magic, #2)

Title: Dream Magic

Author: Joshua Khan

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Date of publication: April 11th, 2017

Genre: Children’s Fiction, Middle Grade, Fantasy, Young Adult

Grade level: 3-7

Number of pages: 352

Series: Shadow Magic

Shadow Magic – Book 1

Dream Magic – Book 2

Where you can find this book: Amazon

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

A fabulously exciting sequel to the fantasy adventure SHADOW MAGIC.

People throughout Gehenna are disappearing, even the feared executioner Tyburn. Many of the nobles believe the kidnappings to be the work of the northern trolls, raiding south for the winter, and when Baron Sable and others head off to fight them, Castle Gloom is left guarded by only the squires.

Lily is struggling with her growing necromantic powers. The castle fills with ghosts, drawn like moths to a flame by the brightness of her magic. Zombies roam the country, some left over from those raised in SHADOW MAGIC, others awakened by Lily. Families are troubled by the returning dead, so Lily tries to incorporate them into day-to-day life, much to the resentment of the living.

Then Lily is attacked in her own castle by a mysterious sorcerer known as Dreamweaver, a young man determined to conquer Gehenna using jewel-spiders, strange crystalline creatures whose bite doesn’t kill but sends victims to sleep. Lily soon discovers that Dreamweaver is harvesting dreams to fuel his magic.

Lily enters the realm of sleep known as the Dream Time, in an attempt to awaken all the captive dreamers. Instead, she finds herself trapped within a dream, one where her family is still alive. With the help of Thorn and the ever loyal Hades, she must somehow overcome the evil Dreamweaver by using his own magic against him – and reclaim her kingdom.

My review:

I really, really, really wish that I had read book one of this series. Not that I didn’t like the book (I did) but I felt kinda lost during the first couple of chapters. But, besides feeling lost, which really only lasted a couple of chapters, I loved the rest of the book. Like I had mentioned in another blog, I have reviewed a fair amount of middle-grade books lately. Like I also mentioned in that blog, my two oldest children are in 3rd and 5th grade. I am always scouting out new books for them to read and again, with this book, I have found a book that I think that they would like. Scratch that, I know my son, the 3rd grader, would love it. This book is right up his alley. My daughter, the 5th grader, is difficult to find books that she would read.

While this book has some darker elements in it, they weren’t completely dark….if you know what I mean. Zombies are featured predominately in the book. While they are scary and they do want to eat brains, they aren’t typical zombies. They can communicate, they can work. Their other urges are nulled by being in Lily’s general area of power. Which I thought was very cool and it toned down on the creepiness factor.

I liked Lily a lot. She was dealing with the aftermath of her parents’ and brother’s murders by her uncle, trying to run a country at 13 and trying to keep her magic (necromancy) under wraps because of superstitions of her people about a woman doing magic. On top of it all, she has to deal with an arranged marriage to a boy who is the total opposite of her, she is trying to find out who is behind the abduction of her people and the trolls have amassed an army and is marching on Castle Gloom. She also found out that using her magic, a lot, can cause some unforeseen issues with her body. Poor kid was dealing with a lot and she was dealing with it the best that she could.

Thorn, I loved. He was exactly what Lily needed. He was trustworthy, loyal to her and he was willing to do whatever he could to protect her and to protect Castle Gloom. Plus, he had a pretty cool bat mount named Hades. He was the one who found out where the crystal spiders were coming from and he was part of the group that stayed at Castle Gloom when the rest of the army went to fight the trolls.

Now, I will say that the storyline surrounding Weaver, the bad guy, was very dark and I actually felt bad for him….which is rare for me. It was a tragic story and I did like the small plot twist that took place when his story was revealed. I was shocked, along with Lily, when it was revealed who Weaver was. But my feeling bad for him lasted exactly two chapters and then I didn’t like him again….lol. The crystal spiders were an interesting aspect of the book too.

All of the storylines were merged beautifully and there was no lull in the chapter between the author doing that and the ending chapters. I will say that the couple of plot twists in the book (one that was mentioned) got me. The one at the end absolutely had me fooled and I was surprised when it ended up not being what I thought (and feared) it was. I also liked how the author left the book open for a book 3.

How many stars will I give Dream Magic: 4

Why: I think that this will be a great book for kids in 3rd grade through 7th grade (as mentioned above). The characters were fleshed out and likable (or unlikable…depending on who you were reading), the potential scary characters were made not so scary by humanizing them and I really liked that the book had a strong female main character. I would be very comfortable letting my 3rd and 5th graders read this books

Will I reread: Yes

Will I recommend to family and friends: Yes

Age range: Child

Why: Mild violence. Potentially scary characters for younger readers (trolls and zombies)

**I chose to leave this review after reading an advance reader copy**

The Door to Forever (The Land of Magic: Book 2) by Shirley Martin


The Door to Forever (The Land of Magic #2)

Title: The Door To Forever

Author: Shirley Martin

Publisher: Books We Love Ltd

Date of publication: November 9th, 2016

Genre: Fantasy, Romance

Number of pages: 218

POV: 3rd person

Series: The Land of Magic

The Door To Forever – Book 2

Where you can find this book: Amazon

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

As a teenager, Kaylee suffered an attempted sexual assault. Now a woman, she remains fearful of men. She vows she’ll avoid the opposite sex.

When her dreams take her to an alternate world, a land of peace and harmony, she wishes she could stay in this world. There, a psychic with a crystal ball tells her she will find love, for he sees a man reaching out to her. He tells her she must learn to trust men.

Kaylee has no idea who this man is, and she knows she can never put her faith in a man. The memory from her teenage years is too painful.

Then she meets Logan. Will he be the man to change her mind? World-weary and cynical, Logan declares a respite from women. When he meets Kaylee, he knows she is a woman like no other. His head tells him to stay away from her, but his heart refuses to listen.

My review:

I really didn’t know what to expect when I started reading The Door To Forever. I honestly, don’t think that the blurb does this book justice at all. There is more meat to the story than what is described. This is one instance that I would say, don’t go by what the synopsis says….read the book.

Kaylee did have some major issues at the beginning of the book. She was deeply scarred from an attempted rape at 13 and then another attempted sexual assault when she was in college. After those experiences, she didn’t trust men. Which I don’t blame her. But then she starts dreaming of a land that she can only get through by opening a door in a dark, dismal forest. The land is called Vestoria and it is the home of elves. On her first journey there, she meets an elf called Nemek. After a few visits, she tells Nemek about her tragic past and he is appalled that men are allowed to treat women that way in her society and not be punished. It was at this point that I put the book down and applauded the author for putting this in because it is the truth. Sexual assault and attempted sexual assault are not like other crimes and only a small handful go to trial.

Vestoria is a land of peace and tranquility. Just reading about it made me wish that Vestoria was real. Violence towards women (or anyone really) was not tolerated and was swiftly dealt with. But it was a backward society. Women were expected to stay at home until they found their lifemate (ie got married). But it called to Kaylee (like me). After a few visits, she was granted a visitation with the king and he told her that she needs to heal. To learn to trust men again and to find love.

I think Logan was the right person for her. He was the 1/2 owner of the restaurant she worked at and he taught English at the local university. He also came from money but he didn’t rely on his parents to pay his way in life. He was attracted to Kaylee but he didn’t want to go too fast because he sensed that she had been hurt in the past. He was the one to find out who was behind all of Kaylee’s mishaps at work and he was the one who stuck up for her when his friend wanted to fire her. Which he should have. I mean she didn’t come into work for a few days.

The romance between Kaylee and Logan was very sweet. To be honest, I was surprised when certain events happened because, honestly, I didn’t think it was going to happen. I really thought that Kaylee was going to end up with Nemek or someone from Vestoria.

The bad guys in the book, Gitta and Drummond, kinda annoyed me. Drummond seemed like he was a tool and Gitta, well she was power-hungry and didn’t double-check to see if the people she killed were really dead. Because she was surprised when she met up with her arch nemesis, Zurina, a witch from the first book. I was also a tad disappointed at how easily Gitta was defeated. But, Drummond escaped and I know he will make an appearance in the next book.

I liked the ending and loved how everyone was so happy. Normally I am a poop and I don’t like super happy endings but I loved this one!!

How many stars will I give The Door to Forever: 4

Why: I really liked this book. This is one of those books that you could read at the pool or a beach. The plot wasn’t too involved and the characters likable. While rape and attempted rape are mentioned, it wasn’t thrown in your face the entire book. It was part of who Kaylee was and the author didn’t dwell on it.

Will I reread: Yes

Will I recommend to family and friends: Yes

Age range: Older Teen

Why: Some violence and both of Kaylee’s attempted sexual assaults were kinda graphic. There is one sex scene, at the end of the book, but it isn’t very detailed.

**I received a free copy of this book and volunteered to review it**

 

Not Dead Enough: Tales of Windhaven by Watson Davis


Not Dead Enough: Tales of Windhaven by [Davis, Watson]

Title: Not Dead Enough

Author: Watson Davis

Publisher: Unknown

Date of publication: September 20th, 2014

Genre: Science Fiction, Fantasy, Dark Fantasy, Paranormal

Number of pages: 99

POV: 1st person

Series: The Windhaven Chronicles

The Devil’s Library – Book 1 (review here)

Not Dead Enough – Book 2

Where you can find this book: Amazon

 

Book synopsis (through Amazon):

A Vampire Assassin and a Book of Evil.

With the Empress’ soul bound into the pages of a book, all Gartan the Cursed has to do is destroy it to be free of her forever, free to wreak his vengeance on those priests and nobles who treated him like a subhuman animal, free to return home to the ruins of a city he ruled centuries before.

But the Empress did not escape from Hell by accepting Her fate, and She is nothing if not cunning.

In this collection of sword and sorcery short stories set in the world of Windhaven, Watson Davis takes us on a harrowing series of adventures through ghost towns and vibrant cities, into the mouths of angry volcanoes and across stormy seas filled with monsters.

Continue reading

Framed and Burning (Dreamslippers: Book 2) by Lisa Brunette


Framed and Burning (Dreamslippers, #2)

Title: Framed and Burning

Author: Lisa Burnette

Publisher: Sky Harbor Press

Date of Publication: November 17th, 2015

Genre: Mystery, Thriller, General Fiction, Fantasy, Paranormal

Number of pages: 391

POV: 3rd person

Series: Dreamslippers

Cat in the Flock – Book 1

Framed and Burning – Book 2

Bound to the Truth – Book 3

Where you can find this book: Amazon

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

A couple of PIs with the ability to “slip” into another person’s dreams find themselves defending one of their own. Someone sets fire to Mick Travers’ studio, killing his assistant, and Mick won’t give an alibi. Eccentric Granny Grace and her level-headed granddaughter Cat hope to prove his innocence and hunt down the real killer. Will they discover that a jealous rival was out to destroy Mick’s art—and reputation? Or is something even darker behind the arson and murder?

My review:

When I saw this book on NetGalley, I am going to admit, the main reason I requested it was because of the cover. I fell in love with it and decided that if the story is anything as good as the cover, then it would be a great read. Well, I am glad that I got approved for it. The story was great!!

The storyline about Mick’s assistant being killed in a fire was awful and wasn’t clear-cut who set the fire until literally the last couple of chapters. To be honest, like Cat, I thought that Mick did it by his dream until the evidence found at the scene. Also, him not giving an alibi was pretty shady. Everything and everyone is not what it seems in this book and that’s what I liked about it. It kept me on my feet.

I also liked that dreamslipping was not the only way that Cat and Grace caught criminals and solved mysteries from years past. They did it by some good old-fashioned detective work. Both Cat and Grace researched and followed leads. That’s the part of the book, to be honest, that caught my attention the most and fascinates me in real life.

I will say that the art part of the book kinda bored me. I just couldn’t get into Mick talking about his past as a successful artist and all the drama that went with it. While it went with the book and added depth to the characters, I just couldn’t keep my attention on those parts. To be honest, I skimmed over those parts, but I did reread them if it became clear that it was relevant to the book.

What I also didn’t like was that Mick was acting like a vigilante and the police really didn’t do anything. I mean, he roughed Candy up (smacked her around) and got a confession out of her about burning his beach house and he did basically the same thing with the child porn guy. Both times the police followed him or showed up where he was. It made me think that they were waiting for him to lead them to the victims.

I thought the end of the book was pretty good and who the killer ended up kinda blowing my mind because it was literally the last person I thought it was.

How many stars will I give Framed and Burning: 4

Why: I liked the book. It was an original, fast-paced mystery that definitely kept my attention. There are so many red herrings thrown into this book that when the killer was revealed, I kept waiting for the other shoe to drop.

Will I reread: Yes

Will I recommend to family and friends: Yes

Age range: Adult

Why: Sex, violence, and language

**I received a free copy of this book and volunteered to review it**

Conquering the Bear (Bear Shifter Games) by AJ Tipton


Conquering the Bear (Bear Shifter Games #2)

Title: Conquering The Bear

Author: A.J. Tipton

Publisher: AJ Tipton Enterprises

Date of publication: July 20th, 2016

Genre: Romance, Erotica, Paranormal

Number of pages: 103

POV: 3rd person

Series: Bear Shifter Games

Coaching the Bear – Book 1 (review here)

Conquering the Bear – Book 2

Capturing the Bear – Book 3

Christmas with the Bear – Book 4

Where you can find this book: Amazon

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

A shy billionaire hiding from the world. An easy-going hunk with a secret. Can they win the shifter games without losing each other?

Handsome billionaire Marc Rochester hates the fame that comes with his infamous family’s fortune. He works as a small-time veterinarian and he keeps to himself until his best friend pushes him to compete in a supernatural competition: the shifter games. When he meets Sylvester at the race, Marc finds there may be advantages to getting out of the house after all. Can Marc take the leap to let somebody in?

Sylvester Burrows is a confident competitor who can’t resist his passionate attraction for Marc. There’s one problem: in just a few short months, Sylvester is moving across the globe for his dream job. He tries not to get too close to the sexily aloof Marc, but Sylvester cannot deny his feelings for long. When fate pushes them together, Sylvester knows he will have to choose between his dreams or his love.

My review:

So this is going to be the dreaded short review. The reason why it’s short: I have two other reviews in the same series to write, an hour to do it and I will not be home tonight to write a longer review (taking my older two kids to a play: The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe). So I apologize in advance to those who don’t like short reviews!!

I really enjoyed reading Conquering the Bear. As with Coaching the Bear, it was full of action, the shifter games, and some pretty hot sex.

I enjoyed seeing Marc and Sylvester’s relationship grow from competitors to friends to more during the course of the book. As competitors, they were the ultimate rivals and pushed each other during the game. As friends and lovers, they were sweet!!

I did feel for Marc. He was so shy and uncomfortable in social situations, it wasn’t even funny. I thought he might have anxiety but the reaction people gave when his last name was mentioned was self-explanatory.

The sex was hot, hot, hot!!!

I did like Lola’s way of setting them up. A romantic dinner and cleaning the house in a green speedo. The romantic date, I was like “Awwww” at but the speedo….I got the giggles.

I loved how the book ended up. I didn’t think it would happen!!!

How many stars will I give Conquering the Bear: 4

Why: I enjoyed reading this book. It was sweet but filled with sex and action!!! I honestly can’t get enough of this universe!!!

Will I reread: Yes

Will I recommend to family and friends: Yes

Age range: Adult

Why: Language and sex

**I received a free copy of this book and volunteered to review it**