Everything We Left Behind (Everything We Keep: Book 2) by Kerry Lonsdale

Everything We Left Behind (Everything We Keep, #2)

Time: Everything We Left Behind

Author: Kerry Lonsdale

Publisher: Lake Union Publishing

Date of publication: July 4th, 2017

Genre: General Fiction, Women’s Fiction

Series: Everything We Keep

Everything We Keep – Book 1 (review here)

Everything We Left Behind – Book 2

POV: Alternating 1st person and 3rd person

Where you can find Everything We Left Behind: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

From the Wall Street Journal, bestselling author of Everything We Keep comes the highly anticipated sequel. Told from one man’s two perspectives, Everything We Left Behind effortlessly blends suspense, mystery, and romance in an exploration of loss, resilience, and the compelling need to protect the ones we love at all cost.

Two months before his wedding, financial executive James Donato chased his trade-laundering brother Phil to Mexico, only to be lost at sea and presumed dead. Six and a half years later, he emerges from a dissociative fugue state to find he’s been living in Oaxaca as artist Carlos Dominguez, widower, and father of two sons, with his sister-in-law Natalya Hayes, a retired professional surfer, helping to keep his life afloat. But his fiancée, Aimee Tierney, the love of his life, has moved on. She’s married and has a child of her own.

Devastated, James and his sons return to California. But Phil is scheduled for release from prison, and he’s determined to find James, who witnessed something in Mexico that could land Phil back in confinement. Under mounting family pressure, James flees with his sons to Kauai, seeking refuge with Natalya. As James begins to unravel the mystery of his fractured identity, danger is never far behind, and Natalya may be the only person he can trust.

(This book is the sequel to Everything We Keep.)

Trigger Warning: None

***Do Not read any further if you haven’t read Everything We Keep. There will be spoilers. So if you decide to read past this, consider yourself warning***

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Make Me Stay (Panic: Book 2) by Sidney Halston

Make Me Stay (Panic, #2)

Title: Make Me Stay

Author: Sidney Halston

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group – Loveswept

Date of publication: June 27th, 2017

Genre: Romance

Number of pages: Unknown

POV: Alternating 1st person

Series: Panic

Pull Me Close – Book 1 (review here)

Make Me Stay – Book 2

Where you can find Make Me Stay: Amazon

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

Secret identities, second chances, drama, desire: It’s all going down in Miami Beach in this tantalizing novel from the bestselling author of Pull Me Close, which was hailed by Aurora Rose Reynolds as “a heart-gripping story about . . . the power of love.”

April: Walking away from Matt Moreno was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. Lying to him was a close second, but for his safety, I had no other choice. I was undercover, working to put some nasty people behind bars. But when Matt nearly recognizes me on Lincoln Road a year later, all those very real feelings come rushing back. Now that my assignment’s almost over, will he understand why I lied? Why I had to leave? Most important, can he ever forgive me?
 
Matt: I was madly in love with June Simpson . . . or, at least, with the woman I thought was June. Then she just disappeared while my family’s nightclub went through hell. And after months of searching, when I think I’ve finally found that sexy, raspy voice and those exquisite blue eyes, she slips away once more. Turns out, “June” is actually Detective April White. She’s been playing me the whole time. And she’s about to rock my world all over again.

My review:

Make Me Stay is the second book in the Panic series. Set in the hot, hip city of Miami, you are taken on a smoldering journey with April and Matt as they learn to love each other again after betrayal rocks their world. If you dare, enter a world of sex, drugs, and betrayal and expect to have your world rocked.

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Sleuthing with the Enemy (Unnatural Alliances: Book 2) by Danielle Hardgrave

Sleuthing with the Enemy

Title: Sleuthing with the Enemy

Author: Danielle Hardgrave

Publisher: Caldwell Publishing

Date of publication: June 9th, 2017

Genre: Paranormal, Romance

Number of pages: Unknown

POV: 1st person

Series: Unnatural Alliances

To Trust a Wolf – Book 1

Sleuthing with the Enemy – Book 2

Where you can find Sleuthing with the Enemy: Amazon

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

Somebody just stole a valuable artifact from the Helsen archives, and Annemette Helsen—a very pissed off werewolf—is going to make sure they pay for it.

There’s just one problem: Anna’s only suspect is the arrogant vampire prince, Jonas Weiss. He’s cocky, frustrating, and a little bit sexy. Okay, a lot sexy.

He also claims to be innocent, so the fact that she just broke into his home and attacked him is problematic.

And his price for keeping silent about the whole debacle? Downright devious.

Disclaimer:

The short novel you’re about to consume is quick, quirky, and delicious. Get ready to enjoy a main course of romance with a side of adventure. Buckle up, it’s about to get sassy!

Sleuthing with the Enemy can be enjoyed as part of the Unnatural Alliances series or on its own

My review:

Sleuthing with the Enemy is one of those books that would be perfect to read by the pool or on the beach. It doesn’t have a complicated plot, is a standalone book in the Unnatural Alliances series, the characters are relatable and the sex was hot.

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An Unnatural Vice (Sins of the Cities: Book 2) by K.J. Charles

An Unnatural Vice (Sins of the Cities, #2)

Title: An Unnatural Vice

Author: K.J. Charles

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group – Loveswept

Date of publication: June 6th, 2017

Genre: LGBTQIA, Historical Romance

Number of pages: 250

POV: 3rd person

Series: Sins of the Cities

An Unseen Attraction – Book 1 (review here)

An Unnatural Vice – Book 2

An Unsuitable Heir – Book 3 (publication date–October 3rd, 2017)

Where you can find An Unnatural Vice: Amazon

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

In the sordid streets of Victorian London, unwanted desire flares between two bitter enemies brought together by a deadly secret.

Crusading journalist Nathaniel Roy is determined to expose spiritualists who exploit the grief of bereaved and vulnerable people. First on his list is the so-called Seer of London, Justin Lazarus. Nathaniel expects him to be a cheap, heartless fraud. He doesn’t expect to meet a man with a sinful smile and the eyes of a fallen angel—or that a shameless swindler will spark his desires for the first time in years.

Justin feels no remorse for the lies he spins during his séances. His gullible clients simply bore him. Hostile, disbelieving, utterly irresistible Nathaniel is a fascinating challenge. And as their battle of wills and wits heats up, Justin finds he can’t stop thinking about the man who’s determined to ruin him.

But Justin and Nathaniel are linked by more than their fast-growing obsession with one another. They are both caught up in an aristocratic family’s secrets, and Justin holds information that could be lethal. As killers, fanatics, and fog close in, Nathaniel is the only man Justin can trust—and, perhaps, the only man he could love.

My review:

An Unnatural Vice in the second book in the Sins Of The Cities series. I had previously read and reviewed An Unseen Attraction and really enjoyed that book. So when I saw that book 2 was available on NetGalley, I had to request it. I am glad I did because this book was fantastic.

I am going to come right out and say that this book is not a stand-alone. You need to read An Unseen Attraction to follow the events in An Unnatural Vice. The events in An Unnatural Vice closely intermingle with the events in An Unseen Attraction. Actually, the storyline in An Unnatural Vice is the same time as the events in An Unseen Attraction. Several scenes from An Unnatural Vice were rewritten to be from Nate and Justin’s point of view. I know it sounds confusing, reading what I wrote, but it actually worked. I got to see what was happening to Clem and Rowley from another point of view….along with Nate and Justin’s main storyline. It was different and again, like I said above, it worked.

I enjoyed reading about mediums in that time period and the length’s that they went through to convince their clients that they were actually talking to spirits. From the setup to picking their apprentices to the real senace, it just fascinated me. Justin was pretty good because he had me, a reader, convinced that there was something supernatural going on for a couple of chapters…lol.

Nate was still grieving for his lover, Tony. Tony died in a freak accident 7 years earlier and Nate was devastated, as any normal person would be after losing a loved one. So when he attends a senace to expose Justin Lazarus as a fraud, he wasn’t expecting to be attracted to him and it threw a wrench in his plans. While I felt bad for Nate, I absolutely loved seeing him come alive in this book. Not only was he hell-bent on exposing Justin as a fraud but he was working to help Clem with what I will call family issues (read the book because it is so much more). But both of those worlds collide, in a big way.

I did like Justin, even if he was a fraud. He was doing the only honest work that he knew how to do. So he is intrigued when Nate keeps coming around. I did have a giggle over how much of a foul mouth that Justin had, which again was a breath of fresh air. Also, he protected those he considered his….which meant that Sukey and Emma (a 12-year-old and a mentally challenged 15-year-old) were under his protection. It showed that under his façade of not caring, he was a very caring man. The scene where he was panicking over the girls being in the house was very telling because, at this point, the author chose to portray them as only servants/apprentices.

The romance between Justin and Nate was not a slow burn. I wouldn’t dare say that it was Instalove but it bordered on it. To be honest, it was pure lust. The first sex scene was mad sex. The men were arguing and one thing led to another. They were even arguing during sex, which did made me giggle. It was almost like they were having makeup sex while fighting. The other sex scenes were just as hot.

The storyline with Clem and the storyline with Justin did merge about halfway through the book. Like I said above, it was pretty interesting to read the events of An Unseen Attraction from another angle. It answered a lot of questions about certain events. I have a feeling that book 3 will do the same and honestly, I can’t wait to read it.

The end of the book was an HEA, for the most part. The book did wrap up, for the most part, Justin and Nate’s storyline but left Clem’s wide open. I can’t wait to see where it goes in book 3!!

How many stars will I give An Unnatural Vice: 4

Why: Great characters with a compelling storyline.

Will I reread: Yes

Will I recommend to family and friends: Yes

Age range: Adult

Why: Sex, violence, and language

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

A Cunning Heist (Sloane Harper: Book 2) by Astrid Astrid Arditi

A Cunning Heist (Sloane Harper #2)

Title: A Cunning Heist

Author: Astrid Arditi

Publisher: Self Published

Date of publication: May 26th, 2017

Genre: Mystery

Number of pages: 295

POV: 1st person

Series: Sloane Harper

A Cunning Plan – Book 1 (review here)

A Cunning Heist – Book 2

Where you can find A Cunning Heist: Amazon

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

Sloane Harper has sworn off men—for her sanity, and her safety. But with or without men, trouble always seems to find Sloane.
When her ex’s ex-mistress comes knocking for help, Sloane does what she does best: she helps way more than she should. As she investigates London’s art scene, Sloane runs into a very handsome but very shady artist, a quirky bunch of thieves, and a cunning old flame.
Perhaps Sloane should have sworn off playing private detective instead of men.

My review:

When Astrid approached me to read/review A Cunning Heist, I jumped on it. I was a huge fan of A Cunning Plan and I couldn’t wait to get my hands the next book. I couldn’t wait to see what antics Sloane would get herself into this time and I wasn’t disappointed!! A Cunning Heist is huge on the laughs and drama as well as a small slice of romance thrown in there.

Sloane is one of my favorite literary characters out of everything that I have read recently (within the last 6 months). She is sweet, clumsy, a great mom and trying to find herself and her way after the hijinks in A Cunning Plan and her devastating divorce. She was also very forgiving and it was that forgiving nature that landed her in the middle of a mess this time. Maybe it’s because I am not a nice, forgiving person, but I couldn’t, no wouldn’t be friends with someone who broke up my marriage. The fact that she was working on herself (and her list cracked me up, btw) and trying to better herself was great.

 

I didn’t feel the romance between Ethan and Sloane this book. Maybe because the book was so focused on Sloane, I just didn’t connect with Ethan the way I did in the first book. Also, he came across as very jealous and almost stalkerish in the beginning of the book. I kinda laughed when he was jealous of Felix and Sloane and assumed that he was her boyfriend. I mean, hello, he didn’t contact her for months afterward, she should have moved on.

The whole art heist plotline was fantastic and the situations that Sloane got herself into made me crack up laughing when I read it. I mean, a toilet paper bra….really? And throwing Turkish Delights at kidnappers? I would go more into the art heist part of the book but I won’t. You need to read the book to find out exactly what happened. I really liked Felix. Talk about a suave guy who oozed sex appeal. There was a point where I was worried that Sloane would end up with him but well, you need to read the book to find out.

There is a small plot twist at the end of the book that took me by surprise. But, it did give the perfect clue to the next book and I can’t wait to read it!!

How many stars will I give A Cunning Heist: 4

Why: Great, snarky characters with an awesome plot line.

Will I reread: Yes

Will I recommend to family and friends: Yes

Age range: Adult

Why: Language, mild violence, and mild language

Royal Affair (Royals in Exile: Book 2) by Marquita Valentine

Royal Affair (Royals in Exile, #2)

Title: Royal Affair

Author: Marquita Valentine

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group – Loveswept

Date of publication: April 18th, 2017

Genre: Romance

Number of pages: 230

POV: Alternating 1st person

Series: Royals in Exile

Royal Scandal – Book 1 (review here)

Royal Affair – Book 2

Royal Chase – Book 3

Royal Duty – Book 4 (expected publication date: September 26th, 2017)

Where you can find Royal Affair: Amazon

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

A sheltered princess goes wild—and makes the best mistake of her life—when she falls for a roguish reporter in this fun, sexy romance from the bestselling author of Royal Scandal.

Online muckraker Brooks Walker has a reputation for exposing the political élite. Now he’s set his sights on the Sinclair siblings, who’ve been embroiled in their fair share of drama ever since their exile to North Carolina. But Brooks has never been afraid to get his hands dirty—until he meets a royal wallflower at a charity ball who makes him reconsider everything. Is Brooks feeling guilty because he knows all the sordid details of her family’s history? Or because he’s putting their relationship first, before his journalistic integrity?

As the “spare” twin, Princess Charlotte has always been the responsible one. So when her sister finally agrees to fulfill her duty as queen, Charlotte gives herself permission to break a few rules by flirting with the very off-limits CEO of Walker Media. Brooks is the worst sort of man to start an affair with, but Charlotte just can’t help it. The trouble is since she’s no good at playing games, soon she’s tiara over heels in love. And when Brooks comes clean, Charlotte must decide whether his confession is worth a royal pardon.

My review:

Have you ever wanted to read a book where the villain got his happily ever after and he got it with one of the fairytale characters? Well, read Royal Affair because that is exactly what happens here. Starting off hot and steamy and ending with a very surprising happily ever after, Royal Affair made me run the gauntlet of emotions while reading it. I went from being insanely happy to almost depressed within the same chapter. Now, normally that would throw me off a book, but in this case, it made me like it more.

Royal Affair is also one of those books that eclipse the first book in the series. Now, don’t get me wrong, I loved it when I read Della and Colin’s romance. It was just that it was missing something and I couldn’t put my finger on it. Then I read Royal Affair and went, “Ahhhh, that’s what’s missing.” What was missing was genuine feelings that developed between Brooks and Charlotte. Della and Colin didn’t have that (read my review on Royal Scandal….it is linked above).

I really liked Charlotte. She was so sweet and had an innocence that just made you want to shelter her even more than she had been. She has been through a lot. From the deaths of her parents to finding out who her biological father was (read the book if you want to find out) to being outed by Brooks. she has been through the wringer. It left her with anxiety issues and honestly, as a person who suffers from anxiety, I really liked that the author chose not to make her issues go away. Instead, they were right out in the open and she was dealing with them as a regular, real life person would do.  There are a couple of huge secrets that aren’t revealed until halfway through the book. Both I didn’t see coming….at all and both made me go “No way” when they were revealed. So, slow clap to the author for doing that!!

Brooks, who was made out to be a jerk in the first place, really wasn’t that bad of a guy once you got to know him. He had a razor-sharp wit and he knew how to negotiate a bargin….which is what he did when he first made that deal with Charlotte. He was a business person up until David contacted him with an envelope and some damning information about Charlotte and Imogen. He just couldn’t open that envelope. It was then that I knew he had serious feelings for her.

Besides that two plot twists that I named above, there is one that I saw coming from a mile away. It is my only complaint about the book is that. I really wish that it didn’t go there.

The sex between Charlotte and Brooks were very, very hot and they did the nasty in some pretty interesting areas. Just read the book to find out where 🙂

The end of the book was pretty bittersweet. It was sweet because Charlotte did get her heart’s desire but bitter because Brooks had to take such a personal hit. I loved the epilogue and can’t wait to read Theo’s story!!

I did have a couple of questions:

Was Briggs accident truly an accident? Because with everything that was going on I wouldn’t have been surprised if it wasn’t.

Who sent that text to Brooks? If it wasn’t Charlotte and if it wasn’t Imogene….then who was it?

Why is Davis so darn slippery? He is seriously starting to annoy me

How many stars will I give Royal Affair: 4

Why: Great characters, an engaging plot and hot sex equal a fantastic read

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**

Yearling (North Oak: Book 2) by Ann Hunter

Yearling (North Oak #2)

Title: Yearling

Author: Ann Hunter

Publisher: Rebel House Ink

Date of publication: October 1st, 2015

Genre: Young Adult, Middle Grade

POV: 3rd person

Series: North Oak

Born to Run – Book 1 (review here)

Yearling – Book 2

Morning Glory – Book 3

To Bottle Lightning – Book 4

Where you can find Yearling: Amazon

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

A new year has come to North Oak and with it a new life for Alexandra Anderson. Will she be able to open her heart to others when it’s still battling demons from her past? Or will she go so deep into herself where no one can touch her, and risk losing Promenade in the Keeneland Yearling Sale?

Don’t miss this sequel to North Oak #1: Born to Run!

On the heels of Joanna Campbell’s beloved Thoroughbred Series, and Walter Farley’s Black Stallion comes a brand new young adult horse racing series that will sweep you away like a runaway Thoroughbred.

EXCERPT:
“I should be happy,” Alex sighed. “These folks, they’re real nice. For the first time in my life, I’m wanted. Well, they say that they want me. I almost feel needed sometimes. I don’t have to steal food anymore, or run away from what I’ve done, I’ve even got a warm bed. But the fact is… when I think of Ashley, I just want her back and nothing else. I want a life she exists in. And wanting that… it spoils what I have. I feel so ungrateful when I think of the life we could have made if we ran away from Haven together like we planned. I feel ungrateful because I would rather have a life on the streets with Ashley than a warm bed and you. I mean who in their right mind wants something like that? There’s something wrong with me.”

My review:

I am always on the hunt for a good middle-grade book for my 9 and 11-year-olds. Mainly my 11-year-old, who is an insatiable reader. So when Ann approached me to review Yearling, I gladly accepted. I am glad I did because this book was fantastic. There was no sophomore slump and honestly, that along with the vivid characters and background is what sold me on the book. Also, what sold me, was that it is a great book for anyone 11 and older (and the main reason I read it).

Alex, I wanted to reach through the book and give her a hug and tell her “It will be alright”. I am glad that the author made her as flawed as she did because it made her more relatable. I also liked that the author showed that traumatic events and losses (if you want to know what…read Born to Run) aren’t magically healed in between books. But, the author also showed how animals, in this case, a yearling named Promenade, can help a person with their healing….along with a support system and people who love unconditionally.

Now, saying what I said above, Alex was a very funny, sarcastic tween. Looking at my tween, I can say that the author is dead on with the mannerisms and attitude that Alex had. Gave me some really good laughs when I was reading. The biggest laugh was when Alex started her monthly and thought she was dying. I was outside and started laughing my butt off. Then when Hilary finds out and finds out that Alex doesn’t know anything about puberty or even had “The Talk“, she goes into Mom mode big time. Which included having Alex watch “A League of Their Own“(which personally is one of my favorite movies) and that becomes a running joke through the rest of the series. Also, Alex’s sex ed lesson was very interesting as was her reaction….lol.

The friendship storyline was fantastic and I like how the author took the time for Alex and Carol to build up their friendship. It went from Alex keeping her at arm’s length to embracing her as a friend and she was willing to do anything to protect her. Which meant standing up to Carol’s bully.

Now, I will be the first one to admit, I know nothing about Thoroughbred racing, racing farms or horses so I loved that the author explained everything in the book in ways that were understandable and interesting. From the stud services (see, I know that much…haha) to foaling to training the yearlings to training the racehorses, everything was explained in a way that never made you go “Eh”. Instead, it makes you go “Oh, well that makes sense”.

The end of the book really didn’t feel like an ending. While certain storylines were wrapped up, new ones were revealed and there are old ones that weren’t wrapped up. There was definitely an opening for book 3 (Morning Glory) and I will be posting my review of that soon!!

How many stars will I give Yearling: 4

Why: A wonderfully written middle grade book that actually brings to mind The Black Stallion series. I loved the plotlines, the characters…everything about the book.

Will I reread: Yes

Will I recommend to family and friends: Yes

Age range: Young Teen

Why: Mild cursing, no sex or violence

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