Saturday, April 4, 2020

Blog Housekeeping [116]


It's that time again! Time to polish up your blog until it shines!

POP QUIZ: When was the last time you backed up your blog?

Update:
  • review archive - are you responsible for sites other than your own? Don't forget about those
  • sidebar - check for buttons or links for events that have ended. Have any new events coming up? Now's the time to add them.
  • reading challenges - update your progress, add links to challenges where you can link up. If you're a challenge host, do you try to comment on linked reviews? Now's your chance!
  • blogrolls -  clean 'em up!
  • crosspost - do you crosspost to Amazon, B&N, Goodreads, Library Thing? Don't forget to add your reviews to Netgalley or Edelwiess for those ARCs.
  • check your subscription and social media links - if this isn't something that you normally check, now's an excellent time to make sure it's doing what it should be doing. 
  • check your static pages (About, Review Policy, etc) for outdated information, broken links, etc.
  • review your profiles - when was the last time you updated your Goodreads or Facebook profiles? Is everything up to date?
Get ahead:
  • May already?!?! What are you going to do to get ahead?
Misc:
  • respond to review requests and other bloggy emails
  • check your spam folder - legitimate emails can sometimes slip through, catch them now.
  • check the spam filter on the blog - get rid of the spam! save the legits!
  • make the rounds - check back on blogs where you left comments, maybe spread a few new comments around.
Did you do everything that applies to you? Well done! Now...

BACK UP YOUR BLOG!
Tutorial |

The Next Blog Housekeeping is scheduled for 5/2! I hope to see you there!

Friday, April 3, 2020

Mission: Her Safety by Anna Hackett [Review]

 Mission: Her Safety by Anna Hackett
Mission: Her Safety (Team 52 #5) by Anna Hackett
Format: ebook
Source: borrowed through Kindle Unlimited
Date read: May 24, 2019

Team 52
1. Mission: Her Protection
2. Mission: Her Rescue
3. Mission: Her Security
4. Mission: Her Defense
5. Mission: Her SafetyKindle
6. Mission: Her Freedom

Anna Hackett
Website | Twitter | Facebook | Amazon |

Synopsis (Goodreads):
A sexy, grumpy black ops scientist will do anything to track down the mysterious woman who broke into his lab.

After Dr. Ty Sampson catches a mysterious female intruder in his home and lab, he’s obsessed with finding out who she is and what she wants. He’s a man who trusts very few people and hates anyone in his space. His role as Team 52’s lead scientist brings him into contact with a host of powerful, ancient artifacts, so he knows the woman must be after something dangerous and he refuses to let her succeed.

River Elliott-Hall is good at finding things and prides herself on always getting the job done. When a very valuable painting by a master is stolen from a famous museum, it is her job to get it back. The trail leads her to the bright lights of Las Vegas and she’s heard rumors of the covert, black ops Team 52. But as she investigates if they know anything about the painting, she finds herself drawn into a battle of wits with a big, bad-tempered, and far-too-handsome genius.

Life has taught River and Ty to guard their hearts, so as these two circle each other, they warily agree to work together. Because it soon becomes clear that the painting is more than just a painting, and someone with a dangerous plan is working behind the scenes. Fighting their intense chemistry, Ty and River—along with Team 52—will risk everything to save the day, and both find themselves battling the unfamiliar needs to claim, protect, and keep each other safe.
Thoughts on Mission: Her Safety: I think a good rule of thumb for the Team 52 guys (and anyone else who happens to traipse along) is not to touch Ty Sampson's stuff. Just...no. Don't do it. Because if you do, he'll find you and...well, end up in a relationship with you, I guess. At least that's what he did with River.

Which is a fluke, really. If anyone else had broken into his place and snooped around, things would have devolved to fisticuffs. I'M SURE. But River gets under his skin. BIG TIME. Instead of giving her the icy glare of death, he ends up falling for her. And helping her with her little acquisition problem. (Okay, okay. The entire team helps. But Ty REALLY does some hands on training, if you know what I mean.)

While Ty is grumpy and growly about having his inner sanctum violated, River is...not grumpy. She's scarily good at retrievals and she has a pretty solid moral compass. Which means she understands the value of getting (or keeping) certain artifacts out of the hands of the bad guys.

Sexy, a little dangerous, and a whole lot of fun. Team 52 gets it done while falling for their special someone. I LIKE.

Thursday, April 2, 2020

Heart of Eon by Anna Hackett [Review]

 Heart of Eon by Anna Hackett
Heart of Eon (Eon Warriors #3) by Anna Hackett
Format: ebook
Source: borrowed through Kindle Unlimited
Date read: May 6, 2019

Eon Warriors
1. Edge of Eon
2. Touch of Eon
3. Heart of Eon - PaperbackKindle
4. Kiss of Eon
5. Mark of Eon

Anna Hackett
Website | Twitter | Facebook | Amazon |

Synopsis (Goodreads):
Okay, maybe hijacking an alien commander’s warship wasn’t her best idea…

Genius computer geek Wren Traynor prefers her high-tech comp lab to socializing with people, and she definitely prefers it over crawling through the bowels of the huge Eon warship she’s hijacked. When Earth’s Space Corps blackmails her into this deadly mission, Wren will do anything to help her beloved sisters and save the Earth from invasion by the insectoid Kantos aliens. That includes entering into a dangerous game of cat and mouse with the tall, hunky, and seriously enraged Eon war commander who captains the Rengard...

War Commander Malax Dann-Jad is a born protector and has forged a successful career in service to the Eon Empire. Haunted by an early mission where he lost good warriors, he’s dedicated to protecting his ship and its crew. Especially since his warship is carrying a special, top-secret cargo. But one tiny, infuriating Terran puts all that at risk when she commandeers his ship and refuses to listen to reason!

When the ravenous Kantos set their sights on the Rengard - using sneaky, underhanded tactics - Malax finds himself with an armful of curvy woman. He and Wren must join forces to fight back, and are shocked at their improbable, intense attraction. But with lives at risk, both will learn that strength comes in more ways than one, and love can hit when you least expect it, and that in order to survive, you have to put everything on the line!
Thoughts on Heart of Eon: Wren's hijacking shenanigans were mentioned in a previous book and, well, they intrigued me. Those Eon warriors are big, bad, and kinda badass, so the idea of a little human woman sneaking in and taking control of a warship from under a War Commander's nose made me laugh.

Wren certainly lived up to the hype. She's smart and sassy (as is her newly acquired friend) and she kind of delights in irritating Malax. She calls him WC, for Pete's sake. HA. Admittedly, her actions are a lot less delightful when the Kantos try to join the fun. Wren's fiddling with the ship's systems has left them not as able to defend themselves as usual. Which isn't great when the bad aliens appear.

But, as you might have guessed, Wren and Malax make a formidable team once they stop pushing against one another. Wren's got the smarts and Malax has the military know-how. Also, they send sparks up when they're near one another. Not literally.

Danger (on a cosmic scale), sexy times (on a more intimate scale), brilliant, sassy computers and the brilliant sassy lady who interacts with it, a glowering mountain of an alien War Commander, and a sisterly reunion. Oh, and let's not forget a shipful of cocky human soldiers. GOOD TIMES.

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Beef Cake by Jiffy Kate [Review]


 Beef Cake by Jiffy Kate
Beef Cake (Donner Bakery #4) by Jiffy Kate
Format: ebook
Source: provided for review
Date read: March 3, 2020

Donner Bakery
1. Baking Me Crazy
2. Stud Muffin
3. No Whisk No Reward
4. Beef CakePaperback | Kindle
5. Batter of Wits

Jiffy Kate
Website | Twitter | Amazon |

Synopsis (Goodreads):
If opposites do actually attract, then Gunnar Erickson and Frankie Reeves take the cake.

Frankie Reeves is complicated, even though she won’t admit it. She fills her days working as an ER nurse, taking care of her mom, and searching for the father she never knew. Anything else has no place in her perfectly compartmentalized, purposefully simple life. Attachments? No thank you. She has no time for that.

Gunnar Erickson recently moved to Green Valley to train at Viking MMA with his brother Cage. Being the youngest of the Erickson clan, he’s always felt like he has something to prove, and now that he’s finished with college, it’s his time to shine. But before he can step into the ring, a freak accident sends him to the ER and into the care of one Frankie Reeves.

While he’s immediately smitten, she pretends to be unfazed by this six-foot-three, two hundred and thirty-pound beefcake. Gunnar sets out to prove to Frankie that, not only does she like him more than she wants to admit, but he’s not the uneducated, brute she assumes he is. To Frankie, he’s the worst kind of complication, but that doesn’t make it easy to stay away.
Thoughts on Beef Cake: I love spending time in Green Valley and honestly can't get enough of these quirky people and their quirky relationships. To be fair, Frankie's not so much quirky as guarded, but she fits in with the Green Valley-ites maybe more than she realizes. To mix metaphors, still waters run deep and Frankie's roots run deeper than she knows.

While Frankie is guarded and curt, Gunnar is...not. He's outgoing and dedicated to his profession (even if it did take a slight turn he wasn't expecting). His big, rowdy family keep his ego from getting out of control (which isn't to say he doesn't have PLENTY of self-confidence, because he does) and he has a competitive streak a mile wide.

Frankie and Gunnar are very different, but they mesh well together. Mostly because Gunnar has the patience to let Frankie come to him on her own terms instead of forcing things between them. (Oh, man. I have a soft spot for big, brawny guys who go all cuddly when they need to.)

Frankie has quite a few things to work through before she's ready to take on anyone, much less someone like Gunnar. Old secrets have a way of boiling up at the worst moments and Frankie might not remember the specifics, but her past has been guiding her actions her entire life. It just takes a man with persistence, patience, and lots of muscles to get her to open up and come to terms with it all.

Excerpt
“I wanted to see you,” I admit. There’s no sense in beating around the bush. If she doesn’t know I’m into her, then I really need to reevaluate my strategy, or up my game.

Opening the door, she turns her back to me and I see the way her shoulders lift then fall, and when she speaks, she sounds distracted. “Can you just—I can’t deal with this. I don’t have time to deal with you, okay? I'm not interested. Leave me alone.”

I feel my entire body deflate. She wants me to leave her alone, I’ll leave her alone. But since we’re here, talking, and this might be my last chance, a part of me I can’t ignore wants to make sure her disinterest isn’t because I’m a fighter.

“Okay. Fine. But do you mind if I ask why?” I get the feeling she has her guard up all the time. I get it, I do. She’s a beautiful woman, but it’s got to be exhausting. Somehow, I’d still like to prove that it’s not necessary with me.

She slowly turns back around. “Why what?” It’s obvious she’s trying to avoid answering, so I spell it out for her.

“Why aren’t you interested?” I ask, keeping it casual and relaxed as I take a step back until my back is flush with the side of the truck. I don’t want her to feel threatened or pressured, but I do want her to talk. So, I’m hoping if I give her a little space, she’ll open up.

“You can be honest, it’s cool.” I shrug. “I’m just looking for some constructive feedback here. So, do you not find me attractive?” I ask, unable to keep from smiling. “Or are you just not into blondes? Or muscles?” I continue, trying a more playful approach, and it works. The side of her mouth pulls as she fights back a smile, her cheeks heating.

“I—you know I find you attractive,” she mumbles reluctantly, the stain on her cheeks warming to red.

I nearly sigh in relief but stop myself, because this means her disinterest has its root in my fear. “Frankie,” I continue softly, “is it because I’m a fighter?”

Her gaze cuts to mine and she presses her lips together, and that’s all the answer I need. My stomach drops.

We stand there like that, watching each other, and she sways toward me, her eyes conflicted.

“Listen,” I tell her, sighing, putting my hands in my pockets. “Go on one date with me, pretend I’m a lawyer, a doctor—”

She snorts, rolling her eyes. “I wouldn’t go on a date with a doctor either.”

“Fine, pretend I’m a window washer.”

Now her lips twist to the side to hide a new smile.

“I promise I won’t talk about MMA or cage fighting. Just one date. If you’re still not interested, I’ll leave you alone. And I’ll leave you alone now if that’s really what you want. All I’m asking for is a chance . . . and a date.”

She eyes me and I can tell she’s giving it some thought, which is hopeful.

Patiently, I wait for the final verdict, hoping it’s not a no.

“You’re incredibly persistent.” Still struggling with her smile, she sighs in mock exasperation.

Am I proud of the fact I’ve convinced her to give me a shot in such a short time? Yes. And no. Yes, because I set out to do something and nothing makes me happier than accomplishing a goal. No, because I hate that I had to do it in the first place. I’ve never had to convince someone to talk to me or go out with me. But her misconceptions about me based on what I do don’t sit right.

Thumbing my bottom lip, I give her a smirk. “I’ve been told my persistence is an attractive quality.”

She finally—fucking finally—fully smiles, and it’s everything. The sun, the moon, the stars. I swear it just lit up this dark-as-fuck parking lot. “Is that so?” Her tone is different. She’s losing the chill and I’m thinking there might be a warm, soft center under that thick layer of ice.

And, fuck if I don’t want to find out.

“Tomorrow morning,” she announces, interrupting the fantasy of her curves under my hands.

Wait. What?

“Morning?” I ask, not sure I heard her correctly. With the blood leaving my brain and flowing to my dick, it’s possible I wasn’t paying attention.

Crossing her arms, she copies my stance, leaning against her car. “Yes, tomorrow morning. Daisy’s Nut House. If we’re doing this, we’re doing it on my terms, and I’m busy. That’s my only offer. Take it or leave it.”

I get the feeling she thinks her offer is going to scare me off or change my mind, but she’s badly mistaken. “Tomorrow morning,” I confirm. “What time?” She could tell me two o’clock on the moon and I’d make that shit happen.

“Seven.”

Again, the quirk of her head tells me it’s a challenge. One I gladly accept.

“I’ll be there at six thirty,” I counter.

There’s an air of skepticism whirling around, but I’ll be happy to see her look of surprise when I’m sitting in the parking lot of Daisy’s Nut House tomorrow morning when she arrives. Shit, I might drive over there now and sleep in the truck, just to make sure I’m early.

Her laugh, although disbelieving, is music to my ears. It might also be my new favorite sound.

Shaking her head, she gets into her car without another word and I stay put, watching her buckle up and drive off. I’m pretty sure she stops and looks back at me before turning out on the street. Could be my wishful thinking, but I’m going to roll with it.

Download your copy TODAY!
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About Jiffy Kate
Jiffy Kate is the joint pen name for Jiff Simpson and Jenny Kate Altman. They’re co-writing besties who share a brain. They also share a love of cute boys, stiff drinks, and fun times.
Together, they’ve written over twenty stories. Their first published book, Finding Focus, was released in November 2015. Since then, they’ve continued to write what they know–southern settings full of swoony heroes and strong heroines.

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Tuesday, March 31, 2020

RtP 2020 Series Tracking - January-March

While I'm not hosting an official Seriously Series Challenge this year, I liked being able to track series I've completed. So... here we are. Tracking some series.

By category:
Series started in 2020: 26/12
Series started before 2020: 21/12
Series rereads: 1/2

By month:
January
  • Started in 2020:
    • Completed: 10
      • Alien Outlaws (Rogue Alien's Escape)
      • Black Hole Brides (The Intergalactic Duke's Inconvenient Engagement, The Interstellar Rake's Irresistible Kiss)
      • Chimera Secrets (A Nurse for the Wolfman)
      • Cyborg Cowboys of Carbon County (Mach One)
      • Cyborg Space Exploration (Choosing Chuckles, Doc's Orders, Dominance and Dissent, Passion Surge)
      • Dakonian Alien Mail Order Brides (Sixx)
      • Mate of the Beast (Mate of the Beast, Fate of the Beast, Heart of the Beast)
      • Mecha Origin (Steampunk Cyborg)
      • Refuge (Dark Thoughts)
      • Warriors of Sangrin (Paax)
    • In progress: 3
      • Conquered World (Vrehx, Axtin, Tu'ver, Sakev)
      • Lost Planet (The Forgotten Commander, The Vanished Specialist, The Mad Lieutenant, The Uncertain Scientist, The Lonely Orphan)
      • Mated to the Alien (Cyborg)
  • Started before 2020:
    • Completed: 10
      • Alien Mates (Alien Attraction, Alien Mischief)
      • Braxians (Krygor's Hope)
      • Cyborg Sizzle (Hers to Command, Ghost of the Machine, Seeking Vector, Taking Vengeance)
      • Eon Warriors (Mark of Eon)
      • Levekk Invaders (Her Cold-Blooded Mercenary)
      • Office Aliens (An Office Alien Christmas: Khy)
      • Snowed in with... (Snowed in with the Alien Dragon, Snowed in with the Alien Beast)
      • True Heroes (Forever Strong)
      • Valos of Sonhadra (Inferno)
      • Warriors of the Lathar (Alien Warrior's Secret)
    • In progress: 1
      • The Innkeeper Chronicles (Sweep with Me)
  • Rereads:
    • Completed: -none-
    • In progress: 1
      • Off Guard (Acting Lessons, Baking Lessons)
February
  • Started in 2020:
    • Completed: 9
      • Betwixt and Between (Betwixt)
      • Claw and Courtship (How to Marry a Werewolf)
      • A Dig Site Mystery (Look What the Wind Blew In)
      • Glimmer Lake (Suddenly Psychic)
      • Grimm Cove (Cloudy with a Chance of Witchcraft)
      • Leveling Up (Magical Midlife Crisis)
      • Lost Planet (The Rogue Captain)
      • Midlife Mulligan (Halfway There)
      • Sunshine Vicram (A Bad Day for Sunshine)
    • In progress: 1
      • Warriors of Vaznik (Rekker)
  • Started before 2020:
    • Completed: 5
      • Hell Squad (Survivors)
      • House of Payne (Loki)
      • Lexi Carmichael Mysteries (No Questions Asked)
      • Seven Kennings (A Blight of Blackwings)
      • Treasure Hunter Security (Unidentified, Undetected)
    • In progress: 2
      • Alien Invasion (Alien Conquest)
      • Cyborgs on Mars (The Good, the Bad, and the Cyborg)
  • Rereads:
    • Completed: -none-
    • In progress: 1
      • Parasol Protectorate (Soulless, Changeless, Blameless)

March
  • Started in 2020:
    • Completed: 7
      • Crow's Feet Coven (Writing Wrongs)
      • Forty Proof (Grave Magic Bounty)
      • From the Ashes (Let it All Burn)
      • Good to the Last Death (It's a Wonderful Midlife Crisis)
      • Leffersbee (Been There Done That)
      • Order of Magic (Second Chance Magic)
      • Premonition Pointe (Witching for Grace)
    • In progress: 1
      • Warriors of Vaznik (Kyre, Cedroc)
  • Started before 2020:
    • Completed: 6 
      • The Beginner's Guide to Necromancy (How to Survive an Undead Honeymoon)
      • Bennet Brothers (Mums the Word)
      • Cipher Security (Code of Honor)
      • Cyborgs on Mars (A Fistful of Cyborg)
      • Galactic Gladiators: House of Rone (Paladin)
      • Ice Planet Barbarians (Aehako & Kira)
    • In progress: 2
      • Donner Bakery (Beef Cake)
      • The Emperor's Edge (Republic)
  • Rereads:
    • Completed: 1
      • Off Guard (Marriage Lessons)
    • In progress: -none-


Monday, March 30, 2020

The Warrior's Mate by Susan Trombley [Review]

 The Warrior's Mate by Susan Trombley
The Warrior's Mate (Iriduan Test Subjects #4) by Susan Trombley
Format: ebook
Source: borrowed through Kindle Unlimited
Date read: April 29, 2019

Iriduan Test Subjects
1. The Scorpion's Mate
2. The Kraken's Mate
3. The Serpent's Mate
4. The Warrior's MateKindle
5. The Hunter's Mate
6. The Fractured Mate

Susan Trombley
Website | Amazon |

Synopsis (Goodreads):
Five years ago, I was abducted by aliens….

After a harrowing escape from an alien research facility, I found myself in the care and protection of an alien species called the Akrellians, but I didn’t trust my instantaneous attraction to the commander of the ship. After all, I had no idea what the evil Iriduans had done to me, so I didn’t know if my feelings were even my own or something they had caused.

He was reptilian and had deadly quills. How could a human possibly fall so fast for such an alien male?

When I offered Prime Commander Tirel a temporary sexual liaison, hoping it would ease the need I felt for him, he rejected it and asked for something more permanent.

I panicked.

I couldn’t escape him fast enough. Not because I feared him, but because of the temptation he offered—one that would require me to sacrifice everything I’ve ever known to stay with him.

Now, after years apart, the strange bond that had formed between us upon our first meeting demands I return to him, and I realize that I can’t continue to live my life without him. The only problem—I’m stuck on Earth, and I don’t know how to find him again.

Until an unexpected visitor brings me the solution—and the terrifying news that I may have waited too long.
Thoughts on The Warrior's Mate: Some time has passed since our plucky heroines were abducted from Earth. A few found their happy place with their (very) alien mates while Theresa and Tarin opted to head back home. Guess what? Not being able to tell people what has happened to you (or at least having everyone think you're a kook if you do tell) makes it VERY hard to deal with all the craziness you were put through.

In other words, Theresa isn't in the best mental place when we first catch up with her. As much as she loves her family, she no longer feels like she fits in on Earth and being away from Tirel is slowly eating away at her. Which means she pretty much jumps at the chance to head out to him when the opportunity presents itself.

Even though it means putting herself in danger to save him. Even though it means giving up everything to be with him. At least she has Tarin, right? Except Tarin's dealing with a few things that look like they're going to be VERY interesting down the road.

But that's another book for another day.

Delving into betrayal, forgiveness, figuring how to fit into a literally alien society, and ...well, there's a lot of alien stuff going on here. Tirel needs to find his new place in the world after his imprisonment. Theresa needs to figure out how she fits in with his family and into his life. It's great!

I'm totally digging this series. The aliens are VERY non-human and I like that. A LOT.

Sunday, March 29, 2020

RtP's Week in Review (03/29/20)

Reading the Paranormal's Week in Review
Bookish Delights
Globetrotting...
  • KellyApple.com
    • On Wednesday, I gave a little update (it's been a while folks) in an attempt to make myself accountable. Heart of Stone 4 is coming. DAMMIT!
    • Feature Friday took us back to Grimwood and Zel's story with Cursed Blood. OH, THOSE GRIMMS!