Thursday, October 17, 2019

Wretched Wicked by S.M. Reine [Review]

 Wretched Wicked by S.M. Reine
Wretched Wicked (Preternatural Affairs #10) by S.M. Reine
Format: ebook
Source: provided by the author for review
Date read: November 11, 2018

Preternatural Affairs
1. Witch Hunt
2. Silver Bullet
3. Hotter Than Helltown
4. Shadow Burns
5. Deadly Wrong
6. Ashes and Arsenic
7. Once Darkness Falls
8. Bitter Thirst
9. The Road to Helltown
10. Wretched Wicked Kindle

S.M. Reine
Website | Twitter | Facebook | Amazon |

Synopsis (Goodreads):
Cesar Hawke works for the Office of Preternatural Affairs. He's an agent in the Magic Violations Department, hunting down witches who break the law, saving lives, and getting caught up in a lot more trouble than he's paid to deal with.

Fritz Friederling is his boss. The director. The heir of the Friederling fortune, earned by mining in Hell with human slaves. A man who puts away witches for life without trial. Inheritor of his father's legacy, and his grandfather's, and all the ruthless men who came before.

But they didn't always work together. Not before, and not after. Once they were strangers, and now they're something else. More fatal than family, more permanent than marriage, closer than the oldest friends, until death do they part...

This novella tells the story of the early years of their partnership from Fritz Friederling's perspective. It contains spoilers and should be read after the rest of the Preternatural Affairs series. It also includes a new, exclusive afterword from the author!
Thoughts on Wretched Wicked: HA! Cesar and Fritz are so freaking fun together. The weird mating dance they do around one another (even though Cesar doesn't know it's a mating dance) just makes me smile. THOSE TWO.

So. We get a little insight into the inner workings of Fritz Friederling. And those workings are...pretty much as expected. He's a powerful man who generally gets what he wants when he wants it. On the surface, Cesar seems like nothing more than a pretty distraction. Except he's not. He's Fritz's other half. In more ways than one.

He's also the polar opposite of good ole Fritzy. Cesar is likable and fun. He laughs and lives large and goes about his life vaguely clueless to a lot of things going on around him. To say Fritz is a wee bit taken with the man (even though he'd categorically deny it) is an understatement.

I like these two. I like their weird relationship. I like that they're willing to push boundaries (cluelessly in Cesar's case, at times) and that they're together to the bitter end. Things were crazy before the Breaking and they only got crazier after Genesis. Somehow these two (and the various others in their lives) weathered the storm and came through it as a team. Go, Team Hawkerling!

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Tracks of Her Tears by Melinda Leigh [Review]

 Tracks of Her Tears by Melinda Leigh
Tracks of Her Tears (Rogue Winter #1) by Melinda Leigh
Format: ebook
Source: borrowed through Kindle Unlimited
Date read: November 11, 2018

Rogue Winter
1. Tracks of Her Tears - Kindle
2. Dead in Her Tracks

Melinda Leigh
Website | Twitter | Facebook | Amazon |

Synopsis (Goodreads):
In the first thrilling Rogue Winter Novella, sleepy little Solitude, Oregon, wakes up to another deadly threat.

County investigator Seth Harding intends to spend the holidays with his newly reconciled family, but a few days before Christmas, a homicide thwarts his plan. Seth arrives at the scene and makes a painful discovery: the victim is his brother-in-law’s girlfriend. Her apartment has been ransacked and her toddler left motherless. To make matters worse, Seth’s brother-in-law, Bruce, is missing. With Solitude locked in a rare, deadly deep freeze and the temperature plummeting, the residents launch a desperate search.

Seth calls his wife, social worker Carly Taylor, to take the case so the little girl doesn’t get lost in the foster care system. With the holidays near, Carly brings the child home with them to celebrate Christmas. But when the Taylor farm is also trashed, Seth and Carly must race against time—and against a paralyzing winter storm—to find Bruce and catch a killer in the first pulse-pounding sequel to the Rogue River Novellas.
Thoughts on Tracks of her Tears: We're back with Seth and Carly as they work on making their marriage a priority again. That gets a little tough when a dead body pops up two days before Christmas. And when Carly's brother is missing.

Seeing as how compromise is the cornerstone of marriage, Seth and Carly have made big strides in that department. They both realize that prioritizing their relationship doesn't mean turning their back on everything else. Especially when it affects the Taylor family like it does. So they pull together and forgive one another when things get weird.

On the non-romantic front, Seth is drawn into investigating Bruce's girlfriend's death as Carly delves into doing what she can for the dead woman's baby. A few dangerous moments, a family rallying together, and Mama Taylor's gut instinct gives them a Christmas that isn't as terrible as it could have been.

Next up: More Zane and Stevie. I'm in.

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Diamond Fire by Ilona Andrews [Review]

 Diamond Fire by Ilona Andrews
Diamond Fire (Hidden Legacy #3.5) by Ilona Andrews
Format: ebook
Source: purchased
Date read: November 6, 2018

Hidden Legacy
1. Burn for Me
2. White Hot
3. Wildfire
3.5. Diamond FirePaperback | Kindle
4. Sapphire Flames

Ilona Andrews
Website | Twitter | Facebook | Amazon |

Synopsis (Goodreads):
Nevada Frida Baylor and Connor Ander Rogan cordially invite you to join their wedding celebration. Summoning, weather manipulation, and other magical activities strictly forbidden.

Catalina Baylor is looking forward to wearing her maid of honor dress and watching her older sister walk down the aisle. Then the wedding planner gets escorted off the premises, the bride’s priceless tiara disappears, and Rogan's extensive family overruns his mother’s home. Someone is cheating, someone is lying, and someone is plotting murder.

To make this wedding happen, Catalina will have to do the thing she fears most: use her magic. But she’s a Baylor and there’s nothing she wouldn't do for her sister's happiness. Nevada will have her fairy tale wedding, even if Catalina has to tear the mansion apart brick by brick to get it done.
Thoughts on Diamond Fire: I am so insanely in love with this series. SOOOOOO in love. It's almost embarrassing. You know, for others. Not me. Because this series is seriously that good. I get all loud and CAPS-LOCK SHOUTY when I talk about it. *draws glittery hearts around ALL THE CHARACTERS*

Anyway. My sincere love has only deepened with this novella. I liked getting to see things through her eyes. I liked how Nevada and Connor are so ridiculously in love. I liked how nervous Nevada was to meet his mother. I LOVED Connor's mother. I guess we know where Connor gets his moments of draconic intensity from, right?

As for Catalina, I'm ready for her book. Her magic is intriguing and it puts her in a position that's tough on her. It leaves her isolated and lonely even when she's in a crowd. Heck, maybe especially when she's in a crowd.

I can say, with complete honesty, that this novella has only whetted my appetite for more of the Baylor family. Nevada had her trial by fire and I'm ready to see Catalina take on the world now. Not just Catalina, either. ALL OF THEM. Bring it!

Monday, October 14, 2019

Baking Me Crazy by Karla Sorenson [Review]


 Baking Me Crazy by Karla Sorenson
Baking Me Crazy (Donner Bakery #1) by Karla Sorenson
Format: ebook
Source: provided for review
Date read: September 13, 2019

Donner Bakery
1. Baking Me Crazy - Paperback | Kindle
2. Stud Muffin
3. No Whisk No Reward

Karla Sorensen
Website | Twitter | Facebook | Amazon |

Synopsis (Goodreads):
I’m Levi Buchanan, and until five years ago, I thought the legend of my family’s curse was a load of crazy, Southern nonsense.

No curse can make you fall in love at first sight. No curse can force a true, deep, passionate, all-consuming love that will haunt you all the days of your life.

Then I met Jocelyn Abernathy and I realized how completely wrong I was.

The problem is, Jocelyn guards her feelings like well-armed soldier. She’s the most beautiful, stubborn, infuriating woman I’ve ever met. Every time she talks, I want to kiss the living daylights out of her. But I can’t.

Because when we met, she didn’t need true love. She needed a best friend. And that’s what I’ve been to her…for five years.

But when Jocelyn meets a handsome stranger her first day working at Donner Bakery and she lets him buy her a dill pickle cupcake, I realize with ominous regret that I may have missed my window with my best friend.

If I can’t get her to see past our friendship, my new curse may be to watch the love of my life move on with someone else.
Thoughts on Baking Me Crazy: Oh, MAN, I liked this one. First off, we're back in Green Valley and I LOVE Green Valley. Secondly, Levi and Jocelyn were EVERYTHING. And third...we got to see some familiar faces and that makes me GIDDY with delight. (A certain bearded genius walking into an embarrassing conversation was awesome. HA! Poor Cletus.)

But let's talk about Levi and Jocelyn. Levi has been in love with Jocelyn since Day Zero. But she wasn't looking for a relationship, so he dialed it back, packed down his feelings, and became the best darn friend a girl could hope for. And when she was ready to start looking for romance, he had to figure out how to show her HE was the one for her. Body, heart, and soul.

As for Jocelyn, she definitely wasn't in a place to see Levi as a romantic interest when they first met. They just sort of fell into a pattern of friendship (awesome friendship!) and she had to make a big mental adjustment when his true feelings were revealed.

Again, I loved being back in Green Valley and I love getting to see more of the town and its inhabitants. Levi and Jocelyn were an outstanding start to this series and they have me ready to see what's next at the Donner Bakery.


Download your copy today!
Google Play: http://bit.ly/2klKiUj

Add to GoodReads: http://bit.ly/2ku91Wg


Excerpt:
"Besides, this is my best friend perk. Shouldn't I get perks in baked goods?"

She cut me a look. "You've been getting those perks for two years, Buchanan. Don't even pretend you didn't put on a solid ten pounds that first year I started baking." Quite pointedly, she looked at my stomach, which we both knew was covered in muscle.

“That's rude," I mumbled under my breath. I flexed my bicep. Nero licked my elbow since it was right in front of him. "Yeah, ten pounds in my left arm maybe."

The noise she made roughly translated to you are ridiculous. She made that sound at me a lot. Of course, the sad truth of the matter was that I was ridiculous.

Not once in the past five years had my feelings lessened for her. I had just learned to live with them. In my junior year of undergrad, I was taking a class on brain pathology in injuries, and a man came to talk to us about how he learned to live without his right arm after it was amputated.

He told us about how, even years after he lost his arm, his brain still triggered sensations to the limb that was no longer there. The adult brain, in particular, struggled to reorganize after the loss of a limb, and given that four out of five amputees suffer from phantom pain symptoms, some of which were incredibly debilitating, it was a lesson that stuck with me.

I wasn't fool enough to think that me loving Jocelyn was on par with a man who’d lost his arm, but something about the way he talked plucked at a chord inside me. Sometimes my brain struggled to remember that we were just friends.

She'd never dated, never even hinted that she wanted to. She'd never given me a longing glance. Never stared at my mouth like she wondered what it tasted like.

But my hands never, not once, stopped wanting to reach for hers. My fingers always, always itched to dig into her crazy hair and see what the curve of her scalp felt like.

My brain knew what this relationship was, but sometimes, the signals it sent to the rest of my body didn't always match up with the truth of our situation. We worked out together a lot, Joss and I, and when she got frustrated with the limitations of her body, I always wanted to wrap my arms around her.

I wanted to pull her into the curve of my body, absorb her dissatisfaction into my skin, and carry it for her. That was the irony when she made noises like that.

She had absolutely no clue how ridiculous I really was.



About Karla Sorensen
Karla Sorensen has been an avid reader her entire life, preferring stories with a happily-ever-after over just about any other kind. And considering she has an entire line item in her budget for books, she realized it might just be cheaper to write her own stories. It doesn’t take much to keep her happy…a book, a really big glass of wine, and at least thirty minutes of complete silence every day. She still keeps her toes in the world of health care marketing, where she made her living pre-babies. Now she stays home, writing and mommy-ing full time (this translates to almost every day being a ‘pajama day’ at the Sorensen household…don’t judge). She lives in West Michigan with her husband, two exceptionally adorable sons and big, shaggy rescue dog.


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Sunday, October 13, 2019

RtP's Week in Review (10/13/19)

Reading the Paranormal's Week in Review
Bookish Delights
Globetrotting...
  • KellyApple.com
    • This week's Feature Friday took us back to the Wicked Pride with book 1, No Reservations. BIG CATS, Y'ALL! Man, I love this book.

Saturday, October 12, 2019

Keeping Her Warm by Alexa Riley [Review]

 Keeping Her Warm by Alexa Riley
Keeping Her Warm by Alexa Riley
Format: ebook
Source: borrowed through Kindle Unlimited
Date read: June 7, 2018

Purchase link - Kindle

Alexa Riley
Website | Twitter | Facebook | Amazon |

Synopsis (Goodreads):
Catherine has fallen on desperate times and has done some things she’s not proud of.

Cole is the beloved town sheriff, but he’s missing something in his life.

When a snow storm hits and the two of them are thrown together, things heat up. But when Catherine’s truth is exposed, will Cole still need her warmth?

Warning: Fire ignites in this insta-love quickie, so grab a bucket of ice to go with it. Find out what happens in this small-town romance that’s full of sexy snuggles and alpha ownership.
Thoughts on Keeping Her Warm: I picked up this book wanted a filthy/sweet romance with some over-the-top sexiness and I wasn't disappointed. Cole knows Catherine is the one for him the moment he lays eyes on her. Kinda before that, actually.

Catherine, on the other hand, just wants to keep her head down and stay under everyone's radar. Especially the sheriff's. She might think he's s hunk and a half and have a teeny-tiny crush on him (as do most of the women in town), but it's better if she remains overlooked. Because her living situation isn't exactly ideal and she's in a bit of a rough place.

Good thing Cole follows his gut and does what he has to do to keep Catherine safe.

Sweet, sexy, and exactly what I was looking for. *thumbs up*

Friday, October 11, 2019

Pets in Space 4 Anthology [Review]


 Pets in Space 4 Anthology
Pets in Space 4 Anthology
Format: ebook
Source: provided for review
Date read: October 5, 2019

Pets in Space Anthologies
1. Cats, Dogs, and Other Worldy Creatures
2. Embrace the Romance
3. Embrace the Passion
4. Pets in Space 4 - Paperback | Kindle

Authors
S.E. Smith
Anna Hackett
Tiffany Roberts
Veronica Scott
Pauline Baird Jones
Laurie A. Green
Donna McDonald
Regine Abel
Alexis Glynn Latner
JC Hay
E.D. Walker
Kyndra Hatch
Cassandra Chandler


Synopsis (Goodreads):
For a limited time only! Pets in Space® 4 is proud to present 13 amazing, original new stories! Join the adventures as today’s leading Science Fiction Romance authors take you on a journey to another world. Pets in Space® proudly supports Hero-Dogs.org, a non-profit charity that provides service animals to veterans and first responders in need. Join New York Times, USA TODAY and Award-winning Bestselling authors S.E. Smith, Anna Hackett, Tiffany Roberts, Veronica Scott, Pauline Baird Jones, Laurie Green, Donna McDonald, Regine Abel, Alexis Glynn Latner, JC Hay, E.D. Walker, Kyndra Hatch, and Cassandra Chandler for another exciting Pets in Space® anthology. Get the stories before they are gone!

Proud supporters of Hero-Dogs.org, Pets in Space® authors have donated over $7,100 in the past two years to help place specially trained dogs with veterans and first responders. Open your hearts and grab your limited release copy of Pets in Space® 4 today!
Thoughts on Pets in Space 4: A darn good collection that let me revisit favored worlds AND jump into new adventures.

Anna Hackett's Dark Guard gave us cyborgs (CYBORGS!) and I LOVE those metal men. Tiffany Roberts' Entwined Fate is a sad/sweet second chance romance that doesn't let the cosmic distance between the stars stop two people who always should have been together find their way. Veronica Scott drops us back on the interstellar cruise ship that's seen its share of craziness since it started its run with Idol's Curse. We got to go back to the beginning of the Kryptid invasion of Earth in Regine Abel's Doom and watch the big alien warrior fall for his very human mate.

These were great additions to the series I'm already invested in PLUS a whole slew of other stories set on distant worlds (or distant star ships!).