Monday, October 25, 2021

Hard Fall by Sara Ney [Review]

Hard Fall (Trophy Boyfriends #2) by Sara Ney

Format: ebook
Source: borrowed through Kindle Unlimited
Disclaimer: As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
Date read: August 25, 2020

Trophy Boyfriends
1. Hard Pass
2. Hard Fall - Paperback | Kindle
3. Hard Love
4. Hard Luck

Sara Ney
Website | Twitter | Facebook | Amazon |

Synopsis (Goodreads):
"Hard Fall"

That's what my mom is always saying: "The bigger you are, the harder you fall." She's talking about love—I've never been in it myself, but that doesn't stop me from secretly matchmaking for my friends. Who would suspect me, a world class athlete, of meddling in other people's love lives? I love Love, especially when it’s not me who’s doing the falling…

"No Thanks."

That's what Hollis Westbrooke said when I asked her on a date. Well, propositioned her, actually—but it was all a big joke; one she doesn't think is funny. My stomach is in knots since I might actually like this girl so the joke is on me. Hollis’s father is my boss—and she doesn't date players.

The bigger they are, the harder they fall—especially when biggest player is me.
Thoughts on Hard Fall: Ha. THIS GUY. We met Buzz/Trace in Noah's book and he was part entitled, gross playboy and part sweet matchmaker. Which are two things you wouldn't think work together in one body, but Trace has the abs to pull it off. Or something.

The point is Trace is both gloriously blunt and upfront and also sweetly romantic. Somehow SOMEHOW he manages to hide his deep romantic streak most of the time. You know, the streak that comes out when he starts matchmaking and getting soulmates together. 

He's also super competitive. Especially with his brother. And that blunt side of his means he has basically no filter AT ALL. Which is both terrifying and hilarious all at the same time.

As for Hollis, she's determined to make her own way in the world and not rely on the silver spoon she was born with. She's also been burned by a baseball player in the past so dating/hooking up/what have you with Trace is not on her list of things to do in the near future.

But Trace is determined and Hollis kinda likes his brashness and THINGS HAPPEN. Oh BOY do things happen. MAN, I like them together.

Sunday, October 24, 2021

RtP's Week in Review (10/24/21)

Reading the Paranormal's Week in Review
Bookish Delights
Globetrotting...

Saturday, October 23, 2021

Write On Review-a-thon [93]

It's time for another installment of the Write On Review-a-thon. YAY!

A little about the Review-a-thon:
Brought to you by Reading the Paranormal and the #boutofbooks-ers facebook group. This monthly review-a-thon is a chance to get caught up on outstanding reviews. Bring your to-be-reviewed list, block out some time, write reviews. It's that simple.
This month's review-a-thon will run from Friday, October 29th to Sunday, October 31st.

To find out more about the review-a-thon and future dates, visit the Review-a-thon page.

As for me...
Reviews to be written:
  • {coming soon}

Friday, October 22, 2021

Two Against the Stars by Veronica Scott [Review]

Two Against the Stars (Sectors SF #11) by Veronica Scott

Format: ebook
Source: purchased
Disclaimer: As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
Date read: August 17, 2020

Sectors SF
0.5. Wreck of the Nebula Dream
1. Escape from Zulaire
2. Mission to Mahjundar
3. Star Cruise: Marooned
4. Star Cruise: Outbreak
5. Lady of the Star Wind
6. Hostage to the Stars
7. Trapped on Talonque
8. Star Cruise: A Novella
8.1. Star Cruise: Stowaway
8.2. Star Cruise: Rescue
8.3. Golden Token
8.4. Star Cruise: Thanksgiving
9. Star Survivor
10. Danger in the Stars
11. Two Against the Stars - Paperback | Kindle
11.5. The Fated Stars
12. Star Cruise: Songbird
13. Star Cruise: Mystery Dancer

Veronica Scott
Website | Twitter | Facebook | Amazon |

Synopsis (Goodreads):
Empathic priestess Carialle has escaped the evil Amarotu Combine, but she's hardly out of danger. Not when she risks everything to rescue a drugged man from a crooked veterans' clinic. By lulling the clinic staff to sleep, she reveals her powers. And once again, criminals are after her and her rescuer.

Marcus Valerian, a wounded Special Forces veteran, never expected to have his life threatened by the clinic that's supposed to help ex-soldiers like him. But when he wakes from a drugged state to find a lovely woman urging him to run--he does. In his family's remote fishing cabin, he suffers the agony of withdrawal, soothed only by her powers.

In their idyllic hideaway, the two also discover a nova-hot attraction flaring. But can they stay alive long enough for it to become more? Not if the Combine has anything to say--they are not giving up until Marcus is dead and Carialle is their tool.
Thoughts on Two Against the Stars: The men and women who come out of Special Forces are something else. Even when they're drugged and wounded and half-dead, they still get things done. In Marcus's case, he needs a little help getting on his feet from Carialle (almost literally), but his experience staying ahead of hostile forces help keep them both out of hot water when things get dicey.

Which isn't to say Carialle doesn't have the ability to protect herself, but she's woefully unprepared after escaping her handler on a strange world and she needed Marcus's help as much as he needed hers. When the going gets tough, Carialle uses her ability in both the best and the worst way possible, but it's all done to help those who matter to her.

A whole lot of danger, an ability that's out of this world, a couple of steamy kisses and sexy encounters, and two people finding one another despite incredible odds. GOOD STUFF.

Thursday, October 21, 2021

Meat Cute: The Hedgehog Incident by Gail Carriger [Review]

Meat Cute: The Hedgehog Incident (Parasol Protectorate #0.75) by Gail Carriger

Format: ebook
Source: purchased
Disclaimer: As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
Date read: August 17, 2020

Parasol Protectorate
0.5. The Curious Case of the Werewolf That Wasn't
0.75. Meat Cute: The Hedgehog Incident - Kindle
5. Timeless

Gail Carriger
Website | Twitter | Facebook | Amazon |

Synopsis (Goodreads):
Alexia Tarabotti attends what appears to be a very dull London party, until the new werewolf Alpha turns up, is unconscionably rude to her, and sits on a hedgehog.

Don’t miss this charming novelette featuring the very first encounter between the Parasolverse’s most popular power couple, preternatural Alexia and supernatural Lord Conall Maccon.

Look out for cheeky appearances from other much beloved characters, not to mention the strategic application of a certain wicker chicken.

Thoughts on Meat Cute: The Hedgehog Incident: Heh. I always get a kick out of Alexia and Conall butting heads (it only gets funnier the longer and more involved they get), so I thoroughly enjoyed getting to experience their first encounter. You know, where Conall is shockingly blunt and Alexia is understandably unswayed by his charms. Or so it seems.

A little skulduggery, a practical application of a hedgehog, surprisingly large and sometimes brutal werewolves, and one preternatural who's become used to being overlooked. MAN, I like these two and their motley (excluding Lyall, of course) crew  (both known and those skulking behind the scenes). *thumbs up*

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Ursa Major by Naomi Lucas [Review]

Ursa Major by Naomi Lucas
Ursa Major (Cyborg Shifters #7) by Naomi Lucas
Format: ebook
Source: purchased
Disclaimer: As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
Date read: August 10, 2020

Cyborg Shifters
0.5. Cyborg Pool Boy
1. Wild Blood
2. Storm Surge
3. Shark Bite
4. Mutt
5. Ashes and Metal
6. Chaos Croc
7. Ursa MajorPaperback | Kindle
8. Dark Hysteria
9. Wings and Teeth

Naomi Lucas
Website | Facebook | Amazon |

Synopsis (Goodreads):
Terraform Zero, a virtual reality colonization game, has swept the galaxy by storm. The Champions are household names that give humanity hope. Vee Miles believes she is good enough to compete amongst them, but the costly entrance fee is holding her back.

Enter the Earthian Planetary Exploration Division.

Still reeling from a publicity nightmare named Zeph, the corporation is desperate to change the public’s opinions toward Cyborgs. They offer to sponsor Vee. The EPED gets the PR boost, and she gets to keep the prize money. The EPED’s deal comes with strings though, and she has to pretend to be a made-up Cyborg shifting bear named Cypher.

A male that had the look of a Viking space warrior, with enough scars and otherworldly brawn to make any woman swoon. An imaginary male that makes her heart race…

Little does she know she’s being used as bait to lure the real Cypher from his den.

He’s out now.

He’s coming for her, and there’s no place virtual or otherwise for her to hide.
Thoughts on Ursa Major: A growly, mostly feral ursine cyborg shifter and a sweetly innocent gamer. They don't sound like they'd be a perfect match on paper, but Nightheart knew what he was doing when he started pulling strings.

Fair warning, Cypher is NOT happy about Nightheart's string pulling. Well, not at first. Maybe not even at second. But eventually he comes to terms with it and how drawn he is to Vee.

Cyborg shifters sure are a growly, violent lot, aren't they? (And that's only part of why I like them so much.)

As for Vee, she has the thing she wants most dangled in front of her and she snaps it up without realizing the situation she's being maneuvered into. On the cyborg end, Nightheart's using her as bait to draw Cypher out. But there are also other people and organizations in the background willing to exploit her to get something they want. Which Cypher is not willing to let happen.

Yeah, cyborg shifters get a wee bit possessive and protective when someone they have a thing for is threatened. And Cypher definitely has a thing for Vee.

Feral cyborgs, crazy situations, and some seriously steamy encounters. All the things I pick up these books for.

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Key Change by Heidi Hutchinson [Review]


Key Change (Common Threads #3) by Heidi Hutchinson
Format: ebook
Source: provided for review
Disclaimer: As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
Date read: September 17, 2021

Common Threads
1. Mad About Ewe
2. Give Love a Chai
3. Key Change - Paperback | Kindle

Heidi Hutchinson
| Website | Twitter | Facebook | Amazon |

Synopsis (Goodreads):
Before Hannah was a 9-5 working, dinner making, homebody, she was Ashton James: a paparazzi-stalked pop star with more enemies than friends.

These days she has one priority: keeping her sister safe and away from the public eye.

Hannah was doing a great job, until the pesky little brother of an ex-fling discovers where she is, and wants her help launching his career.

Now she has to trust Johnny—whom she betrayed in more ways than one—to protect her whereabouts. Johnny may have an infuriating moral compass and the timing of a storybook hero, but is he immune to the temptation of revenge?

Johnny’s focus has always been his music business, and a bad influence like Hannah is the last thing he needs at work, or around his brother.

But some things are too powerful to be stopped. For someone like Hannah, second chances—in life and in true love—don’t exist. She didn’t think so, at least.

Johnny is about to prove her wrong, and being wrong has never felt so right.
Thoughts on Key Change: Hannah's a former hard-partying, hard-living, viper-tongued pop star who I wasn't sure I was going to like AT ALL. Let me tell you, watching her work on herself and learn to be a better person through trial and error and therapy was pretty darn captivating. I mean, she's a mess, but she's not nearly the mess she was two years ago and that means something.

Probably the thing she had to learn most was that she didn't have to change every aspect of herself. She had to distance herself from her vices and teach herself not to react in certain ways that were permissible when she was living high (literally) as a star, but that didn't mean she wasn't worthy of happiness or love or anything good.

She also had to face up to her mistakes. She might not remember all the people she trampled on in her rise to the top, but that doesn't make what she did any less painful for those she hurt along the way. Johnny being one of them. A person she hurt, not a mistake. Unraveling their shared past while finding her footing in the future (which, surprisingly, was with this man who'd she'd hurt so deeply) was messy and painful in it's own right. For both her and Johnny.

As for Johnny, he knows what Hannah was capable of as Ashton and he doesn't want his little brother anywhere near her. Hannah being in the right place at the right time and saving his bacon has him seeing her in a different light and the more he sees of this Hannah, the more he likes. She has talent and drive and music is in her blood.

Family, friends, standing up when needed, pushing forward despite self-doubt, and one steamy encounter in the library. Like I said, I honestly didn't know how I was going to feel about Hannah when we first met, but she worked her magic and had me rooting for her. *thumbs up*



Excerpt
“You’re a real piece of work. You don’t even remember me, do you?” Johnny said the words, knowing for years they were true but feeling that hurtful sting having to admit it out loud. He had been a nobody to her then. He needed to make peace with that.

Ashton shook her head. “I don’t remember most things,” she said, and it had the kind of ring of truth that sounded too real. She rapidly scanned the interior of the townhouse and her gaze paused on his guitar resting in the stand in the living room.

He held his breath for a minute.

The guitar was the one he’d had when they’d first met. Its sound was on her first record.

It wasn’t fancy by any means, but it was and always would be his favorite. A black Gibson orchestra model. The years of wear showed the scratches and bruises of the life of a working musician.

He wondered if she remembered the night she’d sat in his bed, naked, holding that guitar and singing to him.

Because he thought about it all the time.

“I don’t remember you,” she said after a beat, her voice quieter. The admission hurt more than he expected. “But I know that it doesn’t matter. Going with the odds and how you’re looking at me, it was probably pretty awful.”

Johnny wasn’t sure why hearing that didn’t make him feel any better.

Just then the door opened, or it tried to, but it bumped into the bodyguard, who moved to the side and let Shawn in.

The facilitator of Johnny’s current problem.

Shawn frowned in confusion at the bodyguard, and then his gaze drifted to Ashton. All the color drained from his face, and his round eyes darted to Johnny.

“Oh my God,” Shawn whispered.

“Oh, He can’t save you now,” Johnny cautioned.

Shawn dropped his bag on the floor and his hands came up in a placating fashion. Though he couldn’t figure out which person to direct them to. He faced Johnny, then Ashton, then the bodyguard in quick succession.

“I-I-I can’t believe you’re here,” he finally spit out, obviously speaking to Ashton. He spun to Johnny. “It’s her. I told you it was her.”

Johnny ran his tongue over his bottom lip and nodded once.

Shawn shoved both hands through his hair, unable to conceal the sheer joy on his face. “Did-did you listen to it?” he asked Ashton cautiously.

For the first time since Johnny had opened the door, he saw a crack in her exterior as she looked at his younger brother.

“No,” she said after a beat. “I haven’t listened to it.”

Undeterred, and oblivious to the tension in the room, Shawn eagerly grabbed the envelope off the table and removed the thumb drive. “That’s fine. You can listen to it here and then I can get your reactions up close.”

“Shawn,” Johnny tried to get his attention.

“This is better, actually,” Shawn continued, a slight tremor in his voice, which was pitching a little higher. “I mean, I would have invited you over earlier today if I’d known you would say yes.”

“Shawn,” Johnny said louder and sharper.

It got his attention.

“Read the room, bud.”

Shawn’s hands dropped to his side and his shoulders dropped. “I don’t understand. If you’re not here about the music, then why are you here?” he asked.

“I think…” Johnny said with a slight grimace. “That she’s here to pay us to keep quiet? Did I get that right?”

Ashton glared at Johnny.

“Pay us?” Shawn repeated, confused and devastated all at once.

For a split second, guilt sliced through Johnny. But the sooner Shawn figured out who Ashton James really was, the better for him. In the long run.

Though watching him find out that the artist he looked up to was a lying, selfish, horrible person kind of hurt like hell.

Silence descended like a thick fog as Shawn stared at Ashton, waiting for a response.

Finally, she took in a deep breath and let it out. “Who have you told? I really need to know how far this goes. Please.”

Her tone was different than the last time she’d asked that question.

“No one,” Shawn replied roughly. “Just Johnny.” He waved a hand in that direction. “And he didn’t believe me until Saturday when he saw you at the school. Even then, he told me not to do anything about it.” He shrugged helplessly. “But I didn’t listen.”

Her eyes moved to Johnny, looking for honesty and verification.

He hadn’t told Shawn about helping jump her car. He didn’t want to have to answer any uncomfortable questions that he didn’t have the answers to. Like, why was she so different in that moment than the woman he remembered? And was it real? Or did she just get a lot better at faking things?

Shawn took a step toward her, speaking excitedly.

“I was just so happy to finally meet you. I never thought I’d get a chance to, and then one day, I saw you get off the train. I wasn’t looking for you. Ashton, you have to believe me. I would nev—”

“Please don’t call me Ashton,” she stopped him. She regarded both of them carefully. “I haven’t been Ashton James in a very long time. And I have no intention of being her again.”


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About Heidi Hutchinson
Heidi Hutchinson creates funny, clever, slow burn romance for readers looking for a guaranteed happily ever after.
She hopes the stories she writes inspire her readers to take their hearts on one more adventure.
She lives in the Black Hills with her alarmingly handsome husband, their fearless child, and a rather large and spoiled dog.
She is fueled by her unwavering and perfectly normal devotion to Dave Grohl and coffee.
And a whole lotta love.

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